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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Working in the Color Range dialog box


From:

Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Working in the Color Range dialog box

In this exercise, I am going to take you on a tour of the other options that are available to you in the Color Range dialog box. I've gone ahead and saved my changes as Gradient with masks.psd, and the first thing I am going to do is switch to my eyedropper tool and click in that orange bar to lift that shade of orange as the foreground color. Now you may recall, when we chose the color range command in the previous exercise, we didn't have anything selected at first. However, this time, when I go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range Command, you can see that the entire bar is selected and that has nothing to do with the Fuzziness value, by the way,.
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  1. 15m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Loading my custom dekeKeys shortcuts
      3m 45s
    3. Adjusting the color settings
      4m 29s
    4. Setting up a power workspace
      5m 59s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. The channel is the origin of masking
      1m 54s
    2. The Masks and Channels panels
      4m 48s
    3. How color channels work
      7m 7s
    4. Viewing channels in color
      3m 24s
    5. How RGB works
      4m 12s
    6. Single-channel grayscale
      5m 12s
    7. Mixing a custom "fourth" channel
      5m 15s
    8. The other three-channel mode: Lab
      5m 45s
    9. A practical application of Lab
      4m 55s
    10. The final color mode: CMYK
      7m 5s
    11. Introducing the Multichannel mode
      5m 56s
    12. Creating a unique multichannel effect
      5m 18s
  3. 44m 27s
    1. The alpha channel is home to the mask
      1m 40s
    2. The origins of the alpha channel
      3m 40s
    3. How a mask works
      7m 10s
    4. Making an alpha channel
      4m 2s
    5. Using the new channel icons
      6m 27s
    6. Saving an image with alpha channels
      4m 23s
    7. Loading a selection from a channel
      4m 7s
    8. Putting a mask into play
      3m 55s
    9. Loading a selection from a layer
      4m 27s
    10. Loading a selection from another image
      4m 36s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. The mask meets the composition
      1m 8s
    2. Viewing a mask as a rubylith overlay
      6m 13s
    3. Changing a mask's overlay color
      5m 34s
    4. Painting inside a mask
      6m 3s
    5. Cleaning up and confirming
      5m 18s
    6. Combining masks
      5m 10s
    7. Painting behind and inside a layer
      5m 27s
    8. Blending image elements
      6m 1s
    9. What to do when layers go wrong
      6m 3s
    10. Hiding layer effects with a mask
      4m 22s
    11. Introducing clipping masks
      5m 29s
    12. Unclipping and masking a shadow
      3m 50s
  5. 1h 35m
    1. The seven selection soldiers
      52s
    2. The marquee tools
      6m 31s
    3. The single-pixel tools (plus tool tricks)
      6m 48s
    4. Turning a destructive edit into a layer
      5m 34s
    5. Making shapes of specific sizes
      7m 7s
    6. The lasso tools
      5m 49s
    7. Working with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      7m 19s
    8. The Quick Selection tool
      8m 13s
    9. Combining Quick Selection and Smudge
      4m 52s
    10. The Magic Wand and the Tolerance value
      6m 55s
    11. Contiguous and Anti-aliased selections
      6m 58s
    12. Making a good selection with the Magic Wand
      6m 34s
    13. Selecting and replacing a background
      6m 55s
    14. Resolving edges with layer effects
      7m 52s
    15. Adding lines of brilliant gold type
      7m 28s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Selections reign supreme
      55s
    2. Introducing "selection calculations"
      4m 19s
    3. Combining two different tools
      7m 29s
    4. Selections and transparency masks
      5m 17s
    5. Selecting an eye
      7m 1s
    6. Masking and blending a texture into skin
      5m 1s
    7. Painting a texture into an eye
      4m 19s
    8. Combining layers, masks, channels, and paths
      4m 54s
    9. Moving selection outlines vs. selected pixels
      5m 36s
    10. Transforming and warping a selection outline
      7m 45s
    11. Pasting an image inside a selection
      7m 26s
    12. Adding volumetric shadows and highlights
      6m 54s
    13. Converting an image into a mask
      4m 42s
  7. 1h 5m
    1. The best selection tools are commands
      1m 5s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 59s
    3. Working in the Color Range dialog box
      7m 7s
    4. Primary colors and luminance ranges
      4m 12s
    5. A terrific use for Color Range
      4m 57s
    6. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      7m 43s
    7. Moving a selection into a new background
      5m 43s
    8. Smoothing the mask, recreating the corners
      8m 43s
    9. Integrating foreground and background
      4m 44s
    10. Creating a cast shadow from a layer
      2m 51s
    11. Releasing and masking layer effects
      3m 11s
    12. Creating a synthetic rainbow effect
      4m 30s
    13. Masking and compositing your rainbow
      4m 46s
  8. 1h 17m
    1. The ultimate in masking automation
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing the Refine Mask command
      6m 58s
    3. Automated edge detection
      8m 23s
    4. Turning garbage into gold
      6m 19s
    5. Starting with an accurate selection
      7m 11s
    6. Selection outline in, layer mask out
      7m 48s
    7. Matching a scene with Smart Filters
      4m 29s
    8. Cooling a face, reflecting inside eyes
      4m 45s
    9. Creating a layer of ghoulish skin
      4m 28s
    10. Adding dark circles around the eyes
      5m 20s
    11. Creating a fake blood effect
      5m 38s
    12. Establishing trails of blood
      7m 40s
    13. Integrating the blood into the scene
      7m 3s
  9. 1h 48m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 37s
    2. Choosing the ideal base channel
      5m 7s
    3. Converting a channel into a mask
      6m 34s
    4. Painting with the Overlay mode
      7m 27s
    5. Painting with the Soft Light mode
      5m 55s
    6. Mask, composite, refine, and blend
      4m 40s
    7. Creating a more aggressive mask
      7m 2s
    8. Blending differently masked layers
      7m 0s
    9. Creating a hair-only mask
      6m 0s
    10. Using history to regain a lost mask
      3m 42s
    11. Separating flesh tones from hair
      8m 28s
    12. Adjusting a model's color temperature
      4m 30s
    13. Introducing the Calculations command
      7m 22s
    14. Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
      6m 34s
    15. Integrating a bird into a new sky
      5m 40s
    16. Creating synthetic rays of light
      6m 4s
    17. Masking and compositing light
      7m 39s
    18. Introducing a brilliant light source
      7m 5s
  10. 1h 34m
    1. The synthesis of masking and compositing
      1m 36s
    2. White reveals, black conceals
      6m 45s
    3. Layer masking tips and tricks
      5m 8s
    4. Generating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 38s
    5. The Masks panel's bad options
      5m 18s
    6. The Masks panel's good options
      3m 50s
    7. Creating and feathering a vector mask
      3m 42s
    8. Combining pixel and vector masks
      3m 50s
    9. Working with path outlines
      7m 10s
    10. Combining paths into a single vector mask
      7m 52s
    11. Sharpening detail, reducing color noise
      4m 27s
    12. Recreating missing details
      8m 49s
    13. Masking glass
      5m 50s
    14. Refining a jagged Magic Wand mask
      5m 53s
    15. Masking multiple layers at one time
      5m 15s
    16. Establishing a knockout layer
      6m 6s
    17. Clipping and compositing tricks
      7m 37s
  11. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
11h 35m Intermediate Nov 04, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals is the introductory installment of Deke McClelland's four-part series on making photorealistic compositions in Photoshop. The course shows how to make selections, refine the selections with masks, and then combine them in new ways, using layer effects, blend modes, and other techniques to create a single seamless piece of artwork. Deke introduces the Channels panel and the alpha channel, the key to masking and transparency in Photoshop; reviews the selection tools, including the Color Range tool , Quick Mask mode, and the Refine Edge command; and shows how to blend masked images so they interact naturally.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a workspace
  • Working with the seven key selection tools
  • Using the Color Range command
  • Automating masking
  • Matching a scene with Smart Filters
  • Choosing the ideal base channel
  • Converting a channel to a mask
  • Painting with the Overlay and Soft Light modes
  • Using History to regain a lost mask
  • Working with the Calculations command
  • Extracting a mask from a Smart Object
  • Masking and compositing light
  • Masking with black and white
  • Working with path outlines
  • Combining pixel and vector masks
  • Creating and feathering a vector mask
Subjects:
Design Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Working in the Color Range dialog box

In this exercise, I am going to take you on a tour of the other options that are available to you in the Color Range dialog box. I've gone ahead and saved my changes as Gradient with masks.psd, and the first thing I am going to do is switch to my eyedropper tool and click in that orange bar to lift that shade of orange as the foreground color. Now you may recall, when we chose the color range command in the previous exercise, we didn't have anything selected at first. However, this time, when I go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range Command, you can see that the entire bar is selected and that has nothing to do with the Fuzziness value, by the way,.

I could crank that down to its default setting of 40. What it has to do with is the fact that the foreground color is orange. So the Color Range command is always working in concert with that foreground color. In fact, if I click with my eyedropper right there on that vertical guideline again in order to switch my selection, so that I'm selecting the gradients, instead of the bar, I also went ahead and changed the foreground color on-the-fly. All right, notice these other tools that are available to me here. In addition to the eyedropper, we have one with the plus sign that let's me add to the selection and one with a minus sign that subtracts from the selection.

However, you can get to the same functions by pressing the Shift+Alt or Shift+Option keys. So in other words, if I press the Shift key, you'll see a little plus sign next to my eyedropper, and I can click in order to add another key color to my selection. If I press the Alt or the Option key on the Mac and click, I'll go ahead and subtract a key color from that selection as well. And as I'm working, the Color Range command is actually keeping track of all those key colors on the fly. Now in my experience it's a little difficult to keep track yourself of which colors you are subtracting from a selection, so I don't use that Alt or Option key technique very often.

However, adding key colors to a selection is an excellent way of working. Let me show you how excellent. I am going to move that Color Range dialog box down for a moment and I'll click, not Shift+Click, I am just clicking in order to wipe out the old key colors and set a new one. I want you to watch what's going on here inside the selection preview. Notice that in addition to Shift+ Clicking, I can also Shift+Drag and that selection will expand dynamically, which is not something you can do with the Magic Wand tool. So Color Range allows you to make quick work of a selection, just by dragging around inside the image.

All right, next I want to introduce you to your Selection Preview options. Notice that you can see either the selection or the image here inside the dialog box. I usually prefer to work with the selection. And the selection of course is that mask preview. But you can also view the selection out here in a larger image window, by changing that Selection Preview option. So, for example, Grayscale, which will show you the mask view, or you can see your selection against the black background, or you could see the selection against a white background.

And then finally, you can see it represented as a quick mask, that is to say, everything that's deselected has a Rubylith overlay, and we'll be checking out the Quick Mask mode later inside this exercise. I am going to go ahead and switch my view to Grayscale, because I want to show you what's up with localized color clusters. So I am going to click up here in order to establish a new base color. Notice that the selection goes ahead and jumps that gap. However, that's not always what you want. Sometimes you'd like the Color Range command to pay attention to the geographical position of your click point inside the image.

And you can do that by turning this check box on. So if you turn on Localized Color Clusters and then change the range and I am going to take that range down to something like 30, let's say, then you can see that it's selecting 30% of the image essentially away from the click point and it's doing it as a kind of radial gradient. So I am going to go ahead and crank my Fuzziness value body up to 100, so you can better see what I am talking about. And if I now Shift+Click at a different point, you can see that I add another kind of radial gradient of selection outward from that point.

Now it still jumps the gap, however, it does keep your selections a little tighter to your click points. Anyway, I am just going to go ahead and Shift+Click at a few other locations. So you can see what's going on. By the way, you can also click and Shift+ Click inside this little preview if you want to. So that's another way to work. If you turn on the Invert check box, then you are going to invert your selection, which is just like choosing the Inverse command from the Select menu, which can be useful when it's easier to select the background, rather than the foreground inside of an image.

We'll actually be taking advantage of the check box later, for now I am going to go ahead and turn it off. I also want you to see that you have the option of saving your settings. So you're not saving the actual selection itself, you are saving all the parameters. That is all the position information of your click points, also what colors you ended up clicking on, the Fuzziness value, the Range and so forth. So in my case I'll go ahead and click the Save button and I'll call this file Wacky selection, and then I'll go ahead and click the Save button in order to save it out, and now let's just Cancel from the dialog box, and because I canceled, I didn't generate a selection outline.

Now I'll go back to the Select menu and choose a Color Range command again. We've got my old settings at work here. I'll go ahead and click the Load button, then click on Wacky selection, click the Load below button again, and you'll see that I've re-established those exact same parameters, and my click points as well. Now the reason I say you're not really saving the selection is because these particular click points and colors and so forth are only going to work inside this image. If you try them out inside a different image, you'll get very different results. Anyway, I'll go ahead and click OK in order to generate that selection.

If you really want to save it out though, you'd want to save it as an Alpha channel, by switching over to the Channels panel, dropping down to the Save selection icon, Alt+Clicking on it presumably if you want to name it, that'd be an Option+Click on the Mac, and I'll go ahead and call this wacky or something and then click OK, in order to save out that selection as a mask, and then I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac to deselect the image, so you can get a sense of what it looks like. All right, just one more thing that you need to know, I am going to switch back to the Layers panel and notice that I have a few additional layer set up.

I am going to go ahead and click on that background image to switch back to the RGB image, and then I'll turn on all of those layers by dragging up the eyeball column. And I'll go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range Command. Now notice, when I click in one of these bars, the Color Range command is actually seeing each one of the bars, and the reason is, because the Color Range command always sees the composite image. So it sees the results of all visible layers at a time. And that's important to know, because whereas the Magic Wand tool allows you to sample single layer or all layers at a time, the Color Range command is always sampling all the layers.

All right, I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that selection, but of course, you can only use this selection on one layer at a time. In the next exercise, I'll show you how the Color Range command offers one remaining set of options that allow you to select predefined color ranges.

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