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Working with path outlines

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: Working with path outlines

In this exercise we're going to brighten up the woman's eyes and we're going to do so using Vector Masks. This gets pretty gnarly, you're either going to think, wow, this is a lot more effort than it's worth, or gosh, this is great that I have that much control. Your opinion of course is entirely up to you, but it is a preview of just how powerful Paths are inside of Photoshop. We'll see a lot more of them when we get to the Pen tool course. I've saved my progress as Pixel and vector mask.psd, found inside the 09_layer masks folder.

Working with path outlines

In this exercise we're going to brighten up the woman's eyes and we're going to do so using Vector Masks. This gets pretty gnarly, you're either going to think, wow, this is a lot more effort than it's worth, or gosh, this is great that I have that much control. Your opinion of course is entirely up to you, but it is a preview of just how powerful Paths are inside of Photoshop. We'll see a lot more of them when we get to the Pen tool course. I've saved my progress as Pixel and vector mask.psd, found inside the 09_layer masks folder.

I am going to go ahead and zoom in on the woman's eyes, until we can see them actually at about 200%, will help us out pretty well. And I'd also like you just so that we can control things a little better, I'd like you to go ahead and click on any one of the layers that does not contain a vector mask, because otherwise that kind of complicates things. Now drop down to the Ellipse tool. So just as the Elliptical Marquee tool is great for selecting eyes, if you're going the pixel route, while the standard Ellipse Shape tool is great for selecting eyes, if you're going to vector route.

The next thing I want you to do here is to go up to the options bar and click on that second icon in, which is called Paths, and what that does is it goes ahead and creates path outlines in the Paths panel. Now let's set about tracing the woman's right eye, her left of course, and I'm going to start by drawing an ellipse around this region right here. All those tricks that work with the Marquee tools work with the Shape tools as well. So you can press the spacebar as you are dragging in order to move that shape on the fly and align it into place.

So go ahead and draw that first shape outline. And you won't notice anything happening inside the Layers panel, instead, go up to the Window menu and choose the Paths command and that's going to bring up the Paths panel over here on the right side of the screen, and you'll see that you have a new Path called work path. What I recommend you do, because it's very easy to lose these work paths. Notice this, if I click off the work path in order to hide it and I start drawing another shape at a new location, my old path disappears and is replaced with my new work path.

I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to restore my original path outline, and I can see it's restored if I go ahead and click on work path, there it is. Go ahead and say that path out by double- clicking on it and let's call this path right eye, then click OK. Now notice if you click off the path and draw a new path. you'll create a new work path, but your original right eye path will remain intact. All right, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to undo that change. Once again, switch back to right eye by clicking on it.

Now go ahead and draw a second path outline like so, and align it by pressing the spacebar to the right top side of that woman's eye. And once you get the result that looks more or less like this, go ahead and release. Now notice that I did not press any keys that time around. And so as a result Photoshop has automatically added one path outline to the other. You can confirm that's the case by Ctrl+Clicking or on the Mac Command+Clicking on that path here inside the Paths panel and that will go ahead and convert the path to a selection outline and you can see that it's as large as both of the paths put together.

That's not what we want. We want to find the intersection of those two ellipses, so I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac to deselect the image. Click on the right eye path to once again select it and now I'll switch to my Black arrow tool, which Photoshop calls the Path Selection tool incidentally. You can get to it by pressing the A key for arrow after all. Then go ahead and click on the newest of the two path outlines. The one you just got done drawing. And notice up here in the Options bar, you have these various options for combining path outlines with each other.

Right now, the Add to shape area icon is selected. You want to switch it to intersect shape areas, which is the third icon in. And now if you Ctrl+Click or Command+ Click on that path, there inside the Paths panel, you'll see that you're finding the intersection of those two path outlines. All right, I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac in order to deselect the image. Click on the right eye path once again to select it. Now what if you want to intersect in advance, you want to draw the path and create an intersection at the same time? Well in that case, you once again select the Ellipse tool and you can try out those same keyboard shortcuts that work with Selection tools.

So right now notice that I have a cross shaped cursor with a plus sign next to it, so I'm automatically by default going to add the next shape I draw. However, if you want to subtract the shape instead, you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, in which case you'll get a little minus sign next to the cursor. If you want to find the intersection, you press Shift+Alt or Shift+Option on the Mac, and then you see a little X next to the cursor. Now go ahead and draw your shape, and because I have Shift and Alt down at the same time, where shape tools are concerned, this is a little bit of a departure for Photoshop.

I am drawing a circle from the center outward. So if you don't want that, and of course, we don't, go ahead and release the Shift+Alt keys of the Shift+Option keys on the Mac, because you've already told Photoshop that you want to find the intersection by now. All right, as you drag, go ahead and press the spacebar in order to align that shape along the bottom eyelid. And we are now finding the intersection of all three of these shapes, again to confirm, you can Ctrl+Click or Command+ Click on that right eye path in order to convert it into a selection outline.

Now let's apply these path outlines as a vector mask to an adjustment layer, by pressing Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac to deselect the image. Then click on the right eye path there in the Paths panel, switch back to the Layers panel, click on the top layer in the stack, because we want to create a new layer above it. Then press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. Click the black-white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Levels Command. Those of you who loaded DekeKeys can press Ctrl+Shift+L or Command+Shift+L on a Mac. And let's go ahead and call this new layer eyes and click OK.

And notice the Photoshop has automatically converted those path outlines to a vector mask. Now let's modify the settings here inside the Adjustments panel. I am going to raise that first black point value to 5, then I am going to press Tab a couple of times to advance to the white point value and change it to 180 in order to brighten up that eye considerably. Go ahead and click on the vector mask thumbnail here in the Layers panel in order to hide those paths outlines. There is the brighter eye as you can see. This is the before version of the eye, this is the after version; we are going to see those path outlines again, so I'll click on them to turn them off.

Another thing you can do, by the way, as long as one of the vector tools is selected, either the Arrow or the Shape tools or the Pen tools, well, when you have a vector math thumbnail active, you can press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to hide that path outline, then press Enter or Return to once again see the path outline. And if that's not working for you, just go ahead and click inside the image window and then try it again. Anyway, I'm going to press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to hide the outline. We still need to deal with that left eye. That gets a little tricky, and I'll show you how that works in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

128 video lessons · 29561 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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