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A terrific use for Color Range

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals

Video: A terrific use for Color Range

All right, now that you've been properly introduced to the Color Range command, we are going to use Color Range to create what I'm hoping you'll find to be a really fun project. And it's our first opportunity to do that thing that everybody wants to do with masking which is extracting an image from one background and place it into another. Specifically, we're going to extract this shark and we're going to move it into this new home. Now you may be looking at this thinking, these two images do not go together. There's no reason on earth to place a shark in this background. And yet we end up coming up with this final design.

A terrific use for Color Range

All right, now that you've been properly introduced to the Color Range command, we are going to use Color Range to create what I'm hoping you'll find to be a really fun project. And it's our first opportunity to do that thing that everybody wants to do with masking which is extracting an image from one background and place it into another. Specifically, we're going to extract this shark and we're going to move it into this new home. Now you may be looking at this thinking, these two images do not go together. There's no reason on earth to place a shark in this background. And yet we end up coming up with this final design.

And as you'll see we'll do a great job of selecting this shark, the Mask is just impeccably smooth and I've adjusted the shark to match the colors of his new home, we'll be using the shark to cast a shadow onto the grass, and then we'll wrap things up by creating that synthetic rainbow. And you'll be doing all the work. The only thing I've done in advance is set up those text layers. So, let's go ahead and switch over to the shark image. It's called Reef sharks.jpg. Now if you like you can take a swing at this image using one of the other tools. For example, let's go ahead and try out the Quick Selection tool here.

And obviously it's going to be easier to select the background because it's fairly homogeneous as opposed to try to paint inside the shark. And at first it looks like things are going go pretty well. As I drag above the shark everything is working out very nicely. I'll go ahead and drag down toward the other shark. Let's select the top of his fin, but I don't really care because I am not interested in that shark. It's when you move underneath the shark that at first you end up losing the tail and then if you paint under the larger region of the shark there you end up selecting the entire image.

Now I have no idea why the Quick Selection tool is behaving this way. Thankfully, we don't have any controls to clutter up the options bar. So there is not a darn thing we can do about it, except for press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. By comparison, the Magic Wand tool performs very well. Now I've gone ahead and reset the Tolerance value to 32, click in the background. It's almost like this image was designed to serve as a demonstration of the Magic Wand. I'll go ahead and Shift+Click and I select all the way around the shark as you can see. I'll go ahead and Shift+Click down here in order to select a little more.

The marching ants are doing a great job of tracing around the shark's outline. The only problem of course is that it's a pretty jagged Selection Outline. So this isn't the tool that we are going to use. But I just wanted you to see that the Magic Wand tool typically fares better than the Quick Selection tool for this kind of work. All right, I am going to press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image and you want to make sure that no portion of the image is selected, because if you do have a Selection Outline going, the Color Range command will select inside of it. Therefore, if you want free range when selecting, you want to make sure nothing is selected in advance.

All right, so I am going to go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command, or you can take advantage of that keyboard shortcut and I am going to move the dialog box over so I can better see what I'm doing. And I'll go ahead and click somewhere in that blue background in order to establish the first key color. Notice that I've taken my Fuzziness value back down to 40. Then I'll go ahead and Shift+Drag inside the background a little bit, like so, and that ends up selecting just about everything above the fish. Now I'll go ahead and Shift+Drag behind its tail and I'll Shift+Drag inside of the preview a little bit right there in order to lift some of those grays.

Now it looks like we've done a pretty good job of isolating that background. But before you leave the dialog box, I really advice you to go ahead and change your Selection Preview to Grayscale and that'll give you a better sense of what's really going on. And notice I'll go ahead and zoom in here by pressing Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus on the Mac, and I'll spacebar+Drag the image over a little bit so that we can see this little bit of junk in front of the shark's nose. Now if you decide to lift it by pressing the Shift key and clicking on it, then you'll end up selecting too much.

Notice that the selection starts to eke into the bottom of the shark. I don't want that so I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. You do have one level of undo when working inside Color Range. And then I'll just spacebar+Drag around a little bit more and just check out what else is going on. Don't really care about the garbage down here in the bottom right corner of the image. So I am not going to worry about it. Everything is looking good, so I'll go ahead and change my Selection Preview back to none and I am also going to turn on the Invert check box, because we really want to select the shark, not the background.

Now if you are having any problems getting this selection exactly the way you want it, you can load up mine. Just go ahead and click on the Load button and then inside that 06_color_range folder you'll find a file called Shark settings.axt. Anyway, I'm going to cancel out because I like my selection. And then I'll click the OK button in order to generate that Selection Outline. Now at this point I am going to go ahead and center my view once again. Obviously, the selection isn't exactly what we want it to be. We've done a pretty good job potentially of selecting the shark, but we have these other sharks down south here that we need to get rid of.

We also need to clean up this bottom right corner and that is a perfect use for the Quick Mask mode which I will demonstrate 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 · 29532 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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