Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Refining your mask, part of Learning Perfect Photo Suite 8.
While we've been pretty successful in creating, a basic mask. But to make the effect really work, you need to refine the mask and make sure you don't have these edges that say, oh, I've laid one image on top of another image. And we're going to look at some of the tools, that allow you to do that. So we're picking up where we left off in the previous lesson, with the picture of the bride, and a mask has already been applied. And I'm going to go ahead and open this back up in the Layers module. And the reason I want to open this up in the Layers module, and I'm going to edit a copy of this, is because I want to put the background behind her, before I start refining my mask.
Because, what really makes this work is, how does the foreground look compared to the background. And a lot of times you don't have to do as much work as you think you do. For instance, if she was standing in front of say, foliage and it's a green background, I don't have to work as hard to get rid of a lot of the green on the edges. For instance, let's go into the Extras panel, and I'm going to go into the onOne Extras, and we'll go into Backgrounds. And, we're going to go and choose a studio backdrop. And, under our studio backdrops, let's go ahead and put her in front of a blue background, and start cleaning up our edges.
Now I want to add this as a layer, so I'll press Okay, and of course it'll bring the layer in on top of her, so I can simply move it right behind her, and now if I wanted to, I can resize this. I could simply stretch it out, and, I really don't need that much of a background behind her. We'll just use this chunk here. And ultimately we can trim the image. Now let's go ahead and step back into the masking tool, and see how the foreground, integrates with the background. And if you haven't hit applied already in the transform tool, it will ask you to apply the new shape change.
And now, jump into the masking tool. And we see the bride, as well as the background layer now available to us. And this is very useful to see, if we need to remove a lot of the green, or a little bit of the green. I'm going to zoom in to some trouble areas, and show you how you can fix them. So I'll switch over the the zoom tool. And, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in right over here, to her ear, and her hair. And, I see a little bit of a green fringe here, and the truth, is I probably wouldn't notice that in the wide shot, or in the full shot, but I want this to be closer to perfect.
So I'm going to switch from all layers, to just showing my white mask, and, now I can really see that green. And sometimes the easiest way to fix something, is to take and use the Brush tool. And I'm going to go ahead and select the Brush tool. Make it nice and small. And I can paint away, certain areas that I know I don't need. And I'm going to worry about the edge, in just a moment. This is very useful if you have fly away hair, and you know you don't need that in your mask. And you can go ahead and remove those fly aways, with this brush.
Now, if I wanted to really refine this, one of my favorite tools is this chisel tool. And it looks a lot like a chisel. And I can go here. And as I paint over the edge, it just removes a little bit, of the edge. And I can control the size of my brush, how strong that is, and also how feathered it is. So if I wanted to chisel away very subtly, I may make that a much lower number. And we'll go ahead and work on her ear here. And it's a very subtle tool that you're working with.
If this was made huge, and I'm not going to make it all the way up to 255, but let's make it a pretty high number. You'll see its very aggressive. And if you accidentally remove too much, you can simply switch the mode from remove, to add. You can do this also with the X key, and paint this back in. So as you see, when cleaning up the edge, subtlety and painstaking painting, is really going to help you, fix all of these edges, that could take unnatural mask, and make it seem artificial because of that edge or that ring.
I'm going to hit the X key, and just start chiseling away some of this area. Another way that I can smooth this out, is I can switch to this tool right here, and that is our Blur tool. And, I can go over here, and it kind of creates a natural transition between the foreground and the background. If I turn my background on, and we'll do that by switching to all layers. I can see this is smoother, but I still have this color fringing, and one of the ways you can fix color fringing, is, over here you can switch over to the color spill brush.
And here, I can paint over, and remove that spill. Now, if I just painted over by default, doesn't really do what I want. I want to actually choose a color. And I want to overwrite that. So, I can go to this little eye dropper. And I can either pick say her hair, or her ear color. And let's do the ear first. And as you notice, it's, creating a color pretty much like her ear, make it a little bit smaller, and I can go ahead, and now I can paint away that green, and you don't see that reflection.
Now if I go over here to the hair, I may want to switch that color from skin tone, to her hair color. Once again, switch this back to the brush, and I can go ahead and start painting this away. Let's switch on smart strength. And, try to get a little bit more of this removed. So, as you can see, cleaning up those edges, can be very worthwhile, but it can be a little bit time consuming. Now, there's another quick way to clean up edges, especially if you have a lot of them.
Now I'm going to simply pan over, to the other side of this image, and, here we have a lot of edges going on. I'm going to switch over to the Adjustments button, and this opens up a new interface, where I can control my mask. I can feather my mask. I can also grow or shrink it. And what I want to do, is I want to actually grow the mask, so it cuts out some of this area. So I can simply slide that over to the right, and, a little goes a long way. You probably only want three or four pixels. And as soon as I do that, you'll notice that that edge is gone.
And if the edge looks a little bit rough, I may want to go ahead, and add a little bit of feather back in, and when you start adding feather back in, you may need to grow or shrink your mask a little bit, just to make sure you don't get any of that green. And as you see, this is a very quick way, to get rid of that green haloing that we had. And, it doesn't mean you shouldn't use the Chisel tool, and the Blur tool, and the other tools that we worked with. But in some cases, this is a really quick way, to solve, a pretty common problem.
This is an introductory course produced by RHED Pixel to help both beginner and seasoned photographers quickly realize the benefits of Perfect Photo Suite 8. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- What is Perfect Photo Suite 8?
- What's the right version for you?
- Installing the software
- Importing media into the Layers module
- Making quick fixes with the Enhance module
- Adjusting skin tone in the Portrait module
- Applying effects presets
- Creating masks
- Resizing images
- Integrating Photo Perfect Suite with Lightroom, Photoshop, and Aperture