Building a mask based on color

show more Building a mask based on color provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Photoshop CS5 for Photographers show less
please wait ...

Building a mask based on color

In order to further deepen our understanding of masking, let's take a look at another small project, which will look at how we can create a mask based on color in order to give us some options with our photographs. Well here we have a photograph of Chris Lieto. He is one of the top Ironman athletes in the world. The guy is really, really amazing. And one of his sponsors is K-Swiss, and here we can see he is wearing one of his K-Swiss jackets. Let's say that the client came back to us and said, you know what, we love this photograph, love the perspective, love the bike in the background, red wall, all that, but we really wish you had shot this with a couple of the other colors that we have for this jacket, like we have a gray one or a black one.

Could you work something out here? Our approach will be, yeah of course, we can do this, right? And we're going to do this with masking. So here's how it goes. We'll go ahead and click over to our Background layer and press Command+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on a PC. We'll double-click the layer name and name this one "jacket" because we're going to focus in on making a change to the jacket. Next thing we're going to do is click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Then from there, we'll go into the Masks panel. In the Masks panel, we're going to click on the next button here, which is Color Range.

Color Range is quite interesting. With our Eyedropper, we can click where the jacket is in order to sample one of these colors. Now once we've done that, we're going to click the Plus Eyedropper and click and drag around the image. Also, as a quick tip here, check this out. If you have the original eyedropper, you can also hold down the Shift key. You'll notice there is a Plus icon next to it. This now works just like this Eyedropper here. You just don't have to click on it - great little shortcut that will speed up your overall workflow.

So I'm just going to click and drag around the image. What we're trying to do is make a nice, healthy selection of this jacket here. And you can see that it's building a mask for me already. Whatever is white is revealed. We have a couple of problems with this, right? It's not only affecting the jacket; it's also affecting the bike in the background. So we're going to have to sweeten that up a little bit and fix up this mask, but let's go ahead and click OK. Well now at this juncture, we can't even really see what's happening here.

How could we have a better view of this mask? Well, let me show you a couple of different techniques. First, let's turn off the Eye icon of the Background layer. Well, that's helpful, right? Now we can see that we primarily have the jacket, but a few other things. Well let's say that you don't have a Background layer, or you don't have the luxury of just turning a layer on and off. What else can you do? Well what you can do is you can actually click in your mask. You want that targeted. You'll notice there will be little braces around the edge of the mask. In contrast, if I target the image, there are now little corners or braces around that.

Let's go back and target the mask. Well once there, we can click on this mask in order to view it a couple of different ways. Hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC and click on that, and you're going to see a black-and-white view of the mask. On the other hand, click that again the same way, Option+Click or Alt+Click, and it goes back to normal. Or what you can do is hold down Shift+ Option on the Mac, or Shift+Alt on the PC, and click on the mask. Here you can see we have this red rubylith overlay.

Now these different views are going to be helpful in different contexts. In this case, the view that's most helpful, at least to my opinion, is to Option+Click or Alt+Click the mask, so we can see this in black-and-white. Now at this juncture, what we can do is sweeten up this mask a bit. Grab our Brush tool and then change to paint with black. So black is in the foreground here and then make our brush a little bit bigger. We can do so by pressing the right bracket key. And then we can paint away the effect in the background on the bike, and we could make our way through here, painting this away.

Well you may be thinking, there's got to be a better way to do this. Isn't there is something that we could do, rather than having to paint all this away, in order to kind of sweeten this up a little bit more quickly? Well there is. Let me show you what that is. We can navigate over here to our Magic Wand tool, and then we can click on the white area of the mask. And you can see here that for the most part, it made a pretty good selection just of the jacket, although it did pick up a little bit of the wheel here, because this area is touching.

Well if we want to remove that from the selection, all that we need to do is to grab one of our other selection tools, like the Lasso tool, hold down the Option key and then click and drag. And all that I'm going to do is a lasso this up, and now that is deselected from this selection. So you can seel primarily, I have the white. All right. Well, this is quite a bit of a process, isn't it? But nonetheless, it will really help us out in making this mask really good. Next step, we need to invert the selection.

Let's do that by going to Select and choosing Inverse. And now what I want to do is I want to fill everything else with black. And I can do so by way of shortcut, or by way of navigating to my Edit pulldown menu and simply choosing Fill, and then selecting the color, in this case black, and clicking OK. So here you can see that it just wiped out all of that other tone that I had back there. So now I just have the jacket, and now my mask is in really good shape.

I couldn't really have made that good of changes to this mask, had I not been viewing it in this mode. All right. Well let's go ahead and deselect. We'll do so by navigating to the Select menu and then by choosing Deselect. Next, we need to exit this Black-and-White view mode. We'll do that by holding down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC and clicking on the layer mask. All right. Well now that we have a really good layer mask, let's go ahead and take a look at it. We can do so, by clicking on the Eye icon of our background layer, and there we have it, just a selection of the jacket. All right.

Well now we need to take a look at how we can modify the jacket, and let's do so in the next movie.

Building a mask based on color
Video duration: 6m 11s 12h 24m Beginner


Building a mask based on color provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Photoshop CS5 for Photographers

please wait ...