Adding transparency to image files is often important to many users. One of the things you can do with an alpha channel is to create a mask. How do you use selections to create the alpha channel mask? In this video, Richard Harrington demonstrates how to use the Select and Mask command to improve selections in Adobe Photoshop CC 2017.
- Let's spend some more time with the select and mask command. It's going to be your best friend when it comes to getting precise selections. Let's open up these next two images in this case, I've done something a little bit different. I have essentially cut the image out from the background and then layered it over a darkened background that's black and white. This is creating essentially a spot color effect that puts the focus on the red panda and eliminates or greatly simplifies the background.
This is fairly straight forward. To start, make a basic selection. I find that the quick selection tool will work pretty well here. Drag through the subject and have it do its best to find the object. With a few clicks it's not too bad. It picked up a little bit of this rock that I don't need, so I'll have to do a few smaller clicks. There we go. With a couple of shift clicks it picks up the extra edges.
We'll grab that, and option or alt click to remove the rock. All right. That's looking pretty good. So, I'll click select and mask. Now, it's really important to work from top to bottom. The view area makes it simple to see things. You can view the object over a transparent background, you can take a look at the selection or look at the quick mask, and this will help you visualize.
So, using the paintbrush tool here, I can brush in little bit more and have it get some of those pixels that it was missing. You see how the quick mask mode can be accessed from within. Now, using the refine brush, I can paint over areas like whiskers and fur and it will attempt to refine those. And you see that it's looking at the hair edge there, cleaning it up. I'll turn on smart radius with edge detection so it tries to find things a little bit more.
Not too bad. The whiskers here are a little problematic so I'll grab the brush and subtract and try to remove a few of those pixels that aren't needed. That's looking better. Paint over a little bit more of the hair here. Smaller brush and paint. And it find the whiskers. All right, that looks pretty good. We'll turn on the smart radius here with new edge detection, adding any pixels that are missing, like the nose.
Looks good. And apply a slight smooth and a gentle feather. Now, as I roll down there are some important options. I'm going to choose to not output this to a selection but rather make a new layer with the layer mask. And to ensure that none of the background color spill in, I can choose to decontaminate colors. This is going to apply an adjustment here and pull those colors out at the edge. When I click okay, it's going to cut that out to its new layer and pull some of that color out.
Now, we'll turn on the background layer. And let's just pull things out. We'll make that background layer black and white. I can use the odd image tool to refine that a little bit. That's good. Let's apply a slight adjustment with curves and bring down the background a little. And you see our foreground moves to our subject. The ability to pull that out and decontaminate the edges was quite useful because now there's no color fringe in that outside layer.
- What are selections?
- Creating masks from selections
- Moving a selection
- Selecting with the Quick Selection tool
- Transforming a selection
- Using the Refine Edge command
- Selecting a color or tonal range throughout the image
- Making a selection with the Pen tool
- Saving a selection as an alpha channel
- Creating a selection from multiple channels with the Calculations command