Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting glass and water, part of Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
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Okay gang, are you ready to begin masking inside Photoshop? This is an alarmingly fun topic I must warn you, at least I think it's fun, this is my "Oh my gosh, am I going to have fun" voice. I hope you have got your own "My gosh, I am going to have fun" voice on too. Here's the idea. We are going to be starting things off with a little bit of a selection masking hybrid function inside the Photoshop that's known as the Color Range command and I will introduce you to that command in the very next chapter but first I have to set the stage here and I would like you to work with me in that endeavor.
I want you to open up Splash In Glass.jpeg. It's available to you inside the 10 Masking folder. And this image comes to us from photographer Chris O'Driscoll and we are going to be selecting this glass and this water, believe it or not, with all of its translucency intact and we are going to be moving it into this background right here, this StartPattern.jpeg background, also available to you inside of the 10 Masking folder. This beautiful image comes to us from Harold Fila. and I want to show you what the final composition is going to look like.
I am going to Shift+Tab away my palettes, here it is right there this gorgeous image. I am going to go ahead and press the F key in order to enter the Maximize mode. Notice that we can not only see the star field in the background, is that not awesome, but we can also- I am going to go ahead and zoom in on it. We can see this big star inside of the glass here and if you move up you can see a bunch of little stars inside of the water. Is that not radically cool? And that is a function of masking inside Photoshop as it turns out that's how powerful masking is.
Now I am going to zoom back out here because I want you to notice something. Even though it may look like we have a little bit of distortion going on inside of the water and inside of the glass because we have got this big old star inside the glass here, there is no distortion going on, this is simple masking; we are just keeping the highlights and the shadows and that's about it. Anything else that you are seeing is your mind making it up. But that's okay, I will accept that. It's okay if your viewer goes ahead and imagines that there is more to your image than is actually there.
Alright I am going to press Shift+F in order to return to the multi image window mode here and I am going to click on Star Pattern and SplashInGlass. Those are the images that we will be working with. I am going to Shift+Tab back my palettes here so that we can see those palettes on right hand of the screen. Now you might think if you didn't know better that the best way to approach this image would be maybe the Magic Wand tool and just so you can get a sense of what a rotten choice that is for this particular image let's go ahead and try it out.
I am going to go over to the Quick Selection tool slot and select the Magic Wand tool and I still have my tolerance set to 12 from way back in Chapter 8. So I am going to operate on a theory here that it's easier to select the background than the foreground where this image is concerned. So I am going to go ahead and click in the background and I select quite a bit of it and then maybe I will Shift Click inside the glass and maybe Shift Click inside this area as well because I am trying to Shift Click away things that look sort of like background colors.
And oh I will Shift Click inside the water too what the heck and maybe Shift Click here gosh I don't know. I really don't know what I am doing at this point because I mean really what are you going to do with the Magic Wand tool, what is it you are trying to accomplish? How are you going to approach such an enormously complicated image and keep its transparency intact? Anyway, I am doing my best here. I think I will now go up to the Select menu and I will chose the similar command in order to grow that selection to include non-adjacent pixels and that gets me it looks like I have gotten the majority of the backgrounds selected.
Now I will go ahead and switch to the foreground image by choosing the Inverse command from the Select menu. I will now go ahead and get my Move tool here so that I can move the selection into a different background, I will make sure that my Move tool cursor is inside the selected area and I can tell when I see that little scissors icon in the bottom right corner of the cursor. And then I will go ahead and drag the glass like cell into the other image, press the Shift key and drop it into place.
So I register the glass into its new background because the two images are pixel for pixel the same image size and that looks terrible as it turns out I would go so far as to say. Not only do we have some just horribly jagged transitions as if the glass is horribly broken but also we have done a pretty bad job of selecting the colors that we need to keep and I have got some weird little black things going on as if some sort of tobacco ash or something along those lines is flying out of the glass here.
This is no good. I would go so far is to say the Magic Wand was a bomb. So I am going to go ahead and Undo the addition of that glass into that star background. Here's the deal. There is a much better way to work that gives you much better results and turns out to be easier as well and we are going to investigate that much better easier method in the very next exercise.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
- Understanding what Photoshop CS3 is and what it can do.
- Zooming, scrolling, and getting around an image.
- Making the most of the new-and-improved CS3 interface.
- Using Adobe Bridge to organize and manage images.
- Saving workspaces for maximum comfort and efficiency.
- Correcting colors using the Variations and Hue/Saturation commands.
- Taking on the professional-grade luminance editors, Levels and Curves.
- Resampling an image and selecting an interpolation setting.
- Cropping and straightening a photograph.