I wanted to share with you my “Advanced Photoshop CC Tips for Photography and Compositing” presentation from earlier this month at Adobe MAX. Enjoy!
Posts tagged "Masking"
I’m excited to announce that my new Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: The Basics course is now live on Lynda.com!
Here are the details:
Learning how to use Photoshop efficiently and effectively is the best investment you can make to get the most out of your pixels. Photoshop CC Essential Training: The Basics filters out the noise and complexity so that you understand the basic features and concepts you need to use Photoshop effectively, whether you’re a photographer or designer.
Julieanne Kost reviews the basics of digital imaging, from bit depth to image size, and shows how to use different Photoshop tools to crop and retouch photos, while always maintaining the highest-quality output. She shows the most efficient ways to perform common tasks, including working with layers, making selections, and masking. Along the way, you will learn the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and master features such as adjustment layers, blend modes, filters, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
• Opening files in Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom
• Arranging your workspace
• Modifying keyboard shortcuts
• Changing color mode, bit depth, and document size
• Cropping and straightening images
• Working with layers and layer masks
• Using brushes
• Making detailed selections
• Editing images with the Content-Aware tools
• Using blend modes
• Creating Smart Objects
• Using adjustment layers to change color, tone, contrast, and saturation
• Applying filters
If you’re looking for more information, you can check out all of my Lynda.com courses here including:
And did you know that you can watch these videos off-line by using the Lynda.com desktop or mobile app?
After adding a layer mask to hide portions of a layer, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if there are any small bits of the layer that have been accidentally left behind. In this case, it might be helpful to temporarily add a layer effect such as a bright red stroke ( Layer > Layer Style > Stroke, and click the color swatch to choose a vibrant color) . The stroke will now appear around any small areas of the mask that you may need to clean up. When finished, simply delete the layer effect).
When working on intricately composited, multi layered documents, I often find it useful to check each of the layer masks before finalizing the image. To do this, Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to display it. With the mask visible, check to see if there are any unwanted awkward transitional areas that might not have been visible in the complex composite (a sharp edge from a selection or hard edge brush for example).
If you use a Smart Filter’s mask to hide the effects of a Smart Filter, Photoshop will still make selections based on the filtered content – even though it is hidden.
Here is the original photo of an Iceberg. I’ve converted it to a smart object so that I can add the Path Blur filter as a Smart Filter.
Below shows after adding the Path Blur (listed as Blur Gallery on the Layers panel) as a Smart Filter. Notice that the entire layer is blurred.
I drew a linear gradient in the Smart Filter’s mask to reveal the Path Blur in the water, but hid it from the iceberg.
Using the Quick Select tool, I expected Photoshop to easily select the sky, but it selected the iceberg as well (because Photoshop applies the blur to the entire layer – the mask was only hiding the filter).
Hiding the Path Blur (by toggling off the eye icon next to Blur Gallery), enabled the Quick Select tool to easily select the sky.
In the final image below, I added the new sky layer, used the selection to add a mask so that they sky wouldn’t overlap the iceberg, and toggled back on the visibility next to the Blur Gallery to display the Path Blur filter in the water.
Discover how the new Select and Mask taskspace in Photoshop CC makes creating selections and masks easier, more exact, and more efficient than ever before.
Below is additional information for working in the Select and Mask taskspace.
Tool and Properties Shortcuts
• For the Quick Select (W), Lasso (L), and Brush (B) tools, Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) toggles Add To Selection to Subtract From Selection.
• For the Quick Select (W), Lasso (L), and Brush (B) tools, Shift toggles Subtract from Selection to Add to Selection.
• With the Lasso Tool selected, Option + Shift (Mac) | Alt + Shift (Win) toggles both Add To and Subtract From options to Intersect with Selection.
• For the Refine Edge Brush (R), Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) toggles Expands Detection Area to Restore Original Selection.
•In Select and Mask, painting with the Brush tool adds to or subtracts from the mask (it will not paint on the image).
• Control + Option -drag (Mac) | Alt + right click -drag (Win) left/right to decrease/increase brush diameter.
Control + Option -drag (Mac) | Alt + right click -drag (Win) up/down to increase/decrease the hardness/softness of the brush.
• Shift-click to paint a straight line between the first and subsequent clicks.
• All of the View modes have their own shortcut (listed next to the name of the view). Plus, “F” cycles through the views while “X” temporarily toggles off all views.
• If you create a selection in Photoshop, choose Select and Mask and then modify the selection, clicking “Clear Selection” removes all masking while clicking the Reset Workspace icon (to the left of the Cancel button) resets the selection to the state when Select and Mask option was chosen.
• The first time you double-click on a Layer Mask in the Layers panel, Photoshop displays a dialog asking what you would like double clicking on a Layer Mask to do. You can choose between View Properties (in the Properties panel) or Enter Select and Mask. This behavior can be changed later in Preferences >Tools > Double Click Layer Mask Launches Mask and Select Workspace.
• Select and Mask supports Birds Eye View for faster navigation within an image. When zoomed into an image, press and hold “H” (the image zooms out to fit in the window). Drag the zoom rectangle over the desired location and release the mouse. Release the “H” key – the image zooms to the chosen area and the selected tool remains unchanged. (Note: Birds Eye View requires GPU support.)
Additional advantages of the Select and Mask Taskspace:
• Select and Mask should be faster than the previous Refine Edge option because Select and Mask takes advantage of GPU.
• You no longer have to jump in and out of a modal state to refine the initial selection (using the Lasso, Quick Select, or Brush tools).
• You don’t have to start with a selection, you can choose Select and Mask first and begin the selection process there.
• After choosing Select > Focus Mask, you can choose to go directly to Select and Mask.
• Select and Mask supports multiple undo, is actionable, and works with touch interface.
Layer Groups are, by default, set to display blending effects (such as opacity, blend modes etc.) just like any other layer in Photoshop. For example, if a layer in a Layer Group has its blend mode is set to “Multiply”, it will be multiplied (blended) with all other layers below it. In this default state, clicking on the Layer Group in the Layers panel displays “Pass Through” as the Layer Group’s blend mode (i.e: any blending applied to layers within the group is “passing through” the group to be applied to the layers below it).
To change this default behavior and limit the blending between layers to only those layers within the Layer Group, target the Layer Group in the Layers panel and set the Layer Group’s blend mode to “Normal”. Note: the circles are still multiplied within the Layer Group (if each layer was set to Normal instead of multiply, all of the circles would appear the same color, but not the Background because the Background is not in the Layer Group).
Clipping masks are most commonly used when an adjustment needs to be applied to a single layer (or Layer Group) in a document. For example, if you have a triptych of images (each on their own layer) within a single document and need to adjust only one of the images, you can add an adjustment layer and “clip” it so that it only effects the single image (layer).
To create a clipping mask, add the adjustment layer, then click the Clipping Mask icon at the bottom of the Properties panel. As you modify the adjustment layer, it will only effect the layer that it is “clipped” to. Visually, you will know that the layers are clipped because the bottom most layer’s name will be underlined in the Layers panel, and the clipped layer(s) will be indented with an arrow pointing downwards towards the base layer. You can clip more than one layer to a base layer and you can clip layers to layer groups as well!
Another use of clipping masks is to clip content such as a photo to a shape such as type. In order to do this, put the type layer under the photo layer on the Layers panel, target the type layer (by clicking in it in the Layers panel) and select Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
You can also create a clipping mask using the following shortcuts:
• Select the layer to be clipped and use Command + Opt + G (Mac) | Control + Alt + G (Win) to create a Clipping Mask.
• On the Layers panel, hold the Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) key and position the cursor over the line that separates the two layers in the Layers panel. When you see the icon switch to a downward pointing arrow next to a rectangle, click to create a Clipping Mask.
If you have an active selection in your document (marching ants) and have content on the clipboard, selecting Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into will paste the content from the clipboard onto a new layer and automatically convert the selection into a Layer mask!
Command + Option + Shift + V (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + V (Win) is the shortcut for Paste Into.
Command + \ (Mac), Control + \ (Win) targets a layer mask.
Command + 2 (Mac), Control + 2 (Win) targets the layer.
To paste content (from the clipboard) into a Layer mask, Option -click (Mac)/ Alt -click (Win) the Layer mask icon on the Layers panel. This shortcut does two things – it targets the mask as well as toggles off the visibility of the mask. Then, choose Edit > Paste to paste into the mask.
Note: if you don’t want to use the shortcut, you can paste into a layer mask by clicking on the mask in the Channels panel and toggling ON the visibility. Choosing Edit > Paste will paste into the mask, displaying the mask as a red overlay.
Click on the link icon between the layer icon and the mask icon in the Layers panel to unlink the mask from the layer (allowing either to move independently of the other).
Shift-click in the layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to temporarily disable the mask.
Click again on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to enable it.
For a vector mask, you must shift -click the thumbnail again to enable it.
You can also Control-click (Mac) / Right mouse -click (Win) on either type of mask in the Layers panel and choose to Enable or Disable a mask.
When working on intricately composited, multi-layered documents, I often find it useful to check each of the layer masks before finalizing the image. To do this, Option -click (Mac) / Alt -click (Win) on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to display the mask in the image area. With the mask visible, check to see if there are any unwanted or awkward transitional areas that might not have been visible in the complex composite (a sharp edge from a selection or a small area unknowingly left unpainted, for example).
When creating composite images, I am often trying to unify multiple elements that were photographed at different times, in different locations, under different light conditions. One of the techniques that I use to establish consistency throughout the disparate elements is to use one of the source images as a color overlay for the entire canvas. In this example, I wanted to use the color from the wings layer to unite the other elements (such as the overly saturated table).
First, I selected the wings layer, duplicated it, and repositioned it at the top of the layer stack.
I selected Filter > Blur > Gaussian to remove detail, while still maintaining the color.
Then, I chose Edit > Free Transform, to flip the layer and reposition and resize the layer as needed.
Finally, I added a Layer Mask and used the Brush tool to paint with black to hide the color from areas such as the figure.
Note: If you want to use more than one layer as the source for your “color”, select the desired area (using the marquee tool or whatever tool works) and choose Edit > Copy Merged to copy the information to the clipboard. Then, choose Edit > Paste. Photoshop will create a new layer that you can reposition, resize, etc. as needed.
For more information about compositing images in Photoshop, be sure to check out my two training courses on Lynda.com: