30 Days of Photoshop

Lesson 15 of 45

Day 7: Layers III - Masks

 

30 Days of Photoshop

Lesson 15 of 45

Day 7: Layers III - Masks

 

Lesson Info

Day 7: Layers III - Masks

well hello and welcome back to the next day of three days of photo shop today we're gonna talk about a very important topic one of my favorite things to talk about and that's layer masks and we're going to talk about masks kind of in general but specifically layer mass yesterday we talked about lost two days actually we talked about layers and how important they are and a few days ago we talked about the whole concept of working non destructively layer mass is probably one of the prime examples of how to do that because we're making decisions that we can always alter and tweak and adjust and change our mind and reuse and all those good things that we like to do when we're talking about working non destructively now some people when they talk about layer mass they start trying to compare it to like a piece of cardboard with the whole cut out of the middle and to me that that never really helped really just looking at it to see what it does and how it works I think for most people you ju...

st do it a few times and you grasp the concept fairly easily so let's take a look at what we got here right now I have just a standard photo this happens to be a camera smart object but that really has nothing to do with it and I decide that on this wall I wantto make it look like there's a big red box behind them so I'm gonna make a new layer and choose my color just pick something brick red maybe I'm gonna fill it I'm using the shortcut option to lead our fallback space we could also use the kill command and because of the structure of my layers panel of course this layer is on top of the layer underneath now I could this I well I just want to make it look like it's behind so let me take my eraser tool I'm gonna pick a hard edge brush and probably to make my life easier not to say that I would do it this way but just to show you I could go in here and a race let's get closer to be more accurate and they still do this fairly quickly because frankly this is not the best way to do this under showing you the alternative and why you have to really consider do you really want to erase something so I'll show you another way in a moment that might would frankly be even easier than this but just for you get the idea I do all this racing and of course I would be really careful about it and changed my brush eyes and do all those things but once again since I'm going to suggest you don't actually do it this way I'm not going to really worry about it too much I would lower the opacity and maybe change the blend mo to multiply and obviously my erasing looks really bad but that's part of the point the problem really is I've erased those pixels they are gone so if I save this and close that even though it's a psd file and I have these two separate layers the problem is if someone says I'll just move that box up a bit well all of a sudden of course it doesn't match up because the erased pixels while they're gone so the bottom line is it's like step backwards enough times to get right to the beginning the bottom line is this a racing is the same is deleting when you delete pixels they're gone and we talked about that five forbidden future sorry let's try that again five forbidden fruits try saying that five times fast five for britain forbidden fruits of photo op anyway those things you don't want to do our merge delete a race flattened rast arise you don't want to do those things and even deleting which would be frankly easier than a racing in this case doesn't serve me very well so just so you can see that as a point of comparison it would actually be a whole lot easier for me to take my quick selection tool then go to this layer and hit the delete key now it looks more realistic but the same problem exists I have deleted those pixels so if I decide I want to try and move the box around I'm out of luck so a much better plan is to use a layer mask now typical photoshopped fashion there is as my mother would say umpteen different ways to get to a layer mask you can either add a layer mask and paint on it or you can make a selection turn into a layer mask and even the aspect of getting the layer mask means it's a button you can click in the layers panel or it can use the pop up venue or the layers panel so again typical photoshopped giving you multiple ways to do the same thing so let's look at the look of these different options the first one is when you just want to add a mask and start painting this is the button of third one in the bottom is thie add layer mass but and when you look at this layers panel now there's a second icon beside our second thumbnail beside our layer thumbnail and it's active khun tell that if you look really closely at me zoom in a bit you can see that there's an extra little line around the layer mask if I want to work on the layer I have to click on the actual layer thumbnail itself so when you add a lair mass by default it's activated and the fact that it's all white means it's in what's referred to as reveal almost so this entire layer is revealed if I take for example my paintbrush and I'm going to go make sure I have my little checklist make sure I have a standard brush I'm going to start with a hard edge brush to begin with just to show you and I also check my four wrong color I want my four one color to be black because right now the layer mask is completely white which means the whole layer is revealed if I take my paint brush and paint with black it's goingto give the same effect in terms of the result and getting temporary lower the opacity so I can see we're doing and again I'm gonna do this really badly and quickly just to show you the idea put this opacity back up again now I've got the result that I wanted but the difference is if we look really closely in the layers panel you'll see the entire layer is still there though all those pixels within that rectangle are still there it's this little black blob and if I optional click on they can actually view the layer mask now this is showing me that clearly my brush was not at a hundred percent opacity which we'll talk about the second so what that's doing is it means now I have the ability to decide do I need to tweet the mask or not now the other thing to note is by default when you add a layer mask this way there's a little chain symbol in between the two and that means if I take the move tool and I go to move the layer the mask moves with it which some of the time often makes sense in this case it doesn't because of the mask is of our dancer here so I would want to uncheck that link and now I can move the box around it still reveals the fact that my masking is not done very well so let's throw that away and show you the way that I would probably try most the time if I have information like this guy I would hide this layer goto the bottom layer and take my quick selection tool and make a selection zoom one hundred percent just to make sure we've got a good looking selection can use refine edge just to look at either the mask or make sure I didn't cut anything off that looks pretty good now I in this case I want to just make sure that he is that this box will look like it's behind him up to this point so now I've got the act of selection I have the layer active now and I click on the adl air mass but now what it does by default is it makes a mask from my selection which is you can see is having the opposite effect of what I want I want to actually show all the other part to hide this part so right now we look at our layer mask it's the wrong way round it's white is revealing black is concealing a some people like to say or I say white shows black hides however you want to say it the black is what's hiding this so right now my layer mask is the wrong way around so if I go to the image menu and choose invert or press command or control I that's going to invert the mask so now it looks the way that I want once again I would unlike them and click on my layer take my move tool and now I'm able to move it around now if I go too far away so I'm covering up her if I go too far down my mask isn't big enough which I could still tweak but this is kind of the basic idea of a mask the beauty of a layer mask is it lets you create things like this where you make it look like something's behind something else or as we'll see later you khun put in a new sky and mask it so it replaces the initial sky but with that level of flexibility wants open any time you go on and go oops I missed a bit here I could just go in and adjust it tweak it and make any change that I want so that's kind of the nutshell summary of creating the layer mask now as I mentioned I click on the button to say adelaide mask I could also go on to the layer menu and pull down say layer mask from selection all different ways to get the same end result you could even add keyboard shortcuts when we talk about modifying keyboard shortcuts that's one option is that you might decide to do is to allocate a keyboard shortcut to layer mass because they use so often but we go before we go too far I just want to stress one important thing here just like we talked about layers and I said the first thing you should do is look in your layers panel make sure you have clicked on the appropriate layer now you have another thing to consider clicking on and that's layer vs mask and again what I mean by that if we if we look a little closer here now I've got two thumbnails this is the layer this is the layer mass right now the layer is active if I wanna work on the mask I have to click on it so now again we have two things we have to make sure we're on selecting the right layer but then we also have to look within it to see layer versus layer mask now here's a little a tip for you if you're ever working on a layer with a mask and you look down at your foreground color and you see color that means you cannot it's impossible for you to be on the layer mask because later mass on lee allow you to paint in shades of gray so here because I can see the foreground color and background color that means I can't there's no way I could be working on the mask soon as I click on the mask watch that foreground and background color it automatically goes to black and white so that's the way you can confirm am I on the right place because if for example you thought you were on the layer mask and saw color that wouldn't be good or even if you saw a black and white the problem is if you actually see the color black that means you're painting on the layer not the mask because remember when you're on the layer mass you don't actually see black you just see things disappearing again this I don't have my paintbrush that all the way two hundred percent now when I was doing this example life start off by picking ah hard as brush this time let's do a soft edge brushed to say I wantto affect this side of this image or this layer you see what's happened now see how it has kind of a soft edge we look at our layer mask that's why because now we have black from my paintbrush but the soft edge brushes introducing this bits of gray so the way a layer mask works again as black hides white reveals gray is somewhere in between or as I like to say to use a technical term kind of kind of see through kind of not so let's look at another example again throw away this laywer mask and deleted so I don't actually apply it and add a new layer matches to show you that the whole concept of how layer mask works if I take my grady in't tool and I have the grady in't set from black toe white and I drag across this I'm on the layer mask that means now it has a gradual disappearance and appearance because the layer mask is that grady in from black to white so that's another way that you khun adjust the way a mask has the influence on the layer now there's a couple of other important things to note about layer masks and we'll look at some other examples as we go here first one is if I add any kind of adjustment layer adjustment layers automatically have a layer mask on them so this is how very simply as an example you could decide what I want to make the whole photograph black and white except for the people so then I would once again paint with black to hide the effects of the adjustment here in this in this case what I'm hiding is making it black and white so this is how one of the ways you can start to play with ease and again this happens automatically I don't have to do anything to add a layer mask to the adjustment layer it's automatically there so we'll just get rid of that for now but that's kind of the approach we can take now just to put this in even more perspective you khun do this layer mass thing with anything so I'm going to take my type tool just type the word dance and position at maybe here let's pick a different color and actually sample of color from her dress I gotta highlight my text though first getting okay go and once again I might change the blade mode to multiply kes I want tohave it kind of blend in with the wall or even fact let's do a bit of those blend if slider and see if we can't get some of that underlying layer find how far I can go look at that kind of put it behind him automatically that was even easier but they don't really want that to happen because I want to able to show you that we won't do that but we could have so is gonna let us make it look a little more painted on but we still have the issue where it's covering up him and I don't want it to be so this is where once again I'd do the same thing now I'm going to go a little further this time because in order to give me the full amount of capability I may decide well let's get her involved in this whole thing as well so I'm going to create a mask that's basically both of them almost all I'm not gonna go all the way the ground is I wouldn't put the text on the ground but otherwise I'm making my selection here I'm just all I'm doing is using the option on all key to take away parts I don't want now normally when you're making a selection like this you want your selection to be as accurate as possible but at the same time I wouldn't obsess over it because ultimately this is going to make a layer mask so if we needed to we could tweet the mask if necessary so we're just going to get her in here as well probably want to all of her but will get close enough and the fine edge because I want to get make sure hair in here and we'll talk more about this in more detail later on okay so now back to the text now in this case if I simply added the layer mass once again it would do it the wrong way around I can invert it which would be fine but we can also do this option go the layer layer mask and choose you see there's two options reveal selection or hide selection reveal selection is the same as me clicking on that ad layer masked button because it would only put thie text on top of him if I choose hide selection then it automatically goes the other way okay now once again it's by nature it is linked together so if I unlinked um now here's let me go through this for a minute because this is a good example is pause for a moment and rethink remember the concept of our little checklist this is a perfect example of that I use that menu item two say hide the selection it looks like I'm ready to go but if I went to move my type right now I'd have a problem look at why the reason why is because again by nature well two things first of all it's still thinks I'm working on the layer mask and it's linked together so if I took the move tool right now it would move the mask and the text together because they're linked and it would not work the way I want so I have to do two things after unlinked them and click on the text layer now I could move that around now this is one of the really interesting parts of photo shopped to me doesn't it look like I'm moving the text on the wall behind them but actually when you look at the layers panel the layers on the top of the stack but is that mask that staying put it static so then I can move things around to make it look like it's going behind the people that were taken against that wall and that to me is a great example of how the power of using layer masses it can give you this ability to just try things also member in that first example where I said don't do it this way I had to rast arise the type so I could erase part of it here the text is still text so if I decide I want to try a different typeface I just selected and try something else let's just pick something really different that and I just commit the type and can continue working with them but now I've edited the way that I want so that's again a very powerful tool one of things that will come back to in a and a bit is to talk about how what if we want more than one for example another type player and build on the one that's already there but we'll come back to that in a second first of all I want to show you another example of how weaken make a layer mask in this case though it's done pretty much automatically for you but as in a lot of cases with photoshopped you always have to away the advantages of something happens completely automatically and something where it takes you an extra step because ultimately I want to still make a decision is going to give me the most options as I go so here's an example I was in italy a couple years ago in november it was beautiful except every day the skies were great so a lot of my photographs look like this one where there's just a big grey sky so whenever I'm driving around somewhere if I see a really nice guy then I grab a photo of it that I might want to use now I deliberately kept this photo is larger than the one that we're going to bring it into and I'm just going toe push up the saturation a little bit perhaps because I want to overdo this to make it obvious and I'll hit open object now that makes that camera raw smart object we're going to continue to talk about a lot throughout this thirty days because it's so great however the first method that creates a layer mask automatically is going to lose the ability for me to edit my smart object which is unfortunate and I'll show you the alternative around that so here I have my photo that I want to this is where I want the new sky to go now every time I'm looking to make a selection again we will talk more about selection tools later but any time you see definite edges like the outside of a building I would try the quick selection tool in fact I usually think of it as the edge detection selection tool because that's really what it's doing now it may not be perfect but it's actually pretty darn good because it's found all those that is let me undo that and show you again I don't have to do a lot of work I just started somewhere inside here and really the only option I have turned on his auto in han now I'm gonna probably say this again but this one kind of intrigues me there's an option called auto enhance wouldn't you just always wanted to auto enhance well there is a reason actually the reason is if your file is really really large and it starts slowing things down you may decide to turn that off personally I leave it on as much as I can and now I've made my selection so that's where ultimately I want the new sky to go as I go a little closer right now you can see that it did not get these little antennas here and there and okay missed a little bit right there so we'll just take that away but other that overall it's pretty darn good that's where I want my new skye to go then I come over to my new sky and here's where I I can get the results on really quickly but I'm going to lose the edit ability of this camera smart object but it's still for some situations is pretty cool because it's so fast so I'm going to select all show you through the menus but of course I could do the keyboard equivalent select all go to edit and choose copy then come to this one but here's the trick you don't do copy I'm sorry don't do pace because then it would just make a new layer to ignore that selection completely and you wouldn't be any further ahead so instead what I do is under edit I go to something called pay special paste into which has the craziest keyboard shortcut in the world if you love keyboard shortcuts command option shift v or control all shifty aurelius choose paste into and here's what it does look at my layers panel now it's made the new layer and it has created a layer mask and it's not linked together and my layer is activated so that means about doing anything else I could go right to my move tool and start repositioning the sky to say where do I want and obviously the certain point you're run out of photos you have to keep that in the equation but maybe something like this now if we look at it let's zoom in closer it looks a little artificial in two ways first of all the edges look a little off but the other thing is remember we were replacing a sky that was just pale nothing and that was the kind of day it wass so if I went to this dramatic really saturated sky it probably wouldn't look very realistic either so what I would probably do in this case not probably I would do is lower the opacity to start it making looking a little realistic and then as an added bonus of doing that simon about sixty percent now I can also see the antennas that disappeared and the edges look a little better so now when someone's looking at this photograph at least there's something a little more interesting to go with now without having opening a whole discussion of the concept of should I replace this guy or not that's a personal preference personally when I'm taking the landscape photo if that's the way the day was I'd rather enhance a little bit and make it look more pleasing to my eye I'm not a photojournalist here I'm not doing this for time magazine when I have to preserve what exactly the situation was on that day for me in this case is all about making an image that I like so I like this I printed off and no one else knows except my wife and I there were in the gondola that this guy didn't look exactly like that but it still looks better than it did before now as I mentioned the only downside to doing this is I would prefer ultimately toe have the ability to create that keep that ongoing editing ability with the camera smart object unfortunately when you copy and paste you can't do that so the other option would be this take the camera smart object I don't need anything selected and I just drag it over and of course it ends up being this giant laywer now if you've already done the paste into you could do it this way and just drag the layer up here but let's pretend we didn't do that so we have to hide the layer go back to our background so it's part of that whole checklist concept make our selection come back up here and then in this case we do want we could just click on the adl airmass button because we're trying to make a mask that reveals our selection the benefit of doing it this way is now might have to uncheck that link symbol but now aiken move this around the way that I want but if I look at and say ok it's a little much now I have the added ability to double click on this and go back and change some setting like maybe just lower the exposure a little bit and maybe make it not quite as saturated and then I have so now I have that nice building I would probably still lower the opacity just a little bit to try and get those other little elements in there so a couple of different ways to do it if you want to preserve the camera smart object editing ability unfortunately can't do the copy paste into but for many situations that's fine if you don't need to adjust the image and as you saw this other the second method of dragging over and then adding the mass didn't really take that much longer the biggest difference is you have to remember if you do it that second way too unlinked the mask and the layer and then click on the layer to be able to move so that's really the biggest advantage of paste into is it does that kind of thing automatically here's another example of a simple example of where we could use paste into here's a stock photo of some polaroids and I want to make it look like I have actually my photos on there so I take again a selection tool I could just use the quick selection tool once again now that sky is still in the clipboard so just to show you I could just do paste into now it's not going to be straight I mean the photo is pacing and straight so it doesn't match but once again look over my layers panel the mask is separate so I don't have any worry about that and my layers activated so if I go too free transform now aiken match up the angle of this so that look better let's go back a couple steps and find more interesting fact let's go back to this photo actually let's go to this one and in this case to be able to do copy and patient only through one other step because if I do select all initially photo shop on ly select all of this particular layer but I wanted it to select everything it sees so I use a command that's called copy merged and that what that does is it is if I have merged my layers and copies but it's basically a simple way to say it is it copies every layer that's visible so because I had both the background and the sky visible and I said copy merged it copied as if I had emerged the photo without having to merge which is very important now we could go back to this one and again choose paste into I have a feeling it sounds not bad size but once again free transform yes just a little too small normally I would not really want to enlarge things up too much but you get the idea and then of course we could do that with go back to the background layer and do something in there and then go on get some other photo select all copy and paste into you see each time once again is going to create a new layer for me and you see the more of the photo was here but course we're only seeing the part inside the mask which is fine because this is supposed to be just the photograph underneath but you could see how very quickly we could take a piece of stock photo that's just of some polaroids or a neat border and say I'd like tio implement that into my photo by copying and pasting into it and really the only trick that was different here is in that then this photo because I had to separate layers I use the command called copy emerged which is a very nice way of saying copy whatever layers are visible currently when you do select all copy emerged it's means you don't have to merge or flattened layers to go on to a step like this and as we've said multiple times we don't want to do that anyway copying and pasting I should say merging and flattening are all bad things so this way I can avoid that completely all right so let's go back don't need our sky anymore let's go back to this one and talk about how now I want some more text on here so this is how we can start building when we already have a layer mass let's get rid of this other layer that's confusing matter and I'm just going to type anywhere but I want this to be something different something basic it has to be small enough that I can see it and maybe I want to put it here so it's just slightly behind it I think so now I want to basically have the same mask on this other type player well the simplest way to do that is to click on that layer mask hold down the option key on the mac all for windows and drag whenever you optional drag something in photoshopped it basically copy something so now it copied that same mask so and because I had copied it as an unlinked one now you can see I broke my own rule there and did not click on the type player now you can see same kind of thing I could move it around and decide where I want it to go because it's the same layer mask I did all that work on previously so this way you could quite literally have multiple layers all using the same layer mask now it's there is a catch here and it's not a big one but it's important to know about even though I duplicated by dragging with the optional key there now independent of each other in other words if I went to my first type player and painted mohr on the layer mask it will not affect the second one I'd have to repeat that operation or or copy it again so for example in here if I went to my mask and said I've just changed my mind I do want more of her in here so I need to make more of a selection and we'll just do this real quickly see so now on this layer mass when I look at it there's a whole another part that needs to be filled with blacks I'm gonna choose phil I could use the shortcut gamut I want to show you here and I could also take my paintbrush and filled with black to fill in some of the other parts and obviously I'm missing some pieces and not doing it incredibly accurately but now if you go back you can see that this layer mask is obviously different from this one so instead of me having to re paint that whole thing again which I could do is I jokingly say if you're getting paid by the hour do it this way if not if you update one layer mask you just do the same thing click on this layer mask hold down option are all and drag and it's going to ask you do you want to replace it and you say yes I do and then it updates with the same layer mask like a lot of things in photo shop there is a way around the fact that the layer mask won't update automatically but sometimes this way is just a lot quicker because you just say I'm just going to adjust it on one layer on the one layer mask and then optional dragon on the other now there is a third option and I'm just going to do this tonight make sure I have my selection and delete these other ones sometimes as you're starting out it makes better sense tohave separate layers each with their own layer mass but in a case like this if I was going to do say two or three or four type players it might make better sense for me to do this so I clicked on the first type player hold on the shift key and click on the second layer and I choose sorry from they pop up menu new group from layers so was called us something now I click on the adler mass button and you'll see it's putting a mask and whatever's in this group will automatically have the mask applied to it so in a situation like this one it just makes better sense so let's take it one step further and say for the sake of argument but we also wanted I don't know a big box going through here for some reason I don't know why but we just will pick this color way enter and as soon as we do see it looks like I'm pasting it behind because it's automatically affected by this mask in the group so any time you have multiple layers in a group with one mask that one mask will affect everything inside this group if you don't want that to be the case you would have to take a layer and drag it out of the group so now it's independent and you could mask it separate in this case I'm gonna undo that and probably also do that same kind of multiply and lower the opacity deal whatever I want so this is kind of the idea that benefit of me working with a group with a bunch of layers in it that gives me that opportunity to do that so in this case it made sense to do that again it's it's a case by case basis as I say and I'll probably say multiple times wrote this thirty days the answer to almost every photo shopped question is it depends so when someone says well should I put on my layers in a group and adam asked there it depends do you want one mask to apply to all the layers inside that group or do you want to have the ability potentially to tweak each layers separately there's certainly nothing wrong with having a whole bunch of layers each with their own layer mask but this way I can do it very easily by just applying one mass to a bunch of layers in a group so two different situations you just have to decide which one makes better sense for you okay let's look at a fairly typical example of why people want to take advantage of layer masks so I'm gonna close some of these other photographs that I dont longer need think I might just save this one as something else though just so I I have it close that one because that one okay so here's a fairly typical example we're taking a group portrait and one person suddenly is looking the wrong way now just so you know I set this up of course specifically they say hey dave look that way and then what was funny though is that all the rest of you will look in the camera when I took the second photograph and I didn't ask him to this two of them actually close their eyes to stake so it actually kind of worked out so this is a fairly typical situation where I have two portrait's and I want to combine them together to get the best of both of them now I deliberately for the purpose of demonstration did not use a tripod so these even though they were taken seconds apart they're not exactly in the same position so I need to be able to adjust that so here's the two photos I take the second photo it doesn't really matter which one I dragged into which but I'll just drag this one to rag on top of the tab wait for it to change pull down and release and then it's puts it in there but as you can see they're not perfectly lined up instead of me trying to do that I would let photoshopped do that for me select both layers and then from the edit menu choose auto align layers and then just let it do it on auto and that automatically aligned so now you can see they're dancing uh so now you can see it's nicely lined up so now I can look and say well let's see which one do I want really um the on ly part I want the main photo I want is this one so I'm gonna actually drag this on top because all I really want to do is say everyone in the photo looks good except dave looking the wrong way so on this layer I would add a layer mask and then simply take my paintbrush I could also use a selection tool I've got it soft edge brushed my foreign color is black and now as I paint I can just decide this is thie head that I want showing even though he's looking kind of not that much better sorry dave but you close your eyes and but it it makes the point that now I have sorry that's how you amuse yourself if you got nothing better do just add two layers and turn them on off very quickly but you'll see now I've been able to combine the two photos so if you're taking group fortress group portrait of a bunch of people especially with kids there's always gonna be someone that looks away or their eyes are closed or they look doing the big cheesy smile on one photo look better and other now if you have a tripod makes life even easier but if you don't you saw here as long as you're relatively in the same position you don't move forward or backward then it's quite easy to combine images together in this way because of your just letting photo shop align them together and then you add a mask to the side which part do I want to show you now this also a fairly big assumption I made here is I did not have this set on any kind of auto exposure thing because I didn't want to difference posers if the sun moved a certain direction so I used a mode that was close enough like aperture priority or something so that I I want them to look the same not just be from the same angle so that that helps a whole lot but again that's a fairly typical example of when people say what do I need layer mass for that's an example of one of so here's another example of where in this case I specifically took these photographs with this in mind I was thinking it might be kind of fun for this family portrait to do something a little different so here's the three photos I took I have this big giant frame that I hung in my studio and here you can see the wires but that's okay and then I have to porter this is uh friends of ours with their big giant horse of a tug and in this case I really liked the way kevin looks on the right and the dogs look in the wrong place so once again I want to kind of do a swap heads thing but I also want to make it look like they're just inside the frame so these air three camera raw files I'm going to select them all and then opened them mostly because I want to make sure they all look the same way in terms of exposure things I'm gonna do select all synchronize everything and just do a quick and I base it on one of these make sure everything looks good from an exposure standpoint but contrast maybe change maybe I'll change it to flash that's better highlights are a little hot okay now in this case it's applying to all of them and I don't want to hit open object I mean I could but then that would open eat like three separate files langley instead click done and one of the options that we haven't bridge the items are still selected and their indicated that camera some change has been made to them and use a function called in bridge called load files into photoshopped layers now the good news about this is that automatically takes each of those three separate images and puts them in tow one document with each image being on a separate layer the downside is once again I lose my camera raw smart object editing ability so if you really want to do the keep the camera raw ability then in that case you would want to just open all three and manually drag them together but for our purposes I'm going to assume that everything looks the way that I want now these bottom too I think should be look at the frame it's pretty well lined up but the first one I didn't really plan this out as well and I was deliberately want to show you this that you see it's not quite lined up I changed my camera angle or zoomed or something just a little bit so if I zoom out you can see that the frame by itself is a little too small so I would do free transform and all we're going to try and do is scale this up and I'm not actually use this frame all I'm really doing this for is I want this part down here at the bottom of the frame so that I could make it look like you're only seeing them inside the frame so first of all let's do the same kind of thing where we say okay we like everything about this photo but I want the other kevin so I'm gonna click on this layer add the layer mask and then I've got my paintbrush is still set to black and I'm gonna paint to get him looking the way that I want now again if this was a real project I would zoom in closer I would not do this at this zoomed out percentage because that's being very not being very accurate but I'm just trying to show you the concept of what I would actually do here to make sure it looks the way that I want um and then I go back to this layer and now all I'm trying to do here is this bottom part so what I could really do is just probably take make a selection of this bottom area and then click on the adl air mass but now as you can see in this case it still isn't perfectly lined up so I take my move tool and just kind of nudge to try and get it so it's a little too big so I would free transform and scale it down just a hair and even there I get closer in you can see it's still not matched up but really all I'm really worried about is this part the bottom so initially I did that just to see what I was doing but ultimately what I really would do is make a selection goes right across the bottom right to there and that's really the only part that I want so I'm gonna delete the layer mask and then make a new one now this is where it would have been nice to preserve that camera raw editing ability because the exposure of this one's a little off but hopefully at the very least I can use an adjustment layer like levels tell it to on ly affect the one layer merely below and then see if I can't lighten it just enough to fool our eyes so that's a little better and then the only other couple things I need to do is write up the top I'm going to add a new layer because we don't want the wires holding this so I used the patch tool he could use a spot healing brush but honestly to me now that patch duel as of the last couple of version is just easier because you can get a preview and make sure you get exactly what you want I've got a new layer and I've also turned on sample all heirs so the results of this tool goes to that separate layer and then also discovered of this little bit of soft box sits in the corner there way go so in this particular case again this started as a project where I was thinking to myself this might look kind of fun if it looked like they were inside this frame now the final one actually did they moved a little closer we lowered the frame a bit and they actually put their hand on the frame so even though it was try and create the illusion as if they were inside a picture frame they kind of leaned on it to give it sort of a dimensional thing which is a little different so we'll talk later on in the course about compositing and really compositing is this idea of combining images together often taking someone off of one photo and putting them on to another but even in this case just combining several images and covering things up to make it look the way that you want very typical photoshopped kind of project okay let's look at another important aspect of when we're working with a mask and we have a mask there's something we can do to tweak things even further and in the discussion we had about working non destructively this is an example another example of how I might do this I want to add those vignette effects to our photograph and actually let me do it another way first just to show you I just want to show you what's going on here so I'm just gonna add a new layer and again I'm just gonna fill it with some color this is just for demonstration purposes I would not typically do this of course but I want this to be an oval with a soft edge so if I made a selection there is an option in here in photo shop that's called feather and what that does is softens the edge of our selection which would therefore also soften the edge of our mask the problem is we have no idea what to type in here because there's no preview it's all guesswork and it's kind of permanent once I put for example forty and click okay and then click on the mask you see ok I've got a feathered edge but if there's anything I don't like about that I basically have to start again so I'm gonna go right back to the step of saying okay I there's my oval I have not done any feathering so when I click on the mass but it's gonna have a very hard edged and look at the layer mass concede that's what the mass looks like as you would expect and that's what it's supposed to do so here's an alternative method if you want to create a soft edge on something but haven't editable is you go to the properties menu and in here if I move this down just a hair you can see there is a feather option but there this is a very different amount of feathering and let's talk about the difference for a second and when you make a selection and go to that command called feather first of all it's a one shot deal when you add a certain amount of feather there's no option to go down also as we saw there's really no preview so it's pretty much a guest to say how much feather and shy put in I'll just arbitrarily guess some number and if I don't like it hoops here a couple of important things feather on a slider so I moved it up this much it's softens the edge and if I keep going and I move it even further you can see a member I'm feathering the mask which is relative to the size of our rectangles why go too far if you start to actually see part of the rectangle look what's happening down here in the mask thumbnail it's adjusting it accordingly but like a lot of things to do with panels like this with properties and just layers the reason I would suggest using this is because once again you don't actually click okay you just leave it that way and when you come back later if you decide there's something about that you don't like that's where you can adjust it so that's a really nice feature of using mast with the properties panelas we can have unlimited feather or the unlimited ability to change our mind about the feather and as we'll see here to use it for different purposes so now back to our example I started to mention about putting this kind of vignette effect on a photograph so there's lots of ways to do it the way I typically do it is like this I add a curves adjustment layer and let's just make this a bigger so you can see I dragged the curve down I could go all the way until it's jet black in this case I'm going to go pretty close to it and once again just like with talk about with properties there's no ok button here so I just leave it like that then on my layer mask I make a selection this case I'll do with the rectangles you can clearly see what's happening so let's think of what we got here we've got an adjustment layer kurds which is making our entire photograph very very dark but we only want to darken the outside edges so it makes sense for me on this layer mass to make the selection and fill it with black now first when I d select that it has a very hard edge which we don't really want because we're trying to create this vignette effect so now this is where I go back to properties and now do my interactive feathering and decide how much do I want so maybe that's the effect that I was going forward don't let's take a look at what we've got here here's our original photograph here's this adjustment layer that's creating this venue vignette effect and the benefit the reason I do it this way is because every single aspect off this function can be edited I could double click on the adjustment layer to make it lighter if I changed my mind about how dark it is or and they should all be and or I can click on the feathering and decide even mohr or a lot less and let's put it less for a second just to make a point and even this on the mask is just a rectangle so if I decide it's the wrong size I could go to free transform and adjusted anyway that I want and soon as I hit enter the feathering is reapplied so this gives me all kinds of options and doesn't stop there because of course adjustment layer is still a layer so it has the ability or I could say but let's also change it to multiply mode and lower the opacity so all of those things kind of pile on top of each other and as an added bonus when they go on grab one other photograph just this one because I have no idea how they compare in size and let's say I want to add that same effect to this other photo all I do is make sure I'm at the top of here go back to this photo and take my move to any time you want to drag and drop information from one phone others have to make sure you're on the correct layer which in this case is my adjusting layer with the mask and I drag it over the other image and let go it happens to be very close to the same size but if it wasn't I can adjust accordingly and let's just say I want to really make them the focal point enter and then I could go back to the properties panel and decide how much I want a feather maybe I like it like this but it's a little too dark so we'll lighten it up so this allows me to do is instead of starting all over again to say oh yes I had to make occurs adjust later and drag it down when you use a justin layers with masks like this because every piece of it is quite is very editable it becomes a reusable effect and as I mentioned the discussion on nondestructive why we worked on destructively this is our example I always show because you could do it from scratch every time but why not just use something that's already there you've used in some other photo that you know works and then drag it over and adjusted accordingly so that's how we can do that kind of thing with layer masks now cup of other little tips about working with layer masks doesn't perhaps to make much sense in this case but if it any time you want to see what did the photograph look like before you had this layer mask if you shift click on the layer mask the big red x indicates the mask is still there but it's temporarily hidden from view so you can't actually see it shift clicking again will put it back on if you ever want to view the layer mask to work with it or to do some other effect I'll show you in one second option all click will allow you to view the layer mask now let's go back here for one second that let's say for the sake of our home we want to try something really unusual so let's take this layer and I'm gonna select all and copy this whole layer and then on a new layer and again I'm just doing this as an example I've got this big layer there and I want to add a layer mask what I really like to do is paste that photograph and use it as a mask why who knows but it's something you might wantto excuse me you might want to try well to do that if I just chose paste you see it ignores the mask and makes a new layer so if we undo that this is another case why have to optional all click on the mask then I can paste and once I've done that now you can see that's what my layer looks like if I unchecked them and free transform aiken scale this photograph to fit and again in no way am I suggesting this is something you do every day but I want at least show you the possibility what if I were to invert it and go into the properties and feather it who knows I mean you the chances of you okay so let's be realistic the chance of you doing exactly that what they blue box with a photograph as the mask probably kind of slim but if you're trying to create border effects and things like that that's where this might come into play and let's talk about that for a second because with any photograph we'll talk later on in our course about things like what I call finishing touches but here's an example where I just want to have kind of a border effect applied to this that I don't make permanent so any time you want add a layer mask to the background layer you have to unlock it the simple so I do that is option all double click and it unlocks that layer then I'm going to make a fairly large selection and click on the adler mass one which of course means initially it hides all that outer information just so we can see what it would look like when printed I'm gonna add a new layer which will fill with white and dragged down below so now it kind of simulated get is what it would look like with this on some on a piece of paper so our layer mass of course looks like this is just black and white but I want a more interesting border so this is where we could start to experiment with some of the other aspects of photo shop like our paint brush up until now we painted on the mask but we used one hundred percent capacity we're just a regular soft brush what if we took one of these kind of texture brushes made a little bit larger and I'm gonna click once here and then hold down the shift key and click over there ok so that wasn't maybe go up or down still that's not the best brush so that this is what we have to I didn't plan this ahead to find the perfect brush so let me take a guess and pick a different one this may take a couple of tries to kind of find the brush that looks the way that we want it's not the greatest one either okay hold on one second we'll just play one more second here this might be a better one all right that's a little better so click once hold down the shift key and click again and let's put the opacity down a bit to the same thing this way this way and I have a layer mass now that has a little bit more interest and then if I wanted teo I could start to do some kind of filters on that to make the edge look a little bit better so that wasn't the greatest example apologized for not really planning ahead to pick a better brush but even that and okay so here's why I showed you that what let's try and recover this demonstration it didn't really work because just to make a point if you really hate it you can throw the layer mask away and say I don't like that at all that's exactly what I meant to do was show you if you don't pick the right settings you can always start again so another great benefit of layer mask is that option to say well this is try and see what happens we're never painting directly on the layer were painting on the mask you can apply filters to mass you could do that properties you khun pace textures into mass you khun paint all kinds of ways let me show you a better example of how I might use it I want to something really artistic I'm going toe take my layer mask and then inverted so is temporarily filled with black which means I have my photograph but the whole thing is hidden then I'm gonna take my paintbrush and lower the opacity but mohr and tried desperately to find a brush that's a little bit more interesting this one get bigger and on the layer um asking me to paint with white and as I do it was going to a few brushstrokes like this initially wherever I'm painting with white I'm revealing my photograph so what I want to do is build this up a little bit to the point reckoned kind of see things some areas more than others this all right and then switch to another interesting tool which is called the mixer brush tool now with the mixer brush tool does is it says pretend all this paint here is wet so now I can start dragging from one direction to the other and let's pick also if we brush for this one of these ones here might be a little more effective like that and now you can see it's as if the paint is wet so now as I go from white onto gray or gray or black onto grey I can really adjust this and have all kinds of options but this even higher and you see if I show you in the context of the photo now we're getting edges which are a little more interesting and a little more shall we say painterly looking and I'm deliberately is kind of going off on a tangent here just to show you open up the creative possibilities for you of course I'm doing this a tablet so I could adjust my angle and so on but ultimately I end up with a layer mass that looks like this I get this really nice kind of artistic look happening but ultimately if I hold on the shift key and hide it there's our photograph that's untouched so here's what I'd like you to do as a little assignment to start playing with layer mask and and actually do a little project and that's exactly what I want you to do find yourself a photograph that you like that you want that has enough information where there's a bit of an area around it where you have the ability to do this and all you do is unlock the background layer so let's go through the steps just like this will be quicker okay so the background layer is locked we're going toe unlock it and we're gonna take a new layer that we fill with white and drag it below on our top layer and take the layer mask and inverted so you should end up something looks like this bottom layers white your photographs completely hidden in black then you take white is your forum dollar pick some brush and this is the experimental parts start with the brush tool pick some weird and wonderful brush you may decide to go with a bigger brush or something and start showing some of it and then on the layer mass switched to the mixer brush tool and start mixing the paint together to see what kind of artistic looking image you can get recognizing the whole point of this is we're doing this on the layer mask so any point you khun due to important things well actually several important things you can edit the mask either by painting over it or using the properties panel with feather or things like that you can hide the mass to say I don't want it at all you can delete the mask and or you could copy this layer mass to a different photograph and apply a similar effect to a different image completely so that's our my introduction to you to the world of layer mass throughout the rest of the thirty days will be taking huge advantage of layer mass because honestly guys it's one of the best ways you khun working photoshopped it photoshopped from both of productivity and a creative standpoint we'll see you tomorrow

Class Description

Photoshop is an essential tool for all working professionals, no matter what industry. Join legendary Photoshop pro Dave Cross for an intensive 30-day series on everything you need to know about this unparalleled — and often overwhelming — program. Dave will teach one hour every day for 30 days, covering everything from setting goals to expert retouching strategies. Taught in bite-size chunks, this series will help you improve your skills, efficiency, and creative ability. At the end of this intensive series, you will understand basic techniques for every photo editing task, innovative hacks to improve your workflow, and which tools to use (and which ones you never have to learn). In addition, you learn how incorporating a non-destructive workflow will boost both your productivity and creativity. This is not just a passive, sit-back-and-watch class: you will be encouraged to actively take part by completing assignments and participating in live Q&A and feedback sessions. If you want to take your Photoshop skills to the next level, join Dave for 30 Days of Photoshop.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.1

Reviews

Melinda Wong
 

Very good teaching. I really liked how clear Dave was with everything, the order he taught the material, and I thought the stories were very helpful. I REALLY wanted to understand photoshop and extremely thankful for his wisdom and knowledge. Thank you so much! This is what was holding me back from getting my photography started! :) It just seemed so intimidating and now I have a greater understanding.