Skip to main content

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 102 of 118

Layer Style: Knockout Deep

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

102. Layer Style: Knockout Deep


Class Trailer
1 Introduction To Adobe Photoshop 04:05 2 Bridge vs. Lightroom 06:39 3 Tour of Photoshop Interface 18:21 4 Overview of Bridge Workspace 07:42 5 Overview of Lightroom Workspace 11:21 6 Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents 08:19 7 How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020 05:10 8 Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders 13:09
9 Developing Raw Images 30:33 10 Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs 09:12 11 How to Save Images 03:37 12 Using the Transform Tool 04:48 13 Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020 06:03 14 Selection Tools 05:55 15 Combining Selection Tools 07:37 16 Using Automated Selection Tools 17:34 17 Quick Mask Mode 05:07 18 Select Menu Essentials 21:28 19 Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020 13:00 20 Align Active Layers 07:29 21 Creating a New Layer 06:15 22 Creating a Clipping Mask 03:02 23 Using Effects on Layers 11:24 24 Using Adjustment Layers 16:44 25 Using the Shape Tool 04:39 26 Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool 04:39 27 Masking Multiple Images Together 15:15 28 Using Layer Masks to Remove People 10:50 29 Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky 10:04 30 Adding Texture to Images 09:11 31 Layering to Create Realistic Depth 05:35 32 Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020 05:29 33 Optimizing Grayscale with Levels 10:59 34 Adjusting Levels with a Histogram 03:37 35 Understanding Curves 06:18 36 Editing an Image Using Curves 18:41 37 Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment 07:19 38 Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode 07:14 39 Editing with Blending Modes 08:04 40 Color Theory 05:59 41 Curves for Color 16:52 42 Hue and Saturation Adjustments 08:59 43 Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment 13:33 44 Match Colors Using Numbers 16:59 45 Adjusting Skin Tones 05:25 46 Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw 10:52 47 Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush 07:53 48 Retouching with the Clone Stamp 06:51 49 Retouching with the Healing Brush 04:34 50 Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools 13:07 51 Extending an Edge with Content Aware 03:42 52 Clone Between Documents 13:19 53 Crop Tool 10:07 54 Frame Tool 02:59 55 Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools 08:14 56 Paint Brush Tools 13:33 57 History Brush Tool 06:27 58 Eraser and Gradient Tools 03:06 59 Brush Flow and Opacity Settings 04:17 60 Blur and Shape Tools 11:06 61 Dissolve Mode 09:24 62 Multiply Mode 15:29 63 Screen Mode 14:08 64 Hard Light Mode 14:54 65 Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes 11:31 66 Smart Filters 11:32 67 High Pass Filter 13:40 68 Blur Filter 05:59 69 Filter Gallery 07:42 70 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter 04:43 71 Combing Filters and Features 04:45 72 Select and Mask 20:04 73 Manually Select and Mask 08:08 74 Creating a Clean Background 21:19 75 Changing the Background 13:34 76 Smart Object Overview 08:37 77 Nested Smart Objects 09:55 78 Scale and Warp Smart Objects 09:08 79 Replace Contents 06:55 80 Raw Smart Objects 10:20 81 Multiple Instances of a Smart Object 12:59 82 Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects 05:42 83 Panoramas 13:15 84 HDR 11:20 85 Focus Stacking 04:02 86 Time-lapse 11:18 87 Light Painting Composite 08:05 88 Remove Moire Patterns 06:11 89 Remove Similar Objects At Once 09:52 90 Remove Objects Across an Entire Image 05:46 91 Replace a Repeating Pattern 06:50 92 Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel 10:27 93 Remove an Object with a Complex Background 07:49 94 Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes 12:27 95 Warping 11:03 96 Liquify 14:02 97 Puppet Warp 12:52 98 Displacement Map 10:36 99 Polar Coordinates 07:19 100 Organize Your Layers 11:02 101 Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss 02:59 102 Layer Style: Knockout Deep 12:34 103 Blending Options: Blend if 13:18 104 Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image 06:27 105 Layer Comps 08:30 106 Black-Only Shadows 06:07 107 Create a Content Aware Fill Action 08:46 108 Create a Desaturate Edges Action 07:42 109 Create an Antique Color Action 13:52 110 Create a Contour Map Action 10:20 111 Faux Sunset Action 07:20 112 Photo Credit Action 05:54 113 Create Sharable Actions 07:31 114 Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1 10:23 115 Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2 07:57 116 Image Compatibility with Lightroom 03:29 117 Scratch Disk Is Full 06:02 118 Preview Thumbnail 02:10

Lesson Info

Layer Style: Knockout Deep

so I often structure my documents using those groups, and here is a very complex image. But when I open the image, you'll see that my layers panel is very easy to understand that obviously what's in here is my retouching and refinements for me means adjustments from just optimizing the image. And then, with this particular serious of images, I do a partial black and white effect which is contained in there. So if I turn off all the eyeballs for these groups, you can see the original image. And then I could turn on the eyeball for my retouching to see how extensive of retouching have done. If I expand the group, I can see that there's a total of three layers. And if you look at him once called weeds be gone, that's usually my overall retouching. And then here I wasn't certain if I really wanted to in the end, get rid of the stuff that was on the right side, but I wanted to try it, so I put it on a separate layer so I could turn on and off. And then I made a separate one for a moving on ...

electronic sign. That's on the left side of the picture, and here's the right side of the picture. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do so anyway. Those are organized, then I usually have my retouching directly above the original picture, and if you structure your document that way above that, you can have adjustment layers and everything works out nicely. So here I'm gonna now Tanami refinements, and let's see if the image changes at all. Yeah, it seems like the color within various areas. I've been enhanced, and if I open that, you can see all the adjustment layers that are contained within each one of them is either curves, adjustment layer or a hue and saturation. Those are the two adjustments that I use most the most, and that's why we covered them. We covered curves in a tonal and adjustment layers lesson as part of Masters Academy, and we covered hue and saturation in a color adjustments lesson. So if you have those lessons, Frito Watch and you'll see that those are all stacked or so many of them now that I put them in a folder. Then up here we have 10 to black and white and there. I have a black and white adjustment layer that's in this layer down here, and then I have some special stuff going up here in. This is stuff we haven't talked about yet. So that's what I want to dive into and show you some special settings we can use related to groups. So if I look here and I turn off the eyeballs and some of these layers would I have inside of this group that's doing the majority? The work here is a black and white adjustment layer. Now I could at a mask to the black and white adjustment layer toe limit where it can affect the picture. The problem I find is having a single mask isn't versatile enough for me in Oftentimes, I want to come back and make additional changes later on. If all the masking I've done it's in a single mask, that makes it much more difficult to be able to have the versatility to come back and adjust things later. So let me show you how I have this set up here. I have a layer where if I hit the backslash key that's right above her Turner, enter the layer mask that's attached to that layer. We'll get over late on the picture so only the area had not seen Read on is affected by this layer. That layer is what is commonly referred to as an empty adjustment layer. What's an empty adjustment layer? It needs an adjustment layer that would not change the look of your picture at all. That would be like going in to do ah levels adjustment layer and just never moving a single slider in levels. Then that would be levels waiting to be used, waiting to have the sliders move, but not actually making a change to the image yet. Well, this one is set up for the trees, and what I wanted it this later to do is to be special. I want this layer to act as a mask for the layer that's below toe limit, where it can affect the image, and I want to be able to dial in exactly how strong that adjustment is applied. Well, let me show you how that could be done. All create a brand new one of these layers, just in case you're not completely falling. What I mean by an empty adjustment layer and then I'll turn these back on to get a better sense. So I'm gonna come down here and create an empty adjustment layer. I could use a, um, brightness and contrast and just don't move the sliders levels don't move the sliders, curves, hue and saturation. There are many different adjustments you can use. The actual type of adjustment does not matter as long as you can get it to not change the appearance of your picture. And that means you shouldn't use a black and white adjustment because it's not possible to not change your picture. Using that, it always makes your inch black and white. So anyway, here I have a levels adjustment layer not going to touch the sliders at all. So I leave this as an empty one. Then I'm going to make a selection or just paint on its mask. However, I like eso. I'll grab this. I'm gonna fill that mask with black and then I'll grab my paintbrush and I will try to get this round circle right here. Can't, uh, I gotta paint with White. You're not actually seeing anything changing the image yet, but I am playing with the mask. So when I let go of the mouse, if you look in the mask, you'll see I painted with white in a tiny air. If I do my little overlay with the backslash key, that's what I've painted on in my mask. So how can I get this toe act like a mask for the layer that's under it? Well, the way I could do that is with a special feature that barely anybody ever notices exists. Um, here's what it is. I'm working on an empty adjustment layer. The empty adjustment layer has a mask attached to it. I go to the bottom of my layers panel. I click on the letters FX and I choose blending options, and that brings up this screen full of choices. We're just gonna look at one choice that's contained within here, and it is called Knockout. The default for knockout is set to none. I'm gonna change it to shallow. What a shallow, mean shallow means Look at the folder I'm currently working on, which is known as a group in caused this layer wherever this layer would usually be visible to poke a hole or mac out any layers that are below it within this folder. So if I choose knockout shallow suddenly it's causing Ah hold to be poked through the layer that is found underneath, and it's allowing it so it preventing it from affecting that area. All he did was set knockout too shallow in what it's doing is looking at this layer in the mask is controlling. Where would this layer usually show up on Lee, where it's white in the mask? So that little part. So then I could create another one of these. I could come in here and let's do another levels adjustment layer. Not gonna move these sliders at all, and I'll fill the mask with black so usually wouldn't apply anywhere. And I'll choose a different area to come in here and paint on. Ah, here. I'm gonna come in and with my paint brush painting with white, I'll get you on the pump and I'm not being precise right now. But imagine I waas. Then I'm going to take that layer, go to the letters FX, choose blending options and say, Let wherever that layer would usually be visible. That's where there's white in the mask. Make that knockout in shallow means Onley through the contents of this folder. So, folks a hole in it and I can continue painting on the mask. Maybe I pain up here. There we go. So now I can have more than one layer that's poking a hole through that black among adjustment layer. Well, what I want to frequently dio is I want the black and white adjustment layer to partially apply to areas just not at full strength. So now what I can do is click on either one of those adjustments and go up to the opacity setting that the top of my layers panel. And I'm just gonna lower it. If I wrote down to 0% it means it's going to affect the image 0% of the way. But if you bring it up a little bit, I can now make it so I'm controlling how much is the black and white adjustment layer able to affect this area? So I'm gonna throw those two adjustment layers away that I just created and show you the ones that were already in here. So if we look at the first adjustment layer that was here, if I overlay the mask you noticed the area that doesn't have red in it is where there are trees, trees both in the left side of the photograph and trees you can see through a window in the building. And if I turned the eyeball on there, that is causing the black and white adjustment layer to apply 73% of the way to those areas. So they're almost black and white. How do I know it's 73% of the way? Ah, actually, it's 63% of the way because it's the opposite of whatever this number is. This is how much we're preventing that from showing up to removing 37% of the adjustment. The next one is this area, and that's where I want your eye to be drawn. So I want that to be the most colorful area in the photograph, and so that one, if I turn it on, is set to 100%. That means block 100% of the black and white adjustment. Then there's here, and I see on the building their system stars in those little lights that are above it. In that one is set to 77% because I just didn't want it to be quite as vivid as the areas where I wanted your eyes to go to. Then we have one that is, of the station itself in that is set to 53% so about half amount can apply to the station. So by stacking a bunch of empty adjustment layers adjustment layers that wouldn't change the look of the image at all. I can use the masks that are attached to them. And if I set the layers to knock out shallow, those masks are knocking a hole in this black and white adjustment layer, and I could isolate various areas within the photograph and then adjust the opacity of each one to control how much of the black and white adjustment layer is prevented from being applied in. So this is something that I do that it was a very advanced use of layers to give me much more versatility and in this case, have four separate masks that are controlling where that black and white adjustment layer applies to the image. The key to it is that when I go to the letters f x and choose blending options that this right over here is set to knock out shallow. So then that begs the question. What is knockout deep? Do knock out deep will knock through all layers that are contained below this layer that set to knock out deep until it hits a layer called background. And so, if I said this to knock out deep and I up the opacity to 100% said 53 right now there is not a layer in my document called background, and so it just knocks a hole all the way through the bottom of the document. If the bottom most layer within the document was a background, then it would have knocked through until it hit the background. And so that's an advanced feature in layers that I love using. But I showed you it's mainly knockout shallow because I'm usually trying to knock through things that are contained within a group. I'm guessing not everybody will use that one. But for those of you that do, I think it will be bring you to another level with what you can do

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


Noel Ice

I am an avid reader of photoshop books, and an avid watcher of photoshop tutorials. I have attended (internet) several hundred of presentations. In the course of this endeavor, I have found my own favorite photoshop websites and instructors. Creative Live is probably the bargain out there as well as among the top three internet course sites. I have to say with great enthusiasm that the best Photoshop instructor is Ben Willmore. There are many great ones, but truly, he is the best I have come across, and, as indicated above, I have watched literally 100s of tutorials on Photoshop. I have seen all of Ben's courses, I think, and among them, this one is the best by far, and that is saying a lot, because that makes this course the best course on Photoshop to be found anywhere. I am going back and watching it twice. Not only is it comprehensive, but Ben is so familiar with his subject that he is able to explain it like no other. This is crème de la crème of Photoshop classes. I have been wanting to write this review for some time because I have been so thoroughly impressed with everything about this class!

a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it