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Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 28 of 118

Using Layer Masks to Remove People

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

28. Using Layer Masks to Remove People


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Bridge vs. Lightroom Duration:06:39
3 Tour of Photoshop Interface Duration:18:21
4 Overview of Bridge Workspace Duration:07:42
9 Developing Raw Images Duration:30:33
11 How to Save Images Duration:03:37
12 Using the Transform Tool Duration:04:48
14 Selection Tools Duration:05:55
15 Combining Selection Tools Duration:07:37
17 Quick Mask Mode Duration:05:07
18 Select Menu Essentials Duration:21:28
20 Align Active Layers Duration:07:29
21 Creating a New Layer Duration:06:15
22 Creating a Clipping Mask Duration:03:02
23 Using Effects on Layers Duration:11:24
24 Using Adjustment Layers Duration:16:44
25 Using the Shape Tool Duration:04:39
30 Adding Texture to Images Duration:09:11
35 Understanding Curves Duration:06:18
36 Editing an Image Using Curves Duration:18:41
39 Editing with Blending Modes Duration:08:04
40 Color Theory Duration:05:59
41 Curves for Color Duration:16:52
42 Hue and Saturation Adjustments Duration:08:59
44 Match Colors Using Numbers Duration:16:59
45 Adjusting Skin Tones Duration:05:25
52 Clone Between Documents Duration:13:19
53 Crop Tool Duration:10:07
54 Frame Tool Duration:02:59
56 Paint Brush Tools Duration:13:33
57 History Brush Tool Duration:06:27
58 Eraser and Gradient Tools Duration:03:06
60 Blur and Shape Tools Duration:11:06
61 Dissolve Mode Duration:09:24
62 Multiply Mode Duration:15:29
63 Screen Mode Duration:14:08
64 Hard Light Mode Duration:14:54
66 Smart Filters Duration:11:32
67 High Pass Filter Duration:13:40
68 Blur Filter Duration:05:59
69 Filter Gallery Duration:07:42
70 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter Duration:04:43
71 Combing Filters and Features Duration:04:45
72 Select and Mask Duration:20:04
73 Manually Select and Mask Duration:08:08
74 Creating a Clean Background Duration:21:19
75 Changing the Background Duration:13:34
76 Smart Object Overview Duration:08:37
77 Nested Smart Objects Duration:09:55
78 Scale and Warp Smart Objects Duration:09:08
79 Replace Contents Duration:06:55
80 Raw Smart Objects Duration:10:20
83 Panoramas Duration:13:15
84 HDR Duration:11:20
85 Focus Stacking Duration:04:02
86 Time-lapse Duration:11:18
87 Light Painting Composite Duration:08:05
88 Remove Moire Patterns Duration:06:11
89 Remove Similar Objects At Once Duration:09:52
91 Replace a Repeating Pattern Duration:06:50
95 Warping Duration:11:03
96 Liquify Duration:14:02
97 Puppet Warp Duration:12:52
98 Displacement Map Duration:10:36
99 Polar Coordinates Duration:07:19
100 Organize Your Layers Duration:11:02
101 Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss Duration:02:59
102 Layer Style: Knockout Deep Duration:12:34
103 Blending Options: Blend if Duration:13:18
105 Layer Comps Duration:08:30
106 Black-Only Shadows Duration:06:07
109 Create an Antique Color Action Duration:13:52
110 Create a Contour Map Action Duration:10:20
111 Faux Sunset Action Duration:07:20
112 Photo Credit Action Duration:05:54
113 Create Sharable Actions Duration:07:31
117 Scratch Disk Is Full Duration:06:02
118 Preview Thumbnail Duration:02:10

Lesson Info

Using Layer Masks to Remove People

you can be more efficient at this by analyzing your layers first and figuring out which layer needs the least work. Which one is the cleanest version of the picture? And if so, put that in the bottom of your layers panel and then slowly turn on the layers above to figure out which ones would you need to use to Mass? Because otherwise, if you just start with whatever picture happens to be the top one and it happens to be maybe this one here, Well, if you look, there's quite a few areas covered with people, and if that ends up just happening to be the bottom layer, it's gonna take more time for me toe. Clean it up. So I'm gonna come in here and look at one layer at a time, will turn off all the layers, go for the top layer first and say, How clean does that look? Not too bad. Go to the next one down a lot more in that one next one down. A lot more there, too. Same with their and I'm just going down to each one to see which ones cleanest. And I think it was the top most layer. So then I'm...

gonna move that layer to the bottom of my layers stack by just dragging its name to the bottom. And I just stare at this area to remember which area needs changes. And I'm gonna then turn on each of these layers one of the time to see which one clears that area the most. Not so good there. Not so good there. Not so good. There might not be one. That's a lot better if you look here is the bottom layer that's clearing out quite a bit of it. So potentially a second layer from the top. Yeah, I think it's It's a second layer from the top is the clearest in the one area that needed work. So I'm gonna move that layer so it is just above the bottom. Most layer. I'm slowly building my image from the bottom up, and in this layer, what I want to do is hide everything that's in the layer to begin with. So that means I want a black mask to get a black mask. I hold on the option key. I haven't held down right now. That's Ultima windows, and I add my layer mask up. But before I dio, I was probably shooting hand held and if so, yes, you see the building move as I turned these layers on and off So before I end up masking that, let me turn these layers back on select them all in the one step I skipped which I shouldn't have is toe auto align my layers. Same step we did on the previous images. Then let's get back down to it. This layer. All right, I'm gonna hold on the option key all time windows when I click the layer mask icon that's gonna hide the entire contents of this layer. Then grab my paintbrush tool paint with white because White allows things to show up and I'll come down in here in paint for those people need to get go away. I see a guy showing up over here on the right which says I painted too far. I'm gonna paint with black to hide him, and you can just type the letter X Letter X does. The same thing is clicking this little double arrow which switches these two colors. So if I hit the letter acts, you see out just switched them. So I just make sure I have black and white there. So it any time I can hit X to switch between the two. So I typed X, which is now gonna paint with black, and I'll take him out of there. You see, if I can I see another arm coming back. So I'll hit X to switch. Try to get his minimal x X. It's like we're on the layer. There was a person in that spot on both layers. Let's see if it's gonna help to bring this area in just with one guy. Waas choose undo. See about her. Yeah, that's helpful. Maybe the other edge of him. Okay, but if I kept going, she shows up it x All right, We need to find another image where it's clean there. So I'm gonna go through all of my images here and see if there's one that has clean information there. I could just stay zoomed up like am. Now I'll be watching this particular area and that area right here, so it's turned on the next layer and see if it helps us at all. It helps us on the area where the doorway is so I'm gonna take that layer. I want a black mask, so I'm gonna option click on the layer mask icon that will hide everything. So I only want to use a small area and then I'll grab my paintbrush and is painted right in with white there. I'm not sure if it helped over here, so there's a way to disable a mask. If you disable the mask, then the entire contents of layer will show up again. It will be as if you filled the mask with white to disable a mask, hold down the shift key on your keyboard and click anywhere within the mask in your layers panel. Watch my layers panel. When I shift, click on this mask. You see a red X appear within it. That means it's temporarily disabled, and therefore you can see the entire contents of the layer. If you shift click on the mask again, it will re enable it. And so I can see that there are people in this position on the right side so wouldn't be helpful to make more of that later visible. I still need to clean up a little bit of residue right here and potentially just below that. So I'll turn on the next layer and see if it has a clean area there. And it does not turn that back off and go for the next layer, Not the next layer up there. We have a clean area. So I'm gonna work on that layer. I'm gonna add a black mask because I want to hide the majority of that layer. So I hold on the option key, click on the layer mask icon. And now I'm gonna paint with White because White allows things to show up. And I'm just gonna bring that in down to here, get rid of that guy's arm by hitting X, which is which is the color and painting with Get rid of that. All right, Now we have one person left there, over here in the very corner, her edge of the picture. And I'm going to take the two layers that we haven't used yet. In turn, Amman wanted a time to see if that person happens to go away. If we had a clean version, not there, and go to the next one down. Not there, either. That picture just didn't extend far enough over. I'm then going to look at the layers were already using, and I'm gonna turn off their masks to see if I made that entire layer visible with their be a clean area over there on the right. I do that by holding on shift key and clicking on the mask that temporarily disables it. So just stare at that person in that that could be useful. Other than I think their hand in part of their arm, um, would overlap so he wouldn't be able to completely get rid of them. I'll go toe under the next mask and do the same thing. Shift clicking and know that image does not extend far enough to the right. The next one down there we go. That cleans it up. So it's this mask down here that I want to work on. I click on that layer, make sure it's mask is active, and I'm going to paint with White, and I'm just gonna paint right there. Now we got rid of that person, and now the only question is, is my framing too tight? Because I have this checkerboard area over here on the edges. Then because we have the checkerboard that tells me one of the pictures extended out that far. Otherwise it wouldn't have just had empty space for no reason. And so if I don't want to crop in that tight, I could figure out which layer filled in that space. I think we're fine at the bottom. I'd be fined cropping any further up, saying with on the left side. But on the right side, it's pretty darn close to this building. So I might see if I want to add some to do that, I'm gonna go to the two layers we haven't used yet to see if they fill in that gap on the right side of my photograph or not. This one does not. The next one down does not either. So neither of those will help. I'll then go to the ones that already have masks, and I'm gonna disable the masked to see if it will fill in the area on the right. So I go to the top one shift click, get a little bit extra there, go to the next one down that has a mask that doesn't help in one more down there. That adds a lot. So if I didn't want to have to crop in quite a Sfar, I could paint on this mask to paint in that mask. I need to paint with white, and I'm gonna come in here and just kind of looks like the sun changed a little bit like it might have come out from under behind a cloud or something. Um, between those shots And I'm just going to in this case, I'm going to use a brush that's a little harder edge. So I don't make it fade out too far and appear unfortunate. Brings one person into the shot, but at least I wouldn't have to Crop is tightly. That guy's tiny, though. And so then, to finish off the image, I'm gonna go to the side menu of my layers panel. I'm gonna choose delete hidden layers because I'm not gonna use the two layers that are currently hidden. Those will cost them to go away. I'll click on the top most layer then, and I'm gonna retouch out that guy that's over there. So I'm gonna create a brand new empty layer by clicking the icon next to the trash and I'm just going to use a tool called the spot healing brush to paint right where that guy was let go. And if it doesn't work, that's because there's a setting to my options bar at the top of my screen and sample all layers needs to be turned on. Otherwise it can't see the information in the other layers to copy from it. So now I can try it again. Get that guy to go away. So now we have created scene with no tourist in it, and the final step I would need to do is crop out the, uh, empty space that surrounds the image. And I might not have painted all the way to the top of the photograph in one of my masks. I still see that empty spot. I can see the mask it's in, and to see the white paint here on the edge. That doesn't go all the way up. So I just finish with my brush tool and go back to the layer that has my retouching in. See if I can use that exact same retouching tool. Just kind of fill in that emptiness. All right, so you get this sense for how we could use layer Mass for removing tourists. If we had enough pictures of those tourists moving around, then we could combine them to create a cleaner shot.

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)


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