Luminosity Masks Basics
There is another type of mask in here that we can make, called the luminosity mask. And that luminosity mask is created by pressing Control on the RGB channel, and that's the luminance channel of this entire image. So it's the luminance data. That's the variation from white all the way to black that's luminance data. But if I Control click on here, that will get it. But at any point I don't necessarily have to go in my channels to get that. You see how there's a hot key over here that says Control two? Control + two will also get that selection. Control + Alt + two will also get that selection. Control + Alt + three will get the selection for red. Control + Alt + four will get the selection for green. Control + Alt + five will get the selection for blue. If we go back over to our layers though, we can get those selections at any time by using those hot keys. The one that you're probably gonna see the most, which is a big term right now, called luminosity masking. If we look in, we alre...
ady talked about this in Adobe Camera Roll. That is a version of color mask, a version of luminosity masking. So in Adobe Camera Roll we did essentially do some luminosity masking by selecting our mask and going to a luminance range. So If I press Control + Alt + two I'm making a luminosity mask, a mask that is selecting all the luminance values in this image. Control + Alt + three would be red. Control + Alt + four would be green. Control + Alt + five would be blue. So what I can do from this is I can make a curves adjustment layer. And this curves adjustment layer, if we press Alt or Option look at our mask. It's almost too much. But we've already talked about this before. Remember when we talked the density of that mask, when we are using the hue saturation adjustment layer? We can do a very similar thing with this adjustment. And get our own version of basically a color range like we saw before. Using things like levels and curves on that mask. So if I double click this I can call this highlights. Just another way of getting a highlight mask. If I Alt or Option click on this it's gonna make it a lot easier for us to see. So Alt or Option click on this mask, and I wanna edit this mask. If I go to image go to adjustments and go to curves, this is the mask remember. If I bring this over those dark areas are not gonna be affected by this curves adjustment layer. So now I'm really going in there and fine tuning exactly what it is that this mask is going to affect and what I'm gonna do with that curves adjustment layer. So bring this over all the way over to here. I can also adjust the contrast of that mask by using the curve. Bring that down to make it a slight effect. So essentially what I'm doing right now is I'm taking a luminosity mask, all the luminance data that's available. And now I'm fine tuning it to get exactly what I want outta that mask. Press enter. If I click on that curves adjustment layer I can make that area darker and brighter, just that one very specific area. So that's luminance. How do we get shadows there? Well if we press Control + Alt + two that's gonna go ahead and give us, again that luminosity mask. If I make a curves adjustment layer we have that luminosity there. Well we want the dark's now. How'd we get the dark's? We just need the invert of the light. Press command or Control + I, and now I've got all the shadow areas within my image that are highlighted in white. I double click this, call this shadows. Again, I can modify this. Press Alt or Option, looking at this mask. Go up to image, go to adjustments, go to curves, now if I make that mask darker those are all the dark areas that I'm gonna be affecting. I can even make those areas brighter and really cycle out more. Or also use the curve here, to add or subtract contrast from that mask. Now you can use levels for this if it's a little bit easier for you to understand by pinching in those edges. I prefer to use the curves adjustment layer cause it allows me to really fine tune this curve. Exactly what I want that mask to look like. And I can go ahead and press okay. Now if I click on the curve I can darken those areas up or brighten them up, based on that selection. Now as we talked about before, this has a pretty hard edge on it, doesn't it? So what we can do is we can go up here to feather. Maybe give it a three pixel feather, four pixel feather, five pixel feather. So if I zoom in on those rocks, three pixel feather, look what it's doing there. It's gonna allow things to blend in a little bit more. And bleed in a little bit more. Click on that. Up and down, okay cool. We can even take that a step further though. As if there wasn't enough. So if we double click on the shadows we can restrict what we want that to affect using Blend If. Turn on my color overlay, go up to my Blend If Options and I can really start to fine tune where that's going to affect my highlight areas. And what I would really do with this is I did a feather but sometimes that feather looks a little bit unnatural. If I just press Alt or Option split this highlights down, it's gonna help me get a much more natural transition. Press okay. Turn the color overlay off. And now if we look at our rocks zoomed in here. And we look at the before and after, there. There's the before there's the after. See the transition is just a lot more smooth. So not only am I using a luminosity mask now to select my shadows. I'm also using the luminosity mask combined with Blend If to restrict things even a little bit more. Then I can even go into things like blend modes, opacity. If I don't like how strong that is just drop that opacity a little bit. Or maybe even change it to something like the soft light blend mode to get a little bit more contrast in there. Or something like luminosity because I only wanna affect the luminance values and not necessarily the colors. Do we have any questions?
Do you have a technique for selecting messy hair in a portrait?
Selecting messy hair in a portrait, that's a great question. Really what it comes down to is setting yourself up for success during the shoot. And a lot of times that's a very (laughs) cop-out answer, you might think. But it's true. So if I'm doing a composite I'm gonna make sure that I'm compositing that person on a color that is gonna help me composite them. If they've got blond hair and the wall behind them is white, that's gonna be very difficult for me to separate them. But if that individual has black hair and the background is white, that's not that difficult for me to work with. So a lot of times I think ahead of what I want my end goal to be. It's not always possible. Let's say you're out and you're shooting and you're in the busy city street and you wanna take that background out or replace a head or something like that. Well, that's gonna be a little bit trickier. And it's gonna take a lot more time than just, okay select the focus area and select and mask. But select and mask is really the tool that I would use for that. And start learning those radius tools. Cause as you saw with my hair, I did have a chunk that was sticking out there that it selected that pretty well. So what you would do is just go into select and mask move up that radius a little bit, after you've made your selection. And then use the brush to brush in either subtracting or adding to that mask based on the color that you want in or out of that image. There's no one two punch to say that this is how you would do that. If by chance, select and mask doesn't work you can use those luminosity masks. So if you see one of those channels channel masking is a great way to do that. If you see a channel that has a lot of that hair information in it, you can pull that out by reducing and increasing the contrast in it. Just like we did with the luminosity mask there. You can make a color mask and increase and decrease the contrast with those levels to help separate white from black within that mask. There's no one trick pony, that says this is what you do for that. But when you use that in conjunction with things like Blend If, you can use Blend If for that too. If that hair is dark move the Blend If slider and whatever's on top or whatever that layer is will start to bleed through and in and out of so that can help too. Yes ma'am.
So for the focus range does the scale, can that correlate with aperture setting?
Yes in a way, it's not necessarily be ... So the question was, does the scale of the focus range interact with the essentially the aperture that we use. It's not necessarily the aperture we use it's whatever's in focus. So if you're using a 1.8 softer focus lens that you're right on the eye, and you go focus range. It might work on that eye first cause that's what's in most focus. And then as you increase that scale, it'll move out to the rest of the head. So it doesn't necessarily take into consideration the aperture that we're using, but it does take into consideration what's in focus. which does kinda work hand in hand with aperture.
What would be your thoughts on Photoshop CC for a lot of us who are either just beginning or started. I've made the mistake of picking a fabulous photo that was so busy that I didn't know where to start with it. And sometimes we can start with something like that and not know what to work on or practice on. So would you recommend starting with a simple photo that's just really easy and not have a lot things like a beach and a lot of rocks and detail. Or what would be your thoughts on that?
Absolutely, so the question is what types of images do you start on? In this download I've given you a lot of gradients a lot of test swatches. A lot of things that help you understand the concepts. I would work with those and work your way up. You definitely don't wanna start in chapter 32 of a book. You know you don't just open a book and say okay I'm gonna read chapter 32, you start at chapter one. A lot of times we don't think that way, we don't think like scientists. You know what we need to do is essentially use these diagrams I'm giving you in a scientific way. Where you're looking at them and you're saying okay well this is what's happening to the highlights. This is what's happening to the mid tones. This is what's happening to the shadows. Because I don't care what image it is, all images have tone all images have color. Right? So if we just separate that out and we do our effects, or we do the things that we're trying to understand on tone based diagrams, color based diagrams, we can then transition into something like this. This has tone, it has color. It's a little bit busy in the rocks might be a little bit busy in the sky. But essentially everything has tone, everything has color and everything does need your artistic effects to go on top of that. So start, I would start with diagrams always start with diagrams diagram type images that are all in the downloads for this course. Start with those, play with those. Beat em up. You can't hurt em. And you can always re-download em if you do accidentally make a mistake. What I would say is that if you are the type of person who wants to experiment with things, don't experiment on your primary copy of such thing (laughs) okay? So what I do, if I'm prac ... I even do this now. If I wanna practice on a raw file I will copy, I will click on that raw file. I will copy it. I'll move it to my desktop a virtual copy essentially. Copy it, paste it to my desktop, open it from my desktop. So I'm not ruining the original, even though you can't really ruin a raw file. But I have a folder sometimes on my desktop that says "tests," and that folder has all the things that I wanna test in. After I verify that that test is good, I then move into the actual image that I'm working on. Cause if it's a flattened jpeg, and you do something to it you save it, it's done. So especially if it's a jpeg. Make a copy of it, put it in your desktop and work from the copy. So that's gonna conclude our lesson on selections. In the next lesson we're gonna talk about clean up tools. But if you'd like to follow me on F64 Academy, go ahead and go to f64.co/cl.