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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 47 of 118

Selecting Subjects and Masking


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 47 of 118

Selecting Subjects and Masking


Lesson Info

Selecting Subjects and Masking

With select and mask, you have a couple of different options here. You can use a brush to select more or less of the area that's in there. What we want to do with this select and mask is essentially refine the edge of what it is that we're doing. This used to be called refine edge, they turned that off, it's not refine edge anymore, it's called select and mask. If we look at edge detection here, there's something called the radius slider. This alone can be good enough sometimes to make the exact selection that we need. If I move this radius up, you can see how it's pretty smart, it's starting to feather in the sides of the selection there. See that, it's actually, if we zoom in here with that radius moved way up, it's starting to actually select some of the hair. If we pull this up a little bit more, look at how that radius changes. It's pulling it some more, and that's a really good selection for the hair right there. Let's go ahead and zoom out here and see what it's doing to the res...

t of the image. Sometimes what it's doing is it's altering, essentially, the contrast of the mask that we've selected, right? It's allowing that mask, as we talked about before, there's black and there's white but there's also any transition in between. If you see any gray areas around my ear and around the top of my shoulder there, any of those gray areas will be a translucent mask, so if I have the solid color blue behind it, you might see a little bit of blue appearing in my ear, which isn't exactly what we want. We can refine that a little bit more. We can come in here, we can smooth out the edges there, see if that helps. That doesn't necessarily help. Or, we can even use our brush here. If I use my brush and I click on here, right around this area, small brush, this is essentially gonna get me back to what we would refer to as something like the quick selection tool. It's making a quick selection and it's allowing me to modify this mask. I don't want to use a big brush, if I use a big brush it's gonna start selecting a lot of the stuff on the outside but if I use a small brush, notice how it's adaptively doing that, that when I click it, I can see it spinning and thinking. What it's doing is it's making the selection for those areas but it's also calculating the radius at the exact same time. It's a very smart way to make a mask. I'll zoom out here or make a selection, rather I should say. Let's go ahead and put this on, let's look at my ear there, I'm not quite sure what's going on with my ear there. I'll change this too, overlay, that actually looks pretty darn good. It's gonna cut off a little bit of my ear here so I might have to brush in some of this area up here to get some of my ear back, brush in around here to get my ear back. This tool is kind of tricky to use, the select and mask tool. Sometimes you'll be clicking around here and if you click a little bit outside of the area, like the area of that ear, it's gonna start selecting some of the area that's on the outside of that. That's okay, if you do that, just press Command or Control + Z. Command or Control + Z, no matter where you are in Photoshop is going to let you go back one step. If you want to go back two steps, you have to press Control + Alt + Z and that will continue going back in history, two steps, three steps, four steps, five steps. The more you press Control + Alt and then Z, Z, Z, Z, Z, it'll keep going back up in your history palette. If you just press Control + Z and keep pressing Control + Z, it's going to flip back and forth between the two things you just did. Control + Alt + Z will continue going back in history, even if you're right here in something like this. We can zoom out at this point. We had a pretty good selection for this area. If I wanted to select more area though, so say like this area back here. If I press alt or option and I click there, it's gonna make the minus sign. I can start removing other areas within the image that I don't want to be there. I definitely don't want that blue area back there, and if I press OK at this point because I'm really satisfied with that selection, I now have a selection specifically just for me right there. If we want to talk about non-destructive editing, I like to make selections from there and tell it to output a selection for me rather than output that selection as a mask because I want to keep this background layer just in case. If I press Command or Control + J and duplicate that, I now have this area without a mask, okay? If I were to go ahead and go back a little bit here and I were to duplicate this layer, let's go ahead and try to think about how I want to do this so I don't end up destroying anything and still maintaining a mask. What I can do is I can make a mask on this area, which is going to ensure that I have the mask for the selection that I just made and I'm not destroying anything. Non-destructively, I still have my background if I want to paint anything in there ever again. Because I have the background already pulled, I have that selection now, what I can do is I can add a new layer here, drop this down, maybe Shift + F5, fill that with a color. Maybe I want that color to be the blue of Kansas City, rocking my Kansas City pride. It doesn't look that great at this point. I would have to do a little bit more work but that's basically allowing me to separate one element from the background using a selection, using select and mask and also using the focus area. Look at the edge of this mask here. One of the things that I want to talk about is looking at the edge, the edge of this mask doesn't look that great. We have a very fuzzy edge. What we could do with this is I'm gonna go ahead and duplicate this by pressing Command or Control + J, again because I want non-destructive editing. If I right click on this mask, I can say apply layer mask and when I apply that layer mask, what that's allowing me to do is it's allowing me to have the image that I have of myself selected and apply that mask to it so everything else around it becomes transparent instead of being a mask. Why that's important is because we have this thing up here that's hidden in Photoshop that's an absolute gem when you're doing composite work. We go to layer and we come down here to something called matting and go to defringe. That's a little fringe area. I can select this to something like two pixels and press OK and you'll notice it starts to taper in that edge just a little bit, just a very little bit to pull it in. If I need to do it again, I can just go up to layer, go to matting, maybe do another two pixels. It blends it in just a little bit better, a little bit more to get rid of some of that fringe. Because this is still a layer, I still have the capability of going into a mask and brushing away some of those areas, so the areas around the ear that got selected there, I could brush those areas away by coming in with this mask, zooming in here, and just using my brush, very light brush, to brush those areas away.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

Sonya Messier

I'm been using Bridge, Adobe Raw and Photoshop for 12 years. I thought I knew those programs until I started to follow Blake and do this Photoshop CC Bootcamp. This course is AMAZING. I love the way Blake teach, brakes down concepts and tools... excellent teaching qualities! I'm half way in this course and I change all my workflow already. Much better results and better use of what Adobe offer me. This course is an investment! When I will be done, I will listen it again. Great job and congratulations on your success Blake!