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Luminosity Masks

Lesson 12 from: Advanced Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

12. Luminosity Masks

Lesson Info

Luminosity Masks

of everything we're gonna talk about this is probably one of the more quote unquote advanced even though it really isn't once you see what it does but it's one of those things where people say luminosity massive little luminosity mask that sounds really interesting and complicated and it really isn't once you see what it does and best of all once again everything going to show you here I could start off by saying start recording and then I would have an action that would do this for me but I'm not going to do that yet because I want to show you the principal what we're talking about here so often we have a photograph teo do really fine tuning and editing we'd like to say I'd like to work with only the highlights are only the shadows or really high really bright highlights are really dark shadows and weaken do that more easily by making selections again based on our channel information so instead of me somehow saying let me try and select everything that's bright then that's up to me ma...

king an edge and my selection tool will ultimately have those marching and it'll stop by doing these channels that are based on the luminant of the image it will automatically say also look everything that's white or bright and a little bit more so it has kind of a natural blends it blends in much more nicely than that what if you just simply said I'm going to use my selection tools they give me all the bright areas so the way that it works is I want to start off with just selecting just the highlights of the image so I go to the channels panel and I hold down command of control and I just click once and that will automatically select all the brightest areas the highlights of the image now just to show you what it looks like if I were to duplicate it and then hae this and barely see it but you can see that may put something below it just for a moment you don't normally wouldn't do this I was trying to show you what it actually looks like so you can see there's you know even though I said highlights it got her arm and some other things because compared to everything else in the image that's still at a certain point still considered a highlight it's not the very brightest part of the image it's the bright er parts so I want two idea would be able to say I want those but I also want to select the things they're even brighter and even brighter you can go quite a few levels if you really want to super duper bright or whatever you wanna call it so that's ultimately what we're doing here okay so let's go back a step here so this is where I would start off and this is the one part of this that's kind of tricky so let me preface this by doing one other little thing for you we kind of saw it this morning but I want to make sure that we see how this works if I have a selection and then I hold down option or halt it takes that away from the selection if I have the shift key held down and make another selection it adds them together if I use the two of them together it makes an intersection so that's going to become very important because when he used this keyboard shortcut to narrow down the luminosity mass by saying subset of that subset of that and so on so start off we just want to make one which is the bright the highlights so again commander control click once loads all of those and then we come down to the bottom here and there's a button the second one and says safe selection as channel so I click on it now this is the part this is the one one step you can't miss because if you miss this next part it's going to mess you up completely most people once they've made a channel their first reaction is to d select but you don't want to do that you want to keep the active selection even though we've already made our first channel and I click once on that channel command option ship we always have to do command to tell it lotus selection and you will see I don't know how well you can see that you look at the little hand symbol concedes x underneath it that's telling me it's making an intersection was going to say from those highlights you've already selected make a smaller selection so then I click on the selection that khun I'll show you the second you see already it looks a little darker and I do it one more time so now if we d select and look at these you can say here's the bright parts of the image here's the brighter parts here's the brightest parts and I could even go I've seen some people that make like five of these and they get to the point where they're hard to see anything but that's like that's the true highlights is that little strip right there because I keep narrowing it down on some photographs you would do this and buy him by this third one you'd see hardly anything because there's nothing that bright so will depend on the photograph I tend to do this very quickly just so I don't get lost in my head is where I am as I call this bright I just double clicking on it to rename it I call this brighter and I call this brightest and that's in this document for my three it's obviously that's what I mean it's not literally the brightest images but these are the what the channels do so let's just pause there for a second say how would I use this now as I goto edit this document I'm like you know the really brightest parts like the white on her dress in this part need to be a little brighter so I'm gonna load just that as a selection I might not even see very much of anything at first then go back here and use something like a curves adjustment layer and as I adjusted brighter subtle look up in the sky province appointed in my laptop like you can see what I'm pointing at right there look up in the sky could see how that just that's getting brighter but look at her she's not getting any brighter so I'm creating a mask for that adjustment are based on that luminosity mass that I previously saved so that's just talking about brightness what we would typically do is keep going with this theory go back to the channels and then start again this time I'm going toe commander control click on the rgb to select the highlights and then press command shift I or control ship fighting invert that means now I've selected the the shadows not the highlights reel it in opposite selection and I choose save selection as channel so now I have a channel looks like this because there's a lot of dark in this photograph and this is the part you have to get your head around that the dark parts on the image will look white on the channel right because that's that's what we have selected so then I have that active and I use that same keyboard shortcut command option shift click save and then do it again save so now I have three alfa channels as they're called which select you the bright the brighter or the brightest and now the dark darker darkest in the game with shadows I could go two more steps further down that's all this is doing the image itself at this point won't look any different because all I've done is given myself all these channels that I can load in to turn into a layer masks for adjusting players so this is step all that was step one to get prepared for using these mass to make adjustment and that's why once you figured out how to do this the first time I would immediately go back and do it again but this time say start recording so then the next time you just go play and about two seconds later you lookin your channels panel and you see bright brighter bright bright as dark darker darkest or as many as you want now I start actually ending the images ok let me first of all take all the sort of middle dark parts and go back to my layer here and I tend to use curse for this but I want to say brighten all those dark parts up but no says I'm brightening that it's not affecting the light part because I've already all I'm doing is selecting or masking the darker areas you always look at it to confirm the skies pretty black so that means I'm not adjusting that all the white parts of her address also have that black on the math so you have to again this is the hardest part for people who haven't had spent that much time with layer mask is its opposite to what your thinking is I'm not trying to brighten certain areas but the ice I want a bright are the dark parts of the image so those need to be selected and the way you select things with a mask is white or like ray so that's the part that at first it's kind of like a little mind boggling but what this allows me to do and I'm just doing it on this one image of course but if I did I don't remember if I recorded an action on this machine or not I don't think I did uh think it is all right well let's do it shall we won't take very long in that way you can actually see the whole thing again all right so I'm gonna make a new action here loomed the short form for luminosity apparently is loom with two m's dumb so I start recording so this point I'm going to do it fairly quickly because I just want to go through the process so I clicked and the highlights and then save that click on this one used the keyboard shortcut on this one save d select go back here invert suppressed the wrong keyboard shortcut that's always nice and that's going to show up in my action nice okay this is going to be not the world's greatest action example because I did at least one mistake along the way with the wrong keyboard shortcut and then finally I would go in even in my action and rename them because I want to make sure I know what they are later this great thing about actions is it might take you twenty five minutes the first time to record the action but once it's recorded it's gonna be really fast too preed gir they kissed the select go backto rgb stop recording ok that was incredibly clumsy but let's see just to show you it doesn't matter which emit is if it if I did this correctly I should be able to go hit play was about a pup and they're all there so now for this image when I'm radio edit I just could go directly here and say okay I wantto work on some people have pull out the channels panel so I want to take the these brighter areas actually don't want to go the darker areas and then at adjustment layer to make some changes there too maybe brighten it up a little bit or go the other way or make an s curve or whatever you want so this part of how you edit that's more up to you but this is one of the most effective ways to do really detailed editing because of justin layers by nature want to affect every pixel in the document I'm narrowing the folks who say I want to select just within that a subset to say very bright less bright dark darkened zone and I've seen people who show this kind of method and they make on action that they provide or they've someone even sell that has seven different ones where they're like and you can also do mid tone is where you say take one of the bright ones that one of the dark ones and combined those to go to make a mid tone one so you can take this as far as you want and to be quite honest on some photographs it's a little overkill because if the photograph is fairly well taken to begin with I can't imagine you really saying I need to go into the very brightest of the bright highlights and tweet just those because they probably should be pretty good to begin with but having said that it's still a very effective way to say when I look at this I just want to feel like I want to pull a bit more detail out of those dark areas like the shadows that are really dark than that lets me get to just those areas and as you saw even though I did a clumsy job of recording action still worked and let me say gave me those channels that I wanted now for any photograph I just open the photograph hit that action and then see those channels ready to be used so luminosity masked the description of all the steps are again in the documents you can see what it does

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a Creativelive Student

I am an experienced photographer and retoucher and this Advanced Photoshop class with Dave Cross was exactly what I was hoping to find. I know how to accomplish everything I need in Photoshop, but was looking for the ways that I could update my workflow with the new features that have been added by Adobe. The complete use of Smart Objects and libraries is already changing my life and is incredibly useful and time saving. Dave gave a great explanation about the coarse at the beginning as to the fact that he just wanted to help users make their workflow better and he did just that...and in an enjoyable way. I highly recommend this class!

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While not highly experienced in PS I'm also not a newbie. I've done a few other online courses and am a member of other training sites but very quickly found I got information here that I hadn';t yet come across. Nesting smart objects and the non-destructive editing abilities they give me was one of those light bulb moments. Lots of other useful information in this course. Had to try the CC Library as a result. Very useful..... wish it saved the layer comps with your file though. Put some of these new learnt skills into a composite straight away.... did I say I'm loving nested smart objects!! A great course Dave.


Brilliant, love Dave's clear presentation style which is easy to follow, simply had to buy this one. I thought i had a pretty good grasp on photoshop but I'm delighted at how some of these seemingly simple tips and tricks have improved the quality of my final images and the speed at which I can work.

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