More Masking Options


Advanced Adobe® Photoshop® Techniques


Lesson Info

More Masking Options

the other option we have for masking which is kind of interesting is the ability to make a mask using vector options for example here if I want to mass this could I try making a selection using traditional seduction tools I probably could might be okay but since it has such noticeable sharp edges I might want to take advantage of tools to do that so for example I might take my pen tool and decide I'm going to make a path that select this whole shape so let's do that going to do it fairly quickly I'm not going to try to be incredibly accurate for now I want to show you the concept I'm deliberately going to make a couple of errors along the way to show you one of the reasons we do this is the fact that pass our editable and so will the mask therefore be editable so all I'm doing is every time I want to make a slight curve I'm dragging trying to follow the shape as much as I can but I learned a long time ago never to be panic written that it's not perfect because I can edit it later on an...

d try and get it as nice as I can the one thing I try to do is use this few of these anchor points as possible the more anchor points you have the harder it is to edit and it might not be quite as accurate so let's go around this last part pretty quickly this and of course I'm doing this zoomed out so it's not incredibly accurate but I want to show you the idea so now I have a path around the whole thing now I would start to get closer uh okay so now where I see things that need to be fixed I hold down the commander control key and I can start adjusting either the anchor points or these handles actually click on the path itself and adjusted and try and get it more accurate I'm not going to spend a lot of time doing that because that's not really the point of this whole thing but this would be the part where typically you would try toe improve upon this you could for now we'll just sort of go with that so we're going to imagine use our imaginations that it's really really accurate doesn't really matter at this point because even the next step the mask is still going to be based on this vector editable shape so if I click on the adl airmass button nothing happens because it's adding a pixel bit based mask but if I click on it again now of a sudden I have a second mask and this one is vector based because I know that's all I want I can take this middle pixel masking just deleted so now I have a photograph with a mass that's actually based on this shape that I drew and I can still go back and edit it if I noticed that there are parts that clearly needs some extra help when I click you can see even though its mast now I can start to come in and continue to work on it and try to adjust in tweak and someone so this is particularly aimed at things where for example this is I just chose this arbitrarily to show that it can be done I would tend to use it more on things like architectural buildings or something where it's nice very straight edges and you want the ability any time to go into continue tweaking it using the handle's that air on the vector mask now it is possible and also potentially interesting the fact that as you saw when I first added this vector mask it was the second option so I had both a regular mask and a vector mask so you could do both if you want you still do parts of this that had the ability the mass tohave you know shades of grey or radiance or whatever but also the vector part as well so at this point I could decide I didn't want pixel based mask after all because I decide for example I don't know that I want this middle part to be somewhat see through so I'm gonna paint on here let's put another layer bolo just so you can see that what I'm doing here now it will be entirely depend on the image or working with but frankly also your ability to use the vector tools in photo shop if you're not terribly comfortable with using the pen tool than I wouldn't suggest you need to learn how to do this because in many cases you can get close to the same result using some of the newer technology like the quick selection tool with auto and hands turned on and so on if you're a veteran pen user this is a really nice option to have the choice of making a mask with the pen in addition to the other methods as I mentioned earlier the one thing I will say is if anyone tries to tell you you will get a more accurate selection using the pen tool that's not exactly correct with a vector mask the edges a little sharper but if you use the pen to will simply the tracer on something and then turn into a selection you've made it pixel based anyway so it's not that different than if you use some other selection tool the biggest difference is the pen tool has those anchor point nodes where we want to call them that makes it more edible on an ongoing basis so there've been plenty of occasions where I found myself using the pen tool to start off with a vector mass but then I turned into a selection which are then make into a regular mask because it affords me other possibilities all right so let's delete that for second saying get rid of both of these so let's say for the sake of argument that I did want to try to see if I used the tools like the quick selection tool um I usually have auto enhanced turn on when I first saw the quick selection tool and saw there was an option called auto enhance my first thought was why when would you not want itto auto enhance like wouldn't wouldn't that be good all the time and the only reason is an option if you have a very large file with a very complicated edge it might slow photoshopped down so that's why they put that in there just in case so my philosophies turned on all the time unless you're finding that you're getting seeing this progress bar costly coming up and saying I'm still trying I'm still trying then you might want to turn off but the quick selection tool one of its benefits is you don't have to hold out any keys at first I'm just clicking and dragging and as you can see it got way too much so I hold down the option or all key and start to take away areas and one of things that's interesting about the quick selection tool which we can then take advantage of when we're making our mask is that actually has some form of intelligence to it in other words if I'm trying to make a selection and it then it goes too far and says oops I took away too much if you go back and add back in again at a certain point it almost like it starts toe learn oh I see you want that and not that area now I'm for the purpose of demonstration on lee I'm sticking at this soon doubt use you can see what's happening when I'm making real decisions I'd be zooming in closer to make sure it looks pretty accurate but the other form of mass they should at least touch on because from a selection standpoint it's an incredibly valuable tool is quick mask because right now this looks decent to me and I'm going to actually deliberately make a mistake for a second not that big a mistake and let's just say my I just didn't notice the fact that there was a part of my selection method missing one of the challenge I've always felt with thes selection edges is that you're seeing this flashing line thing and to tell if you really got an accurate selection on it sometimes little heart so right down the bottom underneath the forerunner back in color is this little button here called quick mask or he could just press the letter q so what this does is it makes kind of like a channel slash mask but the word quick could easily be called temp or temporary because that's what it's doing is temporarily saying well here's the master will show you but I'll show it we colored overlay instead of marching ants so now as I start to look a little more closely I can go to wait a minute there shouldn't be read there and this part here so I can start to see the parts that didn't work quite as well so now I can tweet this mask in one of a couple of ways I can either make a selection and then fill it to say well I don't want this to be included in the mass so basically what we're looking at here is where we see this metal gear that's the equipment of white on a mask on everything else that's got that right overlay is black so if there's like this part here I want that to be selected all I have to do is fill that with white I went old too far so I'll just get a little closer and until that with black and I could also do this with paintbrushes so I could take a paintbrush and say this part here should be masked and so should that so for people who struggle with things like the pen tool you can see this has already done a pretty decent job announced a matter of me taking advantage of those things like the keyboard shortcuts to switch back and forth in black and white I just noticed my paintbrush was on fifty percent capacity so I changed that back to one hundred as it should be so quick mask again nice temporary mask it doesn't add anything ultimately to your file when you press q again it goes right back to just saying there's your selection again once you've done that then I'm going again use this refined edge and in here we have the option of looking at a different ways including one that is like a preview of your mask so if you want to really get a good idea of what the eventually once you finish this process and click on yes make a mask for me this will be part of the way you can really figure out what's going on whether you've got a good start or not each of these has a keyboard shortcuts so that what the only two that I really know off the top of my head because I use my time is I press l for show me with layers and k for black so that way I can sew mask layers and as I'm working on it go back and forth very quickly and easily now just to mention something that I said before I want to show you what I was talking about see how underfinanced there is a feather option so in theory I could feather this here and soften the edges but the problem is once I do that and click okay that's it that's what the mask will look like and I'd rather not do that I'd rather keep this at zero make a layer mask and then go under this command and choose feather because I might decide at this point yeah I want to feather this much I don't really but I'm going to say that for now knowing that that's just where I left it I can always go back and change it back again now let's imagine for a moment that it looks perfect because clearly it doesn't but let's pretend it does and now I wanted to take this a step further and say but I'd like to do another mask I'd like to maybe mass the edges of this well I already have a mask here so I have two different possibilities one all showing a second is too mask a mask using a group or I could incorporate smart objects two different ways to the same end result but think about what we talked about smart objects it's no different with a mask I'm at a point now I want to kind of reset this layer to say I want to preserve the mass money to make a a new process like another mask I would right click on this and shoes convert to smart object now it looks like that's in place now I could click and say let's add another layer mask and start to for example just go around the outside masked the outer edges of it on lee as an option whatever I want to do something like that so now I've done all that and if now I know this oops that part of the mask isn't very good same principle of smart objects I just double click to go where is that informational there it is and now I could tweak this mask and adjust it and then once I save it it's goingto update the other one so that's option number one is convert to a smart object the on ly part that makes it somewhat confusing for some people is the fact that opens that separate window and you have to save it to see the update so that but that is an option that that can be used quite nicely and it has the advantage where again you can go multiple levels deep off smart objects so let's take a look at this example for second here have a stock photo and I created a mask just right where I was at so here just one photograph with a mask around it now one thing that this is one of my little pet peeves a photo shop in this reminds us to not spend too much time looking at one view or another when I look up nice and close like this this mass actually looks pretty good to me I don't see anything wrong with it but look what happens if I go to fit and window view doesn't it look like there is a line right there see that can you see that on your screen so that looks to me like oh my mask isn't very good but when I go one hundred percent size it's not there so it's really just a viewing thing so don't obsessive you go oh no now I've gotta fix that I mean you could but you might be wasting your time because zoomed out view this fit on one of you is good to show you the overall position of where things are but you shouldn't be making decisions about quality you should just say is that in the right place so in this case I think I want to move him up a little bit but it looks like I'm seeing that line but soon as I got a hundred percent now there's no line it's just an allusion created by the fifth window view so in order to make this work I want to make what hopefully will look kind of like a reflection so I'm going to duplicate this whole thing I still want to preserve that mass just in case I changed my mind click on this one do free transform right click and shoes flipped vertical and then drag him down get two hundred percent I might need to angle slightly so that his toes match up better okay so now I got my reflection I could lower the opacity of the whole thing but a true reflection would start to fade out a little bit or you know look a little different as they got further away so the challenge is at this point I need to really make another mask so was I just show you I could take this layer making too smart object but the other alternative which is for some cases it's a rare case actually where I say don't make a smart object in this case that I like it better because it's accessible now some people would say well just take the great in tulle and change the blend mode to overlay or multiply but look what happens if I do that it's a good theory but here's the problem if I do that and go like this just make sure you're actually clicking on the right place though dave so at first glance it looks like it's kind of work but if you look at the masque I basically wrecked this mask and I don't want to I want to have full access to this mask but mask it as well so that multiply grading thing is a good theory but in my mind is just it's a little too much in that whole destructive way of working so the solution that I use which is seems weird at first but it actually works really nicely is if you take this layer just the one layer and shoes new group from layers now normally the whole point of putting things in a group is you can put multiple layers in one group but I only have one layer in the group which at first it seems like why would you bother doing that well that's because you can add a mass to a group so now if I'm I'm on this mask I still use my grady and tool to do my gradual thing but it's still the whole mask is there you see I still have the whole thing so now in effect I've masked a mask so two different ways of doing it the first way is to do a smart object that gives you that option but that ope opening a separate document this way I like it a lot better for certain situation because it's more live you don't have to go to a separate window you can see it right away and so it'll depend on the circumstances but this is part of the reason I like to show this is also thinking outside the box a bit because I think most people and I used to be one of them when I thought group instantly I thought of multiple layers at first I used to think why would you ever put one layer into a group because they're really wouldn't be much reason usually it's multiple ares but here is a reason because once you puts up in a group you're ganna form of resetting now adam ask you can add layer styles to a group so you could have a drop shadow on the layer and a drop shot on the group so now it's a different way of giving yourself a few more options for creating the look that you want again in a way that's not going to paint yourself into a corner now for some reason now as I look at this and this is the weirdness of photo shop even a one hundred percent you I can see a little bit of a line around the mass so I would actually want to go in here and just do a quick little make sure I got more than enough coverage just to be sure so that just means having to go on to each one and do that I'm not sure why it suddenly happened because it wasn't happening before but anyway so there you go now we could also and this is where the one place where I where I would consider making a smart object is if I on top of this also want to do a filter so for example maybe I want himto also be a little blurry because he's a reflection so in that case would be a little harder to do that without converting to a smart object first so now I can do my blur and then on this mask is I want him to be less blurry here and more blurry there than again take park it'll grady in tulle and go this a way so then not very blurry at the top but grass he gets more blurry as it becomes more of reflection if I really wanted to have fun with this this is where multiple things start coming into play here is because of course you know it's fairly common for someone to be standing on a big piece of metal like this because you know that happens I might also throw and say what happens if I do blend if sliders and say take the underlying layer and make it start to come through the metal to make it even a different effect so the sky is the limit all sorts of possibilities and this is important the reason not that I would probably actually do that although it's kind of cool is I don't want anyone to ever think that well I'd either used this or this or this quite often now when you know all these things are available why not try and see what happens you might have one of those happy access we go wow that looks really could I like that a lot that's not what I expected to happen or no it doesn't work at all I hate it that's fine too mean to me there's a couple of parts of photo shop there's thie I've got to get this project finishes quickly as possible so I want to be youse are efficient methods but very often those efficient methods because of their flexibility also means it affords me the opportunity to say but what happens if I go down this path I can do five steps knowing that the way of structured everything nothing is going to be a permanent change the thing that I used to used to annoy me about photo shop is it was completely linear so if you did step one two three four five you're on ly choice was to undo five four three two one now I can do things like smart object blend if adjustment layer opacity and anyone that I could just go back to this one and change it so I don't know longer stuck with one two three four five five for the one I could go one two three four five four one five and that's where the fun starts because now you're not stuck in oh no now that I've really messed up because I can't get out of that I've done some pretty crazy experiments with a whole bunch of layers I've never found myself going I shouldn't say that I've done at least once but for the most part it doesn't happen is often because I've created a structure of masks and adjustments and smart objects and smart filters that anywhere along the way I can feel like I'm almost finished and then make a decision that's right in the middle somewhere and edit it and see what happens when I do that how we doing with questions there jim you know we're pretty solid on questions folks were kind of just sort of amazed by this mostly it have to do with grouping and so I think we're in good shape because you're covering all that so yeah pretty solid thank you so just to clarify a couple things about a group just like you can nest smart objects you can put a group inside a group so if it makes sense to do that I mean it's not a necessity but if like in this case I already have a group if I felt like it made sense that I wanted the dancer as a total to be in a group I could still do that and nested inside so the only thing at first of course is you don't no by at first glance that until you look inside some people might say what why would you do that well part of the reason is when it's something is all in a group it all moves together you don't have to worry about going insane will wait though I have all the layers because I know they're all contained inside this group and as I think I mentioned earlier by know I'd mention earlier groups can also have laywer style so if you want to add a glow to everything whatever it is you can do it in one shot to everything within both groups so it doesn't not just the main group but the subgroup as well so it's another way of structuring groups have got better over the last little while I would my personal preferences I still aim towards smart objects most of the time because the smarter but also by nature unless you do a smart filter so that's one advantage of it maybe over groups but groups often are just more quicker to go in and say oh I wantto get to this one layer right here and edited the only thing I will caution you is I do a lot of trying to select my layer from the image by using this auto select layer thing and when it comes to groups auto select goes I really don't know what you're talking about because it's not smart enough to most of the time to say I know you're trying to click on that layer but I'm going to show you is in that group somewhere so if you had twenty seven layers in a group and tried to click on it the auto select they would just go yeah there's your group so it wouldn't help very much so that's about the the one one of the reasons why I tend to lean more towards the working with smart objects as we go along

Class Description

There is always a better way to edit in Adobe® Photoshop® – learn new, advanced techniques from expert instructor Dave Cross and develop a faster, more effective post-production process.

In Advanced Adobe® Photoshop® Techniques, Dave will introduce you to a wealth of little-known and under-utilized techniques that you can use to make your photographs really pop. You’ll learn learn new ways to work with:

  • Layers and masks
  • Composites
  • Type
  • Camera Raw
  • Color grading

Dave will show you how to speed up your work with luminosity masks and how to be more creative using the Blend If sliders. You’ll see how non-destructive methods – including smart objects, adjustment layers, vector shapes and smart filters – can boost both productivity and creativity. You’ll also get lots of great tips on automating your work.

Open up a world of creative possibilities – join Dave Cross for Advanced Adobe® Photoshop® Techniques.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 15.0