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Creating Advanced Masks

Lesson 2 of 7

Use Channel Masks to Create a Black & White Image


Creating Advanced Masks

Lesson 2 of 7

Use Channel Masks to Create a Black & White Image


Lesson Info

Use Channel Masks to Create a Black & White Image

we'll start with channel masks and we're gonna look at luminous masks and then we're gonna go to the blend. If a channel mask is an easy way to show color, you'll find channels. I'm just gonna go ahead and open up this image. I'm gonna show you two different variances of the channel mask. So a channel is basically a way that photo shop can show you the information in your image and for us working RGB images. So the three channels that we have are gonna be read green. And okay, so we're gonna basically use these to read the information in the image. The color information in the image. Now, the way the RGB or additive system works is you start with a black lightless space and you add color or liked to it until you reach white. So we could very easily turn on all of these channels so they would look red, green or blue. And this is actually a function. If you go in a photo shop and you go into preferences and you go into interface, it'll show channels in color, and it will quite literally ...

kind of see them over on the right hand side be shown in color. It's actually not particularly helpful to us. It's literal, but it's not helpful. So I'm gonna turn this off. The way we read this is that the closer this channel is too white in any given area, the more there is of that color. The closer it is to black, the less there is of that color. So, for example, in blue, the sky is brighter than it is in green or red. Because there is more blue in the sky than green or red. You notice there is very little blue in the grass. It's black bear, very dark, right? That's how you read these. If there is a lot of a tone ality across the board, it means it's a relatively bright or relatively white color. Also, if the color doesn't shift too much between the tone doesn't shift too much. In between the channels, for example, units the clouds more or less stay and about the same position totally. That kind of look the same across the board. That basically means it's gonna be a neutral color all the way through whether it's gonna be gray or white or black right, So it doesn't change. That's what that means. And then when it does change, that's your flexibility. That's your change in color. So the way we're gonna use channels is in a couple different ways. We're going to use it as a mask on. We're going to use it as a way to make complex black and whites just kind of two different ways to show you how to use these now, just like a mask white reveals and black conceals. Okay, So if you were to take any one of these things, any one of these elements and use it as a mask and I'm sure you had a loaded is amassing all that kind of stuff we're gonna we're gonna do that in a bit. But if you were to use an envision, this is a mask because of mask is black and white. Wherever it's closer toe white, you're gonna have mawr of that in this election, wherever it's closer to black, you're gonna have less of that in this election. You can also take this and you can manipulate it, and you can do a lot of things with it. But that's really the core fundament mental part of it. So, for example, if I wanted to target the sky, but not really the wagon in the grass it makes sense for me to use the Blue Channel because that's mostly dark compared to the other ones. Whereas the sky is light and you have a nice little differentiation of contrast on what a channel mask really allows you to do is make a selection based on color. Okay, now, this is a good example of why you might want to use a blue channel. I'm gonna show you an example on a person a little bit later. Why you might want to use a color channel Red Channel, for example, is gonna allow you to select skin tones more successfully than another channel would. Now, what we're gonna do is I'm gonna just very briefly show you the power of channels. This isn't really a masking thing, but I do want to show you what you can do with this. So we've started with this all color image, and I exaggerated the color a little bit in this image knowing that I was gonna convert it into black and white. I'm not saying this is the best way to make something black and white. But it is a way to make something black and white. It's a little bit different than if you were to go in and just change the sliders and other light rumor adobe camera raw. Or if you were going, Teoh play with that black and white conversion a little bit. So what I'm gonna do is I'm actually going to load on top each of the individual channels in black and white, and then I'm gonna mix them all together, Okay? And the way I'm going to do this is I'm just gonna create three blank layers, and there are multiple ways to do this. But I do find that just simply copying the Met the channel and loading it and copy and paste. Sometimes you were into some weird little hiccups with photo shop. I mean, you can actually just select it and hit, you know, command a command, See, But sometimes you run into these weird little issues. Sometimes it works. So what I'm gonna dio is I'm going to do with these one at a time. And so I'm gonna select each empty layer, and I'm gonna use something called apply image and you're gonna see me use apply image over the course of today pretty regularly. What apply image does is it stamps either the entire image or specific component of the image onto whatever you're working on? And that could be a mask or that could be an empty layer. And we're going to start by stamping it onto an empty layer. And I love the apply image. I find it to be incredibly useful as a way to manipulate masks. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to select my layer one, and I'm gonna go to image and I'm gonna go to apply image, Okay? And what this allows me to do is select a part of my image to apply. At the moment it's applying, emerged emerged image in RGB. Okay, and that's why it looks exactly the same. It's basically duplicated the background layer. But if I change it to an individual channel like red, it's only going to apply the Red Channel. And I'm going to do this for each of the channels. But because this changes the way it looks, I'm just gonna turn this off briefly I'm gonna go to image apply image, and I'm gonna select Green. Now, another way to do this. If you want to get fancy as you could just turn off merged and you could always have the background layer selected that would get you to the same place when I get that. And then I'm gonna do it one more time. Apply image, and I'm gonna do it on blue. And now what I've got are all three of these black and white conversion stacked on top. Okay. And when I could do here is I can actually change the opacity in between the two. I can change the order. I can create masks on each of these if I want to do a certain part of one image are sorry, a certain part of one channel in a certain part of another. So let's say, for example, I really liked what's happening to the ground, but it's too much. So I'm just gonna kind of put that on top and lower the opacity a little bit. But you know what? I really like what's happening. I don't like what's happening in the sky, so I could just take my my go, my brush and I could mask out what's happening on the sky. Maybe we open up a little bit down there and then maybe you say, I wish I had a little bit more on the sky, so I like what's happening on this bottom layer a. Mask it out a little bit more right, and we can kind of take each of these things, and we can combine them to make a complex black and white. Now, this is one way to make a black and white. I've seen some people really like this method, but it just kind of shows you the different interpretations of file. Without you having to go in and slider everything around. You could just kind of layer it on, painted, rearrange it, mask it in lower the opacity like there's a lot you can really do here. There's a lot of flexibility and a lot of different options, but I just think it's kind of a fun way to be able to create a complex black and white without too much too much effort

Class Description

Expert masking isn’t about working hard; it’s about working smart. Let Adobe® Photoshop® work for you when it comes to creating advanced masks. Chris Knight shows you channel masks, luminance masks, and ‘Blend If’ as a faster way to make your adjustments better. Learn how to utilize these techniques to apply to your own work in a variety of ways including toning and color grading. 

Find Chris's custom actions for this class at the following link:

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017


Joseph Parry

Chris is a superbly accomplished photographer. If you're not familiar with masking, this is a great class to add some excellent options to your toolkit for everything from grading to cleaning. For $19, a total gem.

a Creativelive Student

This is an amazing course. lodes of useful information presented in an easy to understand way. Really like the tutors style and enthusiasm. Thank You Chris Knight.

Mike Hardie

Covers all the important areas with enough detail for you to figure out how to apply the techniques to your own work. Some useful tips thrown in for good measure. Decent class. Worth the price.

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