Clipping Masks & Smart Retouching
Clipping masks you khun a different way of masking something is with a shape, so I'm going to unlock this layer and put a layer below and on this layer I was going to make a big rectangle that I will fill with something doesn't really matter in the way of the clipping mask works is the shape of the bottom layer is going to mask the layer above it if I click this little button and now I have this very boring rectangular background happening, which is okay, but I want to be much more interesting than that, so I would take this shape and a converted to smart object to allow me to apply smart filters to it so I can alter the shape underneath, which in turn will make it look like it's a border on my photograph. Now this is absolutely not a necessary step, but I find when I'm looking at transparency, it doesn't really help me visualize when I'm going to put this on a white background, so I usually add one more layer at the bottom you do that by command or control clicking the idol aaron the ...
bottom fill it with white, I'm still working on this layer, but now everything I do at least I'm seeing white around the outside because that'll mohr emulate when I'm doing a print or saving out for a website or whatever so one of the problems here potentially is unfortunate there's not that many filters that you can apply to a smart object shaped like this and this is one of my private conversation beefs with adobe is back in the shop cs too I wrote a book called finishing touches on one of my favorite techniques was before smart filters was put a shape on a layer and then play all these filters to distort the shape and all of a sudden it and cs ford stopped working and no one seems to know why when I point out that over there like that doesn't work anymore and like I said, you should be able to do that I was like, ok, that's really funny because I would love to be able to do some like they're some like brushes and other things that I could do it she under here now um like I used to use these all the time like sprayed strokes and what used to happen you can see there is the edge of this would have all this sprayed stroke now it doesn't work anymore and no one seems to know why, so that makes me sad. So now what I do often do instead is you displacement map but in this case I don't I'm not going to use like in the first case I duplicated the doorway to make it the displace I actually know what let's just try that let's do it distort displace and I'm gonna put in higher numbers and then when I go to use it let's try and see what happens if we use that photo of the wall to distort this black box have no idea what's gonna happen seriously, I don't I mean, I kind of have a guess but I really don't know so I click ok and it's clearly way too big you can't really see anything, so that was an experiment that failed miserably but that's ok, because you don't really know until you try it so let's try instead I'll just say, what is this it's? A photo of a waterfall? All right, let's, try it click open however go look what just happened if I hide this for a second, the edge of my box suddenly became more interesting because it used that photo that I randomly picked of a waterfall and used its highlights and shadows to alter the black box. The middle part nothing looks different but that's ok because we don't want it to all I want is the edges to look different, so sometimes I'll do displaced, displaced displace with three randomly chosen psd files and happily come up with some really interesting border effect that when you're the clipping mask now you have that neat little border on my photo this is still editable in the sense that I don't really want quite that much of a border when you do free transformed the filter temporarily disappears so I can readjust it and enter I could even go back and say I really like that let's try what if I put even higher numbers? I'm going to territory normally don't go but I want to see what happens just try it we like that even more so I have a whole bunch of interesting backgrounds that have that's quite literally how it happened is I just made a rectangle made it smart did displace and went here's a psd fell in fact in one case this is going to sound really funny but it's absolutely true one case where I went to show it to someone and I had to head and planned ahead and on my desktop I couldn't see any psd follow there's one and I was actually a screen capture of a website and it worked brilliantly I don't know what it was but I was just like oh I got to keep that one because that's really cool now the reason I undid the first one with the the doorway was I realized as soon as I saw the scale was so far off that nothing happened because that's the one I use is the map was much, much bigger than this one that's about the on ly sort of you know warning label is when you're randomly picking a file it should ideally be at least somewhat close to the same size so dave is this in the same issues is yesterday phil we're using a second file to create displacement and has to stay associate id and you can't move to another directly or something not exactly because the only time of that that has any influence is if I go to try and readjust it once this point now that I've applied it it's completely out of the picture now but if I looked at and said I think I want to use that same map to accentuate even mme or if it was in a different location than I'd have to go find it but it's not like linked in the sense of but that linking we did with smart objects it's kind of a one shot deal it says as I apply this filter used this particular displacement map now that that ability to just kind of randomly have a collection of photos and that's why I've said multiple times that when I go out on photo walks of people they're wondering why is he taking photos of that bush? Because in my mind I'm thinking there's so much happening in that that would probably make a cool displacement map because there's a lot of stuff you know texture and highlights and shadows some things work better than others but that's kind of the beauty of it is in this case I had no I never tried this before with that combination of that photo on this photo and I really like it and you could still do things like, you know, accentuated with the drop shot or add a layer mask and paint on the mask or paint a border on top of it and burn the edges I mean there's there's a ton of possibilities, but part of reason I want to show you this example is because it incorporates two important things. The clipping mask means I still haven't touched my original photo. The very top of this is the original untouched photo that like this will continue to add it using all of our other methods like adjustment layers and everything else that doesn't change but at the same time I give myself lots of ability to try things and I can keep experimenting to stay on top of that. Now let me do a blur or this or that and if I need to lower the intensity, the filter, whatever it might be so this is this was intend to be one of those little tutorials that was not like you must follow these five steps the only steps you have to follow his make a shape making smart displacing map the end with the clipping masking there and that's where I think this is one of my favorite parts of teaching photo shop is when you show a group of people this and then I was teaching a hands on class a few years ago with twelve people, and I showed them this, and then they had, like, forty five minutes. So perriman, it was really interesting to see out of twelve people the difference, the different way it looked was all the same. You looks layers panel. They were all a clipping mask with the displacement map filter apply to if they all of completely different because they all had different photos, they use different settings like that's one the most interesting parts is where you know, my my concern is, I see two charles or like here's, how to make an exploding planet like great any time I want to do that and then everyone's up. Everyone who does its tutorial has almost exact effectively the same thing. I'd much prefer to show a technique that says here's the basic principle. Now go, you know you use your photo with your settings displacing map and try different things. The good part is ultimately, this is still a layer. So if I have another photograph from this siri's, I could just dragged that layer over and go clipping mask, and I'm good to go. So that's the other reusable repurpose ing part of our discussion is that when you do things this way it's not like this is a one shot deal for this photo it this is how it works on this photo, but now I could drag it onto another photo and if it's the wrong size or five need to adjust the settings a little bit on the filter I can because that's just the way it works. Okay having fun yet I love this kind of stuff can you tell? Ok, jedediah photos show I mean, I know that when we talk about work flow, a lot of it is these are this year, the steps I have do for all my photos, but when you can throw in some of that, let me go off on a little creative journey for five minutes and no that's not going take you two hours, you know, it's going to be like once I follow this concept, I can try it for a few minutes and see if I like they're not doesn't have to take forever. I think a lot of people, when I say things like well, just experiment in their mind they're thinking that takes hours I always tell people you can experiment for ten seconds, you know, just try filter and go on this kind of cool and then continue on so here's an example how I would do this with kind of a re touching thing in mind this is a camera uh I mean cameras so I've made my overall settings and because of the setting I have turn on which we'll talk about it does come in as a smart object, so that means I do not have to do any convert to smart obvious because it already is smart, so I want to do a little bit of retouching here and because it's smart as we talked about before, when I go to use tools like the spot healing brush, I can't because you can't paint directly on a smart object, so I add a new layer and make sure it's sample all layers has turned on and then I start doing my little bit of healing, whatever I want I'm trying to get rid of like, obvious little blemishes now this was a real project I would be zooming in closer and being much more accurately. I was trying to show you the basic idea here, so the way I approach retouching and this is a sort of a side note, but it just happens to thin with our discussion is that to me when you're retouching something and especially well let's just talk about people for a second they're to me there are two things you have to be concerned with the obvious stuff that the person would be happy for you to remove like non permanent things like pimples and blemishes because most people don't really want those there, but there are other things that are part of the way the person looks and one I always tell this story because it still drives me nuts to think this happened when my daughter was graduating from high school, she did her, you know, that typical high school photos so after taking out a second mortgage to pay for the photos, they had this little envelope and is like, what package would you want and said, would you like me touching? And I said no, because I thought I could always do it myself anyway, the photos came back now our family, a lot of us have just like here the little kind of darkness under the eye. Well, whoever did it removed it completely, and it no longer looked like her because that's just the way she looks, I mean, you can't retouch to the point where it doesn't look like the person anymore and that's a big beef of mine that people retouched too much things that are part of a person that they have a beauty mark can't just assume to take it out because that's, the way they look, what I would say them, would you like me to lessen that a little bit and sometimes they'll say no, but other times like in this case, he's got a few little, you know, I wrinkles, I would probably want to lessen them, so this layer was my one hundred percent removal retouching layer I would make another new layer and instantly put it toe like fifty percent ish. So now when I use tools like the healing brush, the result is going to say, I will attempt to fix this, but let's, do it, I'll show you the difference invited one hundred percent has gone completely, which is ok, but then people who know her might have that second of going sure with that photo, so instead by putting it about fifty percent ish now, it's still there, but a lot less obvious, and to me, that is a really important concept when we're re touching this will we'll circle back to smart filters in a second, but I just want to throw that out there. So this is a fairly common look for me, a smart object, the bottom making sure all of my I've already finished all my work on exposure and toning and everything else because we talked about yes, they briefly if I now edited the smart object, these to fixing layers would look bad because they wouldn't match up anymore. But at this point, I'm going to say, ok, for the sake of our let's say, I'm finished that, and I want to go on just a little bit of filtering, like, well, maybe smoothing her skin a little bit, something like that doesn't need it a whole lot, but I'm going to do a little bit, but this is why I run to a bit of a challenge because I have the raw file in the background and then to retouching layers. So how can I do like a smoothing filter to all three without making my life too challenging? Well, the answer is convert all three into a smart object, because when I do that now, it's, like I've set a milestone to say, I've done the retouching, they're still still there, I didn't merge or flatten, so I can still access them if I need to, but now I can move on and do another step, so as an example, and I'm going to do there don't want to get into a big, heavy discussion about methods of retouching skin, and this is this is the typical photographer that doesn't have two hours to do frequency, separation, retouching or some fancy dancy thing that everyone talks about on the forums this is I'm a real photographer that has wants to get retouching done, burke, I'm just really made a few people really angry out there by saying that but this is for me more real world that I want to do is just do something fairly quick it's gonna look decent so I'm going to do gaussian blur now let me very quickly add this is another one of those end up with I'm gonna overdo it to the point of going to say seriously that's the way you we touch someone's face no because I'm not finished yet so I'm going to blur mohr than I would at first as a smart filter of course take that and inverted so it's filled with black now I take my white brush or white paint brush same I brushed and white and what's going to happen here if you think about the same theory is I've got did a blur filter that I completely hidden now when I paint with white in effect it's become the paint with the gaussian blur filter so now I can just paint in the areas that I want and I'm going to avoid areas like eyes and things like that my brush is a little bit I think so I missed by mistake was distracted by that little red most pose a thing so I went a little bit too much so I just switched back to black and now I can paint in the areas and it looks overdone because frankly it is because I'm not finished yet, but again the same broken record theory it's a lot easier for me to overdo the blur so I can see where I'm asking then do a really subtle blur and go can't quite tell if I'm getting this or not, so I'm deliberately taking advantage of a smart filters by saying overdo the blurring so I know exactly where I'm painting doing all that work and one sign finish this is what issues that is, what my layer mask looks like lovely! Then I say ok, now that I'm happy that I think I've got all the skin looking softer too soft, I double click say, but let's only do it this much that's a very subtle effect. Now I do all of that and let's say for the sake of argument that I feel like the part under her eye is maybe still a little too obvious and in many cases, if you what I see many people do is as they're re touching a certain point to go now all merge through some more now all merge they don't have that ability to say, oh, when I did that thing under her eye ten minutes ago, I wish I hadn't I can because it's right in here I double click is going to open the smart object and there's the layer that has the little fifty percent thing with her eye and I can say, just wouldn't normally do this, but let's put up a whole lot higher and I just close and save it, and it updates my original document, including the little filter I just did to soften her skin. So by doing it that way by going through a progression of star with smart object, put layers on top to do things like we touching when I want to move on to the next step, make another smart object. So as autos, it sounds it's not at all unusual to have a smart object inside a smart object inside a smart object, and there I don't even know technically, I know you can go many levels deep again, it could be probably a mind blowing if you have too many spartan objects have been spotted objects, but to me, I just do it when it makes sense to in this case, I wanted to move on to the next step of applying a softening filter, but I really couldn't cause I had three layers so said, well, let's, take those and put them, you know, into a smart over so I can move on to the next step if I wanted to now, here is where the challenge comes in, because there's only one mask for every smart filter, what if I now wanted to sharp in other parts of voter like her hair? If I applied his sharpening filter, it would be mast and would now sharpen the part that I just softened, right? Because the mask is saying on ly applied the filters to this area, so the problem is, how do I? Since I only have one mask? How could I now sharp in some areas without affecting my I've already done ready to convert to a smart object, because every time I do that it's like, okay, now I'm resetting things, and now I could do a sharpened filter whenever it might be. Just click ok with the defaults and then use exactly the same theory, fill it with black and then paint with white in the parts. I want to sharpen that some people are looking this and going that looks like an awful lot of effort, and it is, and it isn't it's taking longer to explain that once you do it the first couple or eight times, they just kind of makes sense because you're like, ok, now, anything move, and because the roadblock is, I can't sharpen because of that mass than the way you get around is make another smart object now this file is going to get bigger because I'm putting things inside other things, but the the reason I do this is I wanna have the option just in case that I print this and suddenly go oh, I missed that completely or I did that's too much I hate the way that cloning looks over there I don't want to start again unable to go back and tweak it so built inside this I've got several levels of smart object where aiken say let's go back one level to get to the blur or another level to go back to retouching and if I really wanted to I couldn't go right back to the camera ross smart object to tweak settings there as well which I wouldn't tend to do because it would affect the retouching layer so ultimately I would say this and this is a psd remember psd has all the layers in this case the psc has the smart objects it's almost I always jokingly say it's almost like those russian dolls that look there's another one that's what's happening here there's a smart object there's another smart object in the eventually you dig down enough to go that's the one I need to get to edit this portion of it. So right now I understand the concept completely just for an example right now if I wanted to go back one to this skin softening I double click on the image and then it opens wide open a document which will have the contents with the one that has the retouching layer I think the soft layer and I did it again so actually here's so here's what we have here is what I'm work is my working version here's the first smart object that has the softening and here's the original smart object it also has the retouching so I have all three available and if I had a big enough monitor I could even do a split screen thing and say white back at this third original one if I redo the retouching layer had saved I would see the one with the blurry face thing update I'd hit save and that it would take the other one and that's the part that I understand the first couple times kind of like say what now but and when you think about it does actually work fairly logically is just like a lot to talk about a very different mindset most people that I know they treat each retouching project as a standalone well that's good enough I'm all move on all merge those and that's ok too I mean for some people that works I find that maybe it's just because it's happened enough that I send someone a photo and they make some a request like oh can you just whatever and for many people that's like starting over again for me most of the time I can go back enough to go yes I can you know, I've had cases where I did everything else and just missed the fact that that there her, the whites of their eyes just didn't look as white as they probably could, starting over again, I would just go back to this level of retouching, make the eyes a little whiter, using it like an adjustment layer with a mask, save it, and then it would progressively update all that other work I've done. So for me is as much as it sounds odd, sometimes to go, you've got how many smart objects inside each other, it's all about efficiency and the ability to go back and not start all over again. Now, do I always do this? No, because sometimes I open a photograph from their teeth look, a little yellowish in that's ok, fix done, I still use an adjustment, larry, just so I can make my life easier, but I end up with, like, multiple, I don't want people think I'm always having, like these crazy, you know, multi smart, obvious, but it does happen fairly often because and surprisingly it for the first couple times I did it, it slowed me down because I was like, ok, so if I put this, and now it just just the way my brain thinks is I need to move on while preserving everything smart up here and get to a point where now I can't do anything further because of the restrictions of smart filters make another smart object and the first time that you have to dig down several levels deep in open several documents that's the part that's a little mind boggling and first is way which one of my on and you just have to look at it and go well there's the riddle smart object with and I frankly I suggest to you beginners that you call these layers something like one hundred percent retouch or whatever just so that if you do come back to you kind of helps you remember okay that's the layer righted the hundred percent retouching this is the one where I have the lower opacity retouching so then why digging down through several documents is not quite as mind boggling of all this stuff going on so when you say several documents when you get to your final picture does that mean you have to open up eight or nine other pictures to get all those adjustments bad it depends how I mean let's go back in this case and just let me close out of these things so I in this particular example to save here this one is my quote unquote final that's the one that I'm my document that you would see in a folder that's all you would see if I decide to start going to go back and edit it, then I have to start double clicking, digging down into smart objects take maybe get to the point and I honestly I mean three is probably the most I don't often have way more than that because that would be pretty unusual, but for we touching or something that I might have this one, I double click to get to the next one I double click one more time and I'm good to go, so you sort of get used to digging down to get to the point where, like, I know there's a layer in here that I want to get to you may have to go okay, so that one double click and, you know, and again that's not everyday stuff, but it for many situations to me, it solves the alternate, which is having to go well, I guess I'll have to keep that for now and hope they don't change their mind, you know? And maybe I'm just, uh, over nervous about something changing, but over the many years I've been doing, this has happened enough times where I thought, I don't want to have to do this work over again or I don't have to remember how they do that that's the other part of it is if you all you have is one document and you need to try and adjust it may not be able to figure out how you did it because you don't see smart films that tell you what the settings were or anything like that. Okay? Are we doing okay with questions from the why world out there? You off? Because few coming through, but I think we're good everything's clear on what we're doing right now. Darrell s was asking what is the drawback of using port merge visible to making emerged copy of all your layers as opposed to making all the smart? Well, I'm glad they ask that question touched on this briefly yesterday, but let me mention again because it does. It is a good question to see the difference so let's use this example I had before with multiple layers of this point, maybe I want to apply a filter everything. Well, me what I now joking only seven joint called the old school way cause I just do it to until about a year ago or more was do this thing called art alter option merch visible. Some people stand visible, which means I'm gonna press all these keys command option shift your control shift ae and will take all my visible layers, make a new layer that's emerged version so now in the theory is I can continue doing something like apply of filter but I still preserved all the layers down below, which is a very good theory. The problem with it is now this is a snapshot of this moment in time, so in other words, if I hid two layers, you can see the layers panel there hidden, but they're certainly not hidden there because that's one single layer that doesn't have those in their anymore if I hide that you can see the difference so that means every time I decide toe edit the underlying layers I have to redo this top player so instead my thinking is this is where taken all these layers and convert to smart object. Now I could do something like and don't ever ever do this I use this filter sometimes just when I really want to show uh where is it? This is like the world's most horrible filter ever. Mmm lovely so don't ever do this, but I want to show you just so it's really painfully obvious that I have made a change that's lovely I would put that in an album in a heartbeat, but it serves the purpose to make it obvious that something has happened right now. This was that merge visible thing if at this point I thought I don't like that floral thing anymore, I have toe delete that merged visible go back and try it again here this is my smart object contains all of those layers, so I just double click toe open it, close this or I should say, hide that layer, save it and as soon as I do and come back here once it's finished saving, you'll see that it updates but re applies the filter, so I no longer have toe what I used to have to do with that merged, visible thing was any time to make change my mind have to delete that layer, make a change, redo that layer, reapply the filter this way, it's happening automatically. So the main difference is now I've got my smart object and that context document, as opposed to a bunch of layers with that merged visible air on the top that I'm constantly having to think about updating and redoing. Now they're still occasions where that merge visible thing might be a good solution is an interim. I'm going to try and see it, but to me, this is I would much rather have this ability to do everything life and make decisions on the fly and see what happens if I move this layer. What happens if I do that? And we talked about layer cops before this? That could also be part of the picture is having layer calms built into this that when I go back to this document I'm just turning on on layer camps and then having an update over here so there's lots of ways where we can combine these things together all right ok so here it was another project I had started the other day that had multiple adjustment layers that I wanted to try different things that was painting with light and doing things with skye this is another perfect example to me where if now I wanted to move on and do something else to it from a filter standpoint I would be taking all of these and making it a smart object even though their adjustment layers and in theory I could just click right in the background layer and do a filter there I would prefer to see everything in context and just take away some of the confusion by saying convert to smart object that's packaged all those layers inside of it and now whatever filter I'm doing like sharpening and again this is exactly the same theory I tend to over sharpen a little bit at first because with sharpening you might want to sharpen the entire photo but especially there's a lot of texture sometimes I feel like they're areas right want a little sharper than others so I don't have any problem with going out and painting on the mass to say don't sharpen this as much as that, and once I've done that, then I would double click to say, but that's a little too sharp let's pull it back to more normal settings, so I'm deliberately trying to show you different variations, but they all share the same theme in mind, which is to say do more than you needed first to make your life simpler, because then you can see what you're doing when you're masking and everything else and then pull it back. I think that the reason I am harp on this so much is that's probably the number one thing when I look at that a whole efficiency time wasting thing is people do sharpening as a smart filter, they go on a mask and they're trying to paint, but they're sharpening like such a little amount that they're like going staring at their screen going, did that make a difference? Can't really see if I'm you know, I'm in the right place this way you can and you're saying, let me make it obvious, make my life simpler and then pull it back. So that theory, whether it's a justin layers or using camera or light rumors will see or smart filters take advantage of that there temporary nature by saying, let me go too much and then pull it back again ok, let me show you one other little example just to get people's minds thinking about all the many possibilities this is not a photographic example to just kind of show you where the way that that things can work make your life simpler so I want to do a graphic that's going to be on like a calendar as an example I just use this example because it's easy for everyone toe kind of sea and relate to hopefully so through this and I want this to be some other color that's little more interesting perhaps just for the sake of argument happened there I did choose a color but apparently decided I didn't want to give it to me because I didn't click ok and the right way okay all right now I want to be able to edit this on the fly so when it next month I want to just be able to change it to you know february or whatever it is um if that was all I was doing, I would just leave it just like this and have a type player because by nature of course type players at it but I want to make it more interesting I want this tohave like a cast shadow that looks like not just a drop shadow and polish up like that kind of shadow that goes off a little bit into the distance and or to do that but I don't want to then have to every time now if I did it in a graphic way of making it just painting it then when I went to the next month I'd be start you know face was starting all over again so instead I convert this to a smart object and then I duplicated so now I have two copies of the same one whenever you duplicate a smart object it's an exact clone so if I ended the first one the second one will change so ultimately that will help me because when I edit either one change it to feb then they'll both change and so that's kind of the first part of this process now I want this to be a cast shadow looking thing so how do I do that because I don't want the shadow to be the same color but here's where you have to put your smart object thinking cap on a little bit if I thought to myself I'll just double click on this and change this to black the problem would be the other one would change the black too because their exact clones of each other so that wouldn't help so the solution is often how can I add things without changing the base color and one of the simplest ways is they used a layer style and it's colored overlay so I just use black so now I'm able to make this type player black and the other one is still its original color I think then I do free transform if you hold down the commander control key norman you're free transformed wants to do like just horizontal vertical but if you hold down the commanding control keeping do kind of skewing type things like this enter so now I've got a bit of my shadow thing happening and the last thing I want to do is I'd like it to be a little blurrier like a real shadow so we'll do a because I was a gaussian blur but technically it was turned the guy's name was actually jauzion galaxy and blue so we'll just make that bloody nose as I'm blurring it it looks yellow because it actually is but it's that colored overlay that ultimately make it makes it look black if I really wanted to because really shadows look a little different I would add a mask to this and take my radiant tool and make it fade out just a little bit like that beautiful so now I save this and it's a photoshopped document no surprise there but in our the terminology the way two things that's also in a sense a template because I did everything in a smart enough way that now that I like the way that looks when it's time to do the next graphic for the next month I just double click on either one of these and put in the new month clothes and save it, and they both update both the type player and the shadow. Now, that took me the first time, probably three hours to figure out because I was like, how can I how can I make black and just thinking ok, but how do you do things in photo shop? And any time you want to preserve the smartness of something but make it look different colored overlay? Well, let me do that smart filter lets me do that the blurriness to the underlying shadow, and then the mask let's meet faded out, so but the beauty of this is once you figure it out once, then for every subsequent graphic it's literally doubleclick type save as so you're not having to rebuild something I've seen over the united, usually with myself, where I create want look great, then, for every subsequent one, it was almost like starting over again because some effect yukos couldn't do in the same way. If there very few situations and photoshopped these days where I find myself thinking, I have to stop there because I can't quite get to the end results. Sometimes in all honesty, it takes a thinking cap moment ago, how could I work around this? But the more I do that the more it's like, ok that makes sense. And once you do this kind of thing once than any subsequent thing, it's kind of think the same way. We'll talk later on about the difference when what I just did there, which was duplicate the smart object, which makes an exact clone and situations where you want to make a second version of the smart object that's not tied together, because for things like editing photographs for both highlights and shadows and things like that, there's. A way to do it where you still keep the smartness. But they're not linked together in the same way.