Creating Local Adjustments with the Color Editor
This is something, I didn't show you earlier with the color editor, 'cause it's kind of more designed for local adjustments. But there's a sneaky trick in the color editor, so if we find our color editor, let's just collapse some tools. Bring the color editor up top, and let's say we wanna drastically change, or make some kind of change to the grass in front. Now we could try to mask along the edge, which we could do so, but it's kind of tricky because we've got some fine grass just kind of hanging over the edge here, so even if I'm really good at drawing a mask, for example, I'm still going to get a change to the sea behind. It's pretty difficult to do, or I just have to accept that I'd stay well away from the edge. But, as we can make color selections, we can actually transform those color selections, into a mask, which is really powerful. Let's grab the color picker, and I'm going to pick down here, and we use the same technique as before, and we turn on view selected color range, a...
nd see exactly what we've selected. We've got some pockets here which aren't selected, so if I just expand this out, we can probably get a pretty good selection of just the front, like so. Now straight away, let's turn off view selected color range. In the sub-menu, there's this option, create masked layer from selection. So that will basically take that color selection and turn it into a mask, instantly. And pick out all of those little tiny tricky bits which were really difficult to do. If I do that, we get a small progress bar, like so. And presto, there is our mask. So now I'm free to use any of the tools in the local adjustments tool tab. With this very complex mask, if we look at the edges, see it cut nicely. Excuse me, cut nicely all the way around the edge of that, and no bleed over into the sea or anything. Remember in the color editor, we can only effect the hue, saturation, and lightness. With local adjustments we can use that selection to do anything else. Now, if I want to I can then grab a curve. Now pull a loom of curve on the front, if I wanted to have more contrast. We could add in a bit of structure. Just to bring out the grass a bit more. Another nice thing we could do, as we've got this layer, we can just make the inverse of that if we wish. So if we make a new layer and we call this, sky. I can say, copy mask from layer one, so that gives me the same one. And then we can say, invert mask, which gives me the opposite of that. Now if I want to I could just de-saturate that, make that a bit lighter, and so on. Don't forget you've got those additional options as well. Let's look at another example, something like pulling out the sky. This is something where we can look at the benefit of doing it this way compared to an auto-mask, 'cause we could auto-mask around the edge of that building, it would take a very long time, or we could simply go to our color editor, pick the blue sky, like so, look at our view selected color range, pretty good, say, create mask layer from selection. Takes a couple of second. That gives us this mask, like so, and then now that gives me scope, I could just play around with the sky, if I just make drastic changes, you can see exactly what we've got. I could crop the sky down a bit, let's fix our crop, it's kind of distracting. Just fix that. We can play around with our sky, like so, now really without effecting anything else. And we could do the same before, we can add a new layer, let's call this castle, and say, copy mask from layer one. Which gives me the same, and then if we invert that mask, we get the building and the clouds, like so, which we could then lighten a bit. And then to counter-act lightening the clouds, we could high dynamic range and pull the highlights down a bit. Most of the time, using the color mask or the color editor to create masks is a really fast way to cut yourself around complex shapes and so on. And it's quick, you saw how fast it was to get a color selection, create that mask, that's way faster than having to draw around something. Same for this guy, we could do a very similar thing. We could simply go to the color editor once more. Find our color editor, lets make a new pick, so pick the sky, look at our color range, pretty much just the sky. Say create masked layer from selection. This is a 100 megapixel shot so it takes a bit longer. And then we've got the ability just to sort of play around with that. We could also do the same with, we pick the grasses for example, what kind of color range, that pretty much does the tree and the grass. So once again, create mask layer from selection. Then if you press M to look at the mask, that does a pretty nice job of just selecting that grassline and the treeline which we could then go on to make more adjustments with. And it's just a normal mask, so if you wanted to edit that mask, you could take the erase brush, and then just take out any part of that mask, which didn't need to be in that selection.
Jathy would like to know, is there any way to blend the layers of two masks, to kind of, bring them together?
No, and I have a suspicion, that I've just shocked the viewer. Because you know you can photoshop merge, I guess merge two layers together, but it's not possible. You're limited to 16 layers. You can imagine working with raw data, and lots more number crunching to do than like an 8-bit TIFF or a 16-bit TIFF. We have this 16 layer maximum to give you a good compromise between performance, and the maximum number of masks. 16 is pretty good, it's probably unlikely that you'll need to go more on this kind of work.