Feathering and Refining a Mask


Getting Started with Composite Images


Lesson Info

Feathering and Refining a Mask

Feathering and refining so we looked at this image with the earlier session on targeted adjustments. Now, instead of making an adjustment for the sky, we're going to replace the sky look familiar, so same basic concepts as we've seen in a variety of examples and same basic concepts that we learned a little bit when we were looking at targeted adjustments in the earlier session is going to create a selection for the sky and amusing the magic wand tool in this case, and using a relatively low setting for tolerance, I've turned off the contiguous setting so that I can create this discontinuous selection of all these various areas of the sky, and then I'll just hold the shifting click on additional areas as needed until that selection looks to be pretty much perfect again. Another example of a situation where seemed easier to create a selection of the sky than of the rest of the image. But in this case, what I want to keep is the bird and the stick, and so I actually have the opposite of t...

he intended selection so I could invert this election or just create the layer mask and in vertical air mask either way is perfectly fine, I'll go ahead and just use a keyboard shortcut control shift I on windows command shift I on macintosh to invert the selection, and then I will add a layer mask note once again the bird layer of the top layer here is the active layer and so that's where the layer mask will be added the bird and the stick those are the branch I guess I should say those are the elements that are selected so they will remain it's the sky that will be blocked or that will disappear and sure enough there we have it totally believable, totally realistic and if we zoom in not too bad a job I might want to feather so I could kind of blend things a little bit if I blend too much. I start to see the original sky, but once again we can go into that mask edge option and I can apply a little bit of feathering and then I can shift that edge so I can shift the edge so that I'm seeing more of the original sky or more of the new sky cutting into the bird a little bit. I don't want to cut all the way into that bird. I want to make sure cutting in at exactly the right about there approximately and we have already seen in an earlier session with this oh my goodness where did the chin feathers go? But once again I can use this refined radius tool, which is active by default in this refined mask dialogue I can just paint over those whiskers and try to blend them together now when we're making an adjustment, this will blend a little bit better than we're going to see here when we're blending a composite image notice that it just sort of gives the bird a little bit of a haircut there to trim away those feathers because now we're blending very different things. I mean, not very different because they're both sky but very different because once guys kind of bland and the other sky is pretty dramatic, so zooming back out of clicked okay in the dialogue there to close it now I can turn off my layer masked by holding the shift key and clicking on the thumbnail for the layer mask and off and on. So now we've got a much better blended result again in this case because the difference between that's guy and this guy is so dramatic it's really difficult, not impossible, but it's difficult to blend those chin feathers? Well, you could get in there with a very soft brush with the reduced capacity and kind of gradually paint those in. I'm not sure that it's necessarily worth all the effort. We've got a little bit of a little hint of those and they're kind of translucent anyway, so I think it works out ok in this case, so little more cleanup work would probably be necessary again that trick of always zooming out to evaluate it'll make you feel much better about the image because you won't notice all those little mistakes zoom in really close and you thought oh no we've got some clean up work to do down here as well once again I could just grab my brush tool for example and in this case I want to reveals some or sorry wanna block do that I want a block part of this guy to reveal this guy below and so I'll paint with black and you can see I can get rid of that little halo in theory I could find settings in that mask edge dialogue that will allow me to blend the branch here absolutely perfectly as well as blend the bird absolutely perfectly what are the odds you'll have to concert consultant murphy's law for that I usually find the odds are pretty slim so one of the unpleasant truths of layer masking of creating composite images is that you're often going to need to get down zoom in really close and really scrutinized the image and paint very carefully in small areas of that layer mask to blend things together I would love it if photoshopped could always make everything absolutely perfect automatically in fact I just want to get a headset and you want to sit back and say photo shop will you please take the lilac breasted roller and the branch and blend them into this much better sunburst sky boom thank you would not be nice someday it's gonna happen going home time maybe, but it's going to happen but in the meantime it it can be a little bit frustrating you can involve a lot of kind of detailed work we've got to get in really close and paint with a tiny brush but once you've got those fundamentals it's really the same thing it's just azizi it's just a cz wonderful it's just that it takes some time sometimes a little bit of work night I did say that it was going to be ridiculous, right? So let's will actually, well, maybe we'll do one more image after this we'll see we'll do some blending. We're going to clean up some issues that we've got here with this image and so one of those issues well, a couple things one of those is that the bird obviously needs to be bigger no so here's my image originally of a sparrow sitting on the edge of a park bench and here it is blended into the beach a beach and I think this is in maine or maybe it's massachusetts I don't remember, but somewhere along the coast with a nice pier here and lots of people admiring the bird and so first off the birds should be really on the beach, not in the water well when I've created a composite image I can still move those layers around so I grabbed my move tool letter v on the keyboard and I make sure that the image is active you know what it is they selected image and that the two are linked together it's possible that unlinked your image and your mask I'll show you an example that in just a moment I can then move the bird don't don't don't don't always go wrong music that's for shock all right, that looks perfect much better but I also need to clean things up you might have noticed that I was dragging the bird around that we've got this little weird little streak along the edge here a less than perfect layer masks all click on the thumbnail for the layer mask letter b on the keyboard make sure that my foreground color in this case is set to black increase the brush size as needed et cetera et cetera and I go through and just clean things up that's part of the real background yeah that's good that looks like it may well clean up these feathers kind of straighten things out a little bit there that looks nicer. What about down here? Oh, look at that. I made just an absolutely perfect layer mask for those let's call them talyn's such it's since it's such a large version of the sparrow but what is actually horribly wrong with my perfect layer mask that's, right. What's up, it's. Too clean. Have you ever seen a bird on sand hovering magically at the top of the sand? No, the claws they're going to blend in, so actually want to paint with black to block? Part of the cute little bird's feet here. Well, acute big bird, not that big bird, but a big bird. And I blended in a little bit. I'm gonna blend this in a little bit, you know, let the feet kind of sink into the sand a little bit. So I want to make things a little more realistic by blending my harden up that brush. He's a little bit smaller brush. So, again, shift left and right square brac the keys to increase or decrease the hardness and then just left and right square bracket keys to adjust the size of the brush. And I just want to kind of blend things in so that looks a little bit more realistic. I don't know. What's peeking out under here. Uh, actually, we'll just covered up because it looks like some toy left on the beach and it's just clutter. All right, I can also re signed. So if I select that image layer once again, make sure things they're linked, the layer, masking the image, layer our length. I can go to the edit menu and choose free transformer control, tian windows command tian macintosh, and then I could hold the shift key toe lock the aspect ratio, so I'm not stretching and skewing the bird, so hold the shifty and drag a corner. Shall we make it sparrow sized? No way we're going to make a giant, enormous that's way more fun, alright, so something like that, obviously there's, a bit more cleanup work to do here. We already know how that works. I'm not going to worry about fixing that.

Class Description

Compositing allows you to bring together the best elements of separate images into a single masterpiece, but doing it well is often tedious and complex. In Getting Started with Composite Images, Tim Grey will teach compositing techniques that simplify the process.

Tim will demonstrate “automatic” methods you can use to create composite images in Photoshop. You’ll learn about assembling a composite panorama, working with focus stacks, and high dynamic range (HDR) images. You’ll learn how to create seamless layer masks and how to ensure an object placed in a photo matches in terms of tone and color. Tim will also teach you how to resize and reposition objects so your composites come out beautifully.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2



This is a beginners course, with some very handy tips for advanced users also. I am considering myself an intermediate one :), but enjoyed this course a lot! Tim's style is very relaxing, entertaining, and you can learn a lot! I want to see more of this teacher, in advanced setting. Worthwhile buying this course!!!!!