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Introduction to Layer Masks

Lesson 8 of 8

Smart Objects & Layer Masks

Rafael "RC" Concepcion

Introduction to Layer Masks

Rafael "RC" Concepcion

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Lesson Info

8. Smart Objects & Layer Masks

Lesson Info

Smart Objects & Layer Masks

a couple of other things that I wanted to be able to show you from here. Let's say I wanted to Let's say that I wanted to take something because you're now in a position where you can you know how to be able to do the masks. You know, pain. You know how to brush. You know, Adam removed. But there are a couple of things that you can do that are gonna be time savers for this. For example, I'm gonna bring back that hat adjustment. Great. And let's just turn off this sharpening adjustment that we did so that I can show you the example. Let's say that I have this hat and what I want to do is I want to be able to take that hat, and I want to make that hat darker, right? I'm gonna come over here and I'm gonna agree. Create a curves adjustment layer and I'm gonna take the curves adjustment layer. And I'm gonna make it darker still like that. And then I'm an invert. Now I would have to come back in with a soft brush and I would have to paint back in now hats Easy writes 10 seconds. But imagine ...

if you did an hour's worth of mask work. You went in and really selectively changed all of these individual components. The last thing that you want to do is to go Well, those things need to be a little bit brighter and have to redo all of that work. So I already did all of that work over here in that mask. Marine option clicking on that. So what if we could take that mask and just use that mask over here? If I single click on this mask and I drag it on top of this mask you're going to notice, it's gonna say, Hey, you want to replace that mask? Sounds like a good idea to me. Click. Yes. And now you're in trouble, right? Because you basically took the mask off of this guy. You put it over here, and now this has no mascot. Also, it's literally changing all of the colors of everything that's said directly underneath it. Not a good look. Instead, I'm gonna just undo that real quick. What I would do is I would come over here holding option key or the all key on the PC holding that down and you drag. And as you drag, notice that it turns into a double arrow. The double arrows, almost always a a copy. So once I let that go, you're still gonna get of same error, right? Like do not error, but a dialog box that says, Do you want to replace that layer mask? Sure, that's fine. But notice now you've taken a copy of that mask and you move that over into that one sections he before, after before, After before. After now, I don't like that Hue and saturation thinks I'm gonna grab that dragged that in and now before, after before After before. After they don't redo the wheel, if you spend a lot of time making those selections When we talked about lassos and brushes and things like that, that stuff is okay. But if you don't have to redo that, don't redo that. Use these masks and move all these masks around. The other thing that I would probably do here for this is if I have any kind of adjustments that I've done for any kind of sharpening. I usually try to just organize all of this stuff. I tend to get very o. C d about this stuff. Here's all of my adjustments, and here's my original image. So what I would do is I would probably just create a folder or a group that sits right here, and I would call it adjustments. And then inside of there I would grab and I would drag this guy and I would drag this guy, and I would drag this guy and just keep them all organized. Now a faster way for you to do that. Many single click on one of these layers shift click on the last one of these layers have them all selected once you have them selected, hold on the shift key and click on the group icon, and it throws all of those adjustments inside of that one group. And now everything is in that one spot, and I could just go. OK, well, these are all my adjustments in the world, said Good. Let's take it even further from here because the concepts have been very easy so far. But we know that what color hides stuff black? What color reveals stuff All right. We use brushes with lower flows or lower capacities easy enough, right? How do we apply that concept? Other stuff. Come over here. Gonna click on file open, and I'm gonna go to my mask in class. Let's take this. I should just open it. There we go. So this is a picture that I took in Dubai. Oh, by the way, these pictures once you guys are working with the class like these pictures of yours to keep. You guys can have these pictures. So there's this one picture of Dubai that you can use or there's this picture over here. Three. That's another picture that we can work with. So you guys can have those as downloads. I mean, they're huge. They're like, 45 megapixel files. So you can do all sorts of stuff like, this is what I took when I was in Dubai. Um, so let's go ahead and let's make some changes to this. Right? So what I want to do is I don't like the tonality of the picture. I think it looks pretty cool. Um, but I want to start bringing in some details, and I won't start working with most of this stuff to show you something. I'm in a single click on this, and I'm a select open object to bring this up as a smart object. We're going to use the same concepts of darkening and brightening. But the problem that I run into and I don't do this all the time so will preface all of this by saying, This is only the type of stuff that I do when I want to really be able to just finish a print right? If I'm going to send something that's gonna be out to a client or to do stuff, this is when I go through, that extra step is not a lot. But it's something that you should probably consider. Remember that when we're talking about curves, adjustments and things like that, you're just pushing and pulling. The latitude that you have on a file is a lot more is a lot smaller when you start working with pixelated images, right? So if it's turned into a pixel, if you could push or pull a file overexposure under explosive file, maybe you could do it this much when you were in raw. But now, when you're inside of pixel based information, it's probably a little bit less So. So what I tend to do is if I want more latitude, I try to push off of raw information more than pixel based information. So I say that to say that I would like to pull some information from down here and I don't like using brushes inside of light room. I think that they're a little imprecise sometimes for me. So what I want to do is I want to be overexposed, this one thing so that I could go back and start making some corrections will mask it and do the exact same thing. Click on this. I'm gonna go to command J to make a copy. And once I do that, I can double click on this one file. And as I do that, increase my exposure because, look, there's a lot of detail in that one area. I'm gonna click, OK? And that's not gonna work. That's socks Look before after both of them look exactly the same. Actually, what I was going for was I wanted to be able to brighten one part, but keep the other one dark, right? This is a actually a benefit of the feature of what you would have inside of a smart object. When you work with smart objects, the concept of the smart object is that any time that you make duplicates of those smart objects, they're copies of one another. So if you update one, all of them should be able to get those changes. In this case, it doesn't help me because I needed them to be different. So that kind of sucks. I'm sure your trip right on this smart object when you right click on this and I want you to select new smart object via copy. Well, that's going to do is it's going to look exactly the same as it did before, right? I'm just gonna go ahead and grab at once. Now, once we do that, I can double click on this smart object. And let's just say that I increase that one now. This smart object is based on raw data. This one is based on raw data. They happen to be different. And then at that point, what I want to do is I want to be able to bring in all of the details that we have inside of that city. How do we do it? tame way. Right, masking. So, what I'm gonna do option click on the mask. Hide that with a brush with a color low flow of white bringing the information that we want from there. If I want to make an adjustment that has something to do with sharpness, what do we do? We merge up command options shift e There's my claw. Add whatever adjustments you want to dio. What do we do then? Take that. Let's just here for for giggles will just use the same high pass that we did the last time. Take that blend mode. We know that with that blend mode for vivid light worked very well. It's a lot. All right, What do we do? Tame way option Click on the thing. Grab a brush Low flow painted on lee The individual sections that you want for that mask and then you're done Show you one more thing. Click on file open And from here I believe that this is another ah section that we have here. Missy, take a look at this file. So I like this. This is Ah, this is out of Dubai. Kind of like on one side, so I think it's true. Mary Beach, GBR General is called. But what I want to do is I want to be able to take this and I want to be able to take the sky and I bring this guy down. This is easy. We know we can just dodge this. Bring this down into a layer mask. That's cake. But do you really want to go across this entire sky and try to figure out what colors blue or selections? Imagine. Every picture that you have is composed of a series of colors, right red channels, green channels, blue channels. You'll hear about a lot about channels when you're working with stuff. So these channels basically what they are, as if you come over here and you go window and you go to channels. It's a color composition of the amounts of colors that you see inside of an image, right? So if you click on red, any areas that happened to be dark don't have a lot of reading up. Any areas that happen to be white have a lot of red in them, and the aggregate amount of those colors in the Green Channel dark areas mean not as much green white areas mean more green. If you go to blue dark areas, not a lot of blue light areas. A lot of blue, right? So sometimes I'll take a look at images and I'll go, Man. What color masks? The black and white rain. It's no different than what we're doing here. Right? So what if I would have used color inside of here as a foundation for creating a mask Grain inside of here? I can go with this Blue Channel. Looks like it has the start ings of what? Looks like it could be a mask. I'm gonna make a copy of that guy. Grab this guy here and make a copy. So now I have blue copy. Doesn't matter what it is. It's not gonna contribute to the picture. It's just something that I'm gonna use later. And once I have that set, I'm like, All right, You know what? I'll use something simple. Like either curves or levels, image adjustments. I'm just gonna go toe levels here, and I'm not really looking to do anything other than just make the dark stuff darker. And the bright stuff Brighter rain over here. Dark stuff is darker. Great stuff is brighter. Kind of like that. And I click. OK, you could get even crazier by actually brushing in here and doing all that kind of stuff. But literally. All I did was take all of that information and turn it into almost kind of like a pseudo mask, right? If this were an actual traditional mask, any areas that would be dark would be disappearing in areas that would be white would be reappearing. Okay, cool. I'm gonna grab that. And now, inside of your channels palette, you'll notice that you have an option here that says, Take that and load that guy as a selection. Okay? I don't mind if I do. Once that's done, I'm gonna turn this guy off. I'm gonna come back over here to RGB now. I'm back to the original image. Let's say I wanna make a darker come back over here because I have a selection already done. I'm gonna go over here, got a curves, take a look a right right here. I'm gonna option click on this mask. It's used that entire channel. And now I can come back over. Move this over here, make the sky darker in kind of in one shot. Once we finish with that, if I need to be able to make that something different Like, I want to change the hue and come over here, I can make a hue site. I'll make a huge change. I'll grab this. Move this over here. Not bad. Oh, I wanted it only to the sky. I forgot option click drag. Replace it Done even better. Still, not only can you do all of this stuff with this, I mean, like, watch. What if I grab this? I merge it because I'm done. Right. I'm gonna do something else. Watch this. I'm gonna make a solid color layer. I never make it black. And then we take the background with the back. I'm gonna unlock the background so you can kind of see it. All right, Now put it up here. So I have a black Matt. Have the picture right there. What if I did this and come over here to the type to and I want to use the horizontal type tool going to use the words Dubai. Once we have that there, that's type, right? Just regular images, but type can also like What if you just command clicked the type tool? Look what it did. It created a selection. You can grab this guy now in a mask it into actual type. Even better still, you can grab this mask like this is what the mass looks like. The mask is literally the words, right. I can grab this, unlock it and move it around. At any point in time, you could just grab it, delete it and you're right back to where you need to be. So the concepts are exact. They're so simple to be able to do brush, adjust, invert, knowing proper brush technique. Knowing how to be able to use your selections gets you into a spot where you can then paint over paint and then just back later. And it's just taking that one concept and tame way over and over and over to any project that you need to do. Thanks so much. Everybody

Class Description

Layer Masks are one of the most powerful tools in the Adobe® Photoshop® arsenal, so it’s essential that you learn how to use them if you want to take your photography to the next level. RC Concepcion will teach you all of the new ways to make selections in Adobe Photoshop® and show you how to use layer masks in your photo projects to correct exposure, enhance color and selectively add details.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Introduction to Layer Masks Resources

E-Book Download

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Dave Sordi

Great class. Lots of really important tips. RC is really good at understanding what question a student might have even before the question is asked. Highly recommend this class.


It is a pleasure to watch him, and he manages somehow to keep your attention from the start to the finish without realizing the passing of time, He explains the do's and don'ts with Layer Masks, how to use each of them and when, I just simply loved the instructor and the class. He is one of my favorite instructor from Photoshop Week 2018, and if I could not buy all the bundle, but I would buy some classes, his are definitely chosen.

Mark Koller

Awesome class, love RC's style. Intro to layer mask is loaded with goodies.