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Luminosity Masking in Photoshop

Lesson 4 of 9

Selective Color Adjustment

Blake Rudis

Luminosity Masking in Photoshop

Blake Rudis

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Lesson Info

4. Selective Color Adjustment

Lesson Info

Selective Color Adjustment

We have an image that has a lot of shadow area in it. But let's say I wanna do one of those cool things where I wanna add some effect and some mood to this and add maybe a little bit of color grading to those darker areas to kinda maybe lift some of that color a little bit. I can use something like the selective color adjustment to do that and really manipulate those black areas there. But I wanna do it on just those shadow areas. So I'm gonna press Control Alt and two, to make a luminosity mask selection, but I need to invert that, 'cause now I need the shadow areas, so I'll press Control or Command Shift and I. Which will then take all that highlight information, and flip flop it and make a selection for the shadow area. Now I can make a selective color adjustment layer, and it's gonna look like a white and black image. Not a black and white image, but a white and black image. Why is that? Because the whites are selecting the shadows now, and not the highlights. So we're using the re...

verse information of that luminosity mask that we pulled traditionally. But everything still works the same. So if I were to pop a levels adjustment on here, and move that level from the black area towards the white area, it's gonna make a better selection for my shadows. Which if you were following me along in the very beginning of this when I'm doing the Control, Shift, Alt, Minus stuff. It's just minimizing the amount of shadow space that I have that this selection is making. So, let's do that really cool thing where we double click here, go into the layer style, do a color overlay that's magenta. Because I just think it's easier to see it this way. We'll click on this layer, mask, we'll go to image, adjustments and levels. So now, it's giving me that magenta overlay, don't get scared, and be like, Blake actually uses magenta in his images. No, I'm just using this to show you. As I take this dark shadow area slider here, move this over, that's the spot that I'll start affecting my image. In that area of the shadows, we'll press okay. If I press alter option, just press the preview button off of the eyeball here, that's what's controlling that. We'll just use that eyeball, turn that color overlay on and off. Here with the selective color adjustment, if you're not familiar with the selective color adjustment, what it allows you to do, is it allows you to add colors, almost like a painter would add, to certain areas of your image. So what you see right here is really cool at first, wait, I've got a slider that says cyan, but what happens when, you know, we wanna add magenta to the image. Or what happens when we wanna add red to the image. The opposite of cyan on the color wheel is red. So if we make this percentage negative cyan, we're adding red. If we make it positive cyan, we're adding cyan. Magenta's complement, or best friend, on the other side of the color wheel is green. So if we drop this down, we'll be adding green to those shadow areas, if we bring it up, we're gonna be adding magenta. Because it's all based on percentages. So if you could consider this, consider yourself a painter with a pallet in front of you, I used to be a painter, a traditional painter, but I'd never say I need 10% green, in my... You know, it just didn't happen that way. But now being a painter coming into this world it's like, oh my gosh, could you imagine if I could get precise colors. So you know what, the color that I put on my canvas was a cyan straight from the tube, which is a painting no no. You mean, I could remove that while it's on the canvas? That's so cool. So what we're gonna do here, within this, is you go within each individual color, so we have the blacks here. We can take the blacks and we can make them more cyan or more red. Again we drop the cyan out, we're getting more red, we bring the cyan up, we're getting more cyan in those dark areas. So it becomes like color grading essentially. So if we pull this down and we get a little bit of red inside those shadowy areas, if I pull this up, I'm gonna get more magenta in those shadow areas, pull it down, more green. That's offensive, don't do it. You'll have people that are really upset with you. We might add a little bit magenta to there, pull it up, we get more yellow, pull it down, we get more blue. Sometimes adding a little bit of blue to those shadow areas is a really nice effect. Pull the black up, we're gonna make it a deeper richer form of black. Pull is down, we're gonna make it white, we're gonna take out black and essentially say, because we're negative 100% black, we're now white at this point in that color range area. Which we don't necessarily want to do that. But if the dark black areas, or the dark shadowy areas in your image are overpowering everything else because they're so contrasting, one of the quickest methods to fix that, is to just come into selective color, go into the black color and just drop it down to about negative or something like that. That just kind of lifts those black areas a little bit so they aren't quite as potent and powerful. But if we look at this and press alter option, and we click on that mask, that's the only place that it's effecting, those white areas are the place that that selective color adjustment is effecting the image. Here's our before, here's our after. Now a lot of this I exaggerate when I'm teaching it. If I look at my screen, it's not that great. But looking at this, it actually looks pretty good. So I've really exaggerated it so you could see what's happening in the difference in these shadows and the highlights here. That the shadows from the highlights, because we're not allowing the highlights to be effected by this at all. Or even the midtones at this point. There's a little bit of the midtones, but for the most part, it's our shadows. 'Cause we've segregated those shadows down. So, another way that we can do this though, that makes it even a little bit easier, I'm gonna give you a little cheat code, okay. So that was your traditional luminosity masking, and we're even gonna play with that a little bit more as we go through here too, but what I want you to see, is that there's even another way that you can do this. Now when we do it this way, we have to make sure that we click on the actual layer that we wanna pull the data from because we're gonna use something called select color range. But that color range has to come from a place of pixel data, and this is the place of pixel data, the difference between pixel data and an adjustment layer is that an adjustment layer knows no bounds. It's like, it doesn't matter what you put me on, as long as... If you put a mask on me, then I know some bounds, cause you're telling me to stay strict to here. But this is an adjustment layer so if we're using color range, we wanna go on to something that has physical pixel data. Then we'll click on this background layer, and this, you're probably gonna be like, why didn't you show me this to begin with Blake. You gotta know everything, right? You can't just know how to do it the easy way. We go to select, go to color range. Now color range is a really cool tool because it's got a lot of different ways you can get data from it. So if we go to shadows, right here, look at that, we just made a selection for our shadows, just by clicking shadows. And we get this thing called fuzziness. It's a cute name, it's like the muppet version of a slider, I don't know, like, fuzziness. Where'd they get this name from? But essentially what fuzziness is, is how much contrast is available within the selection that we're making, okay. The range is how much you want it to select of what is considered a shadow area. So if we have our shadow set down to here all the white areas are where it's gonna be selecting. The fuzziness is how far out it's allowed to go to selecting. So how far on the fuzzy thing can go grab other fuzzy things, I don't know where they came up with that. But it makes it fun to teach with, that's for sure. So at this point, that could be a way to make a shadow mask, right. So instead of having to do the control alt two and all this other stuff that's a luminosity mask. It might not be what's called your traditional luminosity mask but trust me in my tests, you know what I've done, I've gone in, I've made a traditional luminosity mask, for all the things that could be shadows I filled it into a canvas, then I've come over to color range and I've done all this work for you so you don't have to worry about all the preppy nerdy stuff, okay. They make almost the exact same thing. And when I say almost, it's a little caveat, unless you're like a pixel peeping freak, you're not really gonna notice the difference between a color range luminosity mask and a traditional luminosity mask. With that being said, a traditional luminosity mask will make a slightly better selection for you of your shadows and your highlights, and then you manipulate it with the levels, but this is like the quick, easy like, hey dude I need a shadow, cool, here's your shadow, select color range, boom, good. Adjust the fuzziness, whatever that is, we got ourselves a good mask, party time. If we press okay on that, that would essentially be our mask for our shadows. So if I were to make a selective color adjustment, where are you, I can never find you, when I'm teaching, there you are, cause it's not in the place that it should be. And then you got all these color things up here and then you got invert, posturize, oh selective color, that would make complete sense if you were up here, nevermind, okay. So now I've got that selective color on that shadow which is essentially the same thing as making a shadow with a traditional luminosity mask, but making it the quick and easy way. Again, the same thing applies here, if I go into those black areas, I can add blue, to those shadow areas, I can add a little bit of magenta to those shadow areas, and I can add a little bit of cyan to those shadow areas. That's pretty cool. Just get a different effect. Practically the same thing if I click alter option on this selective color mask, then click on this one, they're pretty darn close aren't they. I did one the cheater easy way, and the other one with all the control alt two minus this, whatever. So you know, it just depends on how deep you wanna get into the weeds. Now when it comes to traditional luminosity masking, as you've heard of it here, if you do a google search for it, or if you look on YouTube, you're gonna find that people will make an action for you that when you press play it builds all of those channels for you automatically so all you have to do is go in and click on them. Again, I still think that convolutes the whole thing. It's just easier if you say, you know what, I just need a mask. I need it to my highlights, let me make the selection for what that's gonna be.

Class Description

Luminosity Masking has been the talk of the town for a while in the photo industry—and for good reason. It’s one of the easiest, most effective ways to create striking images that cover a wide range of levels of light. The idea is to separate the luminance data from your image, make a mask and edit the data independently. Blake Rudis will begin by walking you through the basics of Luminosity Masking, and then will address some of the more advanced uses. Once you master this awesome tool, you won’t know how you ever got by without it.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018



Great great great. What? You can do that? And easy Wow. Wait, you can do that too and so easy too? Wow! (ratta tat tat useful stuff)

Bhaven Jani

Amazing class, so top notch, to the point, and made easy to understand. Yes, luminosity masking is not an easy topic, it is complex, I have been using PS for several years and it still took me a while to get my head around it. But Blake Rudis makes it so engaging and intuitive to understand. And guess what, once you understand LM, you won't be able to edit images without using it. its so powerful. Thanks a ton for this class.

user e5ab02

I've been using PS for quite some time and have avoided this technique BECAUSE it's a bit tedious getting to the meat of what this tool can do. It is however well worth it. Blake has done a great job in presenting this and showing how it can best be used. He DOES NOT in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM seem overbearing or egotistical. On the contrary, he seems very approachable and is well aware that what he's teaching is a very dry subject and is trying to make it fun and graspable. Do NOT pay any attention to the reviewer above who says he is...that says so much about the reviewer's insecurities.