Tightening Up Layer Masks


Adobe® Photoshop® Intensive


Lesson Info

Tightening Up Layer Masks

I'm gonna open up this image right here and what I'm gonna do is show you a trick for tightening up a layer mask okay, so what we're going to do our goal in this image is too create a selection based on color of the green then we're going to add a layer mask to hide the green so that we see through this layer to the layer that's underneath and if we turn off the visibility I of the istock cowboy we can see I stopped blue bonnets and so that's what we're going to put our cowboy on top of we're going to start out with the quick selection tool and as you're going to see, we'll get what appears to be a really good selection but once we mask it we're gonna have the faintest halo of green from the original background still showing when we mask it ok, so I'm going to show you a trick to tightening up that layer mass that we're going to add that will get rid of any halo of original pixels you have left over if you've performed an extraction like we're about to do in my extraction I just mean w...

e're really taking the cowboy out of his original background we're just hiding it so we can put him on a new, more exciting background so I'm gonna seem out of my image a little bit so we can see the whole thing and again I have to be quick selection tool activated and I've got a pretty good size brush going on here because this is a pretty big swath of area that I want to select I don't want to spend all day painting over it okay? I want to get it done fast because I want to be back outside okay? So I just clicked and drag just a little ways and because there's get contrast in this image photo shop was able to grab the area I really want to select very quickly now can come over here to this area since it's smaller I'm going to go down and brush size a little bit and continue to paint and I only have to make one little click and drag and I have what appears to be a really good selection okay, so now I'll go ahead and create a mask somebody click the circle within a square icon at the bottom of the layers panel give that a click and what do we have here the exact opposite of what we wanted never fear go ahead and pop open that masks panel by given the gray area doubleclick and just click invert you could have gone up to the select menu you could have you could have used undue twice or our step backward technique that we talked about yesterday which is command option ziana mac or control all the on a pc and you could have said, select inverse and then added the mask, but that's one more step, then just inverting it once it's already done. You see that? I mean, so don't really worry don't write all if you're masking masks the opposite of what you want, it's no big deal, so I'm gonna go ahead at my mask again. Now, at this percentage, the selection looks pretty good or the collage that I've just made looks pretty good, but if you zoom in and I use my space bar to cruise around, look at that green halo that's left over its pixels from the original background that air loitering in our new piece of art that we've created here. Well, there's a real quick way to tighten up the layer mask. Okay, so here we've got our layer mask over here in our layers panel, I'll go ahead and double click to collapse the masks panel again so we can see our layer mask so with the man ask active and again because it bears repeating, you know, it's acted because on a mac, you've got an extra corner bracket on a pc. I believe you're going to have an extra outline of white, so when the later content is active, then I have the bracket or the extra outline of flight around it. But if I want to affect the mask, I need to click the mass to make sure it's active and it will be active if you haven't clicked anywhere else after you've just added it, okay? It's automatically activated immediately upon creating it, but if you've clicked around on other layers, it's not active anymore, so just make sure that it is active. Now we're going to use a filter tio actually it's going toe increase the size of our layer mask just a little bit, okay, so we're going to go up to the filter menu and we're going to choose the other category it's anybody ever used anything in the other category? So we're going to go down tio minimum and let me move this out of the way. What we're seeing here is a preview of the mask. Well, this preview percentage is set to one hundred percent so that's, why we're not seeing anything, but if I click that minus sign next to the preview, then I can actually see what this filter is about to run on. Okay, so you want to set this radius to be one pixel, and if I zoom into my image a little bit, I'm gonna toggle the preview often on so you can see a before and after. There's the before there's thie after museum in a little bit more make it more clear there's before there's after see how this filter is just tightening down that mask a little bit this is a really great trick to have up your sleeves so I'm gonna go ahead and press ok actually before I do that I'll show you what happens if we increase the radius more the farther you dragged that to the right the tighter here mass becomes ok and now we have elf boy a set of cowboy so for this particular one and you can't go you cannot use point five on this tool has to be at least one pixel so some instances one pixel might be enough sometimes you may need a little bit more okay we can use to on this one and get away with it and go ahead and click ok and now we've got our cowboy on his new more exciting background and we don't have any of that nasty green hanging around ok so that's a good one so let me close that and I'm going to open it up one more time just to show you again okay so we started out this is how we started out we've got our quick selection tool active over here we're going to click and drag to paint onto a selection now we're gonna add our layer mask now here's the point where we could either to select inverse so that we'd have just the cowboy selected and and that's a good that's, a good excuse to talk about that oftentimes it's much easier to select what you don't want and flip flop the selection to get what you do want rather than trying tio select what you really want in the first place, for example, I could try to draw selection of just the cowboy, but he doesn't have as much contrast in his face as the background, so it's easier for me to select the background to get a selection of hume. Ok, let's all do that one more time it's paint and sometimes you can a single click with his tool hey, if if you're contrast, is high enough now we're gonna add our layer mask and if it needs to be flipped flopped pop open your mass panel, click invert now, since we're seeing that little halo hanging around the edges, we're going to make sure their mask is active. It is still cause I just added it now we're going to come up to the field from in you and we're gonna choose other minimum now you'll notice there's a maximum let's say my selection was too small to begin with, and I need tio I need a widen that mask open the mask up, he would use maximum instead but if you need to tighten the mascot due to an edge halo which is what we have going on with those little green pixels lord a ring around the edges you want to choose minimum and for this particular image one or two pixels works just fine. You might have to experiment with that number on your own at home. Any questions on that one? There is a question from angela if you hold the all key when you click the circle in the square but doesn't it give you this election? You want it? Could you know a lot of those buttons down there have they have different actions if you hold out a modifier key if you want to add a layer mass that's filled with black automatically you can command or control click the layer mask icon so I don't doubt that option uh might flip flop our selection as well the great tip you have a question here? Yeah, why do you have the black background layer? Why do I have a black background later? I'm not real sure maybe teo, I think I did it to show you the green halo a little bit more, okay, yeah, I wasn't anything that had anything to do with the image or the closure making yes speaking of background layers since we are often editing them, getting rid of the bad ground layer per se can you explain how if at all that effects transparency in the print quality it would get rid of our background layer there's I seem to recall there some something about that I just can't remember what it is I don't know of anything in particular that it would affect all right thanks question from a regular in the chat room killed thehe after masking out the background on the cowboy how would you deal with the color cast still on the subject and his hat from the spill on the original background and add a light wrap for the new background to add realism uh, you know again that's about full well, I would, you know, run the minimum filter on that mask like we just did to try toe you know, tighten it up we have a lot of folks I know there are a million ways to do things in front of photo shop so a lot of people are saying what about this about that um and so folks there a million ways to do it? I think it's his job I mean, just because I'm I'm showing you the ways I like to do it okay there like canada said there are a million ways there's at least six ways to do every single thing in photo shop so some we are coming up with fabulous other suggestions of variations on this so in the scope of this class, there is absolutely no way that I could show you every single way to do everything because we only get through one technique in four days and how boring would that be? So I'm not sure if you answered this, but, um, carly rocks had asked, is there a way to get rid of the green filter? The green cast from the hat? I'm not seeing a green cast. I'm seeing the edge halo, which is left over green pixels from the background, lord goring around and that's why we use the minimum filter on the mass to tighten the mask up to get rid of that, but I'm not seeing a green cast on that hat, so I'm not real sure, but when we get into retouching tomorrow, we're going to be looking at all kinds of ways to change the color in your image. So maybe one of those techniques might be helpful to have questions I was going to say. When was the last time he had his monitor calibrated that could be covered, cast from from being celebrated? Oh, it could be maybe the cast that they're saying could be coming in front of the monitor not being calibrated, which just means the monitor isn't showing you accurate colors. So many variables on all the modelers yeah there's no way to know that so lisa there's been quite a few questions about you using a mouse versus a tablet a low bites wanted to know do you use a tablet or do you use tablet? Yeah, I don't travel with it, but you know when you're actually doing this you always use a tablet I do not always use a tablet, I use it sometimes if I'm doing serious retouching like one of the techniques were gonna learn tomorrow is a faux dodge a burn phone if a u x so we're going to make the brush tool think it's a dodge and burn tool to use it non destructively on an image and that is such a detailed, detailed fine work, so we're going to use it to lighten wrinkles, light and shadows from double chins we're going to use it to light and teeth and eyes and everything like that we're also going toe switch to the burned the faux burn tool to darken highlights, you know, shiny spots hot spots when I do that, I always pick up the tablet, but my issue with the tablet and they're fabulous is that I am so fast on my keyboard with keyboard shortcuts that it slows me down to actually pick it up so I say the tablet in my own personal use for when I'm really doing that serious hand painting find tuning thing when I have to spend a lot of time with it don't take that as a slide on the tablet at all a zay said it's a fabulous tool and if you have going through the learning curve and you've set up in customized your pin and the buttons on your tablet to be the keyboard shortcuts that you use all the time great, I just I haven't done that yet, so yes, would you use an identical technique if you were working with a green screen that had bled on to your subject? Yeah, absolutely, yeah, so if you shot somebody on a green screen and you would do that if you knew it advance, you were going to swap the background because she's on a green screen just gives you that nice, solid color to select, which makes the masking a heck of a lot easier. So yeah, absolutely you could use the same technique or you could use some of the techniques were about to get into when we use the refining edge dialogue or only use channels to create selections. So this this minimum filter on the mask is really, really helpful to know because like you saw it looked like we had a really great selection until we mast it, and then we saw those other pixels that we're still hanging around so they're financed I lock and help with that, but the minimum filter is distant, easy, fast way to get rid of it, and a quick question from denise g is, well, the minimum filter work when using liquefy as well, she says. Sometimes I get pixel ghosting when I use it, and the liquefy filter is for actually liquefying or pushing around pixels. Hey, you're actually moving pixels around so that's a different technique, so you wouldn't use the liquefy filter to get a selection or make a mask or anything like that. Maybe I don't understand the question, I think the question was, will that minimum filter work when using liquefy? I don't know you can't run a filter, so liquefy is like a third party app that's installed in the program that you can access through the filter menu so it is its own, a little self contained round and there's no minimum, I'll do another question t dog would like to know how does minimum differ from using contracts election? How is it different from using contrasts? Election says they wrote contract selection oh, contract, thank you it's about the same thing. Yeah, it's just with why you're in the refinish dialogue, if you can see the if you if we had used that which we didn't in this case okay, so if you know in advance, you're gonna have that halo. Yeah, you can either access the contract command from the selectmen you under modify. It needs this election. So let me just make a selection, select, modify contract so you can use that, if you know, in advance. But we didn't know in advance that we were going to end up with that halo, because it's election looked pretty good when we made it. So that's. Why? We used the minimum filter, but it is like the same thing.

Class Description

In this special photoshop tutorial, you'll dig into Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 with Lesa Snider, author of Photoshop® CS5: The Missing Manual. There is so much to cover in Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 that we need almost a week to cover everything. In this special 4-day workshop you'll dig into Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 with Lesa Snider, internationally acclaimed instructor and author. Lesa is informative yet entertaining with a unique way of explaining difficult concepts so you understand the "why" behind the "how". Get ready to spend a fun, high-energy week digging into the power of Photoshop.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1


1Introduction: Nitty Gritty Basics + Layers 2Workspace Overview 3Q&A: Workspace 4The Truth About Resolution and File Formats 5Changing Resolution Without Changing Quality 6Q&A: Resolution and File Formats 7Resizing with the Crop Tool 8Cropping with the Ruler Tool 9Resizing with Content-Aware Scale 10Resizing for Print/Web 11Layers and Layer Types 12Duplicating, Moving, and and Aligning Layers 13Q&A: Layers 14Creating Reflections 15Layer Alignment Tools 16Simple Slimming Technique (Resizing Layers) 17Colorizing a Black and White Image 18Creating a Solid Color Fade with Fill Layers 19Layer Masks: Hand Painted Image Collage 20Layer Masks: Gradient Mask Collage 21Layer Blend Mode Collage (Include Load Images as Stack) 1Using Selections Part 1 2Using Selections Part 2 3Q&A: Selection Tools 4Color Selections: Fixing Animal White Eyes 5Tightening Up Layer Masks 6Painting Selections with QuickMasks 7Using Vector Drawing Tools 8Vector Shapes: Creating an Oval Vignette 9Vector Shapes: Rounded Edges to Photo 10Use Channels to Create Selections 11Tough Selections Around Hair & Fur 12Refine Edges Part 1 13Refine Edges Part 2 14Creative Edges on Photos 15Embellishing with Vector Art 16Creative Vector Photo Frames 17Editing Smart Objects 18Smart Objects Template: Creating Dark Edge Vignette 1Smart Objects: Selective Blurring 2Smart Objects: Selective Sharpening 3Sharpening with the High Pass Filter 4Q&A: Sharpening 5Auto Color Adjustments 6Shadows and Highlights 7Using Levels 8When to Use Smart Objects 9Using Curves 10Lightening and Darkening with Blend Modes 11Enhancing Eyes and Teeth 12Changing Colors with Hue/Saturation 13Changing Colors by Hand Painting 14Faux Dodge/Burn: Reduce Wrinkle 15Color to Black and White 1Healing Brush 2Content Aware Fill 3Using Text in Photoshop 4Designing with Baseline Shift 5OpenType Fonts 6Placing Text Behind an Object 7Barely There Text: Faded and Hollow Text 8Pushing Photos Through Text 9Adding Texture to Your Text 10Convert Text to Paths 11Combine Images using Advanced Blending 12Realistic Photo Aging 13Faking HDR 14Wrapping Texture Around an Object