10:00 am - Lab Mode: Selections


Photoshop Mastery: Ultimate Mastery


Lesson Info

10:00 am - Lab Mode: Selections

Now lab mode can be used for other things. For instance, it's sometimes easier to make selections in lab mode that it is in rgb or seen why came out let's see if we can, uh, see that, uh, what I can do is if I end up switching over the lab mode, then I go to my channels panel let's say I want to select the word antique. Well, if I click between these channels are click on the lightness you noticed that there's really no separation between the word antique and the surrounding because brightness wise, they're about the same if I go to a just a little bit of a difference and be always look kind of weird, but if I gotta be, do you see how that kind of pops out? If the thing you ever want to select is different in color than its surroundings? What you're going to find is when you go to the lab mode and you switched between these various channels, whatever that is you're trying to select is just going to jump out in one of the channels if it's different in color. So if I want to select somet...

hing that's different color than its surroundings and I'm having difficulty when I'm in rgb mode. Then it might be worthwhile heading tto lab no to try to make a selection. I'll show you how to do it in a moment, but just know if it was easy in rgb mode. There's no reason to go to lab mode unless a client's watching over your shoulder you know, they used photoshopped, they'll have no idea what lab mode is, so make it look like things are complicated, but it's only when you had difficulty in rgb mode that I'd head over here, so what I would do is I wanted to select something is I wait, go to the channels panel, and I would click on the various channels a and b to see which one makes the object I'm trying to select jump out, then I would take whichever channel that is, and I would duplicate it to duplicate it. Click on the name of the channel in drag, the new channel icon it's, the iconic looks like a sheet of paper with the corner turned down like that. Once you've done that, then you want to adjust it, and I usually using the levels or curves I find people are more comfortable with levels that's only reason I had there, I'm mainly in curves for everything, but what we want to dio is we want to attempt to make the area we want to select either solid white or solid black and its surroundings the opposite of that uh, the way we can do that is with these little eyedropper tze you see these guys, the eyedropper that's full of black makes things black, so if I click on that and I click on the surrounding area, boom black, grab the other eye dropper the one that's full of white, and click on the area that I want to have white boom white and the way channels work is the areas that are solid white could end up meaning selected. And so just think about this means it's selected because it's white, black means not selected that's how some channels can work with this little eyedropper that's white I'm just going to continue to click on here in areas that are showing up within the word that's there and tell the whole thing, hopefully turns white. All I'm trying to do is find the darkest area within the word, but it's not immediately apparent. You just click anywhere in the word and whatever's left over that isn't white, yet. It was an area that was a little bit darker than what you've clicked on and to just keep clicking on things that are still showing up within that word until it turns solid white do the same thing with a black eye dropper so you clicked on the surroundings but I still see some stuff showing up so click on something that's still showing up and it'll force that too black click on some stuff it's still showing up until you can get it to be mainly solid black in the surroundings in solid white in the thing you want selected now what I'm doing this I'm on leash thinking about the area immediately surrounding seen the area I'm trying to select I don't care about this thing in the upper right I think that's a tree or the bricks on the left, those are things we can easily get rid of it just where whatever it is I wanted to select is touching something else, so I think I got that to be relatively clean and I'll click okay now I want to clean up the rest of this channel I need to get it so the rest of the channel in this case is black, so all I'm going to do is grab my lasso tool and with a lasso tool I'm gonna circle around this and the only place I need to be careful is on the far right where I see the the little part of the letter s touching some bricks and that's where I will have to actually trace that edge get to be precise like that so I have this area selected that is the part of the image it looks fine I'm going to go to the select menu in choose inverse to say give me the opposite of what I currently have and therefore I'm gonna have the selection of all the surrounding areas and I'll go to the edit menu just say I want to fill those areas and I'm gonna fill with black we just went to the edit menu chose phil all right? I'll just click to get rid of my selection and then I might touch up the rest of this using a paintbrush tool because you see just a little bit left over, so just grab your paintbrush and paint with black or white whatever is necessary in this case and paint with black just right in here I got a touched up a little bit feel little spots to get it nice and clean and then you can hit the little double arrow near your foreground background colors to switch over and paint with white and you clean up any areas in the middle of your letters that aren't clean switch back over the black just touch it up a cz muchas he need thio wherever you couldn't get it to separate but starting off with that channel from lab mode well often make it easier to make selections if the object you're trying to select is distinctly different in color that its surroundings because you'll find it really separates better in those a and b channels so here I have the selection now I can load that selection what happens is in the channels panel you can click on the top most channel that will get you back to your full color image then you have that channel we've been working on that's a spare down here at the bottom and there's a couple different ways of loading it but one of them is to drag it down to the icon that looks like a dash circle if I click on its name down the bottom left is a choice toe loaders a selection and soc see how I had that area got it nicely uh selected but I only do that if you find it difficult to make this election in rgb mo don't go toe lab mode for everything because it takes a little bit more time sometimes and you get to your brain out of its normal mindset so on lee go in there when you find that whatever it is you're attempting to select is distinctly different in color than its surroundings and you had difficulty in rgb mode then pop on over to lab mode and check out the and be channels see if that particular object separates prints background if it does duplicate that channel and adjusted using levels to get you solid black and one area solid white and the other sometimes you have to touch it up with a brush, but it can be nice and useful for making selections. One thing you could do is any time you change between modes, the quality of your image goes down the tiniest bit so it's a little bit less than ideal to goto lab mode and switch back and go to lab mode and switch back. So if you want to maintain the absolute highest quality, what you could do when you're done is click on that channel in your channels panel to make it visible and just select all and then copy of copy the contents of this, then take your picture and revert. It is if you've never played with it ever in your lifetime. Therefore, are we back in rgb mode, I will have made no change to the image. It will have never gone toe lab mode because I reverted back to the original. Then at the bottom of your channels panel, you can add a brand new channel, the little new channel icon, your viewing it just paste. I just type command v, which is paste and you put it in there that's optional. You could've just switched the mode of your picture back to rgb, but know that every time you switch modes, the quality of your picture goes down the tiniest bit, so if you wanted to just avoid any kind of quality change at all. You could do what I just showed you it's completely optional, though, or you could have worked on a duplicate version of your document, and when you're done, copy it over so selections you just want to think about is the object I want to select distinctly different color from its surroundings. If that's the case, then that's a clue that you might want to think about lab mode. All right, you do have to be very careful when working in lab mode. It's overly easy to make areas too colorful by pushing the curve too far, but let's, take a look. Got a lab mode and, of course, go to curves. Curves gives you the most control, and in order to see the lab sliders always click away from the mask. If you ever find the lab readout up here, just looks odd. That means you're foreground color it's set to an odd color because this just reflects what you're four on color currently is so if you clicked on your picture and your purple selected or something, these sliders will be moved. So if you want it to always look like this, which really tells you what's going on in you're a and b channels where it tells you if you push it up, you go towards this color, push it down, you go towards that would be pushing up. You go towards this down to go towards that just zero out the sliders. So they point red at thes little center lines and make sure the color you're looking at is not too dark. So if it ever looks really weird, you know where the colors just like that's, not what I'm used to just zero out the slider hereby put it right where it points at that little tick mark do the same for this one and that just make sure it's not too dark, it's only if you clicked on a color within your picture where you've changed a foregone color, that this will be messed up. But if whatever it is that's what I do to get it back so let's just take a look. What can we do here? Well, I don't want to change the color of this wall if I don't want to change the color of wall, that means I want to add a dot to the curve and I don't want to move it, I can do that manually to the individual curves or if I held down. Two keys on my keyboard shift in command I can click and it's an added dot to all three of the curves for me. So I go to this area right here that's where I don't want it to change ah whole downshifting command you don't click then I would like to make the dried peppers I think that's what those are on the left to look too like they separate moore from the wall and just find two in their color, so I'm going to move my mouse, then on top of the peppers and if I want to, I could work on the individual channels and click on it, or I can have it at the dots. All three curves automatically it's up to you let's go here too, eh? I'm gonna click on the pepper and I'm going to move this upper down to see what happens to the pepper you see it becoming warmer if I move it up always, if you move up, it gets warmer if he moved down nick it's cooler so I want to make that a little warmer, but remember, I don't usually go beyond this line right here because that's like way too much going to nuclear color, going to explode, picture breaking a part that kind of stuff so I can put that up there then I'll go to the b because there's two different channels that control that again click on this and if I want it warmer, move it up, ignore the door. I'm looking at the peppers right there, move it down and it seems to me like it's, not affecting the peppers much uh, in this particular case, but let's see if I can get in there a little more accurately, no that's fine. If you can't isolate it in one particular one, it just means you're not much of that in there and you could get rid of that dot want to find two other areas let's say want to come in here and work on the door? Well, I think about in my little lab panel hear if I got thes throwed out well, what color range? So I think I need to shift them towards make a little cooler towards blue towards yellow that's gonna be my baby is going to be making those shifts where a is going to go between this kind of greenish in the magenta. So if it's obvious, I'll just choose the one eyed like click on my little door here, push up if you want it warmer, pushed down if I want it cooler, do the same thing in the aim fine tune that color but know that it's overly easy to make things too colorful if you make too much your curve go way up or way down it's going to become too colorful so let's see what might happen if that happens, what you're going to find is you will start to lose detail if you make something too colorful if you push this beyond remember that little horizontal line on me and if you go further than that and further than it, you're going to start losing detail where if there was an area where you could see the, uh, grain of the wood or the texture of paper or whatever the detail is in there, suddenly you're gonna start to lose some of that and it's just going to start falling apart also, if you're ever going to end up going to see him, why k mode then you're going to be very easy to push things into the unprintable zone, so be very careful with limiting what range you end up using in your images. So in this image I want to keep the color of the light part of the horse the same is what it currently is. I want to get a more dramatic difference between greening yellow and that I want to find to the color of the horse where it's not light if I ever think that I don't want to change uh particular area I hold down two keys on my keyboard shifting command I click on that area so it adds a dot to all my curves and I don't move those dots therefore that color shouldn't change then I can come in here and work on these individual channels. Maybe I go to the a I click on the green stuff and I'm going to move it to see how it's becoming more distinctly green don't push it too far though you can easily get things look artificial there's not just one channel though that affects that area there's two we've worked on the eh let's go to the b in that let's see what we're getting if I turn off the eyeball here's before do you see that the greens and the yellows look a little bit more similar where's here they're becoming a little bit more pronounced lead if but I'm not liking the yellow so much so let's adjust the yellows end up clicking on the yellows at a dot one direction move it the others see which one release helping it out the most go back to my a that's already really close to ah dot that's already there so I'm gonna have to manually at a dot if I want to adjust it now I think the color of the horse is looking rather boring esso I can come in here and work on either air b and click on the horse itself move it up we're down a member up is gonna warm down it's going cool do the same thing in the opposite channel just if you move your mouse on top of it there's already adopt there then it's going to affect more than one area at a time yeah, I like it when that's up like that throw off my eyeball before after before after I think the greens and yellow separate better and the color of the horse has shifted to something I might like more so any time you want to separate colors more lab mode is the place to go any more questions popping up? You bet you bet then we sure do. Let's start with paolo photo wants to know was just noticing you are working in a destructive mode. Do you recommend making a copy first? Sure. I mean, if you want to work in a non assertive fashion you could work on a copy. The main thing for me is if I do this with an adjustment layer what's underneath is the original picture so depends on how you define the scrap descriptive in that if I turn off this eyeball there's the original and so it's not not destruct have not particular way but if you want to be ableto always get back to the original that would be a fine thing to do when I'm done, I can always convert this image backto rgb mode if I want to do more changes on it or whatever but I try not to dress over too much, you know, it depends on your personal workflow and I'm not going to try to talk everyone on earth ended to thinking that way so uh but you're welcome to I'm going with you on that I was doing that yesterday just one old guy and I've always worked destructively it's kind of hard, you know it's like when you're working on stuff just just do it something yeah, I mean, I get the night constructive things sometimes you end up with too many files I always keep my original raw file that my image was captured from and that always is something where photo shop is incapable of changing the original raw files, so I know I can always get back to that version and then when it's convenient, I do things in an nondestructive way, but if it's not something that is helping me, I don't think I'm ever going to need to get back I'm not stuck on doing it that way yeah, cool uh phil birdie too would like to know do you ever find a use for multiple l a b adjustment layers yeah d'oh what can happen is sometimes when I just one area of my picture another area messes up and I tried to fix it by adding extra dodge to the curves and, you know, finessing them, but sometimes I just can't get it to fix another area so often times I'll have more than one lab adjustment layer and I will paint on the mask attached to each one to control where each one of those is affecting my image. So for instance, in this image, I might find that if I come in here and goto lab mode and apply a curve, I might find that it by coming in here in messing with the one area here making it more green making the sky which has looks like almost no color but forcing it to something in doing the same in the b that the bottom portion of my image might end up getting messed up let's see what ends up happening. I'm not certain in this image, okay, let's say I want that kind of a separation between the aurora that was there in the background. Now look at the snow at the bottom you see becoming blue in that type of thing so I might not either want to come in here and try to neutralize this area it might not be able to somehow so I'd end up coming in with my brush now and any time you have an adjustment layer it comes along with a mask yes and you'll have to click on that mask to make it active because we've been clicking away from it just so our color panel could read out lab but if you click on that's make it active now I could paint with black and say don't affect this area down here at the bottom but then I might decide I want to find two in the area at the bottom and so I might end up doing another adjustment that only affects the bottom in tweak it with lab uh there's a little trick if you'd like to work on the opposite area on what that is is here we have a mask and any time you paint on the mask only areas that are white or affected when it comes to a new adjustment well now I want to do in another adjustment that affects the opposite of that so how the heck can I do that? Well there's a way to load this is a selection where the areas that are being affected will end up being selected and the way you do it is you hold on the command key control on windows then you move your mouse on top of that mask if you have the command key controlling windows held down when you click you're going to get a selection see my selection got that by command clicking on the mask and what it does it selected all the areas that the mask or allowing this adjustment to effect if I go to the select menu and choose inverse, it'll give me the op opposite. So now I got the bottom in. Therefore I could do a different curve whenever you have a selection active. If you make an adjustment layer the mask that's attached to it automatically gets filled in, so it thinks the only area want to work on is the area that selected. So that means the areas that are not selected is going to turn black in the mask. So when I choose curves, if you look at my layers, do you see how I have, like, pretty much the opposite of the other mask? So now I could adjust just that area? Maybe I want to come in here and take this area in the background, which to me looks a little on the yellow side, click and move it up toe, warm it up and actually on the lightness. Here, let me go air b, click on that. Maybe I want to get it right in the middle vertically. Because the middle is where gray is gonna be clicking here, get exactly to the middle. And then maybe I want to do a similar thing with the motor home, which would be a dot about there making sure that it stays neutral a swell all he did was at a dot for the snow in a dock for the motorhome and made sure they're in the middle vertically that therefore they're neutral and that's. That was great because we do have a couple questions about stopping multiple colors stopping, but well from shifting from shifting. Yeah, yeah, it's a matter of adding dots for those colors and seen if you can leave them where they started, if you look at a curve, you're going to find whatever you move the curve, it'll show you the original as well. Do you see the diagonal line that's in here, that's where you started and so if there's ever something that shifted and you didn't want it to what you could do is find whatever that object is and try to click on it, and I don't know if I'll be able to have one in this particular image, but click on it and just try to move it back to where it used to be, meaning move the curve back to where that diagonal linus and it means you're not making a change at all, but sometimes if you're simply not able to isolate an area uh, then you're gonna have to work with separate curves and there is a trick that I use there is well and let's see if I can show that to you let's say I was working on no this image and I did something to it when I was in lab mode and whatever it is is that I did to it I liked what it did to the image overall, but it didn't like what it did to the sky so right now I'm just doing a random adjustment where I'm going to make more pronounced difference between these greens over here and these reddish tones over here and in the process of doing so I'm assuming that the sky might get messed up try to do it with extreme enough where the sky might screw up take me a moment now sometimes the mass up I can fix like right now the shadow next to this rock do you notice it becoming blue? So if I look in my, uh color swatch the blue is is the b isn't it means towards blue so I go over here to the b and I could try to click in that shadow and moving back to where it used to be. So if you see the diagonal line that's in here and move it to where the dying linus and watch the shadow you see it going back to the color usedto have but let's say that's, not the case let's say the skies shifted in away. I really didn't like here's something that I frequently need to dio to limit where this affects my image, one of the things that I could do is with that adjustment layer acted, I can go down to the letters fx in when I click on fx there's a choice at the very top it's called blending options, and when I choose blending options, I get this thing. We've talked about these sliders down here called the blend if sliders in the past, but we haven't used them yet when we're in lab mode, if I choose a or b, you'll see that these little slider bars show me magenta in kind of a greenish or over to be the yellow in the bluish, and what this allows me to do is if I work with the choices called this layer, it will allow me to hide the adjustment from areas that are this color in general, we're hide the adjustment from areas there this other color, so if it's the blues in my image that I did not like and I don't want them to change, I would go in here and just switched between a and b until I find the blues. You can see him right here, can't you? And I'll pull this little slider over and as I do watch what happens eventually to my sky in the shadow under the rock, the very top of my photo, I'm starting to see it the adjustment is going away and bring me back what I usedto have bring this all the way to the middle and it should get it out of all the blues so that those areas of my picture, the areas that are in this general color range in my picture, are not being affected by this change. The only problem is, when you bring this over like this, you can end up with abrupt transitions. Where if the sky let's say, where the clouds are are kind of yellowish or something, you might see a really abrupt change where it suddenly stops affecting your image. So any time I bring that over, I also split this little slider into two house. And you can do that by holding on the option key alton windows. He was pulled apart like that. The further you pull it apart, the more of a gradual transition you would get. But I find that I usually need to pull it apart a little bit to get a smooth transition. So if it's ever one of the colors that you can shift things towards and lab mode meaning that it's the scion ish or a yellowish or it's, a greenish or magenta ish color within your picture that you did not want to have change? Then that's, when I would head into that particular feature. And the way I got to it is when the curves adjustment layer was active, I went to the bottom. Why layers panel? I clicked on the letters. Fx, it's, the very top choice that gets you there.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

Throughout this series, we've covered many huge topics (retouching, adjustments, collage, etc.). In this final installment, we fill in the gaps between big thoughts with the more subtle concepts that are essential to taking full control of Photoshop. This is the stuff you rarely see taught, but true experts use on a daily basis. I'll start by revealing a bunch of hidden and hard to find features that you probably don't know exist because you have to type odd keyboard shortcuts or go through other loopholes to find them. I'll then show you how far you can push your adjustments before they start to lower the quality of the image. We'll do that by popping the hood in Photoshop to reveal how those adjustments may be harming the underlying integrity of your image.

I'll then show you how to manipulate Photoshop's features to get them to do things they were not designed to do. This way, you can extend Photoshop further than even the programmers envisioned. I'll also talk about many of the little features that never get covered in classes but are overly useful. Finally, we'll dive into a few geeky features that are not for the faint of heart like variables, apply image and calculations.

Whether you're still fairly new to Photoshop or you're an advanced user, there is sure to be techniques in this class you will want to add to your mental toolbox.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0


Lemmi Kann

I just started to get familiar with Photoshop and know the basic. After watching just first three lessons I am totaly blown away - I can see how much far I can go with editing my photos, what possibilities I have. I edited some of my photos and they look way better now! Ben Willmore is excellent lector and I encourage the beginners to buy this class too. It's easy to understand and follow if you already know what is layer and mask.