Hacking Photoshop: Knockout Shallow and Deep
Let's say that I want to convert an image where it's partially black and white, where maybe the sky and the image is completely black and white. Maybe another area is going towards black and white, but not all the way that kind of thing. Well, usually if you end up coming in here and doing a black and white adjustment layer, or use any other kind of adjustment layer that will take all the color out. The problem is you only have one mask here and sometimes it ends up getting that that mask it's so much stuff in it that I have painted in various areas, it becomes more difficult to control it. So let's see what I can do here, I'm going to use the quick selection tool and I'm going to tell it to sample all the layers so can look at everything in auto enhance will give it a better end result let's see if I can get it to select that sky, so I want the sky to be at at full strength. I want that to be black and white, the other parts of the image I want to be ableto have impartial color so let...
's see how I could end up doing that various areas? Well, I'm not even going to use the mask attached to this. I want to use other layers that have masks on them and have it limit where this adjustment shows up here's how I could do that I'm going to create what I would call an empty adjustment layer mean any adjustment layer that would not make a change to the image I could use brightness and contrast levels, curves any of those were few of the others and just never moved the sliders it doesn't matter which one I choose now I had a selection active, so it thinks that it should convert that selection into the mask, so you see it my little mask here? Well, there's a way for me to have this particular, uh, adjustment layer that's empty that doesn't really affect the image cause the layer that's below it to disappear just kind of weird like how would you get this layer to make what's below it disappear that's not usually possible? Well, here's how it's done I'm going to select both layers top players already selected I'll hold shift, I'll click on the layer that's underneath and I'm going to put them into a group a group looks like a folder and you can put two layers orm or into a group by typing command ji like that then what I'm going to do is take the layer that is an empty adjustment has a mask on it and I'm going to go to the bottom of my layers panel click in the letters fx and I'm going to choose blending options and here's the weird part in here's, a setting that nobody uses it's called knockout you consent knockout to shallower deep. What knock out means is allow the contents of this layer to literally knock a hole in whatever's underneath it in the only difference between setting into shallow and setting in too deep is if you set it to deep it means knock all the way down to the background knock a hole in however many layers could be forty layers down there make a hole in it all the way down until this layer ends up affecting the background setting to knock out shallow means on ly knock through the layers that are in this, um group. This thing, it looks like a folder on ly knocked through those, so I'm going to set this the knockout shallow so now notice that this particular layer is causing the sky to come back to false color. So any part of the mask on this particular layer that is white is going to cause a hole to be poked and all the other layers below. If I don't want to poke a hole all the way where it completely disappears, all I'm gonna do is lower the opacity of the layer. I'll click on the word opacity at the top of my layers panel, I'll bring it all the way down and then I'll slowly bring it up to decide exactly how much of this black and white layer dough I want to be able to affect the sky let's just say I want to keep it a full color in the sky now I want another portion of my image to be limited. Maybe here there's a little. This is actually gumball machine I found in the middle of the desert in this weird spot, I would like it to also be in full color. Well, I could do it directly on this layer. Just paint on the mask or I could create a new adjustment layer. Any empty adjustment layer I can go to blending options and say knockout shallow many naka through whatever's in this uh uh group. And then I want my mask to start off with black, so I'll just type command I control I am windows that inverts whatever you have giving the officer what you have, so watch my layers panel see the mass turns black so now on lee where I paint with white on this particular layer is it going to knock a hole in the layers that are underneath so I could come in here and make sure my capacity is at one hundred and I don't have any weird settings from other things I've done earlier and what this allows me to do is oftentimes I have image especially my ones on vintage america have you ever seen him on my website or use a lot of them in my demos is oftentimes I have a tinted black and white look applied to my images but I want a lot of control over exactly how strong it is in various areas and so what I end up doing is I have multiple layers like these all set to knock out shallow I paint on the individual masks with white wherever I want the black and white effect to go away and then I could lower the opacity of each one individually to say exactly how strong should the black and white effect be on this particular object? If I do that to multiple layers now I can control them independently I can click on the one for the sky and adjust the opacity to say exactly how strong should be on the sky click on the one for the gumball machine and adjust it and often times I end up with five or six of these things in order to control individual objects throughout my scene, this could be for any kind of an adjustment, but it's any time you want to have more than one layer, uh, affecting where a particular adjustment shows up, what you need to do is put the layer into a group in on top of that layer, put empty adjustment layers that have masks, and wherever you paint with white on that mask, it will poke a hole right through the adjustment layer so that you could just stack up a bunch of these to control each little element in here. Individually, I might have one for the chair, one for the motorcycle, one for the mountain on then I can dial him up and down with the opacity, and I find it gives me much more versatility and what I'm doing, but it is hacking photoshopped quite a bit because search the internet for knockout deep and see if you can find a single use for it that isn't stupid, you know it's not something that is, uh common to use, but I find it to be useful. Any questions on this? Before I move on, I'm going to close the image seemed looking over there yeah, I was just tryingto trying to figure out howto formulate this one, so harold is asking are the empty adjustment layers all in the same group yes, they're all the same group if you look in here you notice that these adjustment layers there little icons here are indented because they're intended they mean they're inside of this okay if they weren't inside of this they would be all the way over towards the left edge or if I closed the group you'll see what disappears that shows you what's in the group so what's happening is he hears our adjustment these things are set to knock out shallow, which means poke a hole through whatever else is in this folder underneath so that means this is poking a hole right through our adjustment layer causing it to not show up in these air set to knock out shallow knockout shallow means that the only poke through things that are inside of that a group in the reason why use knockout shallows because oftentimes have a bunch of other layers in my document that might have retouching layers and other things and I don't want this to knock a hole all the way down through the background I only wanted to knock through that particular adjustment and so this keeps it the most versatile not for everyone but if you want something where you can have more than one mask to affect one particular adjustment layer this is the way to do it in a fashion where you could have you know ten of these if you want sometimes with complex images especially used for advertising where they want you to adjust every little bitty element. This makes it so you're not limited to one mask and you can do a lot more with it. Cool and d when d heating would like to know, and I'll just preface this with we know every every photo shot master is a little different with the way they work, how much naming of layers do you do? Like the's adjustment layers, especially when you get into like the stacks of those it usually has to do with how complex the images ah hole, if my image only has three layers in it, I usually don't care if their names or not I can pretty much glance at it and figure out what they do. The more complicated the document gets, the more essential it is for me to name my layers and often times with my fine art images, I will literally have one hundred twenty layers and something because I'm tweaking everything until there's absolutely no, no problem whatsoever. And when it gets to be that I really need to name all my layers if I ever planned on opening that file again and trying to figure out what's going on, so it depends how, you know this thing is simple enough. But if I'm using features, I'm not used to it I don't use every day then I might name these because I might think this is a levels adjustment layer I'd name it something like knockout uh mask one or something and named the others knockout mass too or something like that and then I have some idea if I open this image again that if I open this, this might give me a clue that this is a black and white adjustment with some knock out that's what I might call them and then these air knockout mask one or mass too or I might be even better and call this knockout sky and call this knockout gumball um, that type of thing, the other thing that that might allow me to do is occasionally switch between layers based on name uh a little more easily second tell what they're doing so really depends some people are lazy I'm one of those and so it's mainly when I get to overly complex doxy documents that I'm really careful with naming other people need to work in groups where a file gets sent between a lot of different people one person does color correction other person does retouching and so on and if so it's going to be much more essential to always name yours well so it's up to your situation case dependent great thank you, ben all right, let's, try something else. Also related to knock out. I had a friend who's, a photographer in what he likes to do is when he converts to black and white. He doesn't like using one adjustment layer to do it with he wanted to have more than one black and white adjustment layer, and then paint on the mass to control where one applies, and another applies and there's an issue with that that makes that relatively difficult thing to do. So let's, take a look at it. I'm gonna come in here and convert this to just not having any color, either with a black and white adjustment layer or my friend happens to like to use the channel mixer just so you know, with the channel mixer, there is a checkbox called monochrome, and that would convert things too black and white. Then you could move these various sliders, too convert to black and white. Uh, I personally don't like using this as much as I like using a black and white adjustment layer, so I'm going to stick with the black and white with a black and white adjustment. Later, we have these various sliders working control, how bright or dark things that used to be red are I can control how brighter, dark things that used to be yellow are in all of that, but what I might find is that when I move one of these sliders it affects more than one area when I choose the reds, maybe I want certain ones of those flowers toa look dark and other one's toe look light and so therefore this particular adjustment layer all by itself wouldn't be good enough for that, so I want to have more than one black and one adjustment layer but here's the problem if you already have one in your picture and you apply a second one right on top of it now when I try to move these sliders notice they don't do anything, it doesn't matter what color I choose these slaughters do nothing and that's because thie sliders are trying to figure out what color the information is that you fed this adjustment layer at the moment you created the adjustment layer. What did your image look like? Wasn't it already looking black and white and therefore this adjustment layer could on ly see that? So what happens is when you add a black and white adjustment layer it just looks at the contents of the laird's that are underneath in whatever that looks like is what it khun work on so applying to black and one adjustment layers of second one can only see what's directly underneath it, which is the effects of the black and white adjustment layer that's sitting there so here's, how we could have two black about adjustment layers where they can both interpret the colors from the original picture so weak, unmask them in different areas here goes going to do my black and white adjustment layer the sliders won't work, but before I move any of the sliders, what I'm going to dio is go to the bottom my layers panel click in the letters f ax in choose blending options, and I'm going to tell this particular adjustment layer to knock out deep knockout deep means poke a hole through whatever's underneath you until you get all the way down to the background layer, so if this adjustment layer can poke a hole through anything that's under it until it hits the background layer, then it can pick up the color information that's in the background layer. So now if I go back and I try to adjust it now, I can affect the reds differently, and this one will make the flowers dark so I can have a cz many of these adjustment layers, as I would like a pawn on this layer stack is long as each one of them is set to knock out deep, then all we would do is make sure the top layer its mask starts out black because otherwise this particular adjustment layer will completely replace the one that's underneath. Because it's completely obliterating it it's poking a hole through the entirety of it if I invert the mask with command I this adjustment layer is not applying anywhere yet it's up to me to paint in where it shows up so I can come in here with a soft edge brush and say which of those flowers that I want to have a look blackish I'll just come in and paint over the ones that I wanted to look that way so that that second black and white adjustment layer is used but it's on ly used exactly where I paint so for those of you that end up converting a lot of things too black and white and you want a lot more control over it using this technique you never is many black and white adjustment layers as he'd like and if you end up painting on the mask you can control where one affects the image compared to another the only thing is you want the layers that are above the bottom most one to start off with a mask it's black otherwise if the mask is white it allows that layer two completely show up and it will completely knock out any layers that are underneath it so they're not affecting the image at all start off with a layer that's ah mass that's black though in that particular adjustment later will not be affecting the image yet and you can paint with white just where you needed to show up and you could get that kind of control so what? I often do that as I would hold the shift key and I click on the layer mask to disable it to say, what would it look like if this adjustment layer applied everywhere and I'd say, well, where do I want that particular look in this particular case you see the reflection of the flowers at the bottom when I turn off the layer mask do you see it looking better down there? So then I'll go out my brush paint with white just where I liked it better say down there then I would hold shift again and I click on the math could say, where else do I like it better with that particular version? Maybe some of the flowers that I like the look of the black ones I want intermixed throughout here so I come in I say okay, I'm gonna paint just where I liked him better and you can have as many of these slater says you want to do that really fine tune your conversion of black and white, but it was knockout deep that allowed me to do that because usually if you put one in black and white adjustment layer above another that second one is not able to pick up the original color information and so it simply won't work the one thing you have to do here is make sure that the layer that contains the original picture is called background. If I change the name of the background layer so it's, not that special layer called background. All all these layers will knock right through it to nothingness. That's underneath. You know it's. It always knocks when you haven't said two deep knox through until it hits the background. So there needs to be a background layer, and that layer needs to contain your original color picture.