Masks and Filters


Photoshop Mastery: Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Masks and Filters

I worked on a few other images just to show you some other examples eso let's take a look here with this image I remember when I showed you a sheet of paper that was like handmade paper and I said you could use this well I took that handmade paper and put it into a mask and that's what's limiting where this particular image shows up if I look at the mask to view the contents of the mask you can hold on the option key alta windows and click on it there is that sheet of paper in there the only thing I did is I just did it with levels to try to get the middle close toe white on the background close to black because black hides things white shows things if I didn't want these little see through areas in here I just grab my paintbrush paid him out with white but I don't mind having little kind of holes in my image could be kind of nice to make it so it's not quite as consistent option click the mask to make its here no longer viewing it and the only other thing I might do here is go to the ...

bottom by layers panel click on the letters fx and add some effects ad maybe we'll devlin and boss or a drop shadow in this case I'll just put a drop showdown shadow on give it a little bit more dimension when I chose drop shadow from that menu at the bottom of my layers panel, this showed up. One thing you might not be aware of is when you're creating a drop shadow in that way, while this dialogue boxes open with all the settings, you can click on your picture and drag to move the drop shadow. If you see a little peace up there. That's justcause. My layer mask is attached to this doesn't have any more information up there, but I'm just going toe to about here and then I could bring up the size to control soft the edges and the capacity to control of darkness. And I can also click in this list if I click on the name that's. Here, it'll turn on the feature and show me the settings for the feature, and I could add little bed linen boss, large issues default settings so let's see the difference. I'll choose undue before kind of flat looking image after just a little bit more dimension, but then I have another image. This image may show what the original picture looked like. The friend of mine, cassandra and here's your original shot I just thought it was a nice, simple picture and I saw a lot of solid black and any time my brain sees a lot of solid black and things black hides things that a mask so if I put that in a mask, this is going to hide everything that's out there, right? White shows things well, just imagine it's a black and white photo this is close to white is mitt, so this would show things her eyes or darker they're going to hide things a bit, that kind of stuff, so I put that into a mask and let's see what the results looked like here. First off I took a sandra and put her in a mask. The image that the mask is attached to it is a picture, a glass of champagne it's a really bad picture because it's scaled up from a tiny little part in a photo but, uh it's champagne and so now her head is being used to limit where the champagne shows up makes it look a little more interesting if I option clicking the mask there's its contents it's just her picture and I could have justice with levels if this wasn't all the way back to black or if I wanted more of the champagne to show up through here, I could make more of this white so I'll do that I'll just go to levels not through an adjustment layer, though if you want to adjust the contents of a mask, you can't have an adjustment layer affect just a mask. It affects the picture that's in that layer, but it can't be directed towards the mask. So you go over here to this version of levels, and I just say, well, this forces things toe white could try to bring it in force more of that white, but then I can try other content I could put clouds in there remember how you could make one layer show up on lee where there's information on the layer below? Same thing I did with a an animal. It was some text I held on the option key and clicked on the line that divides the two layers. Ok, now we have clouds in there or here's, a light painting that I did if you're not familiar with light painting it's one of my favorite kinds of photography and if you want to see how to make images like this one that's crazy multan still won't go on everywhere in the air. Just so you know, on my website, I have an e book about light painting and what's nice about the book is there's a free sample? Of that and it's enough information in the sample to get you started on your first light painting, so be sure to check that out, but I'll clip that so now it's showing up just where she wass so that's. Another simple image. So whenever you're out shooting, just start looking at things with a different I look for a massive contrast is something that I could get to be solid black in that image and the rest of the image pretty darn bright. Usually you can do that right at sunset get silhouettes of things, what shapes would like interesting palm tree and elephant. You know what that can limit where something shows up in a layer. One other thing I didn't think to show you, uh, that karen made for me was this is my idea of what is a mask when it comes to a layer mask or anything else. If you're not used to thinking about mass and you just don't have a reference in your head, think of it like a stencil. Just imagine this is a sheet of black paper, so black paper would make it so I only can see what's in here. Well, that would be the contents of my layer you could only see through the hole in this. This just happens to be attached right next to the layer as a mask, this would be a black sheet of paper right here you'll be able to see through and that's where your image would show up. It just shows it next to your image instead of on top of it. Uh, but if you've ever worked with a stencil it's similar to a mask, same general ideas and that it can limit where you're painting or anything else all right, let's, look at a few other ideas we haven't really covered filters I didn't want to get too in depth and filters. I just want to get you a little bit started with it and so let's, take a brief look. Karen made an image of a while ago that I'm gonna open is an example just because it has some texture applied to it in texture is one of the, um things that I do with filters. Um, sometimes I like having a just an interesting texture on my image in this image looks like it has a few layers that aren't used to see the eyeballs or turned off on a few I mean, they're not contributing to the image well, that's nice because there's a tip I can show you how to get rid of those if you ever finish an image, you think you're all done and you look at your layers and there's someone have the eyeballs turned off you didn't end up using him go to the side menu of your layers panel little side then you click there you're going to find a choice of delete hidden layers and that's just going to throw away any of the layers that don't have the eyeballs turned on so I'm going to save my layered photoshopped file I'm going to choose delete hidden layers before I do it just get rid of any that don't contribute to my image and that could make my file size smaller because I didn't really need those layers that was on the side menu it's called delete hidden layers so then let's look at how we could apply texture to an image with this image I'm just going to hide all the layers there was a tip I could use a little shortcut for hiding all the layers don't know if you remember it or not but you move your mouse on top of the eyeball for the later you want to keep you hold on the option key alton windows which changes the behavior of things and you click and it automatically turns off all the other eyeballs so let's look at how we might be ableto create some texture to apply to this let's say we don't have any files with I often go out when I'm shooting and I captured textures whenever I see them I see an old rusty door take a picture of it I see I don't know just interesting pattern here in the walls of the studio that these walls have a texture to them I might take a picture of that so I can apply it to my photos later don't have that prepped here though song and create textures out of nothing I'm going to first start by creating a brand new empty later by clicking the new layer button it's right next to the trash can at the bottom of your layers panel then I'm going to go to the filter menu and I'm going to try to use a filter that creates something out of nothing there's a bunch of them that do that but one of them is clouds all right there's clouds but that looks a little bit too much like clouds so I mean and then distort this in one of the things that I often do so I can apply a texture to an image because I'll take any scanned image or photographed image that has texture like when I took of an old door that's slowly wearing away in an old building and I'll just go appear the filter menu they'll choose style eyes and I'll choose in boss what's special about him boss is it'll give me little highlights and shadows within the image but it's going to mainly deliver fifty percent grey if you find just and quite get enough out of it. Just bring up the height, little or the amount gilmore contrast out of it, there's a texture. All it was was the clouds filter and then the embossed filter. The embossed filter, though, delivers a little, delivers a lot of fifty percent gray in your image and there's a special way. We can use that to apply to our picture. All I need to do is with that layer active. Go to the top of my layers, pal that's, where I find a pop up menu that usually set to normal. This is notice you're blending mode. The blending mode menu controls how this layer interacts with what's under it. When it's set to normal, itjust obscures your view of what's under it, but if you change it to one of these modes, we're going to get a different look. We don't have time to cover these in depth here that's what I'll do in other classes, but I just want to give you ah, little tip about it. If you have the move tool active there's a way to cycle through this menu to try each one one at a time so you can see what they would give you in order to do it, you need to be in the movie. Toe and you need to have the layer you're thinking about active here's the tip if I hold on the shift key on my keyboard and that oppressed the plus key or the minus key on the keyboard it's going to simply change that menu is long as I'm in the move tool so if you watch the menu at the top of my layers panel, just watch that thing shift plus each time I hit it it goes to the next blaney mode that's there this only works when the move tool is active so I have the move to elected it'll go all the way through to the end and once it gets to the end it'll go back to the top, which would be normal month so let's see what that makes my image look like I have to be in the move tool I hold on the shift key hit the plus sign ok there's a darkened mode there's multiply and so on and I'm just going to go through there and some of those modes will look better than others for applying a texture to your image. And I'll just look at the menu whenever I see what I like and I'll try to remember it so right now I don't mind that it's an overlay mode, so I just remember overlay and I just keep going soft lights not bad either looks to me like overlay and soft light where the best ones, these other ones just look kind of weird, so then I can manually go to the menu and just choose to to that looked the best overlay and soft light what's trying over late and let's try softly, softly it's a little bit more subtle overlay a little more aggressive. I think I'll go with soft light when I applied texture to my images. Oftentimes I don't apply it to the entire picture because if somebody skin tone, somehow it looks weird to have hope some weird texture on it. So that's when I might add a layer mask, remember the layer mask icon I could grab my paintbrush, get a soft edge brush and I'm just gonna paint with black wherever I don't want the texture to appear, and so I'll just get it off of her face might get it off her neck as well and you can see in the mask wherever it's black it's removed the texture so it's not applying. So there are all sorts of textures you could make yourself just by applying filters and photo shop let's see if I can show you some examples, sometimes I just take pictures, this is, yes handmade paper. If you're at the handmade paper store and they don't mind, take your iphone pointed out paper think now you got something pink pasted onto a layer if you need to in boss it and then play with the bloody modes but we can create our own and here are some of the ones that I've made in the past these air made completely in photo show it's what I'll do is after I make a texture if I want to remember how it was made, I'll take a screenshot of the history panel it'll remind me what order I did things in so this if you want to make this particular one you do add noise that's a filter then you blur that noise then you'd apply filter called median, which will simplify the noise auto levels is an adjustment you find it under the image adjustments area and then you didn't boss it, but I got this that's just a copy of the history panel so I could remember what filters I used to get their uh that one unfortunately didn't take a picture of the history channel, so I don't remember how I made it never be able to make it again this one clouds then there's a filter called dry brush that I applied three times with its maximum settings and then I am bossed got that this weird looking thing is that list ma'am but notice that a lot of these start with either noise or clouds because that creates raw material and then you just distorted with the other filters and you can create all sorts of variations on the textures again clouds deed clouds means difference clouds that's another filter that when I used to filter called chrome so it started adding some wild stuff so anyway you can create your own textures like these or you can uh just take photographs of any kind of texas running into in real life and then put him on top of your photo try the different blending modes if you don't like anything you're getting out of the blending modes then try in boston it with the embossed filter first then do the blending votes because oftentimes that makes it so it's ah what I say it's just gonna look more appropriate on an image all right couple other things I'd like to talk about uh would be one more filter one of the essential filters and photo shop would be to sharpen your pictures and so I didn't mention that briefly, so here I'll open to images first I have a simple image this image is just three shades of gray and the pixels that make up this image are big meaning that if I paint in here I'd have to get a brush that's only like one pixel in size or something to get anything toe to not fill the entire document this is how big the pixels are just to get some sense we're zoomed in on it. But that's just to give us an idea of what a sharpening do if you look at something simple it's, easier to understand, then I have another picture will use to apply it to this is a picture of me and my dad. He has since passed away, but this is when we were horsing around got a good shot and let's take a look at sharpening. So first off you go to the filter menu and if you have all your menu items visible, then when you go to sharpen, you got some choices in there. If you remember when I describe some of the logic of your menus, I think I mentioned that if there's three periods after a choice, it'll asking for op, she is so out of all of these choices, the top three are going to give you generic sharpening, where you have no input as to how much and so the on ly reason why I gravitate to the bottom two because they have the three periods after him, which means it'll ask me for settings because each image needs a different amount of sharpening out of these unsure mask is it ben and photoshopped? The longest in smart, sharpened is relatively new I mean the last decade and a sparse how do I choose between the two I use a kn sharp mask if I have any dominant skin tones in the image meaning people's faces are large in the picture let me buy dominant if their tiny little people and you know there's spectators in a sporting game or something I don't care but if their faces a main part of the photograph I used on sharp mask if on the other hand I don't have people as the prominent subject matter then I use smart sharp in with both of these were going tohave a radius centered amount in uncertain mass was a little bit simpler so I'll start with it and then we'll try a smart sharp and after that it's called in sharp mass because in a photographic darkroom there's an old way you could sharpen a photograph that involved making a duplicate of the image in blurring that duplicate and then somehow using that duplicate tad contrast your original and in doing so it was known as an uncharted meaning a blurry one somehow being combined back and they simply I chose the same name for this it's the same reason why I line spacing with text is called leading they used to use strips of lead between metal tax to space it out they should call line spacing this should be called adjustable sharpened variable sharpen or something just see no all right, we have amount radius and threshold let's take a look at what they you first I'm going to crank up the amount just to see what it does to our picture. So photo shop was trying to look for detail in the picture, and it finds wherever one shade touches another and it emphasizes the difference between the two. The way it does it is it looks at where two shades touch each other, whichever sides brighter, it brightens it right where it touches whatever sides darker, it darkens right where it touches and therefore makes that edge easier to see. That's all sharpening is in sharpening is usually one or two pixels and size most of the time and that's why you want to do it after you've resized your image to its final size? Because if you have a massively high resolution huge picture, you sharpen it it's one or two pixels on the edge of objects, then you scale it down in that one or two pixels is becoming less and less and it's something so little, then that it's not going to really affect your image. So he sharpened usually after you get it to his final size, so that's sharpening but let's look at the controls so amount is how much of a change is that kind of make on that edge? How much brighter is one side gonna get and how much darker is the other side gonna get? So if I bring him out all the way down it slows, it could go we're not going to see any change and as I slowed, bring amount up you'll seymour and more contrast added right on that edge so it's, how much brighter is once I get in how much darker is the other one? I'll leave that up real high so it's easy to see radius means how much space can we use for that change right now? It's set to one pixel such trying to use one pixel on each side for the main change it's actually using about to hear is it needs to fade out otherwise would be too obvious but if I bring radius up, watch what happens you see it just taking up more space. So with radius you're either gonna want a really low either a point, something like point six to about one point two that's the general range if you keep it really low I know people love numbers there like I gotta write down there's no absolute numbers to this deviate from what I mentioned if you have a good reason to if it looks better but if you have no idea, you know point six to one point two is not unusual but you could also use it or really high setting, but if you do it's going to be a really high citing it'll be more like twenty or fifty because if you get it high enough, the halos are so wide that they cover like all of a knob jek tw and they're so big that you don't actually notice him as much like here do you? If this was zoomed out and not zoomed in so far you might not notice there's not like a little halo that's overly obvious it's just then you bring your amount really low so you barely notice it if I turn preview off, you see how it's boosting the contrast so you're going to go one of two ways either keeping the radius really low between about point six and one point two or you're going to pump up really high to like starting at twenty ish how do you decide which one to use? Let me show you if your image contains noise if it's overly noisy these represent noise watch what happens when I sharpen a noisy picture just to emphasize that I'll leave the amount way up so it's easy to see but it's exaggerating the noise is that and so whatever I do is going to make the image look even noisier than it did to begin with but watch what happens if I get radius up pretty high if I get radius up high enough where those little brightening areas are so big that you can't see him anymore around this little specks, then I can get away with sharpening a noisy picture without that exaggerating the noise, the only thing is the amount wouldn't be so high, so if you have a noisy picture, I would start off with the following settings twenty four amount twenty for radius just somewhere to start then look at the picture and see what happens if you bring the amount higher see what happens to you bring it lower does look better if on the other hand your image is not noisy then don't go for a high radius I only go for a high radius one have a noisy picture because it avoids emphasizing the noise if on the other hand I'm have an image that doesn't look noisy then for starting settings that I might use one hundred and one, one hundred for amount one for amount just a place to start, then start evaluating your image and say couldn't use a little bit more there is that a bit too much my emphasizing things too much so those are my two general starting points but let's look a threshold for a moment the reason why I use this on skin tones is because of the threshold control threshold means how much of a difference does there need to be between two shades before I consider it to be detail and I sharpen it, so if you think about skin tones on your skin, you probably have little wrinkles, little creases, little variations, pores and everything else, and if the if you just sharpen the image generically, all those things, they're going to be exaggerated. Your pores will stick out mohr every wrinkle on your face will be, mohr emphasized, and I'd rather not do that. I just want the sharpening of my eyelashes I wanted in my hair I wanted in the areas that have, you know, more detail than those subtle things, my faith. So what threshold says is how different to two areas have to be before they get sharpened? If it's zero it means sharpened absolutely everything. So watch what happens when I bring it up and see if we can get it we're not all of these areas of sharpened I'll bring it up okay no longer looks like well, they bring amount up so you can see what's happening. Does it look like these two right down at the bottom are no longer being sharpened, but these two still are. So what happens with threshold is if you have pictures of people you want to bring threshold up, you're going to leave it in single digits, otherwise it becomes too obvious usually a setting between about three and I don't know three and six or somewhere like that, but it's going to help to maintain smooth skin if you don't use that people look older when you sharpen them smart sharpen does not offer the threshold setting and that's why I don't use it on skin when you sharpen your image, I would usually view my image at one hundred percent view so I can see the true detail in the image unless I'm going to print it on a printing press on a printing press. What you see on the printing press doesn't show you as much detail is what you had on screen, and if that was the case, I would view it at fifty percent or sixty six. It depends on what kind of quality of printing, but if you zoom out a little bit and you're not going to see the sharper tina's much and you'll you'll be in a little more aggressive with it. But pretty interpreting press you don't see as much details, he dio on screen with ink jet fronting it and just on screen used one hundred percent views what I view it at so filter sharpen smart sharpen I wish there's a threshold setting in here if they're wass keep his skin looking smooth, but I can't because there's no threshold, but you notice we have a mountain radius just like we did with the other filter and I think about them the same as far as where I start in howie, I move them. This setting here called more accurate actually sharpens the much twice and by doing so, you'll get extra sharpness out of it with an image like a landscape shot or something. That's a real nice thing. If you're mitch is noisy that's gonna emphasize the noise even more, though. So watch out. But the two sliders are about the same here. There is a pop up menu for different things. If you find your image actually has a little blurriness to it and that blurriness is due to camera motion, your camera was moving a little bit. We'll take a picture you wish you could get back some of the sharpness you can go over here and say, you want to correct for a motion blur, but then you'd have to go guess at what angle did the camera move? If you can tell by looking at the picture because the blur looks to be going a certain way, you could say it looks like it can't removed like that, and then it will try tio compensate for, uh, there are the things in here we can choose, advanced, and then we could sharpen the shadows differently than the highlights a little tabs for that. Fayed amount just mean it's like capacity? It means apply it less total with we used when we had shadow highlight, which means how do you define what a shadow is from black to how far into the mid towns, that kind of stuff, but smart, sharp it is what I would use if you don't have prominent skin tones, but it depends on how soft the image was to begin with as far as your settings go, so some images were captured with the sharpest lens you can think of my aperture setting on the lens was maybe f eleven, where the and the lens becomes its sharpest er and it was captured with a really high quality camera. It needs a little bit of sharpening if I shot with a consumer grade lens. I shot it f twenty two, which actually softens the image a bit to get that depth of field. Uh, and it just wasn't that great of a set up. It wasn't on a tripod that can remove the little bit it's going to need more aggressive sharpening to try to bring it back so I can't tell you exact settings to use. I can say look at the image and evaluated to tryto see how much you can get away with.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

An expert's view of the basics designed to get anyone ready to become a Photoshop pro. Imagine learning the absolute essentials from someone who has used Photoshop for well over 20 years, is in the Photoshop Hall of Fame and has taught way over 100,000 Photoshop users. We'll start off by simplifying Photoshop's interface to make it less overwhelming and then jump in and learn the absolute essentials. This course will cover everything one needs to know in order to be truly effective with the program.

• Simplifying the Interface • Browsing your images with Bridge • Understanding Resolution • Which File Formats to use • Essential Tonal Adjustments • Essential Color Adjustments • Isolating areas with selections • The fundamentals of layers • Troubleshooting Techniques • Workflow Overview

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6


dennis hartman

Great teacher. The course is great even if CS6 seems hard to work on. I brought up my CS6 and did on it what he was teaching. What a learning curve. He made it fairly easy. Thanks for the great help.