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Partial B&W with Knockout

Lesson 19 from: Adobe Photoshop for Photographers: Beyond the Basics

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

19. Partial B&W with Knockout

Lesson Info

Partial B&W with Knockout

What I do is I shoot a lot of images of vintage america and that means I should old gas stations, movie theaters, diners all that kind of stuff and what I often want to do is invoke a little bit of ah nostalgic feeling of the old days and one way I do that is to add a tinted black and white look to my photos but when I add attempted black and white look I don't want the entire photograph toe look black and white I want part of it where I want your eye to be drawn to to be full color and then I want the black and white to be a little bit more subtle so it's not apply at full strength he don't blatantly think oh it's attended black and white kind of look so let's take a look at some ways of doing this and the concept I'm going to show you here is not specific to doing black and white that can be applied to other things it's just how can I do a complex adjustment in a way that is his versatile is possible let's take a look so first I'm going to go into my layers panel and I'm gonna create...

a black and white adjustment layer you and I do the black and white adjustment layer it obviously pulls all the color out of my image and then I have some sliders here that I can adjust there's a hand icon for this tool and it's pressed in which means if I move my mouth on top of my image and click it should do something related to this adjustment that's what a hand icon means if you ever see it in an adjustment panel so I'm gonna move my mouse down here and click on this bus I'll click there and I'll drag to the right or drag to the left and that's going to brighton or dark and everything in the picture that used to be that color that bus used to be blue I remember it because I own that bus and before I should remember what color it is then I can move my mouth over here to the trees and I'm assuming there used to be green so it should highlight either greens or yellows and I can adjust it a swell then if I want a tinted black and white look what I can do is near the top of the adjustment that we have here there's a check box called tent I'll turn it on and it's going to add some color back into the picture if I want to choose which colors being used there's a little square of color just to the right of the tent check box and when I click on it it will open the color picker and in here I can choose any color I want could have blue green whatever and then I could choose a shade of that culture from over here mainly controlling how intense the color is as I moved towards the right side, you'll get much more vivid colors as I moved towards the left side they're going to mellow out moving up and down isn't going to be as dramatic of a change but you'll find the lower shades are also less colorful so I'm going to come here and choose one that I kind of like maybe somewhere over in here and click okay now what I'd like to do is get your eye to be drawn to the bus where even if you're into bridges and that's your thing where that's what it would be exciting to you your eye's going to be in control billy drawn to that bus so I'm gonna zoom up so I can see the bus and I'm going to get selected so I'll use the quick selection tooled start with and I'll come over here and see if I could just paint on that now it's not gonna have is easy of ah of a job when I have this black and white attached to it because it can't see the variation and color that used to be in that bus so I might choose d select and just hide this adjustment layer for a moment I'll just turn off its eyeball I think it's going to be able to better pick out the shape of bus if it can tell the difference in the color between the bus and its surroundings, so what that turned off, it might do a better job doesn't ensure that it will, but I think it will be a little easier for it to you, uh, tackle this eye, khun always hold on the option key, of course, to take away, as I've done in the past, and I'm not going to be absolutely precise here because it would just take time for me to come in here and spend the time to refine this I usually would, but that's not what we're talking about right now, we've already talked about masking things and selections, so I want to concentrate our time talking about adjustments. So for now that adjustment we good enough, I'm going to turn our black and white adjustment layer back on by just clicking on its eyeball area into my layers panel, and then I'm gonna work on the mask. That's here now usually can paint on masks to fill them in, but you don't have to. I can also adjust a mask. A mask is just a grayscale image attached to a layer anything you could do to a grayscale picture, you could do that mask one thing that I'll frequently do is if I have an area selected aiken type command I that's control I in windows that means invert, invert means make something the opposite of what it currently is and when it comes to a mask, it means if it's white turned black or if it was black, turning white like make a negative of itself but it's only going to do it in the area that selected. So if you watch the mask of my layers panel all type command I and therefore I got some black in the mask and that means this adjustment cannot cannot apply there, then I'll get rid of my selection and for the rest of the image would I want to do is have it so it just doesn't feel like a colored bus that's been pasted into a black and white picture instead, I wanted to feel like it belongs there a little bit more is I'm gonna lesson the black and white effect in other areas and let's see if there's any special way we could do that. What I'd like to do is be able to really have control over it over time and not have to deal with just one mask because with just one mask, if I grab my paintbrush to or what I might do is lower the opacity of my brush to fifty percent and then come over here in paint on the trees to say let some of the color of the trees come out but if I do that directly on the same mass that contains the bus itself, then if I ever get close to the boss and everything, I might accidentally overlap it or if I decide later on that I want to change the amount of color being applied to the trees it's kind of they're all stuck together in one spot, so choose undo let's see if I can figure out a special way to be ableto have equipment to multiple masks here's what I'm gonna do I'm gonna create an adjustment it doesn't really matter which one I use is longest it's an adjustment that wouldn't do anything before I move some sliders liking curbs when you get in there, it doesn't do anything until you grab a slider and start moving it in levels same thing so I can choose any adjustment let's like that then I'm going to do something a little odd I'm going to go to the bottom of my layers panel I'm gonna click on the letters fx and I'm going to choose something called blunting options in here there is one setting it's called knockout and nobody ever uses it if you don't trust me search for the word knockout on google knockout photoshopped you probably find something I wrote but other than that I don't think there's much of anything out there but if you click here there's a choice of shallow or deep if I choose knockout deep what that means is it's something weird but it means make this layer knock a hole in whatever layers are underneath it until it hits the background just let the background show up so if there is any layers between the layer on making right now and the background this layer is going to poke a hole in them it looks like the layer that's underneath just disappeared because anywhere where this layer will show up will allow it to normally affect the image is just going to poke a hole down to the background it's kind of a weird concept so then what I end up doing is I invert that mask I type command I so it can't affect the image anywhere and then right there on that mask is where I paint to control exactly where I want things to go so come in here and I'll paint with white wherever I paint with white it's going to knock a hole through the layer that's underneath and all the way down to the background and I could come over here now and if I want to paint and get it off the bridge I can do so and this is the equivalent to having an additional mask in this layer for now I'm going to make relatively basic masks because we're not talking about making selections at the moment I could use the pen tool to get this bridge rather easily but nobody that's photographer seems to be interested in the pen tool even though it would really make their work better so all I'm doing is painting on the mask for this and in doing so it thinks that it's making an adjustment visible problem is theodor just mint that's in there isn't doing anything to the picture it's what's known as an empty adjustment it's an adjustment that wouldn't do anything wouldn't change the picture because I never moved the sliders that were in uh what did I used levels this is going to allow me to troll what's happening in various areas you'll see in a moment when I'm done filling in this mask I can hit x to paint with the opposite color excitement to spot over here and I could get these little bars now after I've painted on this mask to get the bridge in here the next thing I'm going to dio is if I want to control how much of the back black and white effect it hits the bridge what I'm going to end up doing is simply adjusting the opacity of that layer so in here I have masked this so this right here is knocking a hole through my black and white adjustment to reveal the full color picture if I want to control how strong that isthe I simply lowered the opacity this so if I bring it all the way down and I slowly bring it up say exactly how much do I want in the bridge what I want is just enough we're not sure if I tinted it or not where it's not blatantly obvious maybe about there then I'm gonna do something similar with the trees so I would love to get the trees selected when that mean nice well let's use a technique we talked about earlier today do you remember we had some trees we remove the background on him with the background eraser let's do the exact same thing here I'll just go down to the background and duplicated with command j I'll move the duplicate to the top so it covers everything up and we'll hide what's underneath okay let's use the background racer and see if we can get the background on the trees to be gone one thing I didn't get a chance to mention when it comes to the background racer is there is a tolerant setting it's sitting at the top of my screen right there what tolerance means is how much can the background a race or very from the color that's underneath the cross hair cannick delete things they're a bit brighter and a bit darker from that or not and so sometimes when you delete with this you will find it deletes too much like it is right now if that's the case it means that the other areas that it's deleting are too similar to what's underneath the cross hair and if that's the case you might need teo teo, lower tolerance, you can lower the tolerance by typing in a new number up here or just hit the number keys on your keyboard. If I get three, I get thirty percent to get twenty and so on the default is fifty so let's see if I can get the tolerance low enough where it's not going to lead too much of the bridge right there. So now I can come over here and see if I can get this to delete from in between the trees. What I'm really looking for is the selection of the trees oops didn't mean to click in the on a tree branch really looking to get a selection of the trees, but I know that this particular tool is capable of deleting around the trees. I know anytime I'm done bleeding around the trees, I can always take the end result and converted into a mask, which will be perfectly fine here. I don't care if other things get deleted. The main thing is trees themselves don't get deleted so let's say I'm done with that. What I would do is command click on the thumbnail image for that later we've done that many times before him away, when you command click on the thumbnail for a layer, you get a selection out of it then I could just drag that layer to the trash can cause it just served its purpose, which was to give me this selection. Now I can use that selection, but I don't want to use it on one of these layers we already have I'm going to create a brand new one and I'm simply going to repeat the process that we didn't the first one I'll go over here and choose levels any adjustment that wouldn't actually affect the image levels I go to the letters fx blooding options and there's a choice called knockout deep and that means wherever this adjustment layer would usually be able to show up it's going to knock a hole down to the full color image now when I do that, you see that the trees they're sitting there there in color again, but we also get a lot of the sky so let's see if there's anything I could do to kind of bring that sky back well, I'll click on that um later mask and I'm just going to paint with black for the sky is to say I didn't mean that part to come back and it's also applying down where the bridges well, do you remember that you can get a selection out of any mask? All you do is you move your mouse on top of the mask you hold on the command can you click well, I just got a selection of the math I mean, of the bridge so now I could either paint in that or I could go to the edit menu and just tell photoshopped to paint in it for me I'll say fill that with black okay, so now this particular layer, if you would actually look at its mask, I don't know if it's mask is overly clean because I haven't spent too much time making it, but I'll look at it by option clicking do you see that it's mainly the trees? I could come in here in fine tune it using all the things we've already talked about, like with this particular tool, I think we ended up using twenty percent, uh, opacity and hard micks mode remember that, but we could touch things up to get rid of residue, but you have to practice those techniques so you're comfortable with them, so they're not, you know, uh, new to you and make it so I'm no longer viewing that. All right? So now I have a layer where the mask is mainly where the trees are, and so the opacity of that layer will control how much color I have in the trees I'll just click on the word opacity if I bring it all the way down, you see the black and white five slowly bring it up. I'm just watching the trees, and I'm saying, what level might I put into those trees making it so you might recognise them? It's trees, but we're still having some tinted black and white in there somewhere about half or just a little bit more. So all right, but I find that using this technique could make it so if I ever have a really complex adjustment that I really want to find tune and have put in different areas, that I can have multiple masks for a single adjustment and what's happening in this, the original pictures down here, this is the actual adjustment I'm applying, and it has a mask here I can use that if I'd like that's, where I got it off of the bus, but then above that, I can have as many of these adjustment layers as I want, and sometimes they end up with five or six of them where any part of their mass that is full of white, we'll poke a hole to the full color image, we'll still be able to see a full color again, and then I can lower the opacity to control if I want toe lesson that so you let some of the black and white come in, and so sometimes I'll end up building up a bunch of those to control various areas I could maybe have one for the road one for the bridge, one for the sky, one for the the trees and I could always change each one and very they rapacity over time so after I make a print of this, I might decide that the bridge has too much black and white in it. So I click on the bridge player and I just the opacity again, maybe I increase it to get less color applied like that so it's not for everyone but for those people that are used to using adjustment layers a lot you're used to using masks a lot and you want more control then that's what this is for but if your new no adjustment layers or you're new to mass, stay away from this because it's not going to be something that you're overly comfortable with and you want to work with what you're comfortable with, so I'll save this just in case we want to get back to it later this from blue sims when working on a mask is there a way to adjust the opacity? I have a mask with some opacity but I wanted to be one hundred percent. Yes. Ok, I think I know what they mean as far as I know what they mean is what if and I could be wrong but no yearly that's exactly right okay, I think what they mean is if you view a mask by option clicking on it if what I have in there is a shade of gray because when I painted on the mask the opacity of my brush was not at one hundred same painting with black and a mask and I didn't realize the opacity of the brush was set to sixty percent and so when I painted in there it didn't really put solid black in instead I had sixty percent gray is there a way after the fact to act as if I painted it with full opacity? I hope that's the question if it is yes what you khun d'oh is first off if it's the very last thing you did before you clicked anywhere else if I grab my paintbrush tool let's say in this case they painted with white and I didn't realize my opacity was at fifty upset it to normal modo okay and I painted very last thing I did and I was like oh man I wish that that was a different opacity we'll immediately before you do anything else uh go up to the uh edit menu and there's a trace called fade fayed takes whatever you did last and allows you to change the opacity of it so if the last thing you did was paint with a tool this will come in and tell you the opacity that you painted with and I could increase it or decrease it. But if I've already done something else so that it's permanent let's say saved enclosed the image, I didn't realize it for a week later and now, oh man, I wish when I painted that this was truly white. Then all you need to do is adjusted go into levels in with levels the upper right control of force areas toe white. You'll usually find a history graham in here, and you'll find the history graham ends at one very distinct spot. Pull this over until it points right at the beginning of that history. Graham and you will have forced the brightest part of the image toe white mean the brightest part of the mask or if it was this area and here I was thinking about and it wasn't solid black. Instead, it was eighty percent gray or something. I would be pulling the upper left slider over until it touched the beginning of the history ram. So hopefully that solutions wrote back and says, yes, good any others by chance, all right, sounds good.

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The best investment I've made to improve my PS skills. Mr. Willmore is a skillful lecturer. English is my second language and I appreciate the clarity of his voice and the fact that he repeats several times what he's doing or what he did. It is great for note taking as well as for practicing. Just an Excellent workshop! Thanks Mr. Willmore!

a Creativelive Student

I absolutely love Ben Willmore's teaching style. He is clear and thorough. This class has a wealth of good info so I had to purchase this course. Thanks Ben and Creative Live!!! PS, Don't forget to forward the PDF. I am waiting patiently.

a Creativelive Student

Outstanding!!! I've been interested and have practised photography since I was Thirteen. Transitioning from film to digital. Ben's course taught me so much I had to purchase it! There was just too much information he passes on. As an instructor, Ben is very clear, concise and thorough. Ben makes sure you understand the concepts; what a great educator! Thanks Creative Live!!!!! Thanks Ben!

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