Skip to main content

photo & video

Retouching Product Photography

Lesson 4 of 5

How to Create a Clipping Mask

Aaron Nace

Retouching Product Photography

Aaron Nace

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

4. How to Create a Clipping Mask

Lesson Info

How to Create a Clipping Mask

All right, now I am seen one thing you guys see this edge here, it's a little bit of black that happens a lot, doesn't it? You get that little edge on there and it's just you don't know what to do. Well, I'm sure you guys are really cool trick you can use with clipping mouth. Does everyone know what clipping masks are? A couple people ok, cool let's go for clipping masks just real birth briefly because they're they're super super helpful. So let's say I wanted a layer to be visible on lee, where another layer was visible, ok, like I want this layer if I'm going to be creating a brush let's, just create a brush stroke to kind of get a good example, so we're going to create a brush stroke right over top of our chair. Now by default, this is going to be visible wherever you put it, but if I wanted to be visible on lee, where layer one is visible, I can clip this layer to layer one, so to clip earlier, just right click and go down to create clipping mask and now, because I have a layer mas...

k defined here on my image it's very, very easy for me to clip this because the layer mask is already there, so this is another reason why treating that really nice pence election around my image helps out and you can see that this is actually where we go this way all these little details that's what we actually wind up retouching so let's go ahead and clip those as well were moved those down so now we have the blue on top of that. All right, so does everyone kind of get the idea of a clipping mask? You basically make it visible on lee where another layer is visible. Okay, so now if I wanted to take care of fringing, which is this little area here, all I have to do is grab my clone stamp tool in close down from the inside, right out to the edge and it's just going to make sure that this layer that I'm close stamping on is visible on lee where the underlying layer is visible. So it's only gonna be visible where the chairs visible and I'm close stamping without any selection active I don't have to be precise it'll because it's only going to be visible where the chairs visible is not amazing. This is so cool so I can make the edge of my chair absolutely perfect a lot more a lot more so than it would have been, you know, with a rail, a photograph just want to make sure you clone, stamp and keep your colors you know, actually I don't want to go and stand over here is that you know, it's not gonna look good same like any other clone sample. All right, uh specifically asked how, like occasional get really hard shadows on seems or kind of in those areas this is the method that you would use to get rid of those? Yes for sure for sure. That's really cool. Yeah. So we can do this down here on the bottom there we go and just get a perfect selection again. We're gonna do this here on the bottom, so we've got a perfect selection all the way around or chair the other positive, putting this on a on a black background, by the way, and one that we've created in photo shop is I know for sure if I go to print this, I know for sure that it's one hundred percent black I don't have to worry about sometimes when you photograph something that's black and then you like, crank the levels up, you'll see that it's not actually black, but in this case, I know that it's black because I've got a black colorful layer behind everything, all right? We had a couple questions, so I was just going off that one about the scene, so on the scene of the chair there's a lot of heavy shadows there like towards the top right there is here. Would you? Yeah. Would you show a sample of that? Like, would you just leave that as it is? Or would you just bury your worth? Yeah, it's kind of moving on the inside of it. Where shadows so badly that it looks like a black oh, here, like writ. Yeah. Okay. Could you fix that waken definitely fix that. All right, so what we're going to do is I'm gonna load up our we're going to use a pencil so let's go back to our paths, going to create a new path here, and then basically, what I want to do is I want to create a path that defines this area because it is it is so fine. Like I need that lying to be perfect on the inside and on the outside. So what I'm gonna do is we're gonna start up here, all right? And then I'm gonna do my best job to really follow this around. There we go. So that's a great question, because earlier we used the pen tool to define the outside of an object, and now we're using it to define the inside of an object so definitely makes, um there we go talking and penn tooling it it's not easy, all right? Yeah, it definitely shows you how much versatility is built into the tool because at its core it's for making perfect selections so whether that's outside an object inside an object it's going to work very well for both those all right so I've come around that out that way notice how I started this is the area that I really wanted to work with here but I've started a little bit above it and a little bit below it I'm making my selection a little bit larger than I need and that's gonna love me too faded out in both ways okay, so now what I want to do is I'm going to come right up on the other side and we're just going to go a little bit outside the scene now you can see this scene is a little bit wavy here I would actually use something like the liquefy tool to start pushing either side of the scene together and if we have time we could do that and I do want to get to the creating a drop shadow from scratch so I think a lot of people are going to really benefit from that so I want to make sure that we build in enough time for that but I am here for I'm here for you guys and I'm here for everyone at home so as long as the questions keep coming in and everyone's on the same page I'm I'm more than happy tio to answer these questions and keep going with those all right, there we go so pretty clear on how I've done this so far just basically making that the pen path there and now because the edges they're so nice we're going to double click right here and we're going to call this edge I'm gonna right click and we're going to make it a selection just like we did before. So now with that edge selection active going to create a new layer weaken clip this now because we can have it just be visible where this layer is visible we're going to hide this election oftentimes the little marching and that you see they get in the way of actually being able to see what you're doing I'm hit control a command h which hards that temporarily and now my goal is to basically figure out I want to look at other parts of this chair other parts that are not so much in shadow like this area here that's basically the same surface as up there so that's probably the color that I want to go with something like this so I'm gonna try sampling maybe I'll sample over here and then I can adjust that using hugh saturation just a little bit so with sample here and I'm just start painting right up here and keep in mind I'm inside of my selection right now so I'm painting actual detail here it's not going to be perfect right off the go this is something that's going to need to be adjusted I can already tell you I'm gonna need to add some saturation to make it look more realistic and I'm also going to need to go I'm also going to need to add a little bit of an edge to it to make it look really swell all right there we go looking good let's paint that a little bit darker there all right all right there we go so let's go ahead and zoom in there now on this later I'm going to go ahead and d select bite in command e we're going to put a layer mask on here I'm going to make sure that it blends really nicely in with the scene up on the top of the chair I'm just painting black on my leather mask here all right and now we're ready to go ahead and add a little bit of a lip to it because often times you know when something does come around it's going to have a little bit of a lip or an edge to it so let's go ahead and just duplicate this layer I could do that by hitting controller command jay I'm gonna move it over and I'm going to make it a little bit lighter using my curves so command and for my curves adjustment later all right, so you can see I moved that over there and now we're getting a little bit tricky here now I'd like just this lighter edge to be visible where just this guy is visible semi sense so we're gonna actually unclip this so I can clip this to this all right? We're really using clipping masks here we're getting the most out of it let's hit commander control am again for our curves adjustment layer lighting that up just a little bit there we go and now we can give it a little bit of a blur. All right, there we go. Looking good lets it controller command you I'm gonna he's a saturation on that and we're gonna lower down the darkness just a little bit. All right, so I would say definitely appear at the top that started looked pretty good. What do you think? All right, cool. And for time's sake, we've got about thirty minutes left. I'm going kind of layer mass this out there we go to have it kind of fade in there, but that would be exactly how I would go about adding more detail and there we can see the before and the after it does look as though we shined a little bit of light there that was a great question thank you all right looking good I think this is a great image so far what do you guys think? Very, very cool. So from here you can continue going out in a ton of different ways because I have this chair's dupe sorry I have this chair on its own layer. I can duplicate this chair now and I can have a lot of fun with it. One thing that I like to do, you know I'm gonna hit controller command eat, which is going to merge is layer into itself so I can move this around basically as its own. Um I'm sure you guys are really cool thing we can do with what's called a step and repeat so let's, go ahead and crop out our image a little bit more. Um give ourselves a little bit more space here we go, it's going automatically fill that all in with black because we used a solid color for later and now with stepping repeat I'm gonna hit option command and I'm gonna hit t that's gonna bring up our transform. We're gonna bring our point right up there and then I kenbrell a chair in and do something like that so we can have a few different weaken just bring these down if we'd like to kind of there we go get a little bit more details let's go ahead and crop in something like that. So the reason I love product photography is you can start to play around anything that you can think of that is going to make something, you know, like visually, a little bit more interesting, he's totally within the realm of possibility here that actually kind of looks like a egg that's opening up, isn't it? So if I saw that in a product catalog, I totally be down on me like that. That looks pretty cool. And you can do a lot of this stuff that you can't really do with portrait's as much as you can get away with, you know what? I think we completed all the way. I don't know. What do you think about that? I liked it. I liked it. This is actually got a base to it. All right? I think I like that a little bit more. The visual space. What do guys like you guys like this or that? Okay, cool. Yeah. So that's just one other kind of fun thing we can do on dh, then to kind of finish it off, we're going to give this chair. We're going to get both chairs a little bit of a drop shadow so you it'll kind of standoff the background a little bit warm, so let's double click there on the layer again, we've cut this out using the pen tool, so we want to take advantage of that. We have a nice edge. We wantto do the best job we can to add these effects, create these backgrounds and do things like drop shadows so let's, go ahead and click on this drop shadow, all right? We'll bring our angle over this way so we can see it. We're going to bring our size up a little bit and we're going to bring our distance up a little bit as well. There we go. Can you see that shadow starting to form there? I can change my capacity here we can go very visible and springer size up a little bit more even. Yeah, or we can knock it down just a little bit to get a little more subtle. There we go. So there's our drop shadow one there, which helps the chair look like it's actually floating in space. Now, if you want to copy the layer effects from one layer to another, very easy to do, hold down the altar the option key and click on this fx and click it from one layer down to another room and there we go we've got the same drop chateau on that chair there we go that's really cool what you guys think

Class Description

As a product photographer your main goal is to make products look as good as possible. In Retouching Product Photography, Aaron Nace will teach you essential retouching techniques so your products look their absolute best.

Even under the best conditions product photos will contain flaws that need to be fixed in post-production. In this class, you will learn how to combine multiple exposures, clean up backgrounds, use the pen tool and color correct. Aaron will show you the best way to eliminate distractions and enhance detail in all your product photos.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Aaron Nace - Retouching Product Photography - Reference Guide.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

Great as always. Thank you Aaron


I am a big fan of Aaron Nace work, the class is definitely beneficial, but I was expecting a sample similar to the burger displayed.