Refining a Mask
Somebody is the magic wand tool because it's a little bit better when it comes to creating discontinuous selection so with the quick selection tool I would have to paint in each individual area that I want to get selected. So with the sky here I've got this big, huge area of sky than the smaller area than the smaller area this even smaller area with the magic wand tool aiken turnoff contiguous that I get a selection based on all areas of the image that look pretty similar I'll usually have the sample all layers checkbox turned on in this case I only have one layer and I'll use a relatively low value for told the higher the value of tolerance, the more forgiving it is for mismatched pixels and where you're going to get additional area so it so I start with a relatively small value sixteen usually works pretty well and then I will just hold the shift key and click in additional areas of the image as needed to complete that selection. So this looks to be a pretty good selection of the sky...
wouldn't you say I think you would thank you for saying so all had an adjustment layer curves adjustment once again you can see that again automatically my layer mask was based on the selection and so my adjustment is on ly affecting the sky, not the bird or the branch now, I mentioned earlier the little self esteem issue in photo shop, right? What is the worst thing you could do for your self esteem when it comes to a photographic image zooming in? Oh boy, it was looking so good from a distance. Now we get in nice and close and what's the problem. Well, theoretically, at least the problem is that I did not feather my selection or that I have not yet feathered my mask, so I'll come back to my mask controls on the properties panel, increase the value oh, in greece value for feathering and now we got a problem. Now we're getting this little halo effect. Well, that's not good let's just give up on that altogether and decide we don't need to adjust the sky. After all, that would be much easier. Instead, I'm going to go to the mask edge option and we'll take a look at a couple of options here a couple of situations as it were, one is this edge. So I have a feather control here, just as I saw a moment ago. And just as I saw a moment ago, it's easy to get that kind of halo effect what's actually happening here is that I'm revealing part of the original sky without the adjustment, so I've defined the sky with no transition. And I darkened the sky and didn't darken the bird. Now I've opened up that transition and it's starting to reveal part of the sky it's not that my feathering was bad necessarily it's that it's in the wrong place well fortunately I can also shift the edge I can move that edge in word or out word for the initial was going to drag it over this way and once this updates there we go, you'll see that now I'm darkening into the bird and if I drag out over this way you'll see that I'm showing even mohr of the original sky and hopefully with any luck I confined just the right position for that edge shift and just the right amount of feathering for that mask edge to create a nice perfect transition and take a little bit of practice remember, of course in this case my adjustment is extra dreamily exaggerated and so if in a more realistic situation I would not have as strong an adjustment and therefore I would not need to be quite as perfect in terms of the precise positioning yes sir yeah, well that mean you up. I just like looking the mask edge button down here on the properties pan okay already so that is looking really good now I mentioned that the worst thing you could probably do with your images is to zoom in and find out what a good job you didn't do sometimes, but sometimes especially after you've zoomed in and fix the problem than the worst thing is to zoom back out again, because then we might notice oh, we still have a little bit of an issue down here, these sort of chin feathers not quite perfect, so even though I've been feathering that edge and trying to get things blended just perfectly, I'm still not getting quite the best result here. Well, notice that when I moved my mouth's out over the image, it looks a lot like a brush, doesn't it? And that's because this refined radius tool is active within refined masks automatically, I think of this as the hey photo shop. Can you take a closer look at this kind of tool? So I'll just come into the image, adjust that brush size paint over the problem area release and press, though thank you photoshopped you just made my day and again, obviously, in this case, I haven't gotten those settings necessarily totally perfect. I think we're pretty close, but not quite perfect, but again, that is an extremely exaggerated adjustment for the sky. I might actually do something more like this. Where I'm affecting the sky but not the bird and we have a smoother transition, a more appropriate transition for the sort of edges of the bird, the feathery stuff I mean the other thing and if you find that layer masking proves to be a little bit challenging, one of the things you can do is actually tio just never photograph anything fuzzing hair feathers for all that stuff really could be a challenge, all right, so two more quick things before we wrap up and maybe take a few questions all of the stuff I've been showing it's not how I really work because usually usually I actually want to apply more than one adjustment to an image so let's just use a really simple example here I'm just going to use a grady in't is my example I want to affect the sky but not the rest of the photo, but how often do I only applied curves adjustment or on ly apply a color balance adjustment? Well, we know that we can create an adjustment layer with a layer mask and that we can adjust those layer masks so let's say I want ingredient layer mass and I've gotta curves adjust it later with the great aunt layer masking a color balance adjustment layer with the greatest player masking a vibrant adjustment layer of the great aunt layer masking a huge saturation of justin later that's a lot of wear masks, slava justin layers, but it's a lot of layer masks so later, if I decide, I made a little bit of a mistake with one of those layer masks except it's, all of those layer masks because I duplicated the same thing multiple times four times, perhaps in this case now I have to go fix it four times, no way I'm lazy, and so I'm not doing that. Instead, I'm going to create a layer group, going to click a little folder button down at the bottom of the layers panel that will add a layer group, and I'll just double click on the name and we'll just call this sky adjustments and then I'll add my adjustments. I'm just going toe arbitrarily add some adjustments here, exaggerated adjustments once again, just so that we can see more clearly what's going on. So these are by no means going to be good, accurate adjustments. They're just going to be a little bit exaggerated wild adjustments. I'll crank up the saturation just a little bit, and we can see that all of those adjustments are affecting the entire image because all of those adjustments have a layer mask that's filled with black. If I want to change where the adjustments affect the image, I could change each of those individual layer masks for each of the individual adjustment layers but then if I want to change it later I've got to change it in three places in this case no, I'm way too lazy for that so instead a little piece of magic going to click on the thumbnail for my layer group and then I will click this circle inside of a square it's kind of more like a rectangle but anyhow that is my add layer mask button I will click on the add layer mask button and now my layer group has a layer mask and because my group was active when I added these adjustment layers, all of those adjustment layers are actually inside the layer group you can tell because they're below the labor group and they're indented if I click on this little triangle the spinner to collapse my layer group you see those adjustment layers disappear the layer mask attached to my layer group constrains the effect of those adjustments so that everything inside the layer group is visible on lee where the layer mask for the layer group is visible which is a long way of saying if I were to add a grady int to the mask for my layer group all of those adjustments now on lee effect the sky so multiple adjustments one layer mask that's efficiency I'm gonna drive over to the ride and dragged down just so you get the idea here that I'm affecting the image in several ways obviously using that grady into effect and I'm only working on a single layer mask one layer mask, multiple adjustments let's take it one step further quickly with gusto. I'm not going to really teach you anything new except for one little tidbit I'm just going to create actual we'll just do this the super fast way I'll make a quick selection here we're going to pretend like it's absolutely perfect it's obviously far from perfect, but in the interest of time we're just going to use our imagination and pretend like this is an absolutely perfect selection of the sky, so now I'm going to add a layer group addle air mask to that layer group and now all of the adjustments that I add to that layer group are on ly affecting the sky, but then I decide that I want to affect the sky in a grady in fashion things got complicated and I want to maintain flexibility so I still want my sky adjustment, but I also want my grade ian's adjustment I'll add one more layer group a leather mask that layer group grab my great aunt tool drug radiant and it does absolutely nothing I need to somehow merge these two layer masks together remember these adjustment layers down below were only affecting the sky because they're inside a layer group that has a layer mask based on the sky. This layer group has a grady intl air mask, but it's doing nothing because there's nothing inside of this labor groups of something I need to get these adjustment layers inside of two layer groups. How am I going to accomplish that? By just dragging this layer group into that layer group? Yes, weaken stack our layer groups together, we can build one on top of the other so that we have multiple masks constraining the behavior of multiple adjustments obviously in this case, not my best work in terms of layer masking, but you get the idea here as I adjust the shape of this gray. Didn't you see that I'm mixing and matching too later masks with multiple adjustments? Obviously I could come back in here and clean up this layer masked ball, for example, grab my brush tool, reduced that size and make sure I'm painting with white and I can paint to clean up that sky mask and I can keep going back to my radiant layer mask and change that I can keep going back to my adjustments and find who knows maximum flexibility? Is that amazing or what? So layer groups are how I work in a lazy way so that I can have a single layer mask or even multiple layer masks with maximum flexibility and minimal effort pretty cool I think so and fun at least for me and I hope you had fun to do we have some questions to address sir yeah, absolutely we have a couple minutes for that if you guys grab a mic in here I think the questions that we're building the most him throughout the course were do you make different adjustment layers for all the different targeted adjustments or can you do them all at once? So people were definitely waiting for that for this now as they were for sure s so this is sort of the grand finale literally because I usually will work in this way as I mentioned it's rare that I'm going to apply one adjustment in a given area and so I almost always start with a layer group with a lair mask several adjustments usually it's only two or three but I've got that flexibility and by saving this by the way as a tiff or a psd image of photoshopped psd document I'm preserving all of these layers so that I can always reopen this image and get back so if I say this close it, reopen it all of these adjustment layers all of these layer masks they're going to be sitting there waiting for me so that, for example, here I still have some clean up work to do on that skylar mask. Obviously I might find tune the adjustments a little bit, but I have that flexibility to me that is the real power here is having this non destructive adjustment capability this ability to target adjustments to specific areas of the image, but most importantly for me always being able to go back and refine my adjustments refined my layer masks so that I'm getting perfect results. The worst is when you make a nice big print and then you realize the little mistake, but fortunately you can always get back to all of those little controls that you have the adjustments in the layer masks and find him things to perfection to be sure, there are situations where takes a lot of work, you've got a very complicated skyline with trees and sky showing through you've got to be lots of little tiny painting, but that is just using all the techniques that I've already covered today just on a smaller scale, and so all of this could be used to really kind of find tune in any situation, it's just a matter of recognizing kind of what is that mask need to look like? What is my stencil need to look like? What sort of adjustment do I want to apply? And you could make it happen