Using Brushes to Refine Selection


The Beginner's Guide to Masking in Photoshop®


Lesson Info

Using Brushes to Refine Selection

We're going to talk about brushes! Yay! (laughter) I really like brushes. So we have this bear, and if we wanted to select it, we could do the quick selection technique, or we can let Adobe Sensei decide what is the subject. We'll see how good it does here. Let's see if it can recognize the bear. See, it recognized the bear. So it doesn't have to be just people. It knew that this was the main subject of the image. So, I could add to the selection by holding shift, clicking and dragging, just add a little bit of the paw there. And for now this is gonna be good. There we go. That's where we're gonna place him. Right here somewhere. For now, we don't have to worry about the background matching, I just wanna get the selection believable. Then I'm gonna double-click on the... Actually, when you double-click on a layer mask, the first time that you ever double-click on a layer mask, if're gonna get a pop-up that comes up, and it's going to say "if you want the double-click to open ...

up the Select and Mask Workspace or not." If you choose no, from then on, you won't be able to... It won't come up, so in this computer I must have hit no 'cause it didn't come up, so when that happens, just click on "Select and Mask Workspace." And there it is. And I can make those same adjustments that I did before, I'm just going to go a little bit quicker here, 'cause I got a lot to show you in 25 minutes, but I'm just fine-tuning the selection, making it look believable. The problem when you're working with bears, or even some people with short hair maybe like me, is that use a lot of that fine detail on the fur, especially in areas like that. So, what I like doing is using brushes to bring back that detail, so I'm actually going to paint on the layer mask. You saw earlier how I was simply painting with white and black before to reveal and hide things on my layer. Well, I can actually make custom brushes to make even more interesting selections. One of the custom brushes that I like using is not really a custom brush, it's found in Photoshop, I just customized it so that it does what I want. So with the Brush Tool active, you can go into the Legacy Brushes, here it is. Under Legacy Brushes, and actually in previous versions, if I'm not mistaken, you have to actually enable them. Remember earlier when I said Photoshop doesn't really take away things, it just hides them or calls them Legacy? For whatever reason, the brushes that were in previous versions of Photoshop are now hidden, so you have to bring them back, so you have to select Legacy Brushes. It will give you this folder with all the other brushes that you're probably used to that were available in older versions of Photoshop. And the brush that I like using a lot is this one here, and I'll just create a new layer and I'll just paint with it so you can see what it does. It just paints hair, essentially, and actually a little bit of Photoshop trivia, that brush was created by my favorite Photoshop artist, and instructor, and my Photoshop hero, Bert Monroy, who was Photoshop user number six, if I'm not mistaken, and he wrote the very first book ever on Photoshop. He also has a lot of tools that he created inside of Photoshop, one of those is all the grass brushes, so a shout out to my friend, Bert Monroy. Anyway, we can paint hair, like so, but we don't really want to paint hair. We want to paint on the layer mask, we want to paint alongside the bear, and instead of just painting a soft brush stroke, we're going to paint hair on the layer mask so we can actually see the hair from the bear. So, this won't actually work right now, just because the hair is not exactly the way that I want it. So I do need to click on the brush settings here, and in the brush settings I need to just adjust the spacing, make it look more like fur, I'm going to remove the Color Dynamics. The Color Dynamics...what Color Dynamics does is they take the foreground color, which was that pinkish color and the background color, which is black, and when you paint, it sort of mixes in between those colors, so you're not really painting with one color, you're painting with these two colors and the colors in between. So that's why you get that effect there. And I don't want that for my layer mask, so I'm just gonna remove the Color Dynamics, and I can actually test my brush here, and I'll test it with black. There we go. And I can change the scattering, you can see I don't want this hair to be so scattered, so I'm going to bring that in just a little bit. In Shape Dynamics, I'm going to reduce the angle, so they're all straight, or they're all turning away from each other. So I kinda have to think about how the fur that I'm trying to match looks. So, that sort of looks more or less like the fur that would be on the back of the bear, and I can test it, I can start painting with black here. And I'm actually going to reduce the size of the brush. And I think that may work. I think I may have to add a little bit more of scattering, just a little bit more. Yeah, something like that. So now, if I delete this layer, because I don't need it, I can go into my bear layer, white is my foreground color, I can zoom in, and I can start painting with white, and I'm going to get some of that fur back. Obviously with a Wacom tablet, you have pressure sensitivity, and that's what I recommend using, but you can see how now I'm adding some of that hair back into there, into the image there. So that is a great way of adding detail to a layer mask, like so, and I'll actually make the brush even bigger, just so it's more noticeable in this example. Obviously that's way too much, but you get the idea.

Class Description

If you want complete control over of your retouching, compositing and designing in Photoshop®, you’ve got to know how to mask. The problem is, masking can be a confusing, hard-to-understand process. In this class, Jesús Ramirez will teach you advanced techniques that even beginners can follow to build excellent and editable masks. You’ll learn how to mask and extract objects in Photoshop® with Layer Masks, Clipping Masks, Blend if and more. The skills you learn will help you take your composites and retouching to the next level.


Gary Price

Probably mistitled as "for beginners" Moves very quickly, sometimes without clearly describing actions taken. This is fast paced and often assumes that the listener is very familiar with photoshop. Good tips if you are already familiar...