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Masking Basics in Photoshop CS5

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[♫ upbeat techno music] [Adobe TV Presents] [Russell Preston Brown in...] [The Russell Brown Show] Welcome once again to The Russell Brown Show. And this is a special edition of The Russell Brown Show because this, of course, is the 20th anniversary of Photoshop® this year, and I thought I'd go back in time to go into the future. Because we're going to talk about Photoshop® CS5 and masking, and I'm going to talk about the basics of masking. Yet, I'm here to prove today that masking has so improved in CS5 that even a professional and a basic user can use these same tools and get really incredible results. So let me prove this to you now. Okay, we're going to start with this image. As I said, we're going to go back in time, because this is an image that I used 10 years ago. And I did some really complicated masking with channels. Imagine the day when you had to use channels to make a mask. I'm here to prove to you that it's really, really easy. Let's go back to our layers channel right here. I'm going to turn off my top layer here so you can see--here's my background image. A great image from Jeff Schewe. And I'd like to place this image of Diane onto this background. Now, this is a fairly simple project, and I wanted to keep this simple so you could see the basics of masking here inside of Photoshop® CS5. Okay. Here we go. First thing I'm going to do--let's do this really simply. Let's use the Quick Selection Tool right over here. Let's not think about this very much. Let's just take the Quick Selection Tool, and I'm going to select the gray background. And I'm going to hold down the SHIFT key to select these areas right here as well. So look at that. I did not work very hard, and I want to prove that you do not need to work hard to get great results. Also notice--I'm not going to work hard at trying to get all these little, fine details of these hairs because--here's theory #1 when working with Photoshop® CS5: Less is more. So the less you select, the better the results. Now, you're going to understand this in a minute. The less hair you select, the better the results, because what Photoshop® is going to do-- it's going to help you make this selection, and it logically looks for areas of transition. So do not select any areas of transition In fact, I see a little area down here of transition, and what do I mean by that? It's where the hairs become soft and the background shows through. Those are areas of transition. I didn't work very hard. I now go over to the new masking panel right over here. I'm going to select Masks here. You can also go to the Window menu, and down to Masks as well. But since I have this over here as a nice icon, I just click on it. Okay, that was easy. Then I'm going to click right here to create a mask. Poof. Just like that. Now it's the opposite mask. It's easy inside of CS5 to click Invert. Okay. Basic users might say they're done, but no, we can go farther than this. Because--this is incredible. Let's zoom in right over here. Here is where our big problem happens with hair against the background. This looks like she has a hairnet on, and that's no good. So, within this panel, we go right here. This is the magic. This is what's new in CS5--mask edges. A whole new setup here, and I want to go through this in this basic introduction to understand this really, really well. First of all, as I come in here, I'm going to this default setting where I am seeing my image against white. Right here at the top, the View mode. Let's just go through these. If I click on this, you can see that I have different views I can see. If I select the F key, which is actually indicated down here, I can toggle through all of these. So let's just go through them. I can go through a black and white mask. Here I'm just seeing the combination of the two combined together. Here's the original. Here's the mask with a selection, and here's a quick mask, and against black. Now what I typically like to do is I like to see the black mask as well as the composite. And I can quickly, of course, see that each one of these has a letter attached to it, a quick-key letter, so what I like is the K for black and the L for the composite of the two together, and I go back and forth between those really easily from my keyboard, which is really nice. Okay. Here we go. Here are the basics. This is very similar to the extract tool as it used to be used in Photoshop® because it's intelligent, and it's looking at the edges. Let's just see what it's doing here. Right up here--Show Radius. What is it looking for? Where is the radius of the transition areas in the image? If I click on this right here, there is no transition area. Ah! But in this next area right here, let me slide the radius over. See that? I'm increasing the width of the radius here in pixels. In the past we had to draw this, so it's automatically detecting the edge around the image and creating this area of transition. So it's intelligently looking at this. And--check this out. If you were just a basic user and you just wanted to let it take over, you can then go in here and adjust this radius. Let's turn this off right here. Watch what happens as I adjust the radius. We'll then look at this, and the hair will start to transition and grow here. You can't believe that. Let's zoom in on that so you can see that. Look. Look, Mom, no hands here. This is very low radius, and this is a high radius. Nothing special about that. I made a selection, and what did I do? A really sloppy selection--less is more. I'm letting CS5 do all the work in finding the edges here along the hair. And you see as I move this radius out? It gets more and more hair. Let's go back to that Show Radius, right here. Let's zoom back out so you can see that this is the basic. This is what you really need to understand, that you're defining the area of transition with this edge detection and this radius. That is the secret to CS5 and masking. It's all about the areas of transition. This is for basic users. This is a really, really wonderful result just from a quick selection and one slider. Now where do advanced users go? Because I said this is for beginning and advanced. Let's bring our radius back down so we just have a small radius around the edge. We're now moving into more advanced users. They might want to try the Smart Radius adjustment right here. So combine smart, intelligent radius with this control--which means, as I move this slider over, it's going to look at areas of transition in the hair, and it's going to treat those differently than it would around the edge of the hat. Prove it. If I turn on this Show Radius, check this out. With Smart Radius on, it intelligently knows that the brim of this hat does not need much transition area, so the line is thin. And the same is down here on her shirt. But it does realize that her hair is more complex and requires a fatter line. Wow! You had to actually paint this in in the past, and it's intelligently doing that for you. And you can then adjust this slider, and once again you've moved to the next level of professional masking, because you've added in Smart Radius. Wow. Okay. You're saying to yourself, "Finally. I'm a professional. I've used masks all my life. I don't want it to do any detection. I'm the master of masking. I know what I'm doing." To finish this all off, I brought in my mask. It has a sharp edge here on the hair. I want to take control. I want to control everything. Turn off Smart Radius. Have a little bit of a radius adjustment, and then immediately go right down here and select this brush right here. It's the Refine Radius Tool. Professionals are going to love this. You are not going to believe this when I use this brush. So now I'm going to go right in here. I'm going to go along the areas of transition. A super user tip and technique...try not to travel too far into your image. Stay near the edges of the transition, and then let go. And then it recreates that area. Show Radius. Look where I've painted. Here is the thin line around the hat. I've taken control. I've painted in the areas of transition onto the image, and I can then pain in here, and it recalculates based on my painting. Check it out. Now the professionals are interested. They're starting to get interested because I'm in control. There is even more control. You can refine the edge like a professional would refine his mask. I can shrink in on it or expand out. Look at that hair start to grow as it moves out there. Check out--let's go over to the K key, the black and white mask. Only a true masking maniac can love a gray-scale image that looks like this, where you can adjust the mask like this. I dream in masks that look this pretty. This is really, really fantastic. Okay. Let's just finalize this and sell every advanced user on this, because-- let's go back to the masking mode. Here is the finale that makes it so incredible. So fantastic. In the past, I had to decontaminate using tricks and tips and techniques-- every one of my tips and techniques is gone because you just click this button to decontaminate the colors. What the heck does this mean? This means this hair color near the finest little details of hair will expand out into the gray background. It expands out and pushes the color into this space. So what does this mean? If I move my arrow, watch the detail come up in the finest of hairs! Okay. Okay. Wow. Take a moment. I'm out of business. I'm out of business because in this panel is contained amazing, amazing results simply done. Remember? All I did is select this with the Quick Select Tool, no magic masks, and defining it with these controls. The Shift Edge control--very, very important. The Decontaminate Colors, and finally--check this out-- when you select Decontaminate Colors, it automatically shifts this to create a new layer. I'm just going to close this all out. I'm going to click OK. And there it is. I've left my original image alone, as you see here, and then I now added in my final results. All of this work you used to have to do by hand before--it's amazing. It's Adobe® Photoshop® CS5. Masking for beginners and professionals. Fantastic. [♫ techno music ♫] [Adobe TV Productions.]

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 44 seconds
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Genre: None
Views: 1,552
Posted by: adobetv on Oct 7, 2010

In this episode, Russell Brown demonstrates how beginning and advanced users can quickly and easily create professional quality masks using Photoshop CS5's Refine Mask panel.

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