Photoshop Basic 2 - Masking, Clipping and Refining | John Ross | Skillshare

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Photoshop Basic 2 - Masking, Clipping and Refining

teacher avatar John Ross, Professional Retoucher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Settings

    • 3. Color Range

    • 4. Quickmask

    • 5. Group Masking

    • 6. Combine Masks

    • 7. Refine Edge

    • 8. Tight/Loose Masking

    • 9. Vector Masks

    • 10. Filters on Masks

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About This Class

Perfecting the Mask

As an expansion of the concepts learned in the Basic I, this class will focus on when to use tighter masks, and when to use looser ones. Masking is, in our opinion, the most important skill to learn in Photoshop, so we’ll be spending a great deal of time perfecting your skills through actual photo examples that will be used throughout the whole course.

Some topics include:

  • Color Range
  • Quickmask
  • Alpha Channels
  • Text Masks
  • Group Masking
  • Refine Edge
  • Skin Masking
  • Vector Masks
  • Modifying Masks with Filters


Meet Your Teacher

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John Ross

Professional Retoucher


View my other Skillshare Videos at: ___

My name is John Ross, and I specialize in high-end Portrait, Product, and Scenic Retouching. I've been working in the printing, photography, retouching, marketing, and graphic design fields for more than 20 years.


Most recently, my retouching work has been seen in Advanced Photoshop Magazine and Photoshop Creative Magazine.


Photoshop Perfection - Portraits, Camera Raw, and Smart Objects ___


Photoshop Perfection - Basic Retouching for Photographers See full profile

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1. Introduction: I would like to welcome you to masking too. And during this course, you're going to find that several of the topics we have already talked about in basic one. However, I will take that information above and beyond what I've discussed in the past and start showing you some more advanced ways that you can use masking techniques within Photoshopped to create some really amazing results. Now, when this course starts, I'm going to be revisiting previous information that have talked about in the past, for example, settings and preferences. Things along those lines. I'm gonna be showing some basic walk through of how masking works, using brushes, quick masking color range. But then we're gonna be getting into some more complex topics that I haven't discussed yet . For example, group masking, which is a way to create one mask from multiple layers and effects. I'm also going to be talking about combining multiple masks together in order to create a single master mask, combining different elements as well as refined edge, which is used to silhouette around fly away hair so that person could be placed upon a different background and not look like they were actually just cut straight out. We're also going to be getting into different types of masking techniques as well as a vector masks which you may or may not actually need. But as usual, it's always good to know. So let's get started with masking simplified Part two. 2. Settings: when it comes to making selections, there are many different ways to do it. You can use the magic wand the last so quick selection. There are many, many different ways. I strongly prefer a combination between color range and quick mask. But by default, Photo shop is trying to mimic the dark room, which he was clear red overlays of plastic known as ruby lift. And when you were working in the dark room, it was really easy to use. It made absolute sense, but when that became transferred over to the digital medium for photo shop, it really didn't translate correctly. Basically, it makes it harder to work than it needs to, which is why most people don't actually use this method. But since I use it a 99% of the masking that I do, I'm gonna show you how to use it. But we have to change some of photo shops core functionality in order to do that. So let me start by showing you how Photoshopped wants you to work by default by going up to select color range. The way that this is supposed to work is that I have this eye dropper where I can hold down the shift key, and that allows me to add to a selection. So if I click once, hold down the shift key, move the cursor and click again. I can continue to click and add to this selection. And as you could see down here in this little black and white thumbnail that I'm adding to that selection, the problem here is that I'm supposed to make an educated decision based off that tiny little thumbnail. Honestly, I have no idea what is or is not selected at this point. Underneath the preview, we do have something called selection Preview, where I do have the option to change it to a variety of different displays. However, quite honestly, none of these air helping my cause. Now the best choice you actually have is quick mask, however, based off of the default settings. I couldn't tell you what's actually mast and what is not mast, because this, even though it looks transparent, could have the exact same opacity. Is this area right here on Lee? Because it's over dark area versus a light area, it's very difficult to work. Therefore, we're going to change the base settings I'm going to hit, cancel, and then we're going to change some based settings within photo shop down below the color swatches. You have this square with a circle in it. Double click on this, and it's going to open up quick mask options. Even though we were in color range, we're trying to use the quick mask preview. That's why we're in the quick mask options. By default, it has massed areas and 50%. I'm going to strongly recommend changing this to selected areas and 100% simply because this is going to give us the best display. Additionally, we have the color by default as red. Now, if you're working at a landscape, red is fine because it's going to show up clearly. However, when dealing with Portrait's Red is a terrible color. And when you look at this image that I have selected, the whole thing is red, so that's not gonna help you at all. When using Portrait's, I recommend going to a green. However, if you have green, then it doesn't work in a landscape, so you choose your battles. Sometimes I swap on and off between them Go okay now, right Now we're actually experiencing what I consider a bug inside a photo shop. It's always been here and there, trying to help, but they're not really right now we are inside of quick mask mode down below the color swatch. You can see that this is gray. That means you're in quick mask mode. We need to come out of quick mask in order to use color range. So I'm gonna click on this once. Now we're back in regular photo shop, and you can freely use select color range. Now, as you can see, we can make a very good, educated decision about which colors are and are not selected because we can see it clear his day. We're going to be talking about color range more coming up. I simply wanted to show you how to fix the preferences in order to give you the best experience using the color range and quick mass tools 3. Color Range: when it comes to making selections, you will often find that the best results come from color range because you could make very quick selections with minor tweaking, and you will get very excellent results most of the time. Not always, but it's always worth a good first attempt. What we want to do is select the sky while omitting all of these trees, bushes and everything else that is within this image. Well, I could select the sky specifically. The problem here is that the water at the bottom has the same blues and whites associated with it, and I think we'll end up having a little bit of a problem when we're doing that. So in this case, I'm going to be selecting the green of the trees, which will be easier for us to exclude other parts of the image laid around in the process . So in this case, I'm gonna be focusing on the dark greens because it has a higher degree of contrast within the image, and it will be easier to grab those colors and tones as opposed to the whites and the blues , which are more prevalent throughout the entire image. So in this example. Let's say we want to grab the green of the trees and coming in here and trying to mass this out by hand is absolutely crazy talk. And even if you were to come in here with a magic wand or the quick selection tool or something like that, it's way too much work. The best and quickest results are often just going to come from using color range. You can find that under select color range, zoom in a bit and continue clicking, clicking, clicking until I get something that I'm happy with now within color range, you have the option of clicking once, which is the eyedropper tool. You can also click on the eyedropper, which has the plus symbol next to it, which adds to the previous selections. What you've just seen me do is hold down the shift key, as you should know by now, holding down the shift key on many of the tools and photo shop is going to add to the selection. So as you've seen me selecting all of these different tree elements, I've been holding down that shift key, and that's allowed me to add to the selection. If you want to use the icon, you can just click that, but I often find that more work. If you needed to remove any of these elements from the selection, you can click the minus key, but you can also get the same results by holding down the altar key on the PC. So on the PC was holding down the shift key and the altar key. And on a Mac, it's going to be holding down the shift key to add and the option key to subtract from any given selection. You can also click and drag, So if you click one area and drag over another and let go, it will grab based off of whatever you dragged over. Now the important thing to know is you're not going to get everything, nor are you going to be able to exclude everything. Simply. Your goal here is to get the best results with the least amount of work. So when I zoom out, you can still see it. There are plenty of areas that I'm missing, so I'm going to continue to hold down the shift key. Dragging and selecting and getting as much of this is. I can with my net result trying to be not to select the sky now. In this case, I swiped too much and I am starting to get pieces of the sky. So now, because this sky is touching this green, this is too much. It's OK to have certain areas that we can eliminate later, but because they're touching along with leaves, that's going to create more work for ourselves. So I'm going to undo and try it a little bit more. I paid a little bit more attention and again, it's not going to be 100%. It's never 100%. All you're trying to do is choose your battles and get most of it without doing too much. So at this point, I feel I've gotten most of it because remember, my goal is to eliminate the sky. Not necessarily all of this. We can handle them as separate elements. So once again, as I've been saying, this is about choosing your battles and this battle is specifically grabbing the green and the dark green of the leaves as well as the trees. But excluding the sky and the clouds and things like that and all these things down below. We can handle separately using quick mask, but for right now I just want to focus talking about the color range dialog box. When I click on this pull down here. We currently have sampled colors selected, and that is what we want. These other options that are available to US Reds, yellows, greens highlights, midtown skin tones, those air, all limiting our ability to select color. So if our just select greens, that's it. I have no more control over this. Simply it's grabbing these greens, and that's it. And that's definitely not what I want to do. I want much more control. Each and every one of these other pull downs is going to give you the same limited range of colors. If you leave it on sampled and you use your shift key and your other modifier of ault or option that will give you the results that you're looking for most of the time. Now, you can also adjust this fuzziness now. Fuzziness in other parts of photo shop is referred to his tolerance. For example, the magic wand has tolerance, and the paint bucket also has tolerance inside of color range it's called fuzziness and simply the higher the value, the more it's going to grab and the lower the value, the less it's going to grab. However, the default is 40 and I don't know why it's 40. But there you go, and I often find that 40 is just simply a good round number to get started with. I like the results. You do have range that allows you to bring it in. And if you look at the preview, you'll see that it's narrowing in on the areas that I've clicked on previously. However, I find that range is not at all what I want, and I leave it at 100% 100% of the time. There's also detect faces, which, like these pull down menus, is not something that I want. So I would suggest leaving that off and all the rest of these options and settings in here are things you might want to play with, probably not since I never, ever use any of them. I'm not even going to waste your time talking about them, so let's just click OK, and then this takes us out of color range and brings us back into regular photo shop, and in this case, this shows us what the selection is. And the selection is based exclusively on what we used inside of color range. In this example, I used color range to select all the greens of the trees. What? I clicked. Okay, this visual selection is based off of those choices that I made within color range. And now the next video and quick mask is going to show you how we refine this selection to give us the results that we were actually looking for. 4. Quickmask: Now this video is very specifically intended to be an extension of the previous color range video because in order to modify this pre existing selection, we need to find tune the selection by using quick mask. Quick mass can be found down here on Meet the colors with this little square with a circle inside of it. Icon, click it once at this point and you will see the selection turned into the color that you previously selected could be read could be green. Whatever it is. Our goal at this point is to select these trees and in order to do that, we need to mask out certain sections of this. Our goal here is to select the sky. Once inside of quick mask, we can see that the trees are clearly defined, but we also need to mask out the boat in the water as well. So the easiest way to do that is with the paintbrush. By clicking the paintbrush, black normal mode capacity 100% flow, 100% were able to come in here and quickly paint out these areas so that they match the other selected areas. Currently, my brush is set to soft because the hardness is set to zero. That means that it's soft, so I'm going to bring this up to somewhere around 80%. We can't bring it up to 100%. Otherwise it creates a funny looking brush, so 80% is fine. I'm going to click. OK, so now I can come in here and start painting. And even though I'm painting, I'm painting in the mask and we're really affecting the selection. Give myself a bigger brush. As you could see, it was very quick and easy for us to come in here and just paint over the entire bottom. This is why choosing your battles was very important under color range. By selecting the darker areas, we were able to easily mask out the rest of the bottom so that when we come out of quick mask by clicking this icon once again underneath the colors, we now have everything selected except the sky. But at this point I can go select in verse. Now I have this sky selected. You can clearly see that by the marching ants selecting just the sky. But if you wanted to, you can also click on color range again and see that just that area selected now, Interestingly enough, I didn't notice this before. Parts of this are selected, and I don't actually want those selected. So what? I will use my brush with White because black is going to add to the selection at this point and White is going to remove. I'm just going to remove some of these areas that I didn't really intend to dio. We will talk about this again, but the brackets will allow you to make the brush bigger and smaller and those brackets or above the enter key, I'm gonna come out of the quick mask again by hitting the quick mask icon here. And now that this guy is selected, I'm going to do something to show you what happens. And then I'm gonna show you how to correct it. If I click on Adjustment Curve and I pulled us all the way down, you're going to see that I've dark in the sky. But I also have this strange halo that's going around this image. So basically what's happening is you have areas of dark and areas of light, and they don't lend together particularly well now this is an often side effect of using color range and any other quick selection method like Magic Wand or Quick Select. Rather, I'm going to back up using the history palette to go back to moves so that I still have that selection. And with the selection, I'm going to go select, modify, expand now. Sometimes you might use contract, but often at this point it's going to be expand, and I'm going to expand it to pixels now. This is an arbitrary number, however, because I know I'm working off a Lawrence J. Peg. It's one or two on a full size image that is 16 or 18 mega pixel. Often the value is around four pixels, so I'm going to click to and go, OK, now, if you notice what it's doing here, this is before that's after before and after, and so basically what it's doing is it's adding to this selection and moving into the green . Now, at this point, if I were to show you, you would just see darker areas of green. But the next thing that I do is select modify feather and usually I use the same value. So if expand was to feather is, too, if expand his four feathers for and this simply allows it to. Instead of expanding at a full amount, the feather is going to bring it back half, so it's going to expand it, but kind of soften it as it goes, and you often get a better result from it. Now, when I go to the curve and I bring it all the way down, you will see a much more smoother transition. Now this is an extreme. I understand that. But when you deal with faces in other areas that drift off using very small, subtle shifts, you won't even see this transition at all. And that's really the goal is to avoid seeing the transitions now. Well, I could go into more detail on how to use color Range is less quick mask. The thing is, I have many free videos on my website that address both of these topics as well is the fact that I believe you've probably been through basic one already, or you simply already know how to use it. So I don't want to go into too much detail and otherwise waste your time If you do need to know more about it. Please go to my website at www dot theater very touching dot com, and there you're going to find more detail the use of color, range and quick mask. 5. Group Masking: I'm going to teach you a technique that I call group masking. And basically what I'm going to do is show you what happens when you take the same mask and apply it on top of itself to be more specific. I think about it this way. Let's say you took the time to mask out somebody shirt and you apply some sort of tonal change to it. But then you want to adjust the color as well. Well, you don't want to create the mask all over again. Rather, what you want to do is pick up the same mask and reapply it to another adjustment layer. What I'm gonna show you is a fairly simplistic example. But the end result will give you a much cleaner way of working for this fairly loose example. I'm going to go in a quick mask and I'm going to take this iris brush and I'm going to paint on the mask. I'm then going to come out of the quick mask and now we have a selection of that iris. So now I can apply a random adjustment to it. Let's say levels in this example. We don't have anything to adjust. So I'm going to grab the whites and add some tone into them. Pretend this is a shirt and we took all the time to mask the whole thing out. Well, we don't want to mask it out again to create a new adjustment. Rather, we just want to grab the existing adjustment and reapply it. So the way that you do that is over over the mask that you want to grab and on the Mac. Hold down the command key and on the PC, hold down the control key, and this is going to give you a cursor that has the square rectangular marquis. I can now click, and as you can see, it's going to re grab that entire selection. I can then create a new adjustment. Let's say Hue saturation. I'll click colorize, make it blue, and now let's say, for example, we want to grab it 1/3 version of it. So once again, we just hold down the modifier key and click on the mask. It's going to re select that mask, and then we can apply another adjustment to it. So this time let's pick curves and just bring it up a little bit. Now. We've used three different adjustments and applied the exact same mask over and over again so that we don't actually have to recreate this mask over and over again. But I'm not done yet because I need to tell you that every time you create a layer mask you're actually adding a new channel to the file on the back end. So if you're working in RGB, you have a file that has a Red channel, a green channel in a blue channel for the red, green and blue Plus. In this case, we have a levels one channel. We have a hue saturation channel, and we have a curves channel. Now we make masks all the time for all of our different layers. So that's not the problem. I just want you aware that every time you add a new mask, you're making your file size bigger unto itself. That's not a big deal. So let's look at it from a different point of view. After we've applied all these adjustment layers and masks, we realize that the mask isn't as tight as we need it to be, so we have to adjust one of these masks. And what that actually means is we need to adjust one mask. Then we have to adjust the second mask and we have to adjust the third mask. And since they're not going to be accurate every single time, you may get some friend jingle otherwise look funny. Now there's actually a slightly better wayto work. I'm actually going to make a duplicate of this image because I want to reference it again. When I'm done, I'm going to click image duplicate say Okay, now we have two copies of the same document, so I'm just gonna slide this side of the way and then go back to this file here. Now, back to what I was saying it would be better if we had one mass that could control all the different sub layers. And the way to actually achieve that is to click down here on this icon that says, Create new group. When you do that, it's going to create this group folder. We can then take each of these layers and bring them into the new group so that right now we can suck him all up and then they're hidden away. We can open it up, and there they are again. This part isn't particularly interesting. What is actually interesting is that we can grab this mask and drag it up unto the group itself and let go. Now that mask has moved on to the top group now, because this mask is on the group controlling the sub layers, we no longer need these extra masks so I can right click on it and go delete layer mask and this one as well, right? Click delete layer mask. So now here we have three sub layers controlled by one mask inside of a group, and this is actually a much cleaner way toe work, because if we need to adjust the mask, we only have to adjust one mask. But there's another side effect of this that you might not have considered. What it actually does is it takes this level, this hue saturation. This curve pushes them together and applies the mask once in the other example. What it actually does is it applies the level in the mask than the hue saturation in the mask and the curves in the mask, and the reason that I made the duplicated the image was so that I could show you this. Can you see how incredibly different it looks? And the reason is because here you have a variety of different densities that are applied to the adjustment. Then you have the same densities which replied to this adjustment and then added to this one. And once again you have the densities on this layer, which then apply to this one, which then apply to this one, which then gets applied to the image below. What you actually have here is a dirty version, because it's applying it in applying it, implying of it all on top of itself. This one is a much cleaner variant because it takes the adjustments, pushes them together and then applies one single mask with a single tone per pixel. Now, most cases it's not normally this obvious. Usually, when you do have pixels matching and top of themselves, it's actually riding along the edge of an item. But that soft edge could lead to some visual fringing, and that's why working with this method with a single mass to control all the sub layers is a much cleaner and better way to work. 6. Combine Masks: I'm going to show you how to combine different masks in order to create 1/3 completely different mask by using pieces from the other two masks. So let me show you. Let's start by creating a selection based off of the blue of the boat, so I'm not going to take the time to actually do it. But if I went into Quick Mask by clicking this taking my paintbrush, I could then come in here and start painting the blue of the boat. So let's pretend you took all that timeto watch me actually do it. And through the magic of editing, there you go. So let's come out of the quick mask. We now have that selected Let's create a temporary layer mask for it so that we can find it afterwards. So let's just click on levels, and it has now taken that selection and applied it to the mask on this layer. I don't need to actually make any adjustments. I just want to label this is Blue Mask. So I confined it later. And now let's come in a quick mask again, and this time select the red of the boat and there you go perfect. So it's come out a quick mask and take this once again. Apply it to something and name it. Red mask. So now we have one mask for the red. We have another mask for the blue of the boat, which is great, but what I actually want is the white of the boat. So what we can actually do now is combine those two masks together, for example, by holding down the control key on the PC or command on a Mac. I can click once on the layer mask, and that's going to give me a selection of the red. I can then hold down the shift key as well, and that's going to put this little plus icon inside of my cursor. See that now I can click on the next mask in this case blue. And when I do that, it has now selected the red and the blue. When I click on the quick mask, you can see that. So now I've taken two different masks and I've combined them together, and the purpose of doing this is so I can grab a selection of the entire boat at the same time without the need to re mask the entire boat. I'm simply taking the elements of two existing masks, and now I can go into quick mask and simply fine. Tune this mask without having to start over from scratch. See this way I already have part of the masks created. So all I need to do is just add two pieces of this without having to do it all over again from scratch and without wasting a ton in your time, you can simply see that all I'm doing is filling in the inside of the boat and there you have it. I filled in the inside of the boat so that when they come out of the quick mask, I can then create a new adjustment. And now I have a master of the entire boat. So to put this into context for you, let's say that you've already taken the time to silhouette someone shirt to silhouette the pants, but you need to do the skin and the hair. Why start over from scratch, doing the shirt, the pants in the skin and the hair when you already have the pants in the shirt? So just grab those two masks, and that just leaves you to do the skin in the hair. It'll save you a ton of time in the long run and just to wrap around this concept to a completion. If we have this entire boat as our selection like this, I held down the control key or command on the keyboard, which allows me to re select the mask I can then hold down the altar key or option on a Mac and this Allow me to subtract from the selection that I just made. For example, I'll take away the blue and I'll take away the red. And now we just have the other areas of the boat selected. So that means I can go into quick mask and simply erase away the areas that I don't want. And now we have the white of the boat selected all by itself. And so now that we have it all broken up into pieces, weaken, grab each and every one of these pieces the boat individually, or combine them all together into a single piece. And now that we actually have the boat broken down like this weaken, select. Just the red, just the blue, just the white or the entire boat all at once. 7. Refine Edge: in this video, we're going to be using a tool called Refined Edge, otherwise referred to as refine mask. The way that this image is going to end when we're finished is going to change each and every time we actually do it. That's one of the reasons why I don't like this tool is because it's too variable. It depends on what it picks up when it picks up and how that applies to later steps, and it's a little bit iffy on how it works. But when you want to retain hair within photo shop when placing it against a different background, there are limited amount of choices that you have in the supplemental videos that accompany this course down below. There are other methods of doing this, and I'm not going to re record each of these steps. Simply watch the videos below and try them out. See which ones you like best. Different tools work better for different situations, and my goal in this tutorial is to replace the brick wall with a different background. And once again your results are going to vary. I'm going to start by changing this background layer into a layer zero simply so that we have more flexibility with it in a double click on the layer and go layer zero click, OK said Now it could be turned on and off, and we can do different things with it. Next, I'm going to take a different background and I'm going drag and drop it onto the first image. So now we have a different background and I'm going to scale this up using edit free transform and just kind of scaling up. Good enough. I'm going to take this layer and drop it below the 1st 1 So now the guys on top Next I'll click back on the layer zero and go select color range. And my goal here is going to be selecting this background. But if I grab the red, I'm gonna be grabbing his face, which may or may not work out. Okay, I really don't know, Um I'm holding down the shift key to grab a whole bunch of this and yeah, it's not bad. I mean, the other way of doing it is to select the blue and run along, grabbing the blue and then inverted going the other way. But, you know what this work finds itself. Whatever. I'm going to grab this background first as best as I can. And I'm holding down the shift key so that it gives me that plus on the curve under the cursor and I'm dragging. I'm just simply dragging right across the image and it's grabbing as much as it can. And my goal here is to have it come out and cut around the hair as opposed to the skin. I can handle that separately, but now I'm going to hold down my Ault key to make a minus, and I'm removing from the selection right here because I want to get more of the fine detail up here in this area. It was best is it's letting may. Okay, so basically we are removing the background and we're keeping the subject in the foreground . Click OK, and then it's gonna make my selection. I'll click on Quick Mask and now I'm going to refine this as much as I can without getting crazy on the hair. Use my brush with white and that's going to erase these inside areas, and I'm just taking some big swipes at it to start with flipping around the black, and now I can make these big areas against the background and exclude those. And now that I made those big swipes, now I'm gonna come in and tighten this up a little bit and add and remove him as much of this as I possibly can again without making a big production around the hair. When it comes to masking, I often find using a whack. Um, tablet makes this a lot easier to dio, but it's completely subjective. If you don't have a wack um, tablet, you might want to consider getting one or borrowing one from someone and then testing it out to see how much you like it. Be sure to get a small wax tablet instead of a large or even a medium. Of course, you think bigger is better. But that's not the case when it comes to the wack, um, tablets because your arm, because then you either use your arm to paint or you use your wrist to paint, and ideally, it's much easier to just use your wrist to do what I'm doing here. I'm flipping around black to white, using the X keys and bracket keys. Make it bigger and smaller. And then the X key flips the colors around. Okay, So you could see I just kind of got around. It didn't get crazy with it. Good enough. And I'm just going to refine the inside just a little bit because I went quickly. If I see anything else, No. Okay. Come out of the quick mask. And now we have him selected. And I'm going to apply this mask to the layer when I do it because this outside has thes selection around it. It's going to keep the brick, but get rid of him. I want the opposite. So if I go select inverse now, it's going to keep him and exclude the background watch. See that? So now that we've created this loose mask, our goal is to tighten this by using the refine mask or refine edge tool. I say it that way because they've changed the name. And it depends on how you look at it. For example, if I click on the layer itself with the properties palette, you don't see anything. But if I click on the mask itself, then you have the option for mask edge. When I click on mask, edge up pops Refine mask. It's a little goofy. The names have never been consistent. It's simply mattered how you went into this dialog box because there's a couple different ways to get in there, and these outside buttons changed their name. So this is the dhobi engineers doing whatever they wanted. Once again, when you come into this tool, the first thing you want to do is adjust your view mode up under view. You have a variety of different options. For example, marching ants overlay on black on white, black and white on layers and reveal layer so it's currently on reveal layer, which shows me the entire layer. Is it WAAS? Without any special thing happening? I can click on marching ants, which gives me something, but not quite what I'm looking for either get overlay, which really doesn't help either On black on white, you get the idea. Your best option when using this tool is to have your two layers already placed into your document the way I did and have it set to on layers because this is going to allow you to see one layer on top of the next because there's no reason to spend all this time getting it to look perfect on white, for example, when all you're going to do is put it against a background that has a variety of different textures to it. So this makes a whole lot more sense. Just set it to UNL Ayer's and then this is going to give you an easier way to work When it comes to saving and out putting this once again, you should make sure it's correct on the front end under the output section down here. Output to you have selection layer mask new layer new layer with a layer mask. New document. New document with a layer mask. There's a variety of different ones that you could choose from its up to you, which one you want to go with. I would probably suggest new layer with a layer mask, because when you do that, as you can see, it's going to give you a duplicate of the layer and a refined mask, as well as retaining the old mask. Because none of the other settings air going to give you quite this exact thing. This way you can mix and match you can go back at the end of this video, I'm going to be explaining why you would want duplicates like this. But for right now, keep in mind that, ideally, what you would want is toe have new layer with a layer mask selected now that we've checked our two settings thieve you mode in the output to now, we can actually get started with refining this mask so that our goal here is to take this icon right here, which is refined radius tool and then underneath that there's an erase refinement tool. We actually want to refine the radius first, so we have a brush with a plus inside of it. Make it bigger by using the brackets once again bigger and minus brackets, which above the enter key and simply click in paint. It's going to finish, and then it's going to update the mask. This is before this is after. So now it becomes a little hit or miss on whether it's better or not, and we have to go into this refine mask a couple of times. We have to tinker with it a little bit, but ultimately this is the way that you actually use it, for better or worse. And I'm just simply painting and drawing and letting go. Come over to the other side, paint and let go and paint and let go. Always check your before and after is cause sometimes it doesn't necessarily look better. Simply different. We can try it up here is well, but I think our results are going to be a little bit hit or miss because of this white being confusing to it, uh, before and after. And it's not bad that that snap out, it's softening that edge. So again we can refine the refinement. But this is just a step in the right direction. So now, conceptually, we have some other sliders that we have here, and whether you want to use them is again hit or miss, play with them. One image is not going to be the same as the next. But what you have here is a radius. I'm gonna show you what happens to radius down here. This is with zero radius. Now I'm gonna crank it all the way up. I see how it changed it a little bit. Basically, it's softened the edges and made it a little bit more feathered. I guess this is the after, and this is the before, and depending on your mask, you may or may not one or the other. You do have an option for Smart Radius, which once again has been a little bit hit or miss for me. We also have this slider here called Shift Edge. And this means that as I slide it this way, you're pixels are going to come in tighter inside of the live area. Watch. See, it got rid of those flyways, but it went into the image too. So you don't want to do a lot If you're going to do it, it's gonna be very small increments just to take a little bit of an edge off. But if you can avoid it, avoid it. If you can't, you can't. In this case, it's probably okay. Now notice how soft this ended up. Getting that comes from that shift edges. What we would want to do is hard in that back up so we can go erase refinement and do this . It knows how it put all that back in. So it's kind of funny, cause it completely erased it, and then it put it back. I don't know. I'm not a fan of this tool again, but you know it works. It's not doing a bad job, certainly better than I could do well by myself right now. One of the other things that I could recommend limited. Take this with a little bit of grain. Assault is this check box right here. Decontaminate colors. What this is going to do is it's going to take away colors that came from the other background and make this image better match the current background. So, for example, in the area up here that we have this ghosting of the previous color. When I click decontaminate colors, it gives it more of a blue cast that better matches the existing current background. But now, notice up here in the whiter areas, it is affecting that. So again, it's a little bit header miss. Not only can you d contaminate, but you can also limit the amount that it's decontaminating and depending on the background , it helps. It definitely helps, but it will straight up affect the image itself. Let me show you what will happen if I say decontaminate colors and then say, OK, I want you to see what happens. Here's the original image and here's what decontaminate colors actually does to the image itself. So decontaminate colors is definitely touch. It's not something I would use just to use. But if it solves a very specific problem than it solves the problem now that we've come out of the mask edge refine edge, it's created a new layer with a new mask for us. However, I don't want to use this particular layer because it had that decontaminate colors on it. So I'm going to come back to this older layer that doesn't have that problem, right. Click on the mask and delete the mask. Take the new mask, put it on to the old layer and then throw away the new layer. Now I go through the trouble showing this to you because there are many, many times that after I create what I want, I may or may not want pieces of it. So it's often I'll throw away the old mask and take the new mascot. Apply it to the old layer to put it into perspective for you. Let's say you have a smart object. So if you're working off a smart object and you create this refined a mask, you come out of it. It's going to give you a pixel based layer instead of the smart object. So once again, I'll throw away the old mask on the smart object and then copy over the new mask onto the smart object and then throw away the new layer that it created for me again. All I want is that mask. So now that I have this pretty good mask, all I need to do is click on it with my brush tool and then simply refine it, you know, adding, removing using the plus and minus like right here black. So I have black selected on my brush, and I'm adding to the mass cutting in a little bit like this. And if I want other parts back, I flip it around to white just to make sure we have a nice hard edge. It's completely up to you how you want to handle it, but basically this is how I would go about using this tool for good batter and different. Okay, so there you go 8. Tight/Loose Masking: Let's talk about the difference between soft masking and tight masking. Basically, the amount of detail that we need to put into any given mask is directly related to the type of change we need to make. The more drastic the change we need to make, the more detailed the mask we need to make. The softer the change, we make the looser of the mask we can make. So let me give you the example if we come into quick mask with my paintbrush, and I want to show that the hardness is down here 22% which means it's a very soft brush with black. I can come along here and very loosely and quickly mask out her skin. I can flip the brush with the X key, flip it back again with the X key and just kind of come in here and very quickly and easily without much thought at all. Make a very loose selection of her skin flipping around, eliminate that and come out of quick mask. If the change that we're making is going to be subtle, let's say curves, then I can simply bring it up and call it a day No one needs to know what we're doing. It doesn't have to be any more complicated than this. And even when I missed huge chunks of it here, you know, I mean, close is good enough. I mean, nobody is going to miss it, because the move that we made is a very small one. Here's the before and there's the after. Would I want to do it quite this loose? No, because I want to at least follow the contour a bit. But you get the idea. No one's gonna miss the fact that this is overhanging. That's overhanging because this is a very subtle mask. I can't even take this exact same mask and apply a hue saturation to it and saturate the image a bit. And there you go. I mean, nobody needs to know that we did a hack job on the mask, and we don't have to spend a lot of time on the mask because the changes that we made were very subtle. However, if the change I'm going to make is drastic, For example, if I click the cull arise button in hue, saturation and changes to blue Well, now you can clearly see where I cut corners, you could see the areas that I missed, and it's in these situations that you can't do a smudge of a hack job, and you have to come up close and you have to give yourself that small brush, and you have to come in here and get it as closely and as tightly as you possibly can, because it's in these situations that your masks are going to make or break the image because the better your mask, the better your images are going to be because those imperfections are less likely to be noticed. But when you come up in the areas like this and you have that drastic change, well, then you have to have a better mask. There's no two ways about it. So once again, soft change he didn't get away with a loose mask. When you make a drastic change, you have to get the tight mask. Otherwise you're going to see all the imperfections 9. Vector Masks: So far we've been working with raster based masking. This time I would like to show you a vector mask if you recall a vector Mask uses mathematical equations to designate certain points and arcs in order to create its shape, as opposed to raster, which is pixel based. Where the biggest difference is the vector can get bigger and smaller. And it's always going to retain its shape because it is mathematically based, as opposed to pixels, which add and remove pixels and can be distorted and otherwise lose its original intended shape when made bigger and smaller. Now, so far, you understand that if we hit quick mask and I take it paintbrush, and with black selected, I can click once over here and once over here, come out of quick mask that we now have a selection. I can take this selection and apply it to the layer by clicking this icon right here. Add layer mask. So now, once again, you should understand that we now have a mask which says that this information is allowed to come through these two white areas. White reveals black conceals. However, you may have a reason that you want to use vector masks instead of raster masks. But in order to do that, we have to create these vector masks for ourselves. In order to do that, we need our path palette, which is found under window paths. And then we need one of the vector based tools. You could use one of these icons here for rectangles and ellipses. Custom you could use the pen tool however you get there is completely up to you. I'm just going to pick a simple ellipse and create the circular shape there. And I can add to that shape by holding down the shift key and that'll give me two shapes on the same layer. When we click on our paths palate, you can see that we have ellipse shaped path one which actually contains both of them, as you can see. So what we need to do is storing this information so we store it and save it as a separate path by double clicking on it and saying save path. Okay, so now we could throw away this layer and we have saved this is a separate entity. Now, when we click on this pixel layer that has this pixel path to it. We can click on the add mask icon once again. This time it's going to add a vector mask to the raster mask on the pixel layer. Watch. See that? It added another mask to it. If I hold down the shift key, it will disable this mask. Si has the X through it. So if I hold down the shift key and disable that you could see were disabling the vector, revealing the raster, we can disable that one to which shows the original image. Or I can just click on showing the vector mask and it ignores the raster mask. And because we have this mask, we could simply throw away the Raster one and say delete. And there you go with the vector mask exclusively. So do you understand what happened? I'm gonna undo basically, what we have here is the pixel layer, the raster mask and the vector mask. Now, most cases you probably don't even need a vector mask. But there are some people that do graphic design that want the hard edge that a vector mask is going to give them. If I zoom in up here, you can see This is a nice, crisp, clean edge as opposed to this one, which I'm allowed to have a soft feathering to the edge. I'm not endorsing one way or the other. I'm simply showing you that you have some options available to you. 10. Filters on Masks: because a layer mask is nothing more than another channel within the image red, green, blue and a mask. And for every layer that has a mask, there's another channel there represents the black and white information. Now, because of that, what you could actually do is apply filters to these masks. For example, if I click on black and white and apply a tint to it, and let's make it something a little bit stronger just so you can clearly see it. We now have this color ization on top of the background. Simply turn it off, turn it on. Nothing special about it. But if we click on the mask itself, which currently has it is white, which is clear, which means the entire effect of the black and white with the tint happens to the layer below it. But if we highlight the mask itself and then go filter and it doesn't matter, pick one. Render clouds, you see what happens. It applied clouds to the mask, and this is just simply a random example for you. It doesn't necessarily matter what filter you go to apply to it, simply that you are allowed to If I undo that. So it goes back the way that it Woz and go filter noise. Add noise. This is another example. I go okay, I zoom in, and then you can see how it creates all this pinhole information between what's on one layer and what's on the other layer underneath it. So if I was to take a paint brush with black and pain across the mask like this, I can click on the mask, go filter style, eyes, wind. Okay, and then you can see that it applied that effect directly to the mask. I'm not necessarily saying that the results are always going to be good, but perhaps you can let your imagination run wild with the filter gallery, for example, so you'll get this effect instead of that effect. Simply, it's just another tool in your arsenal to play with