Advanced Masking using a Channels in Adobe Photoshop
Hi there it is. Time for another selection tool in your arsenal and it is the mighty channel mask. It's been around a while and it's perfect for when you need to select say out of focus grass like this. There we go, easily done. But let's say you already know how to do a channel mask. Don't worry. There's some stuff in here for you as well. Imagine if there was a brush where you can just kind of like paint across and remove all the ghosting. It is true my friends, this brush exists and I will show you in this next tutorial. Let's get in there to make it even better. We're gonna love the brush. First up, let's open up our files there in our 02 selections and masking and it's all of these guys it's Channel mask one All the way through quick little tip before we get going. If you hold down control and hit tab okay on your keyboard you can cycle through the open tabs along the top here that works on both formats Mac or pc. But we really came here for is Channel masks And I just quickly be...
fore we get started up until Photoshop released the slept subject and the select and mask function. All I did for kind of advanced masking was channel mask. The thing we're going to do now because these two options that we learned previously are so good. I don't use channel mask half as much anymore. Basically I use them for the same sort of principle. I need kind of like say this kind of out of focus what would normally be here. But this gave these two here and combination are so much better now. In my opinion, the reason I still use channel mask and the reason I still included in this advanced course is because free click select subject tries to find a person's face and there is no face to be found. Okay, so I couldn't find subject. Okay, so there's times where I just need to I want to select all this grass but it's super hard. Right. Quick selection tool is not going to do it. Magic wands got no hope might do OK with a color range, but there are some perks to a channel mask and you needed in your arsenal to be an advanced Photoshop user. You don't want to turn up at the advanced Photoshop party and not know what a channel mask is, even though it's getting useless. It's kinda one of those badges of honor, like, like the lens flare was when you're new. So how does this work? I'm going to do it super quick. Have to impress. You have to show you how quick it is. Once you know the once you get into the flow then I'll back it up and go a bit more step by step. So basically we go to the channels panel, we pick one of these three. Okay, the one that has the most contrast blue does. So I'm gonna right click it, duplicate it, click OK, turn this on that off. Gonna use levels and I'm just trying to accentuate the contrast between the background and the foreground. Okay, I'm lifting this up, trying to find this kind of medium ground here. It's a click OK. I can blot in this stuff at the bottom here. I'm using my paintbrush tool set to normal. I'm using black, making it nice and big and I'm just going to kind of paint it all out. Get a bit smaller and get some of this stuff in there. Just a little bit more time. I'm not turning into a selection. Go back into my layers panel and add a layer mask. First of all, reverse it out. Invert the selection and had a land mask and you can see that will totally kind of freak you out how fast it went there. But I guess I just want to show you the flow that I'm going through what I'm doing selections for something like this and how easy it can be because when I teach this live often people freak out because there are quite a few steps and don't worry, you won't probably remember them off by heart. I only remember them because I'm a trainer and I have to teach it all the time. When I wasn't when I was just freelancing, I would go, okay, channel masks. They're good. Come back to this video and just run through it every time you need to do it. And that's just the way it is, there's a few steps involved, but the results are pretty cool. Let me grab this and added to the background here. You can see a pretty convincing mask with very little effort put into getting it. Perfect. So let's back it right up. I'll show you a cool little trick is file revert because we only have so many undoes, right? So if you go to file revert, it goes all the way back to when the document was last saved and in this case it's way back before I did all my channel madness. Let's look at it step by step and explain that a little bit. So it's channels that do the heavy lifting here, basically a channel is just this document is RGb. You can see it up here in the tab and that just means the computer makes all of these lovely colors out over a mixture of red, green and blue. Now we're really not worried about channels at the moment, we're just going to use and abuse them to get a selection. What you're doing is you're looking through all three of these for the one that has the most contrast in this case, Blue has a really clear contrast with the background. It's not always the case. Sometimes it's red, sometimes it's green, toggle through them all. Once you've found one, you've got to duplicate it. Right, click it duplicate channel. I'm gonna call it my mask for no reason and I'm going to turn it on and turn that one off. I don't want to destroy the red, green and blue. I just want to work on this. My special little mask. We're going to delete it in a second. So with it selected, we're gonna go to levels. So image adjustments levels. We're not going to use the fancy adjustment levels. We're going to use old school, destroy the layer levels, these ones here. And all we're looking to do is you can see the sky here. It's quite gray still. So I want to kind of increase the whites basically you can adjust these guys any way you like. All you need to do is have a really strong white versus black. So that's all I'm doing is dragging the left and right to see like if I go too far this way, it starts kind of bleeding in. There's a little bit of like I've done this so many times that I kind of got a good feeling what you might have to do is get to this point and say, all right, I'm gonna try this and then come back if it's not quite right, okay, I'm going to crank the blacks up just a little bit as well and I should point out, I'm looking at the edge between this and this. I'm not worried about here because you saw earlier on. I just blacked that in with a big pink brush. It's this edge. This contrast between the background in the foreground here that I want to I guess get as sharp as I can. It feels okay click. Ok. Now what I want to do is kind of fix this bottom stuff here because I'm gonna use my paintbrush. Where are you there? I said it to black. What kind of hardness somewhere in there, Katie, I'm just going to paint this in black. Okay, I'm going to do this to down the bottom here. Quite rough. And then as I get closer, I'm gonna lower my brush and get a little bit nicer about the whole experience because I know that that is not a whole looking through, I know that's the sky. Okay, but I know this is just light that's reflecting on the grass. So I'm gonna go in here and just kind of fix this up a little bit. We'll go through in after we do this exercise to show you a few extra little tricks to tidy this up a little nicer. You saw the end result here, I put in less effort and it came still with a really good result channel Master Rawson. Alright, so I've got the basics in there. Now what I want to do is load it as a selection. Okay, you can click on this little icon down the bottom here and it loads that black versus right as a selection. Now this guy here is his job is done, click on RGB to turn all of these on, just make sure the eyeball is off on the mask or you can be in it. Like we just don't need that anymore. People get a little caught up on that channel being part of it really. We just used it to get our little marching ants here back two layers at the moment we have the sky selected. It really depends on your image. Sometimes you'll have it the right way around. Sometimes you won't, if I click on layer mask here, it's the opposite. So I'm gonna go to select and this and now add my layer mask and hey presto, you can see it was pretty bad along the top there and it's still a pretty good mask. I'm gonna grab my move tool. I'm going to go command c, command v on my Mac. Actually I probably do it the other way around. I'm gonna drag you here. Here's my little shortcut command shift, square bracket. Send it to the back control shift square bracket on a pc. You can see a pretty convincing mask. Let's look at a couple other things you can do with channel masks to get the most from them. Let's go to channel mask three and I lie, we're not going to do channel mask three together because it's very similar to this first one here. I'm going to set that as your homework in the next video, you can do it now on board if you want. What I want to do is let's go to mask channel mask four and five. These are the ones that are going to combine. You saw them at the beginning. We run into the same problems. We can't use select subject, but we're probably going to use a little bit of select and mask just to kind of push this a little bit further. So, same thing as before channels. I use these shortcuts here. If you're on a pc, is it control 345, Check whatever the shortcut is there. So I'm going holding down on my command key and going 345. I'm not looking just toggle ng through them or just seeing and don't worry about down here, you're looking at the transition between the sky and the background and they're all really similar actually because the background is pretty much white. I feel like that's my one, You could argue all three of those ones. So I'm going to duplicate it, duplicate. Don't delete it, duplicate it. Gonna give it a name. I'm not going to give it a name because we're gonna be in it in a second. So nobody's going to know we didn't name our layers. So boom, copy, selected all the rest of them off. Otherwise you get this kind of weird colors going on, make sure it's selected. Remember we're going to go to our levels and we're just looking to increase this contrast. I'm gonna zoom in a bit and I'm just looking at if we get too far you'll end up with us. It bleeds over the edge and looks a little not very good. Okay, so I'm going to increase the weight a little bit to get the sky pure white. I feel like that's a pretty good one. Looks like it's pretty strong. Black versus white. Pick Okay, zoom out. And I'm going to block in the bottom here using my brush tool. Nice big brush. True. We're gonna add a little bit extra to this one, I promise. So we've got a selection. We're gonna load it as a selection. We're gonna click on RGB, you can leave that there. There's nothing wrong with leaving it there. Go to channels, inverse the selection. I'm using the shortcut command shift I on a Mac. That's control shift I on a pc and I've applied the land mask. Now let's go and add it to our background. So actually gonna bring this guy in the other one. So I moved to all you come in here friend, I want to know a cool little shortcut. You don't have a choice. I'm gonna show you anyway when you're dragging from one image to another and you kind of like it ends up in weird places, right if you do that exact same technique. So move to drag drag, drag, hold, hold, hold holding the shift key, we let go and it doesn't put it willy nilly. It puts it exactly kind of top left. Really Andy Okay, mildly. Andy I'm gonna move it underneath and you can see it did a pretty good job, but because I've gone for such an extreme background, okay, it's gone from light to dark, you can see the kind of ghosting around the edges. So I'll show you two ways of fixing this type of thing when you've learned before, when you haven't. So I'm gonna click on my layer mask even though we started with a channel mask. Okay, we dove into the channels and missed around in there. We can still click on the mask and go to select a mask. I'm making sure minds against on black and you can play around with the radius in this case he has shifted is probably going to work. It doesn't work great though. Okay, it works kind of too far down into the image here. So I'm going to cancel what I want to do is show you a cool little trick and it's to use your paintbrush paintbrush beaky and to switch it from normal to overlay. I'm gonna make it appropriate brush size. I'm going to make it kind of fuzzy there, make it a little bit bigger and trying to impress you look how good that is. I loved it when I found this option instead of trying to control it all with selected mask. you can just use your brush tool with overlay and just kind of tidy up the edges, it doesn't have to be a channel mask you've started with can be with any mask. All it really does is gets rid of the kind of in between zone. So let's undo that and kind of have a look. Hold down the old key on a PC option. Can Mac and click on the mask. It just shows you in black and white, which is handy. Right? I'm on overlay, I'm on brush tool. Black is my foreground color and watch this. Can you see it just like shrinks it in or at least gets rid of the kind of gray areas. You can see there's white here in the middle and there's black there, but there's this kind of like little bits of gray and that's what the overlay option is doing as a brush. As the amount I'm gonna turn. I'm gonna hold down my option key, my MAC or PC go back in here and just kind of fix that up. Thanks. One thing I might want to do as well is you can use that same key I'm going to go back into here. You can see there's some like non like see all this kind of gray area down here, you can do the opposite, just flick it over to white, Make an appropriate brush size and you can do some pretty kind of easy fixes and you can see you can get quite close to the edge without wrecking it. If you're just using a white paint brush, it can be a little tricky. So we're trying to go fast. This tool is perfect for it, your lap back out back in, it's looking pretty cool. Alright, so that's gonna be it for channel mask actually one last bit. Let's use that same little tool back here at the beginning, click on the mask and we're gonna use our brush tool overlay. I've said it to black now and I'm gonna lower the opacity is a little bit. If you've got the brush tool selected the capacity, you can drag it down. That's fine. But cool. Little trick is just a tap to on your keyboard. Four, you can see it's changing up here. 67. Okay, I'm gonna slow it down to maybe 30% and just kind of work these edges a little bit. Just there's a couple of fluffy bits that maybe aren't super realistic and now we're actually finished. So that is a channel mask. Maybe bookmark this video. I know when I was learning channel marks the super cool, but really hard to remember what to do. It's quite process driven, but there you go. All right, let's get on to the next video