Movie 05


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Movie 05

  1. 1. Movie 5 Adjustments and Masks panels 1
  2. 2. Martin Evening Adjustment layer masks Although there are dodge and burn tools in Photoshop and these have been improved in Photoshop CS4, they are not really suited for dodging and burning broad areas in a photograph. If you want to dodge or burn a photograph, such as darken a sky or lighten someone’s face, then the best way to do this is to use a masked adjustment layer. This is not to say that the dodge and burn tools serve no use. Even though they have been improved in CS4, they are just not ideal for this type of photographic retouching. Working with adjustment layers is by far the best way to shade or lighten portions of an image, and this is because you have the freedom to re-edit an adjustment layer to make the adjustment lighter or darker. Adjustment layers have an active layer mask, which means that whenever an adjustment layer is active, you can paint or fill using black to selectively hide an adjustment effect, and paint or fill with white to reveal again. Plus you can also keep editing the adjustment layer mask (painting with black or white) until you are happy with the quality of the mask (see Figure 1). Masks panel controls The Masks panel (Figure 3) is also new to Photoshop CS4 and can be used to refine the mask or masks associated with a layer. Layer masking is a topic I’ll be discussing more fully in Chapter 9, but because it is relevant to masking adjustment layers, I thought it best to briefly introduce the Masks panel features here first. Adjustment layers are added to the layer stack with a pixel mask attached, so the default mode for the Masks panel will show the Pixel mask mode options. If you click on the Vector mask mode button next to it, you can add and edit a vector layer mask (see step 4 on page 5). You can tell which mode is active because it will say Pixel Mask or Vector mask at the top of the panel and the relevant mode button will have a stroked border. The Density slider can be used to adjust the density of the mask. If you apply a black mask this will normally 2 Figure 1 This shows an example of a darkening adjustment layer applied to an image, but with a black to white gradient applied to the layer mask to fade out the adjustment from the middle of the image downwards. ‘Stalkers’ by The Wrong Size. Photograph: © Eric Richmond This PDF is provided free with the Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers book. Not for distribution or resale.
  3. 3. Martin Evening hide all the black masked contents on a layer, but if you reduce the Density, this lightens the black mask color and therefore allows you to soften the contrast of the mask. So, when Density is set to 50%, the black mask colors will only apply a 50% opacity mask and the lighter mask colors will be proportionally reduced. The Feather slider can be used to soften the mask edges up to a 250 pixel radius. Beneath this though is the Mask Edge... button which will open the Refine Edge dialog (Figure 2), where you’ll find you have even greater control over the mask edges and softness. The Color Range button allows you to make selections based on colors that are in the image you are editing. This means that you can select colors to add or subtract from a Color Range selection and see the results applied directly as a mask. Beneath that is the Invert button for reversing a masking effect and at the bottom of the panel are options for converting a mask to a selection, deleting the mask and applying it to the layer, enabling/disabling the mask and a delete button to remove the mask. Figure 2 The Refine Edge dialog (see Chapter 9 for more information on using Refine Edge). Pixel mask mode Masks panel options Mask preview Vector mask mode Density slider Feather slider Refine mask edges Make a Color Range selection Invert the mask Convert mask to a selection Apply mask to layer Delete mask Enable/disable mask Figure 3 The Masks panel controls. 3 This PDF is provided free with the Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers book. Not for distribution or resale.
  4. 4. Martin Evening Masks panel editing 1 You can add a vignette in Photoshop by adding a darkening Levels (or Curves) adjustment, make an elliptical selection and fill the pixel mask with black. 2 If you go to the Masks panel you can increase the Feather amount to make the hard mask edge softer. 4 This PDF is provided free with the Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers book. Not for distribution or resale.
  5. 5. Martin Evening 3 But let’s say I wanted to soften the transition between the masked and unmasked areas. By decreasing the Density one can make the black areas of the mask lighter and thereby reveal more of the adjustment effect in the center of the image. 4 This technique is not just limited to pixel masks. This last step shows how I could have started with a subtractive elliptical pen path shape, applied this as a Vector mask and used the exact same Masks panel settings to soften the mask edge. 5 This PDF is provided free with the Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers book. Not for distribution or resale.
  6. 6. Martin Evening Adobe™ Photoshop™ CS4 for Photographers This PDF on digital capture is supplied on the DVD that comes with Martin Evening’s book: Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers. This latest update in the Adobe Photoshop for Photographers series contains 704 pages in full color, plus a DVD containing video tutorials. The book layout has been further improved to make navigation easier and contains updated advice on everything you need to know about using Photoshop, from digital capture to print output, as well as all that is new in Adobe Photoshop CS4. PDF usage This PDF extract is available to view and print. You may share this PDF file or any links to the PDF file with others, but the copyright of the material and images remain the property of myself. The contents may not be modified in any way, or used commercially without express permission from the author. Website There is a website for the book from where you can find more information and download more PDF sample pages from the book. 6 To order the book Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is published by Focal Press. ISBN: 9780240521251 The title is stocked in most major bookstores throughout the world and is also available to purchase from: as well as through the on-line bookstores: and This PDF is provided free with the Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers book. Not for distribution or resale.