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Help with Masking

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2007, 04:27 AM
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maverick911 maverick911 is offline
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Help with Masking

For the last 30 years I have considered myself reasonably intelligent. Having tried to work with Masks I think my IQ needs downgrading by around 70%! I have watched the tutorials but I am having difficulty to apply them to a simple task. Could I have some help with a simple step by step explanation through the process for what I want to do?
I want to Mask the high point of this Tigers back so that I can clone the background without affecting the Tiger.
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File Type: jpg IMG_5939-copy.jpg (91.1 KB, 77 views)
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:31 AM
pellepiano pellepiano is offline
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Re: Help with Masking

I would suggest you start by cloning the background to a new layer, the make a layer mask for that layer paint with black on that to reveal the tiger in the layer beneath.
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Old 07-04-2007, 07:02 AM
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Graphics23 Graphics23 is offline
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Re: Help with Masking

Any time you make a selection, you're making a temporary mask. Don't let the "idea" of a mask become a bigger deal than the mask itself.

Selections, layer masks, alpha channels, at heart they're all the exact same thing - a grayscale image that represents which pixels will be modified and which pixels won't.

For practice I suggest becoming familiar with the "Quick Mask" feature. Look it up in the Help files and give it a go. You may find it helps you get a handle on masking in general, and it's a very useful feature.

Now on to the task at hand...

Using whatever method you're comfortable with, select the tiger's hump. Give the selection a very minor feather, one or two pixels should do it.

Make a new blank layer and add a layer mask by going to "Layer>Layer Mask>Hide Selection".

Now you can clone to this new layer all you want and you won't affect the hump.

Good luck,

Michael
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:03 AM
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maverick911 maverick911 is offline
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Re: Help with Masking

Thanks Michael. I have been confused over what to select to use the clone tool on. Amongst other things! Getting there..............
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:45 AM
des151 des151 is offline
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Re: Help with Masking

Maverick,
I copied the red channel, made a levels adj., a little dodge & burn, cleaned the mask up with the paint brush tool, then inverted the mask and cleaned the inverted mask up then inverted the mask again.
Ray
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File Type: jpg tiger mask copy.jpg (38.6 KB, 22 views)
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2007, 03:09 PM
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maverick911 maverick911 is offline
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Re: Help with Masking

Thanks Ray. Why would you do it that way inpreference to, for example the Pen Tool?
Mark
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:39 PM
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Re: Help with Masking

The thing that finaly sunk in for me about selections and protecting them from all the work to follow, was.. First make a copy of the original layer <CTRL+J> and uncheck the original layer eyeball... Then select what you want to work on.. sooooo if you want to protect the kitty from damage you MUST select it first THEN <SHIFT+CTL+I> invert the selection to work on everything else... effectively creating a mask (sort of)... then you can delete the background and replace it (as long as the replacement layer is under the selection layer).. or clone onto it, or whatever, and the kitty is safe because you inverted the selection and are now working on the background...
BTW... I am using PS7..
Hope this helps,
Granny
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2007, 04:45 PM
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philbach philbach is offline
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Masking with Pen Tool Selection

Using the Pen Tool I made a path around the Tiger that was in front of the background.

I converted the path into a selection and saved the selection in the channels palette.

You can then activate the selection and copy the selected tiger to a new layer

Or

Copy the background layer first to a new layer, then activate the selection and then add a layer mask to the copied background layer.
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File Type: jpg MaskedTiger.jpg (85.1 KB, 15 views)
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2007, 11:36 PM
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Re: Help with Masking

Hi Mark

I think maybe you are wondering when to use which procedure… why a channel mask and not the pen … that type of thing.

I almost always use the pen tool when make any mask… I use it on any smooth edge… like your tigers back. The pen path makes the best and smoothest edge.

If the picture were to have fine detail like hair I would combine the pen tool with either a channel mixer or strictly a channel along with levels and apply image. I would still select the hair with the pen but inside the fine hair line the use that path to fill on the channel mask. Then I would refine further.

As you know there are many ways to make a mask but I usually duplicate a background layer… load the luminosity of the channels or combination of channels then add the mask to the top duplicate. Then I add a layer in between to replace a background or group layers above the top layer to work on the foreground.

Butch
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File Type: jpg interior2_n.jpg (96.1 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by Daviskw; 07-05-2007 at 12:12 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2007, 07:44 PM
des151 des151 is offline
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Re: Help with Masking

Mark,
This is my starting preference.
I go to the channel pallets first to see if one of the R,G,B channels has enough contrast to make a mask, or a combination of channels to make the mask. I'll use this technique on organic objects, because the mask will be more natural looking. I also will use the pen tool on hard scapes, cars, planes,tanks, house etc. There are many ways to make a selection for mask. You have to find the ones that work for you. I am by no means an expert. This is just my opinion. I hope this helps.
Ray
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