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  • Checking precision of your mask? How???

    Okay, so ,we all know what masks are for etc... but...

    I was wondering what techniques do you use(or have heard of) that help check whether the mask is precise enough.

    For example, if you use the pen tool to select an arm, and then apply a curve to that selection, you don't want any spills on the backdrop.

    And, yes you can just use the smudge tool and blur to refine the edge a bit, but I was wondering if there is a way to actually go into some view and check how well the mask is covering the area???

    I know that you can press "\" and go into quck mask-ish view, but what else can be used to do this?

    I'm sort of sick of refining my masks (and not only path-dervied masks) over and over again, just because it didn't seem off when I was applying one adjustment, but it is quite obvious when I'm applying another.
    ?

    P.S. Some of you will find this question to be moronic, but I really have no idea and Google hasn't been helpful.

    EDIT: Is there a preview method to check how accurate your mask is in relation to the image bellow?
    Last edited by skoobey; 08-13-2013, 06:41 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

    Not sure I understand your post correctly but when you have made a mask say using the pen tool then apply the path as a mask to a curves layer the only thing that will be affected is the area within the mask it should not spill outside of the defined area.

    But if you elect to make another adjustment, say a HSL layer you must make sure that the mask is used again on that adjustment layer to restrict the effect to the masked area

    The same applies to any mask you produce using whatever method e.g. polygon selection etc.

    If you then look in Properties/Mask you can click on Mask Edge button which will bring you to the Refine Edge menu where there are many options to refine your mask

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

      I just knew there would be answers like this. Hahahaahah

      Well, thank you for that answer, but what I was actually refering to is:

      I made a selection with a pen tool, and it is too hard, I can't just feather it, as there are way to many in and out of focus hairs on the arm.

      I want to darken the background, but I don't want to darken all the hairs outside the skin covered area.

      I path out the skin, smudge to cover larger hairs, BAM looks perfect.

      Now the client asks to do another tone and color. It no longer looks as good.

      How do I make sure my initial mask is as good as it appeared on the first adjustment?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

        I use an airbrush on 'organic' objects where edge focus drops in and out as I like to feather the pressure to suit the coverage required. Geometric shapes I draw with zero feather and save as a selection. Using modify I then apply feather to match the focus and if necessary use contract or expand to adjust the tightness of the fit. I make a 100's of multipart comps a year using, often disparate, source material and find that if I place a cut out object on to a new background a 1 pixel feather edge is a good start point. If that is too soft I will load it's selection e.g. "load 1 transparency" and hit delete. This will shave a whisker off the edge and will remove those fine yet significant halos. You can load the selection again and feather it maybe 2 pixels and with a soft brush tease out a few more pixels from critical areas. It is so case sensitive you can't cover every scenario here. As a quick check for holes in the mask I just momentarily switch off the RGB or CMYK channel view leaving just a black silhouette of the mask shape on screen. When certain saturated colours abut it can be tricky to change one without colour spill contaminating the other, especially on soft focus edges. Often a bit of hand work with a 'wash' of the target colour will cure this or you can cut and paste the outer edge of the good colour/texture over the rogue colour. There is always a way!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

          Originally posted by skoobey View Post
          I just knew there would be answers like this. Hahahaahah

          Well, thank you for that answer, but what I was actually refering to is:
          And HaHaHa right back at ya!! It looked like you were having some problems with masking from your last post #10 Here therefore this particular reply.

          Perhaps next time you will give some thought to what you need to say including a description of the particular issue you are experiencing as you did in your second post

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

            Originally posted by Tony W View Post
            And HaHaHa right back at ya!! It looked like you were having some problems with masking from your last post #10 Here therefore this particular reply.

            Perhaps next time you will give some thought to what you need to say including a description of the particular issue you are experiencing as you did in your second post
            Good call. Actually, I just lassoed that bird

            I suppose I was so eager to find the answer, I forgot to ask the actual question.

            @Reapirman

            Great tips, I think I use many of the things jsut the way you explained them, except that I use pen pressure instead of airbrush.

            I guess there really isn't a preview method to check how accurate your mask is in relation to the image bellow? Image is the preview?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

              Also not sure what you're after exactly, but maybe this trick will help:

              1. Go to Window/Arrange and click "New Window for..." at the bottom of the list. You now have two windows of the same immage.

              2. Arrange those windows as desired (tile vertical/horizontal) and match zoom.

              3. Select one of the windows, target your mask layer and paint/smudge/blur away. You can see the mask in one window and the image with changes in the other window.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                You guys are so off, I can't even start explaining.

                I'm asking a bout a method other then pressing the "\" key to see the mask over the image???

                Oh, please God, if I could explain this any better I would.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                  Not sure what version of PS you have, but for later versions, have you tried the Refine Mask > View Mode?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                    I think I get what skoobey is driving at. I create a mask for some fine blonde hairs on a light grey background, of course when I place it on a dark grey background it still looks like a fabulous mask, but when I select a light blue the mask reveals a dogs dinner of a mask. How can I tell before it will be a convincing mask for all colours?

                    (I think perhaps this was OP point?)
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                      Originally posted by skoobey View Post
                      You guys are so off, I can't even start explaining.

                      I'm asking a bout a method other then pressing the "\" key to see the mask over the image???

                      Oh, please God, if I could explain this any better I would.
                      Here you go again with what appears to be another arrogant comment biting the hands that are trying to feed you . Perhaps I am wrong and this is a language misunderstanding and the intention of your replies is humour?

                      Asking about a method other than "\" (quick mask) has already been answered "If you then look in Properties/Mask you can click on Mask Edge button which will bring you to the Refine Edge menu where there are many options to refine your mask" and been confirmed by Flashtones as a way of seeing the mask over the image - which is exactly what you stated as your need!

                      Repairman gave you an excellent reply once your second reply had explained what you were looking for, including implying the fact that the pen tool is probably not the correct tool for organic things like fur and hair.

                      From what you have said so far your question is twofold. First how do you see the accuracy of your mask (which has been answered with refine edge view) and second how to construct a mask that will be correct and accurate on all backgrounds. This is a tall order in my opinion as effective masking of organic objects such as hair and fur is so dependent on the background that you should expect to have to refine each time you significantly change the background colour etc. If there is a guaranteed method I too would love to see it demonstrated.

                      You have been posting here long enough to know that this is an image oriented site and that a picture paints a thousand words so you should have considered providing a section of the image on the different backgrounds to clearly show what you have been experiencing.

                      EDIT:Assumptions have been made by me that you are using CS5 or later if so then this may help with your issues
                      http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photosho...7ca2-8000.html
                      Last edited by Tony W; 08-20-2013, 04:59 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                        Click on your layer with mask>go to channels and click on the eye icon and the mask becomes visible. Double click on the channel and a window comes up where you can adjust the opacity of the mask. You can the paint with mask on where adjustments are needed. Then just click the eye icon again to turn the mask off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                          Originally posted by rick m View Post
                          Click on your layer with mask>go to channels and click on the eye icon and the mask becomes visible. Double click on the channel and a window comes up where you can adjust the opacity of the mask. You can the paint with mask on where adjustments are needed. Then just click the eye icon again to turn the mask off.

                          YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!! THIS IS THE THING I NEEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                          I never thought about the quick mask mode, and how color affects my perception.

                          This really helps!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          This is what I've got now, and it's so much easier to live with. It's a mask, an overlay and the actual drawing.

                          Refine mask does help, but it's non editable, so I have to turn off the view, then go to the mask fix it, then turn on the view again... Any way to toggle this without making additional layers?

                          P.S. Tony W, I' sorry if I come across as arrogant, I was just desperate for an answer.
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by skoobey; 08-20-2013, 07:29 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                            Skoobey fair enough explanation sometimes we do get desperate for a quick fix

                            As to the refine mask options have you watched the link I posted by Russel Brown Photoshop guru and particularly the painting back of detail while still viewing your applied background. The mask is editable by using his method so not sure why you think it is not. It can do a very good job and potentially save you the tiresome chore of doing it by hand, but of course your own image could well dictate having to take another route

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Checking precision of your mask? How???

                              Originally posted by Mike Needham View Post
                              I think I get what skoobey is driving at. I create a mask for some fine blonde hairs on a light grey background, of course when I place it on a dark grey background it still looks like a fabulous mask, but when I select a light blue the mask reveals a dogs dinner of a mask. How can I tell before it will be a convincing mask for all colours?

                              (I think perhaps this was OP point?)
                              @ Tony W, yes I am aware of refine mask, but it doesn't do all the work, it's mostly useful for compositing, as well as clipping people and furry things like animals, coats, caps, hats and other things.
                              Last edited by skoobey; 08-20-2013, 08:25 AM.

                              Comment

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