The Cyber Bard (teh_steph) wrote in _teh_steph_,
The Cyber Bard
teh_steph
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Quick layer mask tutorial

I'm not sure this is the way to do it - but it IS the one and only way I know, thaught to me in school. I've used it, for example, for the icon I'm using now.

We have one nice pic of Lily Evangeline and and a wonderful picture of Julia Roberts in a sunflower field. I wanted to merge them - here's how I did it. Keep in mind - quick, sloppy job, because I did not want to spend too much time on this tut for PS 7.



Step one : Open the two pictures in your photoshop and copy paste the pic of Lily onto your Julia Roberts one.
DO NOT MERGE THE PICTURES!



Step two : Look at the two little buttons underneath your "foreground" and "background" color layers. (Mine happen to be pink and black.) I hovered over the right button and it says : "Edit in quick mask mode." That's the button you need.



Step three : Click that button, and you'll see that the background and foreground colors instantly change to black and white - DO NOT WORRY! This is normal. These are the colors we need to work with for the quick layer masks.



Step four : What we need to work with the quick layer mask, is not the ordinairy brush - it's the eraser tool. Don't worry, it will not erase your picture - the sole intention of the quick layer mask is to select the entire picture/figure/object  by coloring in the parts, in a very fast way.  In fact, it's a fast and more specific way to select an entire figure. And that is what we are going to do right now.

Click the eraser tool. Choose your brush - I was told by my teacher to use a soft brush, but I've found that easily leaves behind a "halo", I suggest you try out what works for you, but I always use a "normal round" brush.


Step five :

Now try out the brush - black and white. I'm not sure what will do what on your computer: sometimes white colours the image into the red color that is the layer mask, and black erases the unnecessary part. As you can see - the red is transparant. If that is NOT the case, double-click on the layer mask icon again and you'll be presented with this :



In my case, the masked area color is black. Change whatever you must - even the opacity!

And now you can color away - the intention is to colour Lily into that red color, although you CAN change the layer mask color as well. Zooming in helps to get to the more intricate details, such as the hair, but I skipped over that for this tut.



Step six :

And there she is ! A red-coloured Lily. I use big brushes to colour in the big parts, smaller brushes to color in the more detailed parts as her hair.



Step seven :

As you can see, her hair still needs work. Use whatever color that will erase the red parts that are too much (such as the sky around her hair. Do that.




Step eight :

This looks better, no?



Step nine :

Now click that button that is NOT the layer mask.



That will bring you back to standard mode.

And suprise, suprise! Lily is selected! You CAN save that selection, just in case.

Just go to selection > save selection > OK. Isn't PS just a peachy program?
Of course, as you can see, she is not "that" perfectly selected , for the goal I want to achieve.



Step ten :

Here's a better example, from when I deleted the background. Now, you can just click "delete" and your lily might dissapear. Don't worry! Hit the "step back" button, and there she is again, all surrounded by "ants". Hit Selection > inverse. NOW hit the "delete" button. And the background is GONE!  The white of around her hair (which was the sky and sand in the original pic) is quite ... clear. No worries! You can click the quick layer mask button again and edit that out!



Step eleven :

I admit I was being lazy and got rid of those flying hairlocks ... but it looks better now, much better for what I want to achieve. You could consider this "complete".



But I went ahead and fiddled around a little bit more. The contrast/colours of the picture was not quite right to blend in with the other pic. So, after a lot of fiddling, merging layers and covering up her with textures, I got this:



Please keep in mind that this was just a "quick job", not meant to look good at all. Lily is still a bit too big to be in proportion with Julia (something that can be very easily fixed with scaling, but I forgot and was lazy). It took me about 30 minutes to do this, and about an hour to write this tut out and prepare the screencaps.

Hope this helped!

Steph.


Tags: quick layer mask, tutorial
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