Adobe Photoshop CS5 has upgraded the mask adjustment in an amazing and
If you've ever tried to select out a difficult subject with really
strange and fuzzy edges using previous versions of Photoshop then you
know just how frustrating it can be. That's not to say it
couldn't be done but the process could be cumbersome and somewhat
The new Masks panel, at first glance, doesn't look like much but what
will do - oh my - it just seems like pure magic.
For instance, if you've ever tried to extract someone with little hair
strands all over the place then you know just how frustrating it can be
- even with all of the in-depth Photoshop tutorials available on the
That frustration will now be part of the past as you breeze through
those difficutl extractions.
This panel doesn't seem to be much, does it - but just wait until you
see it in action!
The mask can be turned off and on with the little button outlined in
The Density of the mask can be lowered by lowering the Density slider.
Feathering can also be applied with the Feather slider.
The most useful button on the Masks Panel is Mask Edge.
Once you understand how it works you will be able to extract the most
difficult and intricate subject from a variety of different
backgrounds, including the most difficult extraction - hair.
The following three videos from the Russel Brown show will take you
through an easy, a moderate and a more difficult extraction.
Summary of the steps in the
CS5 Masking Basics video ...
- Do a Quick Selection over the background to be removed.
- Add a Mask to the layer and Invert.
- Click the Mask Edges button.
- Put a checkmark in Show
Radius - this shows the transition
areas. Move the slider up and watch the radius grow.
- Un-check the Show Radius button and move the Radius down to
show a small radius. Click on the Refine Radius Brush and paint
around the radius.
- Expand or Shrink the Mask with the slider.
- Adjust the Decontaminate Color slider.
Summary of the Steps in the
- Content Aware Fill tip.
- Select the background with Color Range.
- Create a Mask and Invert.
- Check Smart Radius and move up the Radius slider (Show
- Adjust the other sliders as needed.
- Decomntaminate the colors.
- Make a copy of the image layer and set the lower one to
Screen Blend Mode.
Summary of the steps in the
Advanced Masking video ...
- Select he Background with the Quick Select Tool and
remember "Less is More".
- Create a mask and invert.
- Pass 1 - refine the mask around hard edges using the Adjust
Edge Controls. This cleans up thehard edges. Click OK.
- Pass 2 - the hair. Use the Refine Brush tool to paint
on the hair's areas of transition and re-work as much as necessary.
- Select the Erase Refinements Tool, press the Alt/Option key
and re-adjust the areas of transiiton.
- Decontaminate the colors and adjust other sliders as