Photoshop Tutorial – Masking Simplified
This video is available Free for Everyone.
Running Time: 18 minutes
Properly masking out an image in Adobe Photoshop is often done using one of the simple selection tools like Magic Wand or Lasso. This is simply the wrong approach. You should be using Color Range and the QuickMask.
In this video for beginners, I will slowly explain how to use both these tools to make simple and complex selections. This video is also an introductory lead-in to my 2 hour Photoshop Masking Tutorial. That extended video covers many expanded topics that cover the range from Beginner, Intermediate, to Advanced.
Quickmask is a feature in Photoshop that is used to help with creating a specific selection of an image that can be edited as desired. It creates a colored overlay that will go on top of all the items in an image that have been selected for editing. QuickMask allows for the process of editing individual items.
Quickmask is easy to handle and should involve the use of a few simple steps:
Click on the Quickmask button to create a color overlay that will keep the area, outside of the selected area, from being edited. This overlay will be red by default, and will be partially opaque. Use the appropriate paint tools, like Brush, to edit the areas that you would like to have selected. Click on the QuickMask button again, and you will go back into the regular editing mode, but this time, you will have a selection, based on the areas that you painted while in QuickMask.
This procedure for editing images with Photoshop should not be too complicated to handle. It can be useful for getting any background isolated or to allow individual items in a picture to be highlighted so they can be edited with the Quickmask feature.
The working principle behind Color Range, is that it selects a specific color, within the entire image. By adding and removing from the selection, and adjusting the "Fuzziness" slider, you can quickly select a range of colors that you would like to have selected. The main purpose here, is that you can quickly grab a group of colors across the entire image, very quickly.
How to use Color Range
- From the Top Menu, "Select – Color Range"
- I recommend starting with a "Fuzziness" or 40. Adjust as needed. By entering a value or through the usage of the fuzziness slider, you can adjust the range of colors to choose from. It works as a simple lower number, lower selction; higher number, higher selection.
- Ensure that "Selection Preview" is set to Quickmask, for best visual results. Other options include:
– No preview in the image window for none to preview
– Grayscale, grayscale would do so as to feature it in the grayscale channel
– Black matte for the selection of display in the black matte back ground
– White matte for the selection of display in the white matte white back ground
- On the image or preview area, place the pointer and click to bring a range of colors you want included. The preview selection will visually adjust itself, as you build upon it in the next steps.
- Adjust the selection of color ranges
– For color addition (Shift key), select the "eyedropper plus" and click the preview area of the color you want added.
– For color reduction (Option key), click the preview image by selecting the minus eyedropper.
- When you click "OK", you will come out of the Color Range back to the main image, but will now have a live selection.
- At this point, you may refine your mask with the QuickMask Tool.
Questions and Answers
- Can’t the Magic Wand feature work instead?
The Magic Wand feature could work but it does not do a good job with selecting colors. Sometimes it works with random parts of an image instead of specific ones that the user wants. Both Quickmask, and Color Range, will leave you in full control of what areas you want selected.
- Is the Lasso any better?
Lasso is not very acurate, and not recomended for anything that requires detailed selection.
This Adobe Photoshop Tutorial answers the question: How to Mask in Photoshop? If you would like to learn more about Photo Enhancement from a Professional Retoucher, I offer a Photoshop for Beginners Class. Please contact me today, and I will be able to add you to the schedule too. If you would just like to watch online videos, The Art of Retouching Studio offers many Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners and Advanced users.