Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
I talked a lot about masks but one thing that I was remiss in doing was talking about masks as their own individual object. So I'm gonna go ahead and open up this image. And let's say I want to add a vignette to this. So I'm gonna go ahead and just make a solid color fill. Fill it with black. Turn the opacity to soft light or overlay. Let's just leave it normal actually. And drop this opacity down. The mask right here, if I wanted to make a vignette, I would paint with a brush on there with black to make that hole for the vignette. A lot of times, though, if I paint right here and do this, what happens is if you look at the mask if I press ALT or Option and look at that mask, it's going over and over spraying the edges of that mask. So if I try to move that around what's gonna happen is you're gonna see a hard edge on that mask. So sometimes what you can do to alleviate that is let's just go back a little bit before we made the mask. I'm gonna make a very small brush, something like th...
is big. And make a spot like that. Now if I go back to there it's a very small vignette, right? Well there's a chain-link right here. If I click on this chain-link and unlink that mask and I click on this mask, guess what, I can resize the mask. I can press CMD- or CTRL-T on the mask and make it larger. See that. Individually modifying the mask outside of the image. Now if I press V and move that around it knows no bounds outside and I don't have the hard edge. So instead of starting with a big brush on that vignette look that we have going on there, we can start with a small brush and make it larger and we're independently modifying this mask from its layer. But just know that if they're unlinked and you start moving things around it might start doing some funny things. So make sure you link 'em back together once you unlink it and get it to where you want it to be. What happens within linked and an unlinked mask is that you can move the mask or you can move the layer individually from one another and they won't move. We saw this in the compositing tutorial when we were looking at the sky that we were puttin' in the background. We wanted to move it around. Same thing here. A mask can also be modified just like a regular layer can. If I ALT or Option and click on this mask, looking at this and how it's a very low contrast, or I guess it's maybe high contrast and very dark, very light and the gradation in between, so it's got a lot of contrast in it, if I wanted to reduce that contrast I could just click on the mask itself, go to Image, Adjustments and Curves and use a curve on the mask. Make that mask bigger or smaller. What we can also do with that mask is we can go to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur and I can blur it even more. You can blur a mask, you can use filters on masks 'cause masks are essentially a pixel-based object not a vector-based object so you can use certain filters on masks as well. So if I wanted to blur that even more to about here, because the brush setting that I had wasn't necessarily what I wanted, could blur it a bit little more, blur it a little bit less and have access to that mask independently outside of the layer itself. So with the mask it can be treated just like a layer and it can be moved around. And a lot of times by making a smaller brush for that vignette and then making it larger is better 'cause if we just made the brush inside that very large, we're gonna get hard edges on there and it's gonna be more difficult for us to move around that vignette. That's just one approach to that. So if I were to delete this and maybe make a layer mask, let's see, something like a midtone mask and I press ALT or Option and I look at that mask I can modify this mask further. So yeah, you have luminosity masking here but what if I want that to be a higher or lower contrast mask? Just by clicking on that mask I can go to Image, Adjustments, Levels or Curves, let's do levels on this one, and I can make that mask darker and start reducing the amount of the effect that those midtones are. Now I'm basically saying midtones are no longer this area. Midtones are not gonna contain any of that area. We're gonna spread it down to here. So now if I were to adjust that luminosity mask there's gonna be much less of an effect on those midtone areas. So yeah, I've set you up with a baseline for your luminosity mask, for your highlights, your midtones and your shadows but you can make them even more restrictive by going into the contrast of those masks either by using levels or curves.