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Loading a Masked or Extracted image

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Boyd Hawkins
Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 11, 2007 at 1:31:31 pm

What is the correct way to load an masked or extracted image (.psd file) into another image / document. I tried creating a new layer in the target image and then copied and pasted the masked / extracted image into that layer. I get a message that asks me if I am sure I want to convert colors from sRGB to ProPhotoRGB. Do I want to do this? Is there a better way?



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TiffaniB
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 11, 2007 at 2:29:22 pm

The new image is not in the same format as the old one that the mask is coming from. Usually when I get that kind of message I try it both ways to see what the results are. Usually I see no difference.

Tiffani B


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Boyd Hawkins
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 11, 2007 at 8:47:21 pm

Since both images were taken with the same camera, I assume that I somehow saved one of the files with a different setting somewhere along the way.

What is the proper procedure to add different images in as layers in a .psd document? Is it to create a layer and copy and paste the new images, or is there a better way?

Thanks, Boyd



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Darby Edelen (wuzelwazel)
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 12, 2007 at 5:13:24 am

[Boyd Hawkins] "What is the proper procedure to add different images in as layers in a .psd document? Is it to create a layer and copy and paste the new images, or is there a better way?"

I think the best way is to have both PSDs open and shift-drag the layer from one to the other. Holding shift when you drag the layer over will force Photoshop to keep the layer in the same relative position in the destination PSD as it was in the source. This means that if the PSDs are the same size the layer will appear in the exact same location in the destination PSD.

Darby Edelen
DVD Menu Artist
Left Coast Digital
Aptos, CA


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TiffaniB
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 14, 2007 at 3:53:29 pm

There are two ways to do this.

You can either use your Move Tool to grab the layer and just drag it over to the other document (it won't remove it from the original document, it basically copies it for you) or you can grab the actual layer in your Layers Palette and drag that to the other Layers Palette. This will keep the layer name, any effects you have added, masks, etc. intact.

As Darby mentioned, holding the shift key will position the layer in the exact same location if your documents are the same size.

Tiffani B


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Boyd Hawkins
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 15, 2007 at 12:45:22 am

Thanks to both of you for the helpful advice. When I have 2 documents open, how do I get a 2nd layers palette visable so I can drag a layer from one palette to the other? Sorry for the stupid questions...for some reason PS is not as intuitive to me as I had hoped.

Another question. Once I have used a mask to crop out the background, is there a way to eliminate the mask and still have a transparent background, as if I extracted the image? I flattened the mask with the image, but if I flatten the result I get a white background.

Thanks, Boyd



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Darby Edelen (wuzelwazel)
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 15, 2007 at 2:52:23 am

[Boyd Hawkins] "When I have 2 documents open, how do I get a 2nd layers palette visable so I can drag a layer from one palette to the other?"

You don't need to have 2 layer pallettes open, you drag the layer from the originating document's layer pallette directly into the display window of the destination document.

[Boyd Hawkins] "Once I have used a mask to crop out the background, is there a way to eliminate the mask and still have a transparent background, as if I extracted the image?"

You right click the layer mask and select "Apply Layer Mask." Out of curiousity, why do you want to lose the layer mask?

Darby Edelen
DVD Menu Artist
Left Coast Digital
Aptos, CA


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Boyd Hawkins
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 15, 2007 at 6:29:09 pm


Thanks Darby. Maybe these basic functions will become intiuitive to me soon.

Out of curiousity, why do you want to lose the layer mask?

As far as why I want to loose the mask...several reasons...
- I was trying to refine the edges of the masked image and could not figure out how with the mask in place so I wanted to try and loose it and experiement. I want to refine the edges of the image because the hair of the subject I extracted has some background residue that I can't get rid of.
- when using the masked image in multiple / other documents, it seems like it would be cleaner to work with just the image and transparent background than to have to deal with 2 layers (the base image + the adjustment layer with the mask).
- I can get it down to 1 layer by merging the 2, but for some reason the mask sitting there just bugs me....not sure why :)

Thanks again for your help! Your job sounds fun by the way.


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Darby Edelen (wuzelwazel)
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 16, 2007 at 1:51:54 am

[Boyd Hawkins] "I want to refine the edges of the image because the hair of the subject I extracted has some background residue that I can't get rid of"

That's exactly the sort of scenario where having a layer mask will help you! Remember, white means fully opaque and black means fully transparent in a layer mask, you can adjust the levels (Select the layer mask and go to Image>Adjustments>Levels) of the layer mask to make the gray pixels (semi-transparent) more black or more white.

If the mask needs to be contracted only slightly you can select the layer mask and go to Filter>Other>Minimum and enter a value of 1. This will turn the mask black in areas less than a pixel away from a black pixel (imagine the black areas of the mask bleeding out 1 pixel into the white areas).

Bottom line: the layer mask gives you more flexibility, not less.

[Boyd Hawkins] "it seems like it would be cleaner to work with just the image and transparent background than to have to deal with 2 layers (the base image + the adjustment layer with the mask)."

Now I'm not sure what you mean by the base image and the adjustment layer with the mask. What layers are involved in this project? I highly recommend not merging layers down as this makes it impossible to edit them at an earlier stage (unless you have source duplicates in your PSD, but this can get confusing and cause the PSD to bloat).

If you don't like working with multiple layers you can 'Group as New Smart Object' (select the layers and right click one) to allow you to work with the image as a single layer in your PSD, while still allowing you to 'Edit...' (right click the Smart Object) the source layers.

Darby Edelen
DVD Menu Artist
Left Coast Digital
Aptos, CA


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Boyd Hawkins
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 16, 2007 at 3:48:09 am

Darby, thank you once again. This is very helpful information.

I read from several sources to adjust the mask, but I could never get it to work. When I first started to do the mask, I made a copy layer of my base image to work with. Then I added a Levels adjustment layer above it, which had the ability to receive the mask. I loaded the mask, but was trying to adjust it using the levels adjustment in the same layer with the mask, which did not seem to do anything. I later merged the image layer and the Levels Adjustment layer together (Is this ok to do?). Should the mask be on the same layer as the image itself? If so, is there another way to get the mask on the image layer directly?

With the instructions you gave me, I was able to minimize the residue I was seeing from the background...Thanks!

I have been using Smart Objects and it does help to clean things up. I will remember to expand my use of them.

Thanks again, Boyd.


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Darby Edelen (wuzelwazel)
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 16, 2007 at 5:49:03 am

The Layer Mask should be on the layer you want to mask =)

So if you put a layer mask on the Adjustment Layer, the mask will only affect the adjustment layer. The white portions of the mask will cause the Levels adjustment to affect layers below it, while the black portions will prohibit the Levels adjustment from affecting those below it. This won't have any effect on the lower layers' transparency though.

To adjust a layer mask you have to select it first, click on the layer mask thumbnail in the layers pallette (should be to the right of the layer's thumbnail). Now any adjustments or filters you use will affect the layer mask and not the layer. You can also opt-click (alt-click on PC) the layer mask thumbnail to view the layer mask as you do this if you want to make sure its having an effect, but I recommend checking the layer often to make sure you're getting the result you want (opt/alt-click the layer mask again to revert to layer view).

Darby Edelen
DVD Menu Artist
Left Coast Digital
Aptos, CA


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Boyd Hawkins
Re: Loading a Masked or Extracted image
on May 16, 2007 at 5:42:28 pm

Darby, once again...very helpful information. Thanks.

Another rookie question...how do I get a layer mask directly on the layer I am trying to mask? The only way I have been able to do this so far is to add an adjustment layer and put the mask in that layer.

So if you put a layer mask on the Adjustment Layer, the mask will only affect the adjustment layer. The white portions of the mask will cause the Levels adjustment to affect layers below it, while the black portions will prohibit the Levels adjustment from affecting those below it. This won't have any effect on the lower layers' transparency though.

When I had it set up like this, with the mask on the levels adjustment layer and the image below, it did mask out the background.

Thanks again for your help....Boyd


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