The Powerful Photoshop Mask
Open the ‘jump3.jpg‘ file in Photoshop.
From the tool bar, grab the ‘Crop’ tool and drag around the man as shown on the screen and double-click to crop.
Open the ‘Channels’ palette, as this will be used to extract the image from the background.
Select the blue channel and drag it down to the ‘New channel’ icon to copy the channel.
With the copied channel selected, we need to define the edges clearly, so go to the ‘Filter’ menu and use ‘Other’ and then ‘High Pass’.
Set the ‘Radius’ to around ’20 pixels’ and then click ‘OK’ to apply.
Adjust the levels
The levels will need to be enhanced to define the edges even more.
Go to ‘Image’, ‘Adjustments’ and ‘Levels’ menu and, in the pop-up window, drag the black and white sliders on the input levels in from either side so that the image looks like this one.
Click ‘OK’ to apply.
Select the edges
Zoom in on the image to ‘100%’ and select the ‘Polygon lasso’ tool and ‘move click’ around the edge of the image on the inside of the black part to select all of the man.
The left hand arm is a bit tricky as the black is quite faint, so make sure you select inside the arm.
Paint it black
It will probably take you a while to go around the edge of the image, but it’s worth doing carefully.
Once you’ve got it selected choose a large brush, make sure your foreground colour is black and then paint in the centre so it is completely black with no shades of grey.
Select the white area
In the same way that you selected the black area, go around the edge with the ‘Polygon lasso’ and choose the white area.
When you have finished, choose ‘Select Inverse’ from the ‘Select’ menu and make sure white is your background colour.
Press ‘Delete’ to remove the outer noise.
Paint in the detail
Click on the ‘Eye’ icon by the RGB image to turn the image on and your blue copy channel will turn red.
Use a brush with black as the foreground colour to paint in any odd details that you might have missed.
This is useful for painting in the arm edge that wasn’t very easy when first selecting the black.
Select and drag
In the ‘Channel’ palette, COMMAND/CTRL click on the icon to load the channel as a selection and now choose ‘Select Inverse’ from the ‘Select’ menu.
Open ‘thecity.jpg‘ from the download, drag across the man to the image using the ‘Move’ tool.
The man will appear as a new layer.
The man is a little over-saturated for the background image, so choose ‘Image’, ‘Adjustments’ and ‘Selective Colour’.
Under the red menu, change ‘Cyan’ to ‘+85’, ‘Magenta’ to ‘-25’ and ‘Yellow’ to ‘-57’.
Now change the ‘Drop’ menu to ‘yellow’ and change ‘Magenta to ‘-43’ and ‘Yellow’ to ‘-88’.
Copy the layer
Drag ‘layer l’ to the ‘New layer’ icon to copy the layer, and go to the ‘Filter’ menu and choose ‘Blur’, ‘Radial blur’.
In the popup window change the ‘Blur’ to ‘Zoom’ and change the amount to ’40’.
Click in the ‘Blur Center’ window, drag the centre down to be in line with the road and click ‘OK’.
All in the blend
Change the layer ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Hard tight’ and reduce the ‘Opacity’ down to ‘50%’.
Copy the layer and drag it behind the original man.
From the ‘Edit’ menu, choose ‘Transform and Scale’ and then ‘Shift-click’ the corner to scale up so that your image is like the one shown above.
Add some sky
The problem with the image is that the sky looks wrong, so let’s add a slightly more impressive skyline.
Open ‘sky.psd‘ and drag across into your composition.
Choose ‘Transform and scale’ from the ‘Edit’ menu and scale up holding ‘Shift’ to keep the proportions.
Change the order
Drag the sky layer so that it is just above the background and turn off the visibility of every layer except the background by clicking the ‘Eye’ icon in the ‘Layer’ palette.
From the ‘Select’ menu, choose ‘Colour Range’ and in the pop-up menu, click in the sky and change ‘Fuzziness’ to ’74’ and select ‘Quickmask’ from the drop menu.
Copy and paste
Click ‘OK’ to create a selection and turn the visibility of the sky layer back on.
Press ‘Ctrl+C’ to copy the sky selection and then ‘Ctrl+V’ to paste to a new layer and discard the old sky layer.
You can turn the visibility of your other layers back on again to see the man.
Erase and desaturate
Use the ‘Eraser’ tool to erase the sky in the streaks of light and street lights in the lower half of the image.
It’s effective to leave it on the windows because it looks like a reflection.
Once the excess sky has been erased, change the ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Hard light’ and reduce the ‘Opacity’ to ‘50%’.
Zoom the background
Copy, the background layer and go to the ‘Filter’ menu, Choosing ‘Blur’ and ‘Radial Blur’.
Change the ‘Zoom blur’ radius to around ’78’ and click ‘OK’.
When the blur has been applied, ‘reduce the ‘Opacity’ of this layer down to ‘60%’, which allows detail from the original layer to be seen.
Add some tubes
Open the file ‘tubes.tif‘
Choose the ‘Select’ menu and ‘Load Selection’ and now choose the ‘Alpha’ channel to load.
Click ‘OK’. With the ‘Move’ tool, move the tubes to the composition image and scale up proportionally to fit as you did with the sky layer.
Blend the layer
Change the ‘Blending’ mode of the tubes layer to ‘Hard light’ and reduce the opacity to ‘80%’.
Make sure that this layer is directly above the zoom blurred background.
Now we’re going to add a few finishing touches to the image, so go to the ‘File’ menu and choose ‘place’.
Place the circle
Select ‘circle2.eps‘ and scale up the image by holding ‘Shift’ and dragging the corner handles.
When it’s the right size, double-click to import at that size.
Change the ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Screen’ and reduce the ‘Opacity’ right down to just ‘15%’ to make it more subtle.
Place another circle
Choose ‘place’ from the ‘File’ menu, but this time choose ‘circle1.eps‘ .
Once again, scale up the image proportionally before double-clicking to place at that size.
Change the ‘Blending’ mode to ‘Screen’ and the ‘Opacity’ to ‘80%’, positioning it as shown.
Save the image
Your finished image can now be saved.
If you are going to print it, you will need to flatten the image, convert it to CMYK and save it as a TIFF.
It’s always wise to save a layered version as well as a flattened version, just in case you want to alter any of the layers again later.