High-Res, Downloadable Masking Video and Layered PSD File

Three weeks ago today, I posted a free half-hour video to my buddy Scott Kelby’s blog. Titled “The Essential Approach to Masking,” the above video documents the way you approach a typical masking project in Photoshop, from real-world beginning to bitter-sweet end. To quote one of Scott’s fans: “It’s like Mercedes would offer their clients a test-drive in the new BMW.” Except that I drive a beat-up Jeep. Go figure.

Today, I make available to members of dekeOnline two special files: The full-resolution downloadable video and a layered Photoshop file.

For starters, here’s the lightly compressed, full-resolution, 1280 x 800-pixel, 53MB (big!), download-to-own QuickTime movie. Right-click the link and choose Download or Save Link As to copy it to your computer’s hard drive. (You’ll need QuickTime to view the movie.) Invite the family, gather the friends, pop the corn, and feel the masking love. Yes, I know, today is not the 8th of July (as insisted by the video). But it is the 29th of July, just three weeks later.

As if that’s not enough, here’s the 1280 x 1280-pixel layered Photoshop file that I used in the movie, as pictured below. Again, right-click the link (or the pic below) and choose Save Link As or Download for the best results.

The Photoshop file includes three images (girl, sky, and fireworks) from bargain image vendor Fotolia.com. Every layer and channel is here. To walk your way through the step-by-step process, choose Window > Layer Comps and click on the right arrowhead icon at the bottom of the Layer Comps palette.

Some notes about the video:

  • The photo of me comes from Jacob Cunningham.
  • Andy Ta edited the video. (Fun trivia fact: Andy and Jacob are next-door cube neighbors at lynda.com.)
  • Keep an ear out for an error in the video at 26:20 (near the end). Revel in one of my classic moments of dislexia, in which I mistake left for right. (At least I didn’t mistake up for down, blue for red, or Photoshop for FreeHand, all actual gaffs from the past.)

Plus, I corrected the spelling of the Reddish layer in the Photoshop file.

Otherwise, enjoy!

Next entry:Martini Hour 025, In Which Colleen Experiences Deke in High Resolution

Previous entry:Photoshop Top 40, Feature #38: Vector Type


  • Love the Preemptive Error Alert

    What, no f-bombs this time? wink

    Thanks for sharing! About 250 kids will benefit if I can wrap my head around this.

  • This is just… I mean, You are just…

    eh… awsome!

    thanks for putting it all together in a one entertaining training wink

  • What Link?

    Wacom Tablet being used. Right click on what? The photo I get movie no.

  • Well the magic you call composition skills

    Hi Deke, I have to be a party pooper. In this video and in “Blending Hair and Sky” in chapter 8 “Everyday Channel Masking” lynda.com Photoshop CS3 Channels & Mask - The Essential you take an original layer on a “white” background and you multiply it to “improve” the quality of the blending of the strain of hairs into the new composition.

    My problem is I do not have either a “white” background and the multiply affects the end composition in ways that are not desirable. What is your suggestion my dear friend?

    Cheers and have a nice Martini.

  • On the Mac, press Control and click the link

    Then choose Save Link As or and equivalent command.

    The link to the movie appears at the beginning of the third paragraph. The link to the image occurs in the fourth paragraph.

  • Multiply is for white-background images

    There are dozens (if not hundreds) of masking and compositing scenarios, which is why my “Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks” video series ends up being more than 30 hours long.

    For more complicated scenarios, check out these chapters, all part of my “Photoshop CS3 Channels & Masks: Advanced Techniques”:

    Chapter 10: Advanced Blending

    Chapter 14: Calculations (aka Channel Operations)

    Chapter 16: Masking the Tough Stuff

    As a special bonus, Chapter 10 is available for free to non-members!

    Even better, watch the entire series (available through lynda.com) or get my book Photoshop CS4 Channels & Masks One-on-One. Both are designed to provide you with the arsenal of skills that you’ll need to approach any masking project with confidence and take your work to the next level.

  • On to the task

    Ok, I knew you knew it, but now I do too.  I will read the equivalent chapters in your CS4 oneonone.  Which lesson is equivalent for Cahpter 10 Advanced Blending? Lesson 5: Every Day Masking, Lesson 6: Blends and Composites or Lessen 7 Masking Layers or whatever other lessons.  And don’t say all of them coz I won’t sleep for a week!

    If I keep this up I will need to get a blender soon.

  • Whenever I begin to think that I’m a Photoshop demigod . . .

    . . . you come along an show me I’m not even a pink belt (to mix metaphors).  Thanks for the humbling experience.  I’m a better person (albeit with a smaller ego) for it.

    Keep it up.  edoray

  • Luminosity blending

    I tried luminosity blending as in selecting a blend if in Advanced Blending and from such trying and trying my blender broke and I did not get a natural effect.  And now I cannot even get a milkshake.

  • Interesting

    Interesting video….great..

    stop dreaming start action

  • Very interesting video.

    Very interesting video.  Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Masterful, with one omission

    A masterful presentation, sir! You did leave out one small-but-important detail: the “reddish” layer must be the same hue as the red on the album title and elsewhere, to pull the composition together. I’d probably have used a color eyedroppered from the final composite background image (I picked 127, 35, 139 out of part of the sky, which worked fairly well) rather than the dark red, but either way, matching the text and overlay colors is important.

    That “drop shadow” trick is very nice. Never know when that might come in handy!

  • Josep WoW it is fabulos,

    Josep WoW it is fabulos, thanks very much for teachig. Your friend José.

  • Layered PSD File.

    Thanks for sharing! This very useful information.

  • Love the Image

    Wow, very beautiful. But I think you should have brighten it a bit to match the brightness of the background. But overall, I think its great. Keep ‘em coming!

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  • amazing

    very interesting bro

  • Great lol….

    This was outstanding and amazing post…keep on sharing the stuff….great work…

    Continue to post like that…

    mumbai seo

  • Just gr8!

    thanks many many caz masking alwys giv’s me prb , thx for ur help sir

  • Why aren’t you applying an adjustment layer?

    “Because genius….”  would have had me rolling