The Essential Approach to Masking

Today, I take a brief respite from the many masking videos previously offered on this site (okay, it’s been a while, but there have been a lot of them) to offer—wait for it—yet another masking video!

Only with two exceptions: This video is not on my site. Rather, it’s my contribution to the one, the only Scott Kelby’s “Guest Blog Wednesday.” And it goes by the name, “The Essential Approach to Masking,” with portrait by Jacob Cunningham.

Second, at nearly 30 minutes, this is the longest single masking video I’ve ever done. Which is only fitting, really. I explore the core steps required to mask any image in Photoshop. Over the course of the video, I take the following girl (on left) and mask her against that crazy background (right).

And incidentally, all of the images used in this comp—girl, fireworks, and clouds—come from a new image vendor that I recently discovered by the name of Fotolia. They offer insanely great deals and they pay their photographers remarkably well! To get a special 150% upgrade + $3 deal, go to

Let me know if you think the full PSD comp file might be of use. And if you’d like to download a high-res/low-compression version of the movie, I could make that available as well. It’s just part of what I do to keep you dancing strong.

On a related note, this very same week, I join Scott’s right-hand man Dave Cross for his regular “Finish This Sentence.” Dave’s a talented instructor and all-around great guy, so check out his blog too.

Thanks to Scott and Dave for the invites. (Oh, and hey, now’s as good a time as ever to sign up for Photoshop World Las Vegas. Stay tuned: For those who attend, we have a special treat in store. More in to come.)

Next entry:Something New This Way Comes

Previous entry:Martini Hour 022, In Which Deke Gives The Lawyers a Coronary

  • Great!

    i love ur masking lessons! another great video
    yes, plz…give the link for hi-res video :)

    it’s more greater to watch ur videos in hi-res :)

  • Seconded

    Yes please to the link for a high-res video and the full PSD comp file. Thanks in advance.

  • Nice

    I don’t much care for the comp, but a dowloadable High-res version would be much appreciated!

    Especially since bliptv insists on telling me I am done watching before the movie is over… ;-)

  • Awesome!

    Super informative for a noob like myself

  • The Essential Approach to Masking

    Yes, I would like to get the video and the files so I can practice this lesson. I have most of your books since the CS One on One series. I can’t say enough about what I have learned from you. I wish you would do some live seminars in my area so I could attend them. Thank You for all your help.

  • Video

    Yes your videos are quite informative & entertaining.
    Just lay off the speed a bit so I can follow them though!

    Ha! Ha!

  • kewl

    Nice tutorial. Just take a screenshot of the girl in the video guys, the resolution’s good enough to practice the technique. The Zack Arias video is kind of awesome too. I’ve just got done watching Deke’s PSCS3 sharpening videos and wondering why he used only the green channel for his sharpening mask, specifically the New York cabs, and then had to reduce the noise in the cabs when Bruce Fraser typically used a red green channel blend. The sharpening videos are really great, folks. Deke reverse engineers unsharp mask, smart sharpening and reveals that he pioneered high pass and edge sharpening. So my question is, if he can reverse engineer a pre-existing great filter then he could forward engineer some amazing new ones! My vote is for a blend modes series, or for a new product called DekeShop where everything’s sensibly parametric!

  • Deke rules!

    Hey Deke..  i know you are a busy guy so I dunno how often you get to read what everyone writes on here, but I just wanted to say that if it weren’t for your movies on and books and your website, i probably woulda quit adobe by now with all the frustration lol..

    And now I must say I’m pretty decent and am studying the whole master collection .  Anyuthing Adobe I love it

    So thanks alot.. I look foward to your movies to come in the future.. c ya!

  • Fireworks

    The topic which you have discussed is very informative as well as valuable for all…Thanks for providing this information for us….

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  • This is Awesome

    Wow this is awesome Deke thank you for sharing this I always wanted to learn about masking!

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