Here I'm simply getting the selection of the layer that will be
the foreground element (the 'woman' in human terms). Select with the magic wand
tool (look at the toolbar) and then right click and select inverse to close the
selection in on the forward anomaly.
Drag the anomaly into the open document that you want to use as
Now go in and finish the selection by the magic wand tool and
right click to choose similar. This will allow the selection of similar colored
pixels on the layer. You can then go ahead and edit: cut.
Feathering a selection before you cut will make the edges
smoother. In this case you'd use a very small feather ie. 1.
Now select the entire layer of the anomaly (enough with this
anomaly horsecrap.....it's the size of Texas Mr. President..). You can do this
by Ctrl/Cmd clicking on the layer icon to get the marching ants.
Now create a new layer and press Alt/Opt Backspace to FILL the
selected area with your foreground color of black. It is vital to have the area
selected, otherwise a fill would cover the entire document on a new layer. We
are creating an exact selection and 'filling' it with black to form a custom
shadow. Wait until Peter Pan hears this.
Now, go ahead and create a layer mask on the SHADOW layer. We
are going to be masking to hide the black dark pixels to let the original layer
show through. Simply creating a shadow effect. Just mask the areas of black
using the gradient radial tool with black as the foreground color. Please don't
let the black confuse you as it did for months with my dimwitted mind. It gets
worse when you have to remember to use white on the black layer to bring back
the black and if you're really new the red rubylith will make it worse! Hehe.
Just remember that black as the foreground color will HIDE pixels on the layer
mask. White will BUY BACK your original pixels (whatever color they may be). Oh,
and remember to do your masking ON the layer mask (selected in the layers
palette) and click onto the layer icon when you're done.
You can also create another copy of the original anomaly (sorry
;) and do some adjustments such as levels or a lighten group blending mode to
make it brighter. Then we can mask areas of this layer that we don't want
to be seen so we can do from a portion of the face extra light to normal to
shadow. Once again, layer masking is covered in depth in the
Basic Photoshop DVD
Training program (which comes with the Discover Photoshop:
Here I've done the same thing to the original background layer;
made it brighter and then masked the bottom right of it with the linear gradient
tool to leave the upper left brighter and in more contrast.
You can also create another clone of the background layer and
make this one darker (using ie. adjustment: levels). Go ahead and fill a new
layer or the background layer (as long as you have an original for safekeeping)
with black. This will act as night. If you can follow along and understand how
to immediately apply this in Photoshop then you are doing really good.
Drag the original layer to the new layer icon and bring up
levels and make a levels adjustment on the layer itself to make it lighter.
You can then add a layer mask on the lighter duplicate layer and
mask (linear gradient with black as foreground color) to let the darker areas
beneath show through. Here, again you see the rubylith to show the masking
Look at the palette as it starts getting more complicated when
you have several layers using layer masks all at once and the only bottom layers
that you see are the ones that are masked in certain areas on all of the layers
above it. You can add some masking on this dark layer if you want pure
black to show through as you can see.
The black areas where the finger is pointing to are the areas on
this layer mask icon that are hidden on the 'light layer'. The rubylith
that is showing is the layer mask icon that is currently 'selected' which would
let nothing but black show through.
Then I went in and masked areas of the layer above it to let the
"light' bleed through. So I've masked the layers to let the dark night
show and then went ahead and created a white fill layer and masked most of it to
hide the white leaving the corner still left.
Take a few moments and study the layer mask icons in the palette
remembering that black is what is masked on that layer and white is the area
that remains visible on the layer. Black on the layer mask icon will show
through to layers beneath it. Try looking at it from different angles like that.
I'm not using grey because I like to see things in black and white (just
kidding) but it's important to note that grey is in between. Remember that layer
masking works on it's own channel in a grayscale mode (you use white to black
and grey in between to mask). The closer to white the grey is, the more of the
original pixels will be showing and the closer to black the grey is, the more
they will be hidden.
You should now 100% understand the depth and intricacies of
layer masking, shadowmasking, rocket science and quail hunting. If not
then be sure to get my Photoshop