Masking for Profile Picture

PHOTOSHOP. We’ve been exploring the power of masking – (A) Quick mask for selecting an area to change, (B) Layer masking to refine parts of an image to separate from the original document, and (C) Windows/Mask to refine edges.

It’s Halloween season. I’m sewing a Dragon costume for 5-year-old Jake. He’s picking it up tomorrow. I’ll share pictures later.

Like Jake, I’m ready for Halloween. I want my Facebook profile picture to wear a Halloween mask.

Here’s how I did it:

1. Took a snapshot of myself.
2. Open the picture in Photoshop.
3. Duplicate the layer 2 times. Background copy 1 and 2. Turn off original Background layer.
4. On Background 2 layer . . . at top of layer listing . . . Zoom into face.
5. Use Healing Brush get rid of obvious facial imperfections.
6. Add Blur/Gaussian Blur to smooth facial coloring.
7. Use Quick Selection tool, select face and body.
8. Add Layer/Mask to this layer.
9. Turn off other layers so only Background copy 2 shows.
10.Select Mask thumbnail.
11.Using Brush in Black paint out eyes, mouth, eyebrows … any area you don’t want to blur.
12.Turn on Background copy 1 layer. You’re almost done.

My teeth needed whitening so I:
1. Click Picture thumbnail in Background copy 1.
2. Chose Quick Selection tool to select a tiny portion of teeth.
3. Double click Quick Mask, chose Red and Selected Area. Paint the rest of the teeth area red.
4. Turn off Quick Mask and dancing ants surround the teeth area. Zoom in to adjust coverage.
5. Adjust Hue/Saturation’s Lighteness and Saturation sliders to whiten teeth.

The photo is now complete. No need to Flatten layers. But do save your work.

Open a photo of a Halloween mask found on the web or your personal files.

1. Open in Photoshop. (Leave your other photo open in the background.)
2. Most photos of Halloween masks are on a background. Use your favorite masking technique to opaque the background leaving the Halloween mask on a layer by itself. (Quick Selection tool, followed by Layer/Mask works great.)
3. To clear away remnant shadows from background, click on mask thumbnail, then open Mask/Mask Edges dialog box to adjust Smooth, Shift Edges, and Brush shadows away.
4. Arrange photos side by side. Drag the Halloween mask onto the photo. Adjust size of Halloween mask by using Edit/Transform handlebars.
5. Save the composited photo.
6. Check Image/Image Size. Adjust according to your Social Network’s requirements.
7. Upload to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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