Eraser tool & Layer masking Ep13/33 [Adobe Photoshop for Beginners]

October 8, 2019 0 By Peter Engel

(upbeat music) – [Gareth] Hello and welcome
to this video tutorial. Gareth here from Now as you create in Photoshop in order to craft your
images and your composition you will often experience
the challenging task of extracting various
parts out of an image or removing parts away. In Photoshop there are
various methods you can use to modify an image, to
cut a specific part out or remove away the parts you do not wish to include in your design. In this tutorial I’m going to demonstrate a number of ways you can do this. And later in this video
I’ll be recommending the best practice for such a task. I will also be referencing
some additional training videos I have created previously. These videos will go into more
depth on some of the topics I will cover in this video. So to follow along with this video you will need to open this document I have prepared especially
for this tutorial. This document can be found in
the Essential Practice folder in the project folder. Now you can download this
project folder for free. The download link is in the description. So with the project folder open click ESSENTIAL PRACTICE open the ERASER TOOLS folder and open the ERASER PSD. Then you should have something
that looks like this. Along the way I will be mentioning some useful shortcut keys which you can find in the description and in the Shortcut key
page in the project PDF, which you can also download
in the description. So what I’m going to do
here is use this document to demonstrate and test
some erasing techniques. So before I begin it’s
important to mention that in Photoshop there are two main ways of removing parts of an image. You can use the Eraser Tools or you can use Layer Masks. If you’re new to Photoshop
you may be unfamiliar with either of these. Basically when you use the Eraser Tools you physically remove
pixels from an image. Now this is, well it’s bad practice. This method is destructive. By removing and deleting physical pixels you will be unable to
retrieve them in future. In Photoshop there is a nondestructive way to remove parts of an image and that is to use Layer Masks. Layer Masks are a clever way
to remove parts of an image. When using Layer Masks instead of deleting physical
pixels you hide them. This is great because you do
not delete any part of an image and you have the flexibility
to modify them in future. In this video we will be looking at both of these techniques so
you are familiar with them. So first I will start
with the Eraser Tools. So there are many ways you can go about deleting pixels physically from an image in your composition. The first technique I’m
going to demonstrate is to use the Lasso Tool. In Photoshop with a
particular layer selected you can draw a selection and then simply by pressing backspace on the keyboard you can delete that selection away. So let’s see that in action. So here on the left I
have this origami bird. Currently we can see it’s
sitting on a blue background. This bird and the blue
background is a single layer and we know this if we look
carefully in the Layers panel. We can see in the Layer
folder labeled ERASER TOOL we have this layer called RED BIRD. So at the bottom of the Layers
panel is a white background. If we toggle the visibility
of the bird layer we can see the white background below. So with the Polygonal Lasso Tool which I’ll select here from the menu I’m going to click to draw a selection around the bird like so. Once I get to the end I will
create a selection around it. And I can see my current selection with the dashed line around it. So with this selection active I will make sure I have
the correct layer selected I wish to modify in the Layers panel. With the bird layer selected
I will press backspace. Upon click I have now deleted whatever was inside the selection area on the layer. I’ll press cmd+D to deselect. Notice I can now see the white background through the new transparent space in the layer. Okay so using the Lasso Tool I created a selection
and deleted the area. Now I’ll just press
cmd+alt+Z to undo that. Now this time instead of deleting the bird I want to delete the area around the bird. The blue sky. I want to remove the area around
the bird and not the bird. Now in this instance there
are two ways I can do this. Because the area around
the bird is a solid color if I press W to activate the Magic Wand I can simply
click into the blue area and make a selection of the blue area. With the area selected I
could simply press backspace to delete the blue like
so, pretty easy right! But let’s say there is an image set on a really complex background
where the Magic Wand Tool just simply won’t work. So just like before I’ll
use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to draw a selection around
the part of the image I want to cut out around the bird again. Once I have the selection instead of pressing
backspace straight away I can do one of two things. I can either come up to the main menu click Select, scroll
down and select Inverse or I can press cmd+shift+I
on the keyboard. By clicking Inverse or
pressing cmd+shift+I I have inverted the selection. Now instead of the bird being selected I now have everything
selected around the bird. If I press backspace to delete the pixels I now have the origami bird on
the white background, simple! So by using the Lasso
Tools, the Magic Wand Tool and the Marquee Tools we can
draw and create a selection and with the layer selected
in the Layers panel we can delete the pixels
away by pressing backspace. Now the next technique to delete
pixels away from your image is to use the Eraser Tools. You can find the Eraser Tool located about half the
way down in the menu. This represented by a rubber icon. Now you can either select
the Eraser Tool from the menu or use the keyboard shortcut E. By pressing E on the keyboard you can activate the Eraser Tool. Now using the Eraser Tool is very much like using the Brush Tool. In the last video we learned
how the Brush Tool works and looked at some useful techniques. The Eraser Tool works and
behaves just like the Brush. Just like drawing strokes
with the Brush Tool you can erase and remove pixels in strokes with the Eraser Tool. All the tips and techniques demonstrated in the previous video for
the Brush Tool also apply for the Eraser Tool. All the Brushes available to
you to create brushstrokes are also available to use
with the Eraser Tool as well. So on this occasion, let’s say
I want to feather the edges of the blue area around the bird here. First I’ll make sure I
have the layer selected I wish to modify. I’ll select the RED BIRD layer here in the ERASER TOOL Layer folder. I’m going to press E to
activate the Eraser Tool. I’m going to come up to the Control panel. I’m going to click on
the Brush Presets toggle. I’m going to select a feathered brush. I’m going to change the brush size to 400 and press enter. I’m going to make sure the
Opacity is set to 100%. And then I’m going to come
over and erase the edge of the blue area to
feather the edge like so. Soon I will have something
that looks like this. So those are a few techniques
you can use to cut out and erase parts of your images. So the next way to remove parts
of your image in Photoshop is to use a Layer Mask. So here we are going to come and focus on the example on the right. So here we have the same
image as on the left. But in this instance the bird
appears to be already cut out against the white background. Now if we look closely at this
layer in the Layers panel. Here in the LAYER MASK folder we will notice something different. Here on the RED BIRD MASK layer we have what looks like a black and white thumbnail on the layer. Now this is a representation
of the Layer Mask area. So I’m going to place my
mouse cursor over this back and white thumbnail right click and choose Disable Mask. Upon click we will suddenly see the blue background around the bird. Also notice a red cross in the thumbnail. This means that this Layer
Mask is currently off. If I simply click on the thumbnail again this will activate the mask and the bird will be cut out set on the white background again. So in this instance no
pixels are being deleted. They are simply being masked away. So let’s see how we
can create such a mask. So I’ll right click on this Mask thumbnail and I’ll chose Delete Mask. By choosing this option we
will remove the Mask completely and now we are back to
the image we started from. Now there are a number of
ways you can create a mask. For the first technique I’ll
use the Polygonal Lasso Tool. I’m going to mask out the blue area to create transparency around the bird so I can see the white
background on the layer below. So just like earlier I’m going to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to draw an area around the bird like so. So now I have a selection around my bird. Now I’m going to use this
selection to create a Layer Mask. To create a Layer Mask I
will first need to make sure I have the layer I wish to
apply the mask to selected. So I’ll choose my RED BIRD mask layer here in the Layers panel. But now I’m going to come and focus on the bottom of the Layers panel. At the bottom of the Layers
panel we have a set of buttons. Now third from the left
is the Layer Mask button. So with the layer selected
and the selection ready in my canvas area I will click this Add layer mask button, once! Upon click we will now
hide away the blue area around the bird and reveal
the background below. Nice! So let’s now take a closer
look at the layer thumbnail that exists on the layer. A Layer Mask thumbnail
will always be represented in black and white in the Layers panel. The way that a Layer Mask works is whatever is black is hidden and whatever is white is revealed. So on this occasion we can
see that on this thumbnail we have a white area in the
middle in the share of the bird and the rest is black. Now a good tip to keep in mind if you want to see your mask on the canvas area in more detail by pressing and holding
alt on the keyboard and clicking directly on the
mask thumbnail in the layer this will show you exactly
how the mask looks. And here we can see
that everything is black apart from the white bird shape. To go back to normal
view simply click back on the image thumbnail on the layer. Easy! Now it’s important to
mention at this point that when you create a Layer Mask you will want to pay close attention
to Properties panel. For the sake of this tutorial
I’ll drag my Properties panel out from my panel set. If you do not see your Properties panel you can come to Window
and activate it there. So once you have applied
a Layer Mask to a layer with the Layer Mask thumbnail
selected on the layer you will notice some options available in the Properties panel. Starting from the top we have Density. Now this is similar to Opacity. If I toggle this you can tweak this and begin to reveal the
masked area back in. Next we have Feather. Should you wish to feather
the edge of your mask you can tweak this like so. Down below we have some option buttons. If we click Mask Edge here we can tweak some various options to edit the edge of the mask. If I tweak Smooth and Contrast notice how its rounding off the hard corners of my mask there. I’ll cancel. Next we have Color Range. So in this option you can
completely customize your mask to only reveal certain colors. If I click some of the colors from the reference image to the left here using the Eyedropper Tool we can see the effect that is having. I’ll just click cancel. And finally we have Invert. Clicking that will simply invert the mask. So when applying a mask keep in mind you can make modifications
using the Properties panel. So I suggest you have a little play around with the Properties panel
when using your mask just to see some of the
extra effects you can get when toggling the Density,
Feather, and the Edge options. Now once you have created
a Layer Mask you can also edit the mask using the Brush Tools. Now it’s important to mention that before we attempt to edit a mask we must first have the mask selected in the Layers panel. When a Layer Mask is applied to a layer we have the option to click
on the image thumbnail and on the Layer Mask thumbnail. This is here to tell Photoshop
what we want to work on. Now keep in mind on a Layer
Mask whatever is black is hidden and whatever is white is revealed. So I’m going to make sure I
have the Layer Mask thumbnail selected in the Layers panel on the layer. I’m going to press B to
activate the Brush Tool. I’m going to selected my
foreground color to Black. Up in the Control panel I’m going to click in the Brush Preset to
choose a solid brush and make sure the Opacity it set to 100%. So with my brush set up I’m going to click on the
canvas area on the bird. Notice as I click I’m beginning to remove
the bird away like so. This is because I’m using a
black brush on the mask layer which will mask away the image. I’ll press X on the keyboard
to switch the black foreground to white in the menu. This time I will click and
draw with the Brush Tool. This time as I draw I will
reveal back parts of the image. When editing the Layer Mask we can use whatever brush we like. For example I’ll come in
and select a chalk brush. By clicking around the
bird with a white brush I can reveal parts of the image back and create this nice effect
around the bird like so. By pressing X I will again swap the foreground color so now I am back to black
and I can then click to remove parts away again like so to tweak and refine my effect. So as you can see by using a
mask we have the flexibility to hide and reveal
parts of the image back. By using a mask we can refine
images much more precisely without fear of losing any
of the image permanently. So that is one way you can use a mask to hide pixels instead of deleting them. Now there are other ways
you can create a mask. You can use the Pen Tool to create a mask or use the Brush Tool to
create a very accurate mask around a complex shape. If you’re interested to learn
more about these techniques there are some additional
training videos you can watch. This is essential training
for any beginner to Photoshop so I highly recommend
you watch these videos. After watching these videos you will know everything there is to
know about layer masking. Simply click a screen
here or locate the links in the course PDF. If you have not already
downloaded the course PDF you can find the link in the description. So that is how to erase and mask away images
(soft music) in Adobe Photoshop. In the next video we will be looking at the Shape Builder
Tool and how to use it. See you in the next video. (up tempo music)