Little-Known PHOTOSHOP TRICK to Animate and Mask Layers – Complete “KNOCKOUT” Guide

Little-Known PHOTOSHOP TRICK to Animate and Mask Layers – Complete “KNOCKOUT” Guide

August 4, 2019 51 By Peter Engel


Welcome back to another very exciting tutorial
here at the photoshoptrainingchannel.com. My name is Jesus Ramirez and you can find
me on Twitter @JRfromPTC. In this tutorial, we’re gonna talk about how to create a Knockout
using the advanced blending options in the Layer Style window then we’ll use the Photoshop
Timeline to animate the Knockout. The Knockout option allows you turn a layer into something
similar to a mask. It’s the layer that punches through the all the layers below it and it
reveals the bottommost layer. Unlike mask, you can apply Layer Styles to these Knockout
Layers to create more interesting effects. This is not a new feature in Photoshop. It’s
been around forever. In fact, when I first started using Photoshop back in version 7,
this feature was already available. This animation is one of the first things that I ever created
in Photoshop. It’s a Knockout animation using a photo of me as a 19-year-old around
2002 and a photo of a Terminator head. This animation was created using pretty much the
same techniques I’m about to share with you today. The only difference is that back
in those days, Photoshop did not have the Timeline panel available, so you have to use
a now discontinued program called ImageReady to animate the Knockout Layer but anyway,
let’s get started with the tutorial. The first thing I’m gonna do is I wanna
explain to you how the Knockout feature works and then we’ll move on to the more complicated
project. So just to quickly show you what I have going on here, I’m gonna talk about
the layers that are found in this image. So, we have a Background Layer and it’s filled
with a color green, then we have a Pattern Fill, then we have a silhouette of a Dog,
and a paw print, then we have a Star. We’re gonna use the shape of the Star as our Knockout
Layer. Let me double click in the side of the layer here to bring up the Layer Style
window and this is gonna reveal the Advanced Blending options. Notice this dropdown here
Knockout. It’s currently set to None. If I switch to Deep then bring the Fill Opacity
down to zero, you’ll see that our Star is now green. I’m gonna press OK. But why is
the Star green? The Star is green because it’s using the pixel found in the layer
as a mask and it’s punching a hole through all the layers all the way to the Background
Layer. Notice that the Background Layer is currently green. If I, for example, add a
Filter such as the Fiber Filter and just press OK, notice what happens there. Our Background
Layer changed. If I disable the visibility of all the layers, this is what our background
looks like now. If I enable all those layers again and clicking the Star and move that
around, you will notice that the Star is punching a hole through all the layers all the way
down to the Background Layer. What if we don’t have a Background Layer? Let me click on this
lock here to disable it and notice that now these are transparent pixels. So, I can click
on the Star and move it around and you’ll see that we get nothing but transparent pixels.
If you don’t have a Background Layer and you wanna create one, you can go into the
Layer>New>Background From Layer and now, the background is back and we can move that
around. What if we wanna make the Dog, the layer that this Star reveals? Well, you need
put things into a group. You can select the Star which is your Knockout Layer and select
the Paw print, so now this source is selected and I wanna put those two into a group. Ctrl
+ J, Command + J on the Mac. Now, the layer that’s following the group is a Dog Layer.
So I’m gonna open this up, double on the side of the layer here and instead of using
Deep for my Knockout, I’m gonna choose Shallow and notice that the Star disappears. And by
the way, that particular Star Layer, we can also add layer style. So, let me just add
a Stroke Layer, so we can see it and I wanna press OK. If I click on Star and drag it around,
notice that now the Star reveals the Dog Layer. What if instead revealing the Dog Layer, you
wanna reveal the Pattern Fill, well you can click in the Dog. Drag that layer on to the
group. Now, the layer that’s immediately after the group is the Pattern Fill Layer
and that’s gonna be used as the layer to reveal by the Knockout Layer which is the
Star. So, I’m gonna click on the Star. I’m gonna click and drag over our shapes and you’ll
see that the start now reveals that layer. So, these are the basics of how the Knockout
Advanced Blending Options work. Shallow reveals the layer that’s immediately following the
group that the Knockout Layer is in and Deep reveals the Background Layer. So if you’re
gonna use Deep, make sure you have a Background Layer and obviously, if we’re gonna use
Shallow, make sure that you’re gonna have a group sort like I have here. So, I’m just
gonna press OK and now we’re gonna move on to the project that you saw in the introduction. We have the three layers, the Background Layer
is not that important. We’re gonna us this stock photo on his man and this photograph
of the skull that I took. So if you want to follow along, I do have the skull available
for download on my website, photoshoptrainingchannel.com or ptcvids.com. They both get in my website.
If you’re on YouTube, you can look up the description for this video and the link will
be there. And once you open up the skull file, you may have to make some adjustments to the
image. Maybe you need to distort it a little bit to match your skull. If you don’t have
a picture of a face, you can take a selfie with your cellphone. Just make sure it’s
a similar angle as this skull, and you can adjust it accordingly to match the head that
you’re using and by the way, I’ve already done that in this case. That way, you just
work on the actual knockout method and not so much on distortions and liquefying and
things like that. The first thing I wanna do is I wanna click
on the Skull Layer and click and drag that down below the layer of the Man because the
skull needs to be below that. Then I’m gonna create a layer which we’re gonna as our
Knockout Layer. So, I’m simply gonna create an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool. I’m gonna
use the Shape. I could also use Pixels if I wanted to but Shape is gonna be good for
this tutorial. I’m gonna click and drag and hold Shift to create a perfect circle.
The color is really not that important. I have black. I’m gonna click and move that
around and place it on top of the man here and if you remember from earlier, what we
have to do is put this Knockout Layer and I’ll click on that Knockout Layer. You have
to put this Knockout Layer and the layer of the Man in the same group, so I’m gonna
select both of them by holding Shift and clicking them both and pressing Ctrl + J, Command +J
on the Mac. They’re both now in a group. I wanna click on the Knockout Layer and actually
double click in the side to bring up Layer Style window. Under the Advanced Blending
options under Knockout, I’m gonna select Shallow. Nothing is gonna happen but that’s
okay. I’m gonna bring down the Fill Opacity down and now we can see the Skull below that
layer. Now that we’re here, we’re gonna add some Layer Style, so I’m just gonna
add a Stroke and by the way, the Stroke I’m using is a Gradient Stroke from black to white
and I can adjust the scale. I’m also gonna add the Bevel and Emboss just to give that
ring a little bit more shape. Maybe click on Contour and adjust according just to, again
give it more shape. I’m also gonna add Drop Shadow. The color of the shadow will be color
that’s found on the darker areas of this image maybe even darken it up a little bit,
so something like that, and multiply as fine as the Blend Mode just the Opacity, and the
Size, and Distance and you can click and drag it if you want to but this is a good spot
for me. And I wanna also show you that you can add a Color Overlay if you want to and
maybe switch it to Color and maybe even green to create sort of an x-ray effect but I’m
not gonna do that in this case. I’m just gonna disable that Color Overlay but I wanna
show you that you could do that if you wanted to. I’m gonna press OK. And now if I click
this and move this around, you will see the Knockout effect. Now there is one problem, the finger. We can
do two things. We can either find an image of the skeleton and use a skeleton’s finger
and composite that in here, so that when we hover over it, we see the bones of finger
but in this case, we’re not gonna do that. We’re actually gonna pretend like the finger
is just a little bit further away from his mouth and you could actually fit this glass
in between his mouth and his finger and I’m gonna show you how you would go about create
that effect. It’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is click in the Man Layer
and make a selection. I’m gonna see if the Quick Selection tool works and just make a
quick selection around his finger and that selection seems to be pretty good. Just to
refine it a little bit, I’m gonna click on Refine Edge and it’s a little jaggy,
so I’m gonna smooth it a little bit and maybe shift the edge down just a tiny bit.
So, maybe something like this will work and I can actually zoom in just to make sure things
are gonna work. And actually, you know what, I’m gonna go into the Quick Mask Mode, so
I can either press Q or click on this icon here and paint with an areas that I wanna
keep. There’s a few areas there that I think I wanna keep and you can paint it with black
to remove area, so anything that’s in red will be removed. Okay. So, I’m gonna press
the Q this time to go back into the normal view and I’m just gonna press Ctrl + J,
Command + J on the Mac on the Man Layer to create a layer that only contains a finger.
I’m gonna put that in the very top of the group and I’m gonna call it Finger. And
I’m also gonna zoom out just you could see what’s going on and I’m gonna press V
on the keyboard to select the Move tool. Now, I can click and drag the Knockout Layer around
and you’ll see what happens when we go over the area with the finger. The finger is now
on top. So, that’s how you would create that effect just by stacking different layers
on top of each other. Also I wanna point out since we are using
a Shaper Layer, I can click on the Properties Panel. If I click on this icon here which
is the Mask, I can feather it and actually, I’m gonna disable the effect just so you
can see what’s going on. I could feather it like so, so you can create a really interesting
effect. You can see there and I could also bring the Density but I don’t think the
Density is gonna do much in this case. I can bring the Opacity down and that will also
create a very interesting effect as you can see there. So, I’m just gonna bring the
Opacity back and I’ll bring the feather back to zero and I’ll enable the Effects,
so I can click and drag this around. Now, we’re gonna work on creating the animation
and there are several ways of doing it in Photoshop these days. Back when I created
the image I showed you earlier with Photoshop 7, we didn’t have the Timeline window, now
we do, so this is gonna be one thing that I didn’t do back then to create this effect.
So, I wanna go into Window>Timeline and we have the Timeline. There are two different
options. There is Video Timeline and Create Frame Animation. You can do it with either
of those. There are different techniques but they both will work. I really had a video
where I showed how to use the Video Timeline for an animated GIF. So since I already have
that, I wanna use this video to show how to use to Create Frame Animation, so I’m gonna
click on Create Frame Animation and the way this works is we’re gonna have different
frames and each frame is gonna be a different step of this circle moving around and we’re
just gonna play it and once it play is it will look like if its moving in a circle.
So, where do you want your first frame to start? It really doesn’t matter for me,
we’ll just start here. And by the way, right now that I did this,
I just remembered that I skipped the step but that’s okay. Notice how when I hover
to this side, we have white and not the background. This effect would be much more realistic if
the background was the same for the Skull. So what we could do is duplicate this Man
Layer, click on it, press Ctrl + J, Command + J. Click and drag the duplicate copy under
the Skull and right now, I see a Smart Object. I’m just gonna Rasterize it to a regular
layer and I’m gonna disable the other layers and what I’m wanna do is I’m just quickly
create a selection around his face like so and I wanna fill that with Content Aware.
To bring up the Fill window, you can hold Shift and Backspace or you can go into Edit
>Fill then I’m gonna press OK and Photoshop did a good job of removing the head which
is what I wanted and now, I can enable the other layers again and notice what happens
now that I moved the Knockout Layer around with the Move tool, we have the original background,
so it looks a lot more realistic. So sorry about that, I sort of missed that step but
that’s okay. And now getting back to the Timeline, we’re
gonna decide where we gonna place the First Frame. So for me, it’s gonna be right here,
somewhere on this left eye. Then I can Add A New Frame and move that around, so maybe
this one move up here, Add A New Frame and maybe it goes up way up here, Add A New Frame
then goes here. So, you can think of this as a stop motion animation in a way. So, I’m
just creating each individual frame and how it’s gonna move around the image we created and I started here, so I think this one will
be okay. So now, let’s test and see what happens when we play this. See this little
Play button here? You can just click on it and it will play that animation but we wanted
to loop forever, so right here where it says Once, we can click on that and choose Forever
then click on Play. It’s gonna do that motion and it’s a little too fast, so why don’t
we slow it down. So I’m gonna click on the First Frame, hold Shift, click on the last
one and then on this downplaying arrow, select something like 0.5 Seconds and play it and
see how that looks and that’s a little too slow. So, we’ll select all of them again
and click on the down pointing arrow and choose maybe 0.2 Seconds, click on Play, and I think
that looks much better, so we’ll just go with that and you can spend more time on the
animation if you want. For this tutorial, I think it would be good enough. You got the
idea. Now, I can show you how you can export this animated GIF. It’s actually very simple.
All you do is press Ctrl + Shift + S, Command +Option + Shift on the Mac to bring up safe
for the web. If you are on a new version of Photoshop, you can also find it in the Export
>Menu>Save For The Web. If you are on an older version of Photoshop that is not CC
2015, this menu will be out here somewhere but it’s easier to just use the keyboard
shortcut. So, the image is really big. Right now, it’s 1920 x 1080. That’s way too
big for an animated GIF, so why don’t we make that 400 pixel. Then for the File Type,
just choose GIF and we can play just to see how it looks and that looks pretty good. I
can stop it and you can choose how many times the animation is gonna loop. Forever is the
option that I want, so that’s already set and I can just click on the Save button and
then you can decide what you call the file and where to save it in your computer. That’s
it for this tutorial. I hope that you enjoyed and that you learn something new. If you have any comments or questions, leave
down below. If you enjoy the tutorial, don’t forget to click that Like button and Share
this video with a friend. If you haven’t already, Subscribe to the Photoshop Training
Channel now. Thank you for watching and I’ll talk you again soon.