Remove Texture From Some of the Photo
Q: I have been trying out textures on some photos, but don't know how to remove the texture from a person's face and just have the texture in the background.
A: That's a great question and it's pretty easy to do with Photoshop Elements. Here are the steps:
Step 1 - Duplicate the Background Layer.
Go up to the Layer menu and choose Duplicate Layer… to make a duplicate of your Background Layer in the Layer's Panel. Or use the keyboard shortcut by pressing Control-J (Mac:Cmd-J).
Step 2 - Apply Your Texture.
Make sure your Duplicate Layer is active by clicking on it in the Layers palette.
Now apply a texture, or make any kind of effect to your image by double-clicking on an effect from the Effects palette. Or go up to the Filters menu and choose an effect from there.
In the image below I went to the Filter menu and chose Texture>Grain…. You can see how it affected the whole Layer. However, notice that the Background Layer is unaffected.
Step 3 - Create a Layer Mask
A Layer Mask will allow you to hide the effect from any part of the Duplicate Layer you choose and let the original photo show through from the Background Layer. In this case you want the face to show through.
Click on the half white/half gray circle icon in the Layers palette to create a new adjustment Layer. You are not going to make an adjustment, you just need to use its Layer Mask. So choose Levels from the Create Adjustment Layer as shown below.
When the Levels Dialog box appears, don't make any adjustments. Just click OK. If your using Version 8 you don't need to click OK, it will automatically create a new Adjustment Layer.
Notice how the Adjustment Layer shows an icon representing Levels and to the right of the icon is a square white box. That white box is the Layer Mask.
You need to do a couple things to have the Layer Mask affect your Duplicate Layer. First it needs to be below the Duplicate Layer. Click and drag the Adjustment Layer below the Duplicate Layer. Don't grab it by the Layer Mask icon, drag it by the part of the Layer that shows the Levels icon.
When you see a double bold line appear between the Background and the Duplicate Layers release the mouse button and the Adjustment Layer will go into place. Now the Levels Adjustment
Layer should be between the Background Layer and the Duplicate Layer as shown below.
Next you need to group the Duplicate Layer with the Adjustment Layer. To do that click on the top Layer to make it active. Now press Control-G (Mac:Cmd-G).
When you do that the top Layer will scoot over to the right and a 90° down arrow will appear to the left of it. That indicates that the two Layers are grouped.
Now you can use the Layer Mask to hide part of the Filter effect on your duplicate Layer.
Step 4 - Paint Your Mask To Hide Effect
Click on the Levels Adjustment Layer in the Layers Palette to make it active. Now select the Brush tool from the Toolbox to make it your active tool.
Make sure your Foreground Color (the top square at the bottom of the Toolbox) is black. If it's white press X on your keyboard to switch it to black.
Now move your cursor over the part of your photo where you want to remove the effect and "paint" the effect away.
Use the photo below as a checklist for painting your Layer Mask.
- Choose a Soft Brush from the Options Bar. The tiny triangle to the right of the brush preview reveals more choices for hardness and size when you click and hold on it.
- Have the Brush Tool Active in the Toolbox. Make it active by clicking on it.
Have the Foreground Color Set To Black. Click on the small overlapping squares at the bottom-left of the large overlapping squares to set the Foreground/Background colors to their default black and white. Then press the X key to switch around the colors until black is in the foreground.
Make sure the Levels Layer is Active in the Layers palette by clicking on it. Notice that as you paint with black over your photo it is represented on your Layer Mask.
- Your Brush Icon is represented by a circle. The size of the circle represents the size of your Brush. You can change the size of your Brush by pressing the left and right bracket keys, located next to the letter P on your keyboard. Your Brush Icon will change size accordingly.
If you accidentally brush away an area you didn't intend to, you can switch your Foreground color to white by pressing the X key. Then repaint over that area again and the texture will be revealed.
Here's a look at the before and after.
I hope this gives you the technique to accomplish what you want.
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Until next time,