Sometimes you need to create a matte that cannot be easily selected with any of the methods I mentioned earlier. The selection may be too complex or you may want to be able to change the matte quickly, yet maintain precision. Using paths can solve this dilemma.
Paths are vector-based Bezier curves. If you have used Adobe Illustrator or its equivalent type of illustration graphics program, you are probably already familiar with vector paths. That I use the term “dealing with” in reference to paths should alert newbies to the common perception that paths take a bit of getting used to. It may take some practice, but the results are well worth conquering the learning curve.(And really, they’re not that bad.)
In this scenario you are working on a scene where a swarm of computer-generated bugs were supposed to fly across the screen. The director thought that the scene looked too flat and wants some of the bugs to go behind a few of the leaves. She circles the leaves she wants separated and e-mails the image to you. Figure below shows you the directions.
Your image to work with.
Dragging creates smooth curves. Only clicking creates straight lines between the vertices.
Notice how the line connecting your two vertices curves as you drag. Two square points attached to your vertex look like a seesaw. These are called handles. They reflect and affect the curvature of your path.
It takes a bit to be able to know where to place vertices based on the characteristics of the Bezier curve. Even so, you’re probably wondering how this can be faster or better or even precise!
You can find the Direct Selection tool above the Pen tool.
You can use this tool to reposition any vertices and to adjust its handles. When you are ready, switch back to the Pen tool and continue the path.
I worked all the way around one leaf, but you could have gone around the three leaves together. You can see this in Figure below.
I worked around one leaf
You’re probably wondering where this path is being stored and how you can hide the ugly lines.
The Paths tab is way down here.
You see a working path. This is a temporary path, so save it for repeat use.
Save the path, since it’s temporary.
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Adobe Photoshop Tutorial
Preferences And Settings
Customizing Your Workspace
Starting With Color Maps
Tiling And Transformations
Matte Paintings From Pictures
Quick Fixes For Common Problems
Masks And Mattes
Noise And Grain
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