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Basic Layer Masking

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  • Basic Layer Masking

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    I've taken inspiration from Jakaleena's many new tutorials and written a new one of my own. This one covers the basic steps necessary to make a layer mask.
    Last edited by Doug Nelson; 07-24-2003, 02:06 PM.
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  • #2
    For a long time layer masking was confusing to me but once I really learned and understood them I couldn't do with out them. I think alot of members who are just struggling though some of the basics of Photoshop will really value this tutorial since layer masking is such and essential part of Photoshop work. I think your tutorial is well laid out visually also. Good one.


    • #3
      I shudda thunk of that one. It's one that I could have done, and like DJ said, a lot of people will get good use from it.



      • #4
        Masking didn't really "come home" for me until I got my Graphire tablet and started looking at the tut that came with it. "Painting" with black and white (adding and subtracting might be a better term I think) seems like such a better way than erasing and then going "oops - too much" and hitting undo. Masking and I still have a long way to go, but the more tuts I read the farther down the path I go, and that's a good thing!

        Oh hey - look! I'm a MEMBER!


        • #5
          Oh thank you, thank you, thank you, Doug!

          I keep hearing about the miracles of layer masking, but I'm one of those who just seem to have a mental block about them. This is the easiest to understand tutorial I've come across, and

          (don't laff at me, ok?)

          I actually made my very first layer mask with it!

          (See? I told you there was a bunch of stuff I still don't know!)


          • #6
            Originally posted by Blacknight
            Oh hey - look! I'm a MEMBER!
            Cool! I thought it was neat when I got my "promotions" too!

            I'm still waiting for my raise, though...


            • #7
              This is a good one. A lot of people are confused about this technique and there aren't many like it on the net. This is right up there as one of the most powerful techniques in ps. There's a good book on this kind of thing called Photoshop Channel Chops. It's a boring book and a little out of date I suppose, but well worth studying if anyone wants to explore this type of thing further.


              • #8
                I don't know if this is of much help or if it will just create confusion, but way back when I first got into graphix and the internet I ran across something somewhere that looked interesting and I copied it and put it was way beyond me at the time, and may still be, but it was on channels and the use of masks and such and looked like it was an excerpt from a larger "something". It was by Kai Kraus, the brains behind Kai's power tools and other things.

                Does this ring a bell with anyone? Is this book you're talking about by him?


                • #9
                  layer masking problem

                  Hi Doug

                  I've tried a couple of time but still cannot make it right. My Hue/Saturation affected the whole picture, not the flower only? What could have been wrong? I belive I do the masking correctly.



                  • #10
                    Alt-click on the layer mask. It will appear in your main edit window. It should be a black and white image. If it's all white or all black, you're not selecting it before painting.
                    Learn by teaching
                    Take responsibility for learning


                    • #11
                      Basic Layer Masking

                      Layer masking provides a non-destructive way to hide or show selected areas of a layer. [details]
                      Learn by teaching
                      Take responsibility for learning


                      • #12
                        Hanging at the end

                        I quite like this tutorial, but it leaves me completely at the edge of the cliff at the end ;-)

                        The last step says:
                        "Here I've copied the mask we just made and applied it to a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer."

                        How, who, what, where? Did you create a new layer, copy the whole layer or just copy the Mask, somehow... ?

                        To my mind, this tutorial shows how to mask, without explaining how to utilise a mask once it's done.

                        But, thank you. I'm getting there.


                        • #13
                          There are several ways to copy a mask. You can add a blank mask (this is unnecessary for adjustment layers as they come with a blank mask in place) then alt/opt-click on the blank layer mask. This brings it up into the main editing window. You can then paste anything from the clipboard (ie: a layer mask from another location) into place.

                          You can also load a layer mask as a selection, then make a new adjustment layer and the new mask will be made automatically (or, if you're using a non-adjustment layer, add the layer mask and the selection will create the mask automatically).

                          And, in Photoshop CS2, you can opt/alt-drag a layer mask to another layer and it will automatically duplicate it.

                          There are many other ways to accomplish the same thing.
                          Learn by teaching
                          Take responsibility for learning


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