Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Project 4: Photoshop Masks

Published by Jillian McGrath at 8:11 AM

Photoshop masks are an invaluable resource to any photographer or designer. They allow you to hide unwanted pixels without actually deleting them just in case you need them again. It is a less permanent solution to the eraser tool and something that anyone who uses Photoshop should know about.

Once you start using masks you will realize just how easy they truly are even if they seem a little intimidating at first. Creating a mask in Photoshop is almost as easy as selecting your image. You simply select the image that you would like to add a mask to and then go to the bottom of your layers palette, click the "add mask" button which looks like a square with a circle in the middle of it. By default your mask will come up as white making everything visible. To start hiding items using your mask click on the mask layer to the right of the image you masked, select your paint brush and make sure your paint brush color is set to black (to reset your colors to black and white simply select D on your keyboard, and to switch between the two colors easily hit X on your keyboard). Then start painting over the area of your image that you would like to hide. White on a mask will reveal pixels and black on a mask will hide pixels. As you are working you will notice that you need different paint brush sizes in different areas of your image a simple short cut for changing the size of your brush would be to press [ to make your brush smaller and ] to make your brush larger.

Below are two of my personal examples of images being combined to create one composite using masks and layers in Photoshop.

If you would like to know more about Masks and Layers in Photoshop be sure to check out these helpful links:

Unveiling Photoshop Masks - Smashing Magazine

Photoshop 101: How to Use Layer Masks | Design Reviver

Image Composite One

Straight Out of Camera

Straight Out of Camera

Image Composite using Photoshop Masks and Layers

Composite Two

Straight Out of Camera

Straight Out of Camera

Image Composite using Photoshop Masks and Layers


passport in my pocket said...

these photos are amazing! I think I need to take a class.

Jillian McGrath said...

Thank you very much :) Photoshop classes are a lot of fun (so I think) and you can really learn a lot in them :)

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