Tutorial: Layer Mask Basics in Photoshop

Whether you are new to Photoshop or a seasoned pro, you need to understand how to use Layer Masks.  These special masks reside with the Layer and allow you to reveal or hide any portion of that Layer.  Layer masked are completely editable and non-destructive to the actual contents of the Layer.

Adding a Layer Mask

masks1

With the Layer selected, simply click on the Add Mask icon to add a blank Layer Mask.  In the Mask, pure black hides the layer contents while pure white reveals the layer contents.  Greyscale levels in-between reveal or hide in gradations.  Simply click on the Layer Mask to draw on the Mask.  Click back on the Layer icon to draw on the layer contents.

Disable the Link to Transform either the Layer or the Layer Mask Independently

masks2

In between the icons for the Layer and its Layer Mask is a Link icon.  With the Link in place, transforming the Layer will also apply to the Mask.  However, there are times when you would want to manipulate either the Mask or the Layer independently.  In the above screen capture, the Link is disabled.  I clicked on the Mask icon and dragged the Mask to a new location.

masks3

Still with the Link disabled, I clicked on the Layer icon and transformed only the contents of the Layer.  The Mask remains intact.

Replace Mask completely

masks4

You can even replace the Layer Mask completely without altering the contents of the Layer.  In this case, I clicked on the Layer Mask and dragged it to the Trash.  I then loaded a selection based on a clipping path of the window frame.  With the selection active, I simply clicked on the Add Mask icon to add a new Layer Mask based on the selection.

Refine Masks even further

masks5-new

Photoshop CS4 added a new Mask Panel with additional controls (available from the Windows drop-down menu).  Now you can Refine the Mask just like you can Refine the Edge of a selection.  You can even adjust the Density of the Mask Layer directly (similar to adjusting the Opacity of the Layer itself).

photoframd-related-articles

Why Every Photoshop User Should Pick-up a Camera

Tutorial: Layer Mask Basics in Photoshop

Tutorial: Level Basics in Photoshop

Tutorial: Curves Basics in Photoshop

Tutorial: Perspective Basics in Photoshop

Photoshop CS5 – Custom Keyboard Shortcut Reference Guide, Flash and Illustrator too

Keyboard Shortcut Reference Guides for Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5

Tutorial: Fake Lensbaby Effect in Photoshop

Selective Motion Blur in Photoshop

Tutorial: Liquify Filter and the Fat Cat – Part 1

Tutorial: Liquify Filter & the Plus Model – Part 2

Tutorial: Liquify Filter & Average Joe – Part 3

Quick glamour in Photoshop – Part 1

Quick glamour in Photoshop – Part 2

Photoshop CS5 – Extending Macro Depth of Field with Photomerge

Photoshop CS5 – Creating Panoramas with PhotoMerge

Photoshop CS5 – HDR & Canon 7D Raw Files

HDR or Adjustment’s in Camera Raw – Which is it?

HDR with Photomatix 3.2 & Canon 7D Raw Files

Photoshop CS5 – Puppet Warp turns a Frown into a Smile

Photoshop CS5 – Puppet Warp for Text and Shapes

Photoshop CS5 – Content Aware Fill

Photoshop CS5 – Spot Healing Brush with Content-Aware

Tutorial: Content Aware Scaling in Photoshop CS4

Vanishing Point Filter in Photoshop – Part 1

Vanishing Point Filter in Photoshop – Part 2

Tutorial: Breaking the 4th wall in Photoshop

Tutorial: Flying Baby – Breaking the 4th Wall in Photoshop

Fake Magazine Covers Make Great Gifts

Create Photo Puzzles in Photoshop

photoframd-related-articles2

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 photoframd.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eight − one =