Working with masks 'lesson 2 - Tasks 1&2' Introduction to Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 2

Masks are a very powerful tool for producing complex looking effects in a relatively short length of time. Using masking layers can seem like a daunting prospect, it can be a complicated and may even seem to be an unnecessary task. However it’s simply the quickest non-destructive way to edit layer based content. In the following tutorials you’ll be given a sound introduction into working with masks. The first task introduces you to painting onto a mask to reveal the layer underneath.

Task 1
  • Open the file “Sc3.psd” from the ‘Working with Masks’ folder.
  • Create a New Layer in the Layers Palette by clicking on the New Layers Icon. Name this layer ‘Colour Fill’.
  • Double click on the Colour Picker and create this colour in the RGB dialogue box:
  • R: 9, G: 239, B: 9
  • With the 'Colour Fill' layer selected Go > Edit > Fill
  • When the fill dialog appears click OK
The steps below can also be done while this dialog is open
  • Set the Blending Mode of the ‘Colour Fill’ layer to “Hard Light”.
  • Set the Layer Opacity to 40%
  • Click the “Add Layer Mask” icon in the Layers Palette.
  • Set the colour picker to the standard black/white colours with Black as the foreground colour (on top of the white).
  • Select the Brush tool with a pixel radius of about 44 pixels and click on the air brush option or select a soft brush from the brush dropdown menu.
  • Decrease the opacity of the ‘Colour Fill’ layer if necessary.
  • Paint over the image leaving the model’s helmet visor untouched.
  • By painting onto a reveal all mask with black the underlying layer is revealed. If you make a mistake you can switch the foreground colour to white and painting back onto the mask will conceal the layer underneath / restore the ‘colour fill’ layer.
Continue painting onto the 'mask' until only the visor remains.

This technique can be used to blend image components together without removing any layer components.

Save this image to your Visual Design folder in both PSD and JPEG formats as “Mask 1”.

Task 2

In this task you will learn to apply a gradient mask to blend two images.

  • Open the ‘sc2.psd’ and ‘grid1.psd’ files from the ‘Working with Masks’ folder in Photoshop. (Fig 1a) (Fig 1b)
  • Click on “Grid 1”, go Select > All, (Crtl A) Edit > Copy (Ctrl C) . (Fig 2)
  • Click on the file “sc2.psd” and go Edit > Paste. (Ctrl V) (Fig 3)
Fig 1a
Fig 1b
Fig 2
Fig 3
  • Click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon in the Layers Palette (the same icon used last task). Set the colour picker to foreground (black) and background (white).(Fig 4)
Fig 4
  • Select the Gradient Tool and draw a line from left to right over the image.
Completed image

Close the source files without saving changes and then;

Save both PSD and JPEG copies of your completed image to your Visual Design folder
Created By
Gary Poulton

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