The images I used from Adobe Stock. Odds are, if you’ve been using Photoshop for a while, not a single piece of this was news to you. The action gives the photos good saturation without distorting them while making the image look even more stylish. read more, 70 Free Photoshop Plugins for Photographers, REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR BEGINNERS. Select the fire layer and click the mask icon shown in the image below. The main advantage to using Layer Masks is they can be changed at any time – they are “non-destructive”, meaning they will never destroy image pixels! Select New... to create a new document. Make a copy of the blue channel, select it and hit Command-L to bring up a Levels Adjustment. Mask & Replace Photo Background Tutorial : CLICK HERE TO WATCH TUTORIAL 1 00:00:13 How to Change Background With a Lot of Hair in photoshop. About / Membership / Advertising & Sponsorship / Privacy, A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Masking in Photoshop, 2 Million+ Digital Assets, With Unlimited Downloads, 3 Web Design Rules You Should Actually Try to Break. To use the metaphor of an actual mask, imagine that you want to change your appearance for Halloween. Several years ago a friend of mine asked me to teach him how masks work in Photoshop. Choose Hue/Saturation in the pop-up menu. However, because I used a mask, all I have to do is fill that mask with white and immediately all of my fire detail returns. Name the file and save the final result in PSD format. The good news about the cat image is that there is plenty of contrast to work with. The general idea here is to take some, not all, of the fire and apply it to the shack. The other way is by using adjustment layers, which always comes with a mask. There are ways to see it that we’ll check out later but just know that as a general rule, applying a mask to a layer won’t cause any immediate visual differences unless you have an active selection at the time. You can either do it manually, or press the D key. The technique we just discussed is just to give you a taste of how advanced masking can become. Let’s take a look at how to use Select and Mask below. You resort to Luminosity Masks in Photoshop (selective adjustments) when you need to change only a particular area of the photo. Layers are probably the single most important addition to Photoshop since the original version, but layer masks are a close second. How To Create A Clipping Mask In Photoshop Clipping masks use the content and transparency of the layer below to control the visibility of the layer above. 1-2 min). This means you can paint, clone, create and fill selections, copy and paste, and all kinds of other actions you perform on the main canvas. Learn how to mask in Photoshop and use masking for photo editing with layers. Click the save selection as channel button, … As you can see, despite a super detailed mask, we still have some white fringing occurring around the edges. By dragging around the wood layer, you move the position of the texture inside the bounds of the letters while the letters themselves stay stationary. Next, proceed to the Options bar. If the bottom layer has some areas that are opaque and some areas that are transparent, a clipping mask will apply these values to the top layer. I created the picture at the top of this article with Layer Masks in Photoshop in just a few minutes. Normally, Photoshop doesn't allow us to paste images directly into layer masks, but we can if we select the mask by holding down Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and then clicking on the layer mask's thumbnail in the Layers palette to select it: Hold down "Alt" (Win) / "Option" … That means we have to rely on Select and Mask to cut out images. A layer mask is similar to a second sheet of acetate that hovers over a layer. The first thing we need is two layers. While working with masking in Photoshop, it is useful to learn some shortcuts that will radically save your time. Choose “Transparent” and click on “Create”. Hit the layer mask button. To accomplish this, we’ll need to add a mask to the fire layer. You’ll want to zoom in and watch the hair detail on the fringes of the fur to make sure you’re not clipping too much. Be careful to no go too far with this adjustment. The reason these work so well is that they can accurately target certain ranges of gray extremely accurately. The goal is to get as much of the cat as closest to black as you can. If we apply this mask to a layer, this is the result: Clipping masks are very similar to layer masks only they use one layer to determine the transparency of another. What you learned: Make a creative composite by combining images using a layer mask Start with a document that has at least two images, each on a separate layer. Command/Ctrl + Alt/Option - allows subtracting out of a selection based on the mask edges. To achieve the effect that we want, simply swap the position of the layers so that the wood is on the top, then go to the Layers menu at the top of your screen and select “Create Clipping Mask” (Command-Option-G). Paint over hidden areas of the image. In fact, you may be thinking that masks are so incredibly simple that they barely merit conversation. Select the top image layer in the Layers... Click the Add layer mask button in the Layers panel. Where the text layer was opaque, the wood layer is now opaque and where the text layer was transparent, the wood layer is now transparent. Next, on the selected layer, you will see a white layer mask thumbnail, which will display everything on this chosen layer. For instance, Filters used to be a permanent and destructive change, if you blurred a layer, it was stuck that way! Go to the top layer, right click on it, choose “Create Clipping Mask.”. Black color on the layer mask conceals the mask layer. There are a few ways to do this but the easiest is just to Command-click on the channel to load a selection. Shift – allows disabling or enabling Mask view. That’s all there is to it! Run "Photoshop." As you can see in the image below, it went a long way toward reducing our halo. A layer mask allows merging several pictures into one composition or cropping something out of the picture. Remember that, in masking, white is opaque and black is transparent. Select New... to create a new document and proceed with uploading the desired image from your computer. Masking works in two ways. Command/Ctrl - allows making a selection based on the mask edges. To create a transparent file, you need to open the “Background Controls” dropdown menu. Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. Also be sure to share any unique masking techniques or tricks you might have! 1. Their concept is similar but they have different functions. Step 3 If you made a selection, make sure the selection is still active with those … But layer masks are easy to use. … If you're new to Photoshop, layer masks can seem like an advanced topic. In order to customize keyboard shortcuts and add a layer mask, just choose Edit and then Keyboard Shortcuts. Notice that, at this point, the wood is the bottom layer and the text is the top layer. With a mask, you not only have the ability to make remarkably detailed decisions about the transparency of a layer or group of layers, even better, you have the freedom to go back and refine or scrap those changes at any time. The key to making a good mask is finding contrast and knowing how to pull it out. Readjust the photo until you like its position. Experiment with different blend modes and adjust the opacity of your images to find the right effect. This Photoshop action gives your photos a dramatic effect. © Copyright 2021 Fixthephoto.com | All Rights Reserved. Tired of dealing with your slow WordPress website? In fact, a layer mask is as simple as black and white! These two tools are closely related in concept, but very different in application. If you want to hide a layer that features the Photoshop mask, change the foreground color to black. We’ll go over the basics of what masks are, what they’re used for and how wielding them properly will take your Photoshop skills to an entirely new level. The term “mask” isn’t immediately understandable to someone outside the realm of graphic design. Command/Ctrl + Shift + Alt/Option - allows making an intersection with the original selection and the one you’ve just created based on the mask edges. Next, switch the disclosure triangle to the Layer menu. There are two primary types of masks: clipping masks and layer masks. Lion. Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, A layer mask is one of the most helpful and powerful creative tools at your disposal in Photoshop Elements 11. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the mask you want to edit. Next, you will need to get rid of your selection by clicking on the shape. From here it becomes a factor of how much time you want to spend refining your result. In Lightroom, I also give the mask a keyword of “Layer Mask” so I can easily find all the saved masks. The easiest way to create a shape is to take advantage of the marquee tool (it is also called a selection tool or “marching ants”). Here click on the Brush Picker and select the brush size and hardness. This one is hard to explain without an example, but becomes crystal clear when you see it in action. For instance, here’s what happens if we select the text layer and add an Inner Shadow. With complicated masks like these there is always room for improvement but you’ll find that the point of diminishing returns on your time spent becomes easier and easier to spot as your skill level improves. Think through the process one step at a time and find ways to pull out the detail you need. With that one change, this is already a pretty decent image! It allows you to focus on the subject and blur the background a bit. To directly edit layer transparency, do the following and create a mask: In the Layers panel, select the layer. It’s simply a bad choice when you’re not sure that you want the changes to be permanent. First, you simply add a mask on any layer by clicking the third option on the bottom of layer palette. Layer Mask is used to change a specific area in the picture. The Magic Wand or even the Pen Tool are of no use to us here. At the top of the screen, you can see a menu bar. They can be used to combine any number of images, layers, and effects. I would posit that until you thoroughly understand how and why to use masks, you simply don’t understand the power of Photoshop. With the selection active, switch to the Channels palette. This may sound like a time-intensive task, and it can be for some images, but in truth the Dodge and Burn Tools feel like magic when you’re using them and take much of the work out. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, once you learn to mask, you should literally never pick up the eraser tool again because it tends to be so destructive. By pressing X, you will switch the current colors. This action is great for wedding, portrait, cityscape, fashion and children photography. Get unlimited downloads of 2 million+ design resources, themes, templates, photos, graphics and more. Once you create a layer mask, it is white. I was able to come up with a great looking silhouette in only a minute or two. Also, while masking in simple in concept, the actual art takes considerable time, education and practice to master. When you add a mask to a layer, it covers the entire thing with an invisible grayscale canvas. After you create a shape, you will need to fill it with the color. It works best with cityscape photography. Also, you can apply layer effects to the compilation via the bottom layer. Practice makes perfect, just be bold and never become intimidated by a masking job that seems too complex. Use layer masks to block out the areas in the image you want to be transparent. White means 100% opacity and black means 0% opacity. Choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection or Hide Selection. At the bottom of the Layers panel, you will see Add layer mask button – click on it. With the shape selected, click on the Add Layer Mask button found at the bottom of the Layers panel, right in the middle. This is simply a horrible way to work. For starters, we can use the fantastic new Masks Palette in conjunction with Refine Edge to make some live adjustments to our mask. In this Quick Tip, Julieanne reveals a simple technique to paste content directly into a layer mask in Photoshop. With every new iteration of Photoshop, Adobe gives us more and more ways to make non-destructive edits, meaning those that don’t truly alter the original pixel data. Now, just paint with white on a layer mask to make the content you had hidden before visible. Make photos vibrant and add that warm atmosphere. And the process is as simple as adding the mask to the layer. A white box will appear next to your layer icon. Layer masks are a better way of cutting out layers and photos than using the eraser tool. On this invisible canvas, you can paint white, black or any level of gray in-between. Then, load the file with the mask we received on Step 2 to Photoshop. Let's see how you can apply an alpha mask to the image. I grabbed the two images below from photographers Adrian Durlea and Erik Soderstrom. Mind you, it doesn’t hide them for a while until you want them back, it “destroys” the pixels. This way you will set black as the foreground color. For instance, let’s say we want to take the cat below off of its white background. It started with the picture below of a high school senior wearing a blue shirt. Masking can be difficult to understand for beginners to Photoshop. A layer mask is something that you apply to a given layer to control the transparency of that layer. By using black and white colors, the layer mask allows revealing and hiding the particular areas of the layer. You can use layer masks with image layers and adjustment layers. This is an almost hidden command that has the ability to yield some amazing results. Photoshop converts transparency into an opaque color, hidden by the new… 3 00:00:47 Change blending mode that foreground and background blend well to see through. The foreground and background colors assume default grayscale values when the mask is active. The first step is to stack the two images as we see above and set the fire layer’s blending mode to Screen. However, masking techniques go from simple to wickedly complex really fast. Upon first learning how to use masks, most rookies think the same thing: “I can already do all of this with the eraser tool.” Wrong! Select Open... and then open a project from your... 2. With a selection loaded, return to your cat layer and click the New Mask button. Note that this command is actually destructive so you should always duplicate your layer before using it. I won’t cover them closely now because it would take so much time but I encourage you to dig in and play with all of the controls to get a feel for what they do. Join our 30,000+ members to receive our newsletter and submit your design work. At the top of the screen, you can see a menu bar. Voila, we now have the effect we were going for. How To Use Select & Mask To Cut Out Objects. To change the size, press Ctrl + T. After that, select and hold down the Command + Shift key and drag the edges of the image in or out to achieve correct proportions. Woman. Click on “File” and select “Place Embedded” in the drop-down menu. Masking is one of the most powerful, yet misunderstood features in Photoshop. This will make all of the black pixels transparent, which blends the two images together nicely. But what about the edge of the hair? A clipping mask hides a part of the layer. Now that we have a channel that accurately represents what we want from a mask, how do we convert it? The shack image is on the bottom and the fire is on the top. Select the Brush Tool. freebies. This is easy for the face potions and other random spots near the center, just grab a black brush and fill them in. Use the Quick Selection tool. How to round edges in Photoshop using Vector Mask. Instead, I went to the Layer menu at the top of the screen and selected Matting>Color Decontaminate. Clipping masks fun, functional and underrated, but the truth is that layer masks are far more common in every day use. With this in mind, try to imagine what the mask below would do to a layer: As you can see, if our mask was all white with the three circles shown above, we would have a completely visible layer where in all the white areas, and spots of transparency in the circles. Layer Masks can do so much more than replacing the sky. After that, go to Layer Mask, click on a blank space next to the command and finally add your custom keyboard shortcuts. They are non destructive and provide much more control. Select the photo layer, right click on it and choose “Merge Visible.”. Select the mask (Select->All, Ctrl+A on Windows, Command+A on Mac). See our privacy policy. Select any of the editing or painting tools. Open your base image in Photoshop, and add your secondary images to another layer in the same project. Command/Ctrl + Shift - allows adding to a selection based on the mask edges. All of that fine hair detail means making an accurate selection will be time consuming. Another way of creating masks is to make use of the Quick Selection … Just as mentioned, Vector Mask is one of the … For this tutorial, I’ll be using a royalty-free image … This image shows a layer with no mask applied. This Photoshop action will highlight and intensify green objects like trees, bushes, grass or mountains. Create a special atmosphere by giving your photos a gentle soft brown tone. For an image layer, the layer mask allows […] LEARN ALL ABOUT PHOTOSHOP MASKING IN LESS THAN TEN MINUTES! I set the Dodge Tool to target the highlights and the Burn Tool to target the shadows, grab a medium size soft brush and make my way around the edges of the image, burning shadows and dodging highlights until I like the level of detail that I’m seeing. The color that you paint tells Photoshop how opaque to make the pixels at that point. By pressing the X key on your keyboard, you will switch the foreground and background colors and change the foreground color to white. This is literally all the layer mask does. From here, the last trick I use is to look for problematic areas and actually run the clone brush over the fringes. To bring it back, we simply paint white. This is my incredibly late response. The icon is of a square with a circle in the middle. From blending images to stylizing texts, there are hundreds of uses of masks in Photoshop. If you want the entire layer to be at 30%, you would lower the opacity, if you want just the left side of a layer to be at 30%, you would use a mask. Let’s start by discussing layers masks, which are generally what people are referring to when you hear them discuss Photoshop masking. Think about what happens when you use the eraser tool: it erases pixels. How to Create a Layer Mask? How layer masks work in Photoshop. Alt/Option - allows you to enter or exit Mask view. It doesn’t have to be perfectly black and white at this point, some dark grays are acceptable. Leave a comment below and let us know if you learned anything from the information above. You can also use shortcut Command + E. Save the final result in PNG format in order not to lose the transparency. You can still position and make changes to each of the two layers independently. Select the duplicate layer and click the icon at the bottom of the layers palette to add a layer mask. At the bottom of the Layers panel, you will see Add layer mask button – click... 3. At its simplest definition a mask is a way to apply something to a very specific portion of an image. Click on the "Add Layer Mask" icon. If I had erased my fire in the example above, it would be gone forever and bringing it back would involve importing the layer all over again. Combine several photos into a simple photo composition, remove background, object or a person easy and fast. Let's create a clipping mask using our two layers and see what happens. It's a light gray rectangle that contains a dark gray circle at the … We can differentiate two kinds of masks: clipping masks and layer masks. What do I mean by destructive? At this point you encounter one of the trickiest steps of the entire process. Choose Layer > Layer Mask > From Transparency. By using a soft brush, you will create gray shadows, partly masking this area of the mask layer. Furry animals make particularly difficult masking subjects. All these shortcuts involve clicking on the mask's thumbnail first. Let’s say though that we want to only have fire near the door of the shack. Select an image layer in the Layers panel. In order to add black to the layer mask, just paint over the image in the document window. In this scenario, the eraser tool is plastic surgery. Getting rid of this can literally take hours of tedious work if you don’t know what you’re doing. Now, with Smart Filters, you can always go back and adjust or even delete the blur. As you can see in the image below, with just a little painting, our fire is now much more centralized to the portion of the image that’s already lit up and therefore looks decently natural. A Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, with a white layer mask thumbnail, appears in … Resize, drag, and drop your images into position. As we do this, the fire begins to disappear. Here we have a fairly dark cat on a bright white background, which means all we have to do is figure out how to leverage our good fortune and convert the contrast already present into a suitable mask. Flatten the image and save the mask in the folder where your photo is stored. There are so many practical and creative uses for layer masks that covering them all at once would be impossible. There are a ton of different types of images to mask and therefore a million different tricks and techniques to figure out along the way which can be mixed and matched on a per-project basis. Utilizing these tools properly takes practice. To sum up, there are two primary types of masks in Photoshop: layer masks and clipping masks. Envato Elements starts at $16 per month, and is the best creative subscription we've ever seen. The beauty of masks is that you can do anything you want with them as long as you can pull it off in values of gray. This sun ray overlay creates a slight bokeh effect. At its simplest definition a mask is Check out these tutorials to know how to use masking in Photoshop. This same concept gave birth to masks many years ago. The changes that you make by deleting portions of a layer are permanent and can’t exactly be tweaked later. Run "Photoshop." 1. When used right, masks can be used to create very effective visual effects. Now, with the mask selected in the layers palette, we grab a soft, black brush and paint out the portions of the fire that we don’t want to see. To see the actual mask, Option-Click (Alt-Click on a PC) on the little mask preview in the layers palette (Shift-click to hide the mask completely). So how do the pros start with the image above and create a mask like the one below? It works great with children and love story photos. You have two options: the first is to undergo plastic surgery to permanently change your face to look like that of a scary creature and the second is to wear a mask. We'll use your email address to send one newsletter every week, and occasional promotions from us and our partners. The mask keeps everything looking nice and cloning replaces unnatural colors with those from the actual fur of the cat in other places. Find File and click on it.Now you should choose one of these actions: Select Open... and then open a project from your computer by double-clicking. Layers are probably the single most important addition to Photoshop since the original version, but layer masks are a close second. Then this bokeh overlay is just what you are looking for. Click the Mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. Find the picture you want to work with and click on “Place”. Photo Credits: Adrian Durlea, Erik Soderstrom, and Sergiu Bacioiu. Go with the mask instead. In short, they make part of a layer visible and part invisible. If you want to reveal a layer that features the mask, just change the foreground color to white. Layer masks use values of gray to assign levels of transparency to specific portions of a layer or group of layers while clipping masks use the transparency of one layer to define that of a different layer or group of layers. Go to Layers Panel to Select a Layer. This type of mask uses the content and transparency of the bottom layer in order to control the visibility of the layer above. So in our case, we want the channel with the darkest cat and the brightest background, which turns out to be the blue channel. After painting out some of our fire, this brings up the following: Notice that we’re not just constrained to hard edges. Step 1: Select The Layer That Will Be Clipped Shift + Alt/Option – allows entering or exiting Quick Mask Mode. Open your Photoshop, scroll to the left-hand side of your screen, click on File, then click on New from the drop-down menu, or press Ctrl + N for a shorter and straight forward action. Mask. Now that we have a strong grasp of exactly what masks are and how the two different types of masks differ, let’s see how to create and work with a layer mask. Load the original image to Photoshop. Layer Masks are one of the most important Tools in Photoshop. To Use a Saved Layer Mask; Open the saved mask image in Photoshop just like a normal photo. I would posit that until you thoroughly understand how and why to use masks, you simply don’t understand the power of Photoshop.The term “mask” isn’t immediately understandable to someone outside the realm of graphic design. There’s some really interesting functionality here. Open File. Instead of using black and white values though, clipping masks simply borrow transparency from the layers used to make them, namely the bottom layer. Often, you can patch up a rough edge in seconds with these sliders, but with our cat project I wasn’t really getting any results that I liked so I cancelled out this operation altogether. Darken the shadows and the midtones so that there is a crazy amount of contrast like in the image below. Make your image editing in Photoshop much easier with the following Photoshop filters, that can be applied to all kinds of photos in a matter of seconds. (approx. The information above should be enough to get you off and running with clipping masks so from here on out we’ll focus purely on layer mask functionality. The information above is an absolute beginner’s guide to masks. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use layer masks in Photoshop. 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