Photoshop CS2 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies- P17

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Photoshop CS2 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies- P17

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Photoshop CS2 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies- P17:Barbara Obermeier is principal of Obermeier Design, a graphic design studio in Ventura, California. She’s the author of Photoshop Album For Dummies, coauthor of Adobe Master Class: Illustrator Illuminated, Photoshop 7 For Dummies, and Illustrator 10 For Dummies. She has contributed as coauthor, technical editor, or layout designer for numerous books. Barb also teaches computer graphics at Brooks Institute; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Ventura College....

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  1. 458 Book VI: Channels and Masks
  2. Chapter 2: Quick and Dirty Masking In This Chapter Using Quick Masks Working with Color Range Selecting by erasing Extracting an image M asking is essentially just another way of making a selection. Instead of defining your selection with a selection outline, masks define your selection with 256 levels of gray, which allows you to have varying levels of selection. Photoshop masks or protects unselected pixels from any com- mands you execute. Photoshop doesn’t mask selected pixels, making them fair game to any executed commands. Different types of masks have different purposes — channel masks, layer masks, and vector masks. You can use them to temporarily make a selection, save and load selections, define vector shapes, selec- tively apply an adjustment layer or filter, blend one layer into another, and so on. Although selecting with the Marquee, Lasso, Magic Wand, and Pen tools can be fine, you’ll soon find that these tools have a limited repertoire: You can’t use them with much accuracy on more complex images. That’s when you turn to masking. Most things that pack a powerful punch are either expen- sive or hard to master, or both. Well, you already forked out a pretty penny for Photoshop. And yes, masking isn’t for those who get their selections via a drive-thru window. To help you with the learning curve, in this chapter, I ease you into masking by using Photoshop’s auto- mated masking tools. Although they aren’t quite as accurate as the hard- core masking I cover in Book VI, Chapter 3, they are easier on you, and with certain images (or a serious time crunch), the quick-and-dirty masking tools get the job done.
  3. 460 Working with Quick Masks Working with Quick Masks As you can probably guess from the name, Quick Masks allow you to create and edit selections quickly without having to bother with the Channels palette. Although you don’t really create an end-product mask per se, the way you go about getting your selection is “mask-like.” They are also user friendly in that they allow you to see your image while you’re working. You can begin your Quick Mask by using a selection tool or a painting tool. After you have your Quick Mask, you can edit the mask using any painting or editing tool. Quick Masks are temporary, so if you create one you really like, be sure and choose Select➪Save Selection at the end of the following steps. (Note that you have to be out of Quick Mask mode to do this.) That way you can save the selection as an alpha channel. For more on saving selections as alpha channels, see Book VI, Chapter 1. Follow these steps to create your very own Quick Mask: 1. Open a new document and, using any selection tool, select the ele- ment you want in your image. Don’t worry about getting the selection perfect. You can fine-tune your selection after you have the Quick Mask in place. Note that you can also just paint your mask from scratch. But I think that starting with a selection is easier. 2. Click the Quick Mask Mode button in the Tools palette. A color overlay covers and pro- tects the area outside the selec- tion, as shown in Figure 2-1. The selected pixels are unprotected. 3. Refine the mask by selecting a painting or editing tool. Corbis Digital Stock Paint with black to add to the Figure 2-1: When using a Quick Mask, a mask, thereby making the selection color overlay represents the unselected, or smaller. Even though you are paint- protected, areas. ing with black, your strokes will show up as a red overlay. This red overlay is a visual carryover from back in the day when artists used rubylith (red transparent material) to mask portions of their art during airbrushing. Paint with white to delete
  4. Working with Quick Masks 461 from the mask, making the selection larger. Paint with a shade of gray to par- tially select the pixels. Partially selected pixels take on a semitransparent look, perfect for feathered edges, as you can see in Figure 2-2. 4. After you finish editing your mask, shown in Figure 2-3, click the Standard Mode button in the Tools palette to exit the Quick Mask. Corbis Digital Stock The overlay disappears and a selection Figure 2-2: Clean up your Quick Book VI outline appears. Your selection is ready Mask. Chapter 2 and waiting for your next command. The selection outline correlates with the unmasked or selected areas of the Quick and Dirty Quick Mask. Don’t be surprised if the wispy or soft edges you so diligently selected aren’t readily apparent when you switch back to normal editing Masking mode. When you composite your selected image with another, your hard quick masking work will be evident. Corbis Digital Stock Figure 2-3: After you refine your mask (left), click the Standard Mode button to convert your mask into a selection outline (right).
  5. 462 Using the Color Range Command Changing Quick Mask options You can change Quick Mask options by double- In addition to changing the color (to provide clicking the Quick Mask Mode button in the better contrast with your image, perhaps) and Tools palette. opacity of the overlay, you can also choose whether you want the overlay to represent the When you add a Quick Mask to a selection, by masked (unselected, protected) areas or the default a red overlay covers the selected area. selected (unprotected) areas. The overlay has an opacity setting of 50%. Using the Color Range Command The Color Range command allows you to select similarly colored pixels in a selection or within an entire image. You can think of it as a smarter Magic Wand tool. Unlike the Magic Wand tool, however, Color Range lets you adjust your selection before you ultimately get the selection outline. It does this by using Fuzziness (a cousin of Tolerance), which allows you to select colors relative to how closely they resemble the sampled colors. Photoshop selects all the identical colors, partially selects similar colors, and does not select dissimilar colors. You adjust the fuzziness, and Photoshop adjusts the selection. Color Range basics Here are some Color Range command tips before you get started: You can save and load Color Range settings by clicking the appropriate buttons in the dialog box. But heck, after you have a selection, you can also choose Select➪Save Selection to save it as an alpha channel. You can select a color range based on preset colors or tones that you choose from the Select drop-down list. For example, choosing red auto- matically selects all the red in the image. Choosing midtones selects all the medium-range tones in the image. And Out-of-Gamut (only available for RGB and Lab modes) selects all colors that cannot be printed using CMYK colors. For more on modes, see Book II, Chapter 2. If you choose the Color Range command when you have an active selec- tion, Photoshop selects only colors within the selection outline and ignores the rest of your image. Executing the Color Range command Here’s all you need to know about working with the Color Range command:
  6. Using the Color Range Command 463 1. Choose Select➪Color Range. The Color Range dialog box appears in full glory. 2. Choose Sampled Colors from the Select drop-down list and then choose the Eyedropper tool in the dialog box. 3. Select a display option — Selection or Image. I recommend leaving the setting at the default of Selection so that you can see the mask as you build it. You can toggle between the two views by pressing Ctrl (Ô on the Mac). 4. Either in the image itself or in the image preview in the Color Range dialog box, click to sample your desired colors. Book VI Chapter 2 The image preview changes to a mask. Black areas show unselected pixels, white areas show selected pixels, and gray areas show partially Quick and Dirty selected pixels. Masking Your goal is to try to make what you want all white and what you don’t want all black, as shown in Figure 2-4. And if you want some things partially selected, they can remain gray. 5. Adjust the selection by adding or deleting colors. You can select or delete as many colors in your image as you want. Use the Add to Sample tool (plus eyedropper icon) to add, and use the Subtract from Sample tool (minus eyedropper icon) to delete. You can be lazy like me and just Figure 2-4: When using the Color Range stick with the regular eyedropper command, your desired selection area icon. Simply use Shift and Alt appears white in the preview box. (Option on the Mac) to add and delete. 6. Fine-tune the range of colors by dragging the Fuzziness slider. The Fuzziness ranges extend from 0 to 200. A higher value selects more colors, and a lower value selects fewer colors. As you adjust the fuzzi- ness, the mask dynamically updates. The Invert option selects what is currently unselected and deselects what is currently selected. And if you totally muck things up, you can reset the dialog box by pressing Alt (Option on the Mac) and clicking Reset.
  7. 464 Selective Erasing with the Eraser Tools 7. Choose a Selection Preview from the drop-down list to preview the selection in the image window. • None displays the image normally (refer to Figure 2-4). • Grayscale displays just the grayscale mask. • Black Matte and White Matte display the selection against a black or white background. • Quick Mask shows the mask over your image, using your Quick Mask settings. 8. Click OK. Your image appears with a selection outline based on the Color Range mask. Now do what you will with your nice, clean selection. I decided my Thai dancer needed to be in a more exotic locale, so I transported her (by dragging and dropping with the Move tool onto another image) to a mystical Shangri La, shown in Figure 2-5. Figure 2-5: With a clean selection made with the Color Range command, you can send people to locales never before visited. Selective Erasing with the Eraser Tools The eraser tools let you erase portions of an image to the background color, to transparency, or even to the way your image looked earlier in your editing
  8. Selective Erasing with the Eraser Tools 465 session. There are three eraser tools — the regular Eraser, the Magic Eraser, and the Background Eraser. All three share a tool flyout menu. The eraser tools look like real erasers so you can’t miss them. But just in case you do, press E and then Shift+E to toggle through the three tools. When you erase pixels, those pixels are gone. Gone. For good. Before using the eraser tools or the Extract command (coming up in the next section), it might be wise to make a backup of your image. You can save the image either as a separate file or as another layer. That way, if things run amuck, you have some insurance. Book VI The Eraser tool Chapter 2 The Eraser tool allows you to erase areas on your image to either the back- Quick and Dirty ground color or to transparency. Select it, drag through the desired area on your image, and you’re done. Masking If the image isn’t layered and has just a background, you erase to the back- ground color, as shown in Figure 2-6. If the image is on a layer, you erase to transparency. Figure 2-6: The Eraser tool erases either to the background color (left) or, if on a layer, to transparency (right). I rate this tool in the same category as the Lasso tool. It’s quick, it’s easy, but it has limited applications. Use it only for minor touchups. The Eraser tool definitely isn’t a tool to use on its own for making accurate selections.
  9. 466 Selective Erasing with the Eraser Tools The most useful function I find for the Eraser tool is to clean up my channel masks. Set the mode to Block, zoom into your mask, and clean up those black and white pixels. See Book VI, Chapter 3 for more on channel masks. These options on the Options bar control the Eraser tool: Mode: Select from Brush, Pencil, and Block. When you select Brush or Pencil you have access to the Brush Preset picker palette on the far left of the Options bar. Use the Brush Preset picker drop-down palette to select from a variety of brush sizes and styles. Block has only one size, a square of 16 x 16 pixels. But because the block size remains constant, if you zoom way in, you can perform some detailed erasing. Opacity: Specify a percentage of transparency for the erasure. Opacity settings less than 100 percent only partially erase the pixels. The lower the Opacity setting, the less it erases. This option isn’t available for the Block mode. Flow: Set a flow rate percentage when using Brush mode. Flow specifies how fast Photoshop applies the erasure and is especially handy when using the Airbrush option. Airbrush: Click the button when using Brush mode to turn your brush into an airbrush. With this option, the longer you hold your mouse button down, the more it erases. Erase to History: This option allows you to erase back to a selected source state or snapshot in the History palette. You can also press Alt (Option on the Mac) to temporarily access the Erase to History option. See Book II, Chapter 4 for more information. Brush Palette: Click the toggle button to bring up the full Brushes palette. The Magic Eraser tool The Magic Eraser tool works like a combination Eraser and Magic Wand tool. It both selects and erases similarly colored pixels: When you click a layer: The Magic Eraser tool erases pixels of a similar color based on a specified range and leaves the area transparent, as shown in Figure 2-7. When you click an image that has just a background: The Magic Eraser tool automatically converts the background to a layer and then does the same thing. When you click a layer with locked transparency: The Magic Eraser tool erases the pixels and replaces the area with the background color.
  10. Selective Erasing with the Eraser Tools 467 The Tolerance value defines the range of colors that Photoshop erases, just like it does with the Magic Wand tool. The value determines how similar a neighboring color has to be to the color that you click. A higher value picks up more colors, whereas a lower value picks up fewer colors. In my example in Figure 2-7, I set my Tolerance value to 8 and clicked in the upper left of my image. Photoshop selected and erased only a limited Book VI shade of black due to my lower Chapter 2 Tolerance setting. Quick and Dirty Here are the other options: Masking Anti-alias: Creates a slightly soft Figure 2-7: Clicking with the Magic Eraser edge around the transparent area. simultaneously selects and erases similarly colored pixels. Contiguous: Selects only similar colors that are adjacent to each other. Deselect this option to delete similar-colored pixels wherever they appear in your image. Sample All Layers: Samples colors using data from all visible layers, but erases pixels on the active layer only. Opacity: Works like it does for the regular Eraser tool. The Background Eraser tool The Background Eraser tool is probably the most sophisticated of the eraser- tool lot. It erases away the background from an image and leaves the fore- ground untouched, in theory anyway. If you’re not careful, the Background Eraser tool erases the foreground and anything else in its path. Like the Magic Eraser tool, the Background Eraser tool erases to transparency on a layer. If you drag an image with only a background, Photoshop converts the background into a layer. To use the Background Eraser tool, you need to carefully keep the crosshair in the center of the cursor, also known as the hot spot, on the background pixels as you drag. Then Photoshop deletes all background pixels under the brush circumference. But, if you touch a foreground pixel with the hot spot, it’s
  11. 468 Extracting an Image gobbled up as well. As you can see from my example in Figure 2-8, I got a little too close to the man’s face in some spots, and it left him a little chewed up. Here’s the rundown on the options, found on the Options bar, for the Background Eraser: Brush Preset picker: Provides var- ious settings to customize the size and appearance of your eraser tip. The size and tolerance settings at the bottom are for those using pressure-sensitive drawing tablets. You can base the size and toler- ance on the pen pressure or posi- tion of the thumbwheel. Background Eraser chews up man's face. Sampling: The three settings determine what areas should and Figure 2-8: Be careful when using the shouldn’t be erased. The default Background Eraser or else you can Sampling: Continuous setting inadvertently eat up pixels. allows you to sample colors con- tinuously as you drag through the image. The Sampling: Once setting erases only areas that contain the color that you first clicked. If the background is pretty much one color, you can try this option. The Sampling: Background Swatch setting erases only the areas containing the background color. Limits: The Only setting erases similar colors that are adjacent to one another. The Discontiguous setting erases all similarly colored pixels wherever they appear in the image. The Find Edges setting erases con- tiguous pixels while retaining the sharpness of the edges. Tolerance: Works just like the Magic Eraser Tolerance setting. Protect Foreground Color: Prevents the erasing of areas that match the foreground color. Extracting an Image The last of the automated masking tools in Photoshop is the Extract com- mand. The name sounds great. You expect that it plucks your desired element right out of the image, cleanly, neatly, and without pain. But to be honest with you, I find the Extract command to be overly complex for the results it
  12. Extracting an Image 469 provides. You can get lucky and select an image that works well with the com- mand. But frequently, it does a marginal job. When you learn the art of true, manual masking, you may never visit the Extract command again. Here’s how the Extract command works: 1. Choose Filter➪Extract. Photoshop brings up the Extract dialog box, shown in Figure 2-9. Book VI Chapter 2 Quick and Dirty Masking Figure 2-9: When using the Extract command’s Edge Highlighter, be sure and overlap the edge of your desired element and the edge of the background. 2. Select the Edge Highlighter tool, located at the top of the dialog box’s Tools palette. You can also press the B key to access the tool. Photoshop offers a Smart Highlighting option, in the Tool Options area on the right side of the dialog box.
  13. 470 Extracting an Image If your image has a well-defined edge, but the foreground and background colors are similar or the image is highly textured, the Smart Highlighting option helps the Edge Highlighter tool to cling to the edge as you use the tool. You can toggle the option on and off by pressing Ctrl (Ô on the Mac) when using the Edge Highlighter tool. 3. Trace around the edges of the element you want to select. As you trace, feel free to change the brush size, again in the Tool Options area. Use a small brush for well-defined, sharp edges. Use a larger brush for wispier detailed edges such as hair, fur, leaves, and the like. To change the brush size using keyboard shortcuts, click the left (for smaller) and right (for larger) bracket keys ([ and ]). Hold down the bracket key, and the brush size changes more dramatically. Be sure that the highlighted edge overlaps both the element and the background. You can change the colors of the highlight and fill in the Tool Options settings as well. I traced around the man in Figure 2-9. Make a complete path around the element. If one or more sides of your element is cropped off the edge, you don’t have to highlight that side: • Use the Hand tool to move your image if needed. You can temporar- ily access the Hand tool by pressing the spacebar. • Use the Zoom tool to zoom in. Press Alt (Option on the Mac) to zoom out. You can also Zoom by pressing Ctrl++ and Ctrl+- (Ô++ and Ô+- on the Mac). • The Channel option allows you to load an alpha channel as a starting point for the extraction. You can then modify the highlighted area using the Edge Highlighter and Eraser tools. Beware. For some reason when loading the alpha channel into the Extract dialog box, Photoshop converts the black areas in the mask into the high- lighted area but doesn’t highlight the white areas. This is the opposite of what you would expect, but it works out just the same. After you complete the highlighted area, fill the unlighted area with the Fill tool (see Step 7). 4. If you make a mistake as you create your highlighted outline, press Ctrl+Z (Ô+Z on the Mac) to undo your error. 5. When you have made your outline, use the Eraser tool to clean up any hiccups in the outline. Press the E key to select the Eraser tool from the keyboard. You can have the best of both tools and toggle between the Edge Highlighter and the Eraser tools by pressing Alt (Option on the Mac).
  14. Extracting an Image 471 6. To erase an entire highlight, press Alt+Backspace (Option+Delete on the Mac). 7. Select the Fill tool, the second tool in the Tools palette (or press the G key) and click inside the highlighted outline. The outline fills with color (refer to Figure 2-9). If by chance the color leaks outside the highlighted edge, you may have a small hole somewhere along the outline. Locate the offending hole and patch it with the Edge Highlighter tool. Click inside the highlighted out- line again with the Fill tool. To unfill an area, click inside the same area with the Fill tool. Book VI As an alternative to using the Fill tool, you can select the Force Fore- Chapter 2 ground option. This option can be useful if the element you want to select is mostly tones of one color. Use the Eyedropper tool to sample Quick and Dirty the color in the area you want to select. Then use the Edge Highlighter tool to highlight those areas containing your desired color. Masking 8. Click the Preview button and take a gander at your extracted element (or click OK to skip the preview and get your extraction). If your background is solid and uncluttered, your foreground ele- ment has a simple, uncomplicated edge, you can see quite a bit of con- trast between the foreground and background elements, and if the planets are aligned just so, your results are likely to be pretty good. My example has only a minor bit of background fringe around the moustache and the top of the turban, as shown in Figure 2-10. 9. If you need to clean up a bit of fringe, give the Smooth option a shot. This option removes stray pixels or artifacts from the selection. A high value smoothes out the edges around the selection, but can cause some undesirable blurring Figure 2-10: If your image has a simple as well. Start with 0 or a small shape and your horoscope shows a value first, before increasing the favorable day, you may be pleased with Smooth amount. your extracted element.
  15. 472 Framing a Photo with Quick Mask 10. If you’re happy with the results, click OK. Photoshop deletes the masked areas. If your image was a background, Photoshop converts it to a layer, so the selected element will be against transparency. 11. If you would rather preview your image against something other than the transparent checkerboard, choose another option from the Display drop-down list. You can view the image against a white, gray, black, or other colored background. Or you can view it as a mask. (If you view it as a mask, the white areas represent the selected areas and the black areas represent the transparent areas.) 12. If you’re not happy, choose a view option before you start editing your mask. You can choose between the Original and Extracted view from the Show drop-down list. You can also select the Show Highlight and Show Fill check boxes. 13. To do fine-tuned editing of your image, you have the following tools at your disposal: • Drag with the Cleanup tool (press C on the keyboard) to erase back- ground pixels around your extraction by subtracting opacity. Alt+ drag (Option+drag on the Mac) to bring the opacity back. This tool is useful for creating feathered edges. • The Edge Touchup tool (T is the keyboard shortcut) sharpens the edges of the selection by adding opacity to your selection or sub- tracting opacity from the background. You can adjust the brush size of these editing tools to get the best results. 14. When you finish editing, click OK to exit the dialog box. If you still have some areas that need some cleanup, use some regular editing tools, such as the Background Eraser and the History Brush tools. Putting It Together Framing a Photo with Quick Mask Sometimes you may want to add a decorative border or edge to your image. Maybe you’re creating a postcard or greeting card and the standard rectangular shape image just doesn’t provide enough pizzazz. Although adding a border or edge might look difficult, it is a snap with the Quick Mask command.
  16. Framing a Photo with Quick Mask 473 1. Using any selection tool, create a selection on your image. I started with a rectangle in my image and then chose Select➪Inverse to turn the selection inside out. 2. Click the Quick Mask Mode button in the Tools palette. A color overlay covers and protects the area outside the selection, as shown in the figure. Your selected area is open for you to edit as you so desire. Book VI 3. Grab the Brush tool, choose the Heavy Chapter 2 Stipple brush, and set the brush diam- eter to 168 pixels. Quick and Dirty You can find the Heavy Stipple brush in Masking the Wet Media Brushes library of the Brushes palette. 4. Paint around the edges of the mask with black to add to the masked area. 5. Adjust the Flow setting to 35% to get a semitransparent area, and then click a few more times. You could also paint with gray to get the same effect. 6. Again, adjust your brush diameter, this time to 80 pixels, and add a few random clicks here and there. 7. Switch your color to white and repeat the steps, clicking around the image and also in the interior of the mask. Because white adds to the selected area, your image starts to show through. I ended up with a mottled mess, shown in the figure. You can also apply a filter or adjust- ment (Image➪Adjustment) to the Quick Mask. See this technique in action in Book VII, Chapter 2. 8. Click the Standard Mode button to exit the Quick Mask mode. continued
  17. 474 Framing a Photo with Quick Mask continued The overlay disappears, leaving you with a selection outline, shown in the figure. The selection outline correlates with the unmasked or selected areas of the Quick Mask. If you had a feathered mask, such as mine, the selection out- line runs halfway between the selected and unselected areas of the mask, creating a soft transition. 9. Your selection is ready and waiting for your next command. In my example, I deleted my selection, thereby filling the hole with my background color of white and leaving me with a stippled image. Note that because my brush was feathered and also varied in the Flow settings, some of my image is also feath- ered and semitransparent.
  18. Chapter 3: Getting Exact with Advanced Masking Techniques In This Chapter Creating and editing layer masks Creating vector masks Creating and editing channel masks I f you haven’t already checked out Book VI, Chapter 2, which covers Photoshop’s quick and easy masking tools, you might want to breeze through that chapter first, especially if the word mask brings to mind an image from Halloween instead of a selection technique. In this chapter, I dive into some manual masking techniques. Layer masks are tremendously useful, and if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself addicted to them. They can be fantastic for blending layers and making multiple images dissolve into one another. Vector masks create shapes defined by vector paths and produce clean, smooth-edged graphic elements. Channel masks are probably the most time- consuming of the masking lot, but they’re powerful and accurate. Like anything in life, the more you practice using them, the faster and better you get. After you get through this final chapter of Book VI, you’ll be familiar with every masking technique Photoshop has to offer. By then, you’ll be prepared to use masks to select a very hairy orangutan, dyed green, perched in a tree in a lush rainforest. And how many people can say that? Working with Layer Masks Like any other mask, a layer mask is a grayscale image that you can edit to your heart’s content. Layer masks are excellent for blending layers of images together and creating soft transitions between elements.
  19. 476 Working with Layer Masks For versatility, layer masks are unparalleled. They allow you to gradually brush in transparency and opacity on a selective pixel basis. Paint with black to hide portions of the layer; paint with white to display portions; and paint in varying shades of gray to partially show elements. You can even apply gra- dients, image adjustments, and filters to your layer masks to create interest- ing special effects. After you get the concept of layer masks, you’ll never use the eraser tools (covered in Book VI, Chapter 2) again. You won’t have to because one of the great things about layer masks is that you can forever edit, or even delete them, with no permanent harm whatsoever to the image. Creating layer masks To create a layer mask, select your desired layer and choose Layer➪ Layer Mask➪Reveal All or Hide All. Reveal All creates a mask filled with white, which shows the layer. Hide All creates a mask filled with black, which hides, or masks, the layer and shows nothing but transparency. You can also click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of Layers palette (which by default selects Reveal All). You can’t add a layer mask to a background layer. You must convert the background layer to a regular layer if you want to use a layer mask on the background of an image. You can also apply a layer mask. Choose your desired layer and make a selection using one of the selection tools. Choose Layer➪Layer Mask➪ Reveal Selection or Hide Selection. You can also click the New Layer Mask button in the Layers palette to create a mask that reveals the selection. After you create the layer mask, you can grab the painting tool of your choice and apply your grayscale color. Remember: Add white to the mask to display the image. Add black to hide the image. Add gray to make the image semitransparent. Using the Gradient and Brush tools on a layer mask I must confess: I use two of the layer masking tools more than the others: The Gradient tool, set to a linear gradient of black to white or white to black is truly awesome. Simply drag the layer mask to create the gradi- ent. The darker areas of the gradient gradually hide the image, whereas the lighter areas gradually show the image.
  20. Working with Layer Masks 477 The Brush tool, with a large, feathered tip, using the Airbrush option and the Flow set to around 10% is amazing. With these settings in place, you can create feathered edges that blend one layer into another without any harsh lines. In Figure 3-1, which is an image with two layers (the flag on the bottom and the girl on top), I used a combination of both these tools. I started with the black-to-white linear gradient, which I dragged from the left edge of my image through to the right edge. I then took the Brush tool with a large feathered tip (265 pixels), selected the Airbrush option, set the Flow to 10%, and worked my way around the profile of the girl’s face to get rid of some more of the background behind her. Book VI Chapter 3 Advanced Masking Getting Exact with Techniques No layer mask With layer mask Figure 3-1: Layer masks enable you to seamlessly blend two layers.
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