Jan
24

Photoshop Tutorial – Masks

by
Matt Bennett

Make the most of Photoshop’s masking capabilities with our quick tutorial

 

Before
Before
After
After

Masks are a brilliant way to protect your work when editing in Photoshop. They allow you to make significant changes to your work without actually affecting any original layers.

Masks appear as thumbnails in the Layers palette and can be printed on, erased and have filters applied to them.

The great thing about masks is that if you’re unhappy with the results or change your mind at a later stage, they can be deleted and reapplied.

Step 1 – Add a mask

Step 1 - Add a mask
Step 1 - Add a mask

At the base of the Layers palette sits the Mask button. Pressing this button adds a mask to your layer. Make sure your Foreground/Background colours in the side toolbar are set to Black/White.

Step 2 – Select your tool

Step 2 - Select your tool
Step 2 - Select your tool

Many tools can be used to mask, but painting out areas with the Brush Tool is the simplest. Select the Brush Tool and with your Foreground on black, paint out some of the background. It will appear in black in the thumbnail.

Step 3 – Background swap

Step 3 - Background swap
Step 3 - Background swap

With the whole of the background masked out, a new one can be added. Masking also works well when applying different textures and blend modes. It’s a great non-destructive tool.


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