Posts tagged "Layer Masks"

August 22, 2017

15 Layer Masks Tips for Photoshop CC

1) Adding Layer Masks

  • To add a layer mask to a layer, click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon in the Layers panel or, to create a custom keyboard shortcut for adding layer masks, select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Set the “Shortcuts For” to Application Menus and toggle the disclosure triangle for the Layer menu. Scroll down to Layer Mask> and add your own shortcuts by clicking in the blank area to the right of the command. Note that there are separate options for adding layer masks while ignoring/respecting the current selection.

  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the layer mask icon to add a layer mask to automatically hide the content of the layer (or the active selection).
  • Command + I (Mac ) | Control + I (Win) will invert a layer mask (or, click the Invert button on the Properties panel).

2) Deleting Layer Masks

  • Target the mask on the Layers panel and click the Trash icon to delete a layer mask. Or, Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) on the layer mask to choose between Delete Layer Mask or Apply Layer Mask from the context sensitive menu.
  • Or, on the Properties panel, target the Layer mask and click the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel.

3) Moving and Duplicating Layer Masks

  • Drag the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to move it from one layer to another.
  • Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to create a copy of the mask.
  • Option + Shift -drag (Mac) | Alt + Shift -drag (Win) the layer mask thumbnail to create copy of a layer mask while simultaneously inverting the mask. Note: if the mask’s Density or Feather sliders has been changed using the Properties panel, this shortcut will not work. In this situation, (Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the layer mask thumbnail to duplicate the mask, then use the shortcut Command + I (Mac) | Control + I (Win)  to invert the mask (or click the Invert button in the Properties panel).

4) Targeting the Layer Mask

  • Command + \ (Mac) | Control + \ (Win) targets a layer mask.
  • Command + 2 (Mac) | Control + 2 (Win) targets the layer.

5) Viewing Layer Masks

  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to target and view the mask.
  • Or, tap  “\”(backslash) to display the layer mask as an overlay (tap “\” again to hide the overlay).

6) Temporarily Disabling / Enabling Masks

  • Shift-click in the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to temporarily disable a layer mask. Click  the layer mask thumbnail again to enable it.
  • Or, Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) on a mask in the Layers panel and choose Enable/Disable Layer Mask.

7) Unlinking Masks from Layers

  • Click the link icon (between the layer icon and layer mask icons) to unlink the mask from the layer (allowing either to move independently of the other).

8) Pasting Content into a Layer Mask

  • To paste content from the clipboard into a layer mask, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the Layer mask icon on the Layers panel to make it visible. Then, select Edit > Paste.
  • Or, on the Channels panel, click on the Layer mask to target it AND click in the empty well to toggle the visibility of the layer mask (the mask will be displayed as a red overlay), and choose Edit > Paste. To hide the red overlay, click the eye icon.

  • In this Quick Tip, Julieanne reveals a simple technique to paste content directly into a layer mask in Photoshop.

9) Delicate Mask Clean-Up

  • After adding a layer mask, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if there are any small bits of the layer that have been accidentally left unselected. In this case, it might be helpful to temporarily add a layer effect such as a bright red stroke (Layer > Layer Style > Stroke, and click the color swatch to choose a vibrant color). The stroke will appear around any small areas of the mask that you may need to clean up. When finished, simply delete the layer effect.

10) Create Layer Mask from Transparency

  • In order to automatically convert the transparent areas of a layer into a mask, select Layer > Layer Mask > From Transparency.
  • To create a mask on a layer based on the transparency of another layer, in the Layers panel, select the layer that you want the mask to be added to. Then, drag the layer that you want to become the contents for the mask to the Add Mask Icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Important: don’t click and release the mouse on the layer that you want to become the contents of the mask – clicking will select the layer, you need to drag that layer instead.

11) Non-destructive Edge Softening of Layer Masks

  • When working with layer masks, instead of trying to guess the feather value needed to soften the edges of a mask (because the feather amount will vary depending on the resolution of the image and the desired softness of the edge that is being feathered), use the non-destructive Feather slider on the Properties panel. If the image is resized or other adjustments are made at a later time, the feather can be appropriately adjusted.

12) Changing the Density of a Layer Mask Non-destructivly

  • Use the Density slider in the Properties panel to reduce the opacity (density) of the mask non-destructively.

13) Painting in a Layer Mask

  • Changing the blend mode of a painting tool can be very helpful when painting in a layer mask. For example, when drawing with the default gradient in a mask, if the mask isn’t quite right, it’s easy to draw another gradient to replace the first one. If, however, you want to draw a secondary gradient that will add to or subtract from the mask (instead of replacing it), change the blend mode for the Gradient tool to Multiply (to add black) or Screen (to add white) and then drag the second gradient.

14) Blending two Images Together using Layer Masks

15)  Swapping Heads in a Family Portrait

5:06 AM Permalink
January 26, 2017

Adding Adjustment Layers without Layer Masks in Photoshop CC

Photoshop’s default behavior is to add a layer mask whenever an adjustment layer is created. You can however use the fly-out menu on the Adjustments panel to check/uncheck “Add Mask by Default” to toggle this behavior.

5:22 AM Permalink
January 11, 2017

Adding Texture to a Photo in Photoshop CC 2017

Discover how to add texture to a photo in this free video from Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: Photography on Lynda.com. https://www.lynda.com/Photoshop-tutorials/Adding-texture-photo/518166/557005-4.html

5:12 AM Permalink
October 25, 2016

Double Check your Layer Mask in Photoshop CC

When working on intricately composited, multi layered documents, I often find it useful to check each of the layer masks before finalizing the image. To do this, Option  (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click  on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to display it. With the mask visible, check to see if there are any unwanted awkward transitional areas that might not have been visible in the complex composite (a sharp edge from a selection or hard edge brush for example).

5:05 AM Permalink
October 29, 2015

Targeting the Layer Mask in Photoshop

Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + “\” (backslash) targets the layer mask in the Layers panel. Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + 2 targets the layer.

5:03 AM Permalink
October 28, 2015

Moving and Duplicating Masks in Photoshop

Drag a layer mask or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to move it from one layer to another.

Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) a layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to create a copy of the mask.

Option + Shift -drag (Mac) | Alt  + Shift -drag (Win) to create copy of a layer mask while simultaneously inverting the mask. (Note: this shortcut does not work with a vector mask – in order to invert a vector mask, select the path with the Direct Selection tool and click the “Subtract From Shapes Area” icon  in the Options bar.)

5:02 AM Permalink
October 27, 2015

Deleting Masks in Photoshop

To delete a mask, target it on the Properties panel and click the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel.

If you prefer to use the layers panel,  target the mask and click the Trash icon, or drag the mask thumbnail to the Trash icon at the bottom of Layers panel. If you prefer to bypass the option dialog box, add Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) while clicking the trash icon will delete the mask without applying it.

Most of the time, I prefer to Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) on the layer mask and choose delete or apply the mask from the context sensitive menu.

5:01 AM Permalink
October 26, 2015

Adding Masks in Photoshop

To add a mask to a layer, click on the “Add Layer Mask”  icon in the Layers panel. Click once to add a layer mask and click again to add a vector mask (or you can Command -click (Mac) | Control -click (Win) the mask icon to add a vector mask).

To add a layer mask that automatically hides the content of the layer (or the selection), as opposed to revealing it as it does by default, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the icon.

Use Command + I (Mac ) | Control + I (Win) to invert a layer mask, or click the Invert button on the Properties panel!

5:00 AM Permalink
May 14, 2015

Using Color to Add Emotional Impact to a Photograph

In this Episode of the Complete Picture Julieanne discusses how the addition of color as well as supporting imagery can help reinforce the mood and message of a composite image that a single photograph may fail to do on its own.

5:34 AM Permalink
April 21, 2015

How to Paste into a Layer Mask in Photoshop

In this Quick Tip, Julieanne reveals a simple technique to paste content directly into a layer mask in Photoshop.

5:04 AM Permalink
October 31, 2014

Duplicating Smart Filters Masks in Photoshop CC 2014

Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) -dragging a Smart Filter from one layer to another has different behavior based on where in the Layers panel you click and drag from. For example, Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) -dragging from the text “Smart Filters” will duplicate the Smart Filter including the layer mask:

2014_10_29SOmask

While Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) -dragging the name of the Smart Filter duplicates without copying the mask.

2014_10_29SOnomask

5:32 AM Permalink
June 5, 2014

Refining the Edge of a Mask in Photoshop

If a section of a mask isn’t quite correct, try using the Dodge or Burn tool in the mask to subtly adjust the edge (by lightening or darkening the grayscale values within the transitional area). In this example, the original mask is too soft and as a result, we can see  a green halo around the edge of the leaf.

The original mask shows a green fringe around the edge of the leaf.

Looking at the original mask, we can see that the edge of the mask needs to be reduced in width as well as shifted towards the edge of the leaf. Note: This is also known as “choking” the mask. Moving in the other direction would be “spreading” the mask.

The original mask's transitional area needs to be reduced and shifted into (choked) the leaf.

Using the Burn tool on the mask’s edge, darkens the values in the transitional areas of the mask, narrowing the transitional area and moving the mask in towards the leaf. (I realize that the change is subtle in this illustration, but notice how the edge of the mask in the illustration below appears sharper than in the illustration above.)

Using the burn tool on the transitional edge of the mask (in the grayscale areas), darkened the

As a result of choking the mask, the green halo is removed from around the edge of the leaf.

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5:11 AM Permalink
May 8, 2014

Are Layer Masks Transparent or White in Photoshop?

Layer masks in Photoshop are white by default, they are not transparent—even though they control the opacity/transparency of the contents of the layer.

If you Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) -click on the layer mask thumbnail in the layers panel, you can view the contents of the mask. You will not see the checkerboard which, in Photoshop, represents transparency. Instead you will see white, black, or any shade of gray.

Where it might seem confusing is that the result of the mask is to show or hide the contents of the layer – in essence, hiding/revealing varying levels of transparency. But this is achieved by painting with shades of gray in the mask, not transparency.

5:04 AM Permalink
May 7, 2014

Customizable Keyboard Shortcuts to Add Layer Masks in Photoshop

To customize Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts to add a layer mask, select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Set the “Shortcuts For” to Application Menus and toggle the disclosure triangle for the Layer menu. Scroll down to layer Mask and add your own shortcuts by clicking in the blank area to the right of the command. Click Accept and then OK. Assigning shortcuts is a quick way to add a layer mask while ignoring/respecting the current selection.

2014_05_04Mask2

 

6:05 AM Permalink
May 5, 2014

Adding Layer Masks in Photoshop

If you make a selection in your image and then add a layer mask by clicking the add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, the layer mask will be created based on the selection. If you need Photoshop to ignore the selection when making the mask, Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) -click the add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel or, choose Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All.

5:35 AM Permalink