Chapter 16. Creating Flexibility with Layer Masks


  • Understanding layer masks and how they're created

  • Using selections to create quick layer masks

  • Understanding the difference between Reveal All and Hide All masks and how they're used

  • Combining layer masks with adjustment layers to isolate adjustments

  • Bringing it all together by combining selections, adjustment layers, and masks

  • Using the Gradient tool with a layer mask to apply incremental changes

So far the Photoshop section of this book has covered several important concepts. Some of them are important because they're encountered more often in a nondestructive workflow. With that in mind, many of these concepts pale in comparison to the concept you learn about in this chapter: layer masking.

When I began using Photoshop many years ago, I heard and read about masks and masking, but I never really understood what they were or how they're supposed to be used. The concept just seemed so abstract. A couple of years later, when I finally understood masking, it completely changed the way I did things from then on.

My goal in this chapter is to help you learn about masking so you can begin using this powerful technique now. I explain exactly what layer masks are, show you how to create them, and then show you how to leverage them by combining masks with some of the things you've already learned in this book. When you're through with this chapter, you'll be ready to take your creativity to a higher level.

Understanding Layer Masks ...

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