Chapter 14. Exploring Masks


  • Understanding masks

  • Looking at types of masks

  • Creating and editing masks

  • Saving masks

Masks are a paradox. They consist of one entity that performs two opposite functions. Some types of masks protect areas from being affected while at the same time target other areas to be edited. Other types hide areas from view and at the same time make other regions of the image visible. Photoshop's mask-making features include a group of manual, semi-automatic, and automatic selection tools, channel-based masks that are used for creating and storing selections, layer-based masks that con-ceal layer content, vector masks that are composed of paths or shapes, type based masks that create selection outlines, and filter masks that reveal and conceal the effects of filters.

Photoshop's masks share similar characteristics. Most masks appear or are stored in one of the palettes, they are dynamic and they can be modified or edited with specific tools or menu items. Depending on the type of mask, they are displayed either in black and white, gray or an overlay color.

Masks are absolutely fundamental to virtually all of Photoshop's operations. They insure that a specific area is selected and ready for editing or visible in the image window.

This chapter identifies and defines the principle types of masks and how they are used.

Understanding Masks

Masking, or the process of isolating regions of an image, was at one time a manual process. In the olden days, before Photoshop, ...

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