Chapter 2. Quick-and-Dirty Masking

In This Chapter

  • Using Quick Masks

  • Working with Color Range

  • Selecting by erasing

Masking is essentially just another way of making a selection. Instead of defining your selection with a selection outline, masks define your selection with up to 256 levels of gray, which allows you to have varying levels of selection. Photoshop masks (or protects) unselected pixels from any commands 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, selectively 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.

Quick-and-Dirty Masking

Most things that pack a powerful punch are either expensive 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 automated masking tools. Although they ...

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