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Masking in Photoshop

Masks are used to show or hide portions of your image.  
Masks don't get rid of pixels.  You can go back and get the original at any time  
Vector Masks, Clipping Masks,  
Layer and Vector masks are displayed  
Layer Masks are created by selecting the layer then hitting the NEW LAYER MASK button at the bottom of the layers palette.  
Bitmap Masks  
black covers up
white uncovers

All the shades of grey in between show or hide to a certain degree.  The closer the grey is to black the less the images shows.  The closer the grey is to white, the more the image shows.

Create a new layer - LAYER - NEW LAYER
Grab ellipse tool - set to a fill shape
Restore default colors by hitting D which makes black the foreground color

Draw a big black circle

Apply a layer mask to this layer by hitting the layer mask button at the bottom of the layers palette.

You will see that the layer mask is white (look at the layer you just made)

Everywhere where you see white, the picture is showing.

CONTROL - I will invert the mask making the white mask black which will hide the black circle.

IMAGE - ADJUSTMENTS (shadow, highlights, brightness / contrast, levels)

Use BRIGHTNESS CONTRAST - Darken Layer Mask - drag the brightness down.  Now you can partially see through the ellipse.  Now increase the CONTRAST - notice what is happening in the layers palette as you make these changes.

Grab rectangular marquee tool and draw a square in the center of the ellipse.

Switch foreground color to black.  EDIT - FILL - foreground color BLACK.  Look at the layers palette and you will see the square you drew.

Come back into the mask and use the paint bucket (click on the part of the layer in the layers palette that has the mask).

SHIFT =  CLICK the mask and it will temporarily eliminate the mask by placing an X over it.

Grab MOVE TOOL and move the black circle - notice that the mask moves with the object.

NOTE:  Photoshop by default links your masks to your layers.

CHAIN between the mask and the circle.  If you unlink it, when you move the circle the mask stays in place and does not move with the circle as before.

Paint black over the entrance to the cave with the brush tool.

Hold down ALT key and click on the mask and it will show the contents of the mask.

Grab paint bucket tool and fill in the outline of the cave.

Unlink the mask from the layer contents.

1.  Select Layer Mask RIGHT CLICK press delete layer mask.
2.  Select layer thumbnail and drag down to the trash can.  this is the best because it double checks with you about what you want to do.

Layer masks are not grey scale layers.

If you make a selection, and hit the layer mask, its just going to mask that selection.
If you make that selection and hold down the ALT key its going to fill that selection with black.
ALT CLICK without anything selected will mask (or hide) everything.

Masks by default show up as white.

You can also use GRADIENTS in masks
Grab GRADIENT TOOL (select black to white). 

Drag from top of ellipse to the bottom of the ellipse - see how each shade of grey affects it.

Can be applied directly to a layer.
You use vector masks when you want to isolate a single object.

Advantage:  they will give you a cleaner look, sharper edges and you can scale them and never lose the sharp edges.  They are paths and are easy to edit if you know how to use the PEN TOOL.

Disadvantage:  You cannot just paint on a vector mask. 

Need a PATH
Create a new layer.
Polygon tool
Create a path - Select PEN TOOL

Go to PATHS Palette. (WINDOW - PATHS) or look at tabs at top of layers palette.
Right now its a work path.

Drag it down to the NEW PATH ICON at the bottom of the paths palette.
Name the path "crazy shape"

In order to create a mask out of the path object, come up to
layer - vector mask - current path

You don't have blurring options with vector masks.  So filters not available in vector masks.

Can move tangent handles and edit the shape easily.

Very interesting - not regular masks.  They are more like vector masks in relation to shapes.

TRIANGLE on different layer than polygon.

If I apply a clipping mask to this, only the overlapping parts of this shape will show.

hold down ALT key.  and when you move over the layer border if you click the area between the layers in the layers palette one layer is clipped to the other.

ALT and click on same boundary to separate the clipping layer.

Quickly clip shapes to multiple layers.

















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