Archive for February, 2012

It is interesting to note that most editors are aware that masking is an oft-used technique. But how and why to use the mask in Photoshop is not well known. If you come under this group, then perhaps the following text might be beneficial.

Whether it is faking or actually using the mask, or using the layer, this information will be helpful. Photoshop has been introducing several new features in its programs. It introduced the layers and the layer masks to help photo editors to improve their skills. Often it is best to unlearn the ropes and go back to the basics. How and why to use the mask in Photoshop is forgotten when a new set of skills are obtained. One has to admit that the layer feature has greatly improved the viability of the Photoshop program as a whole. With the addition of layer masks its value has increased more for the photo editing process. When an editor recognizes this fundamental trait of the program, chances are that he will thoroughly comprehend the masking procedure and where it is required.

It is posited that every editor understands the word ‘mask’ and there is no need to explain that here. Probably even a beginner will know the function of a mask in Photoshop for digital images. What he may confuse are the two kinds of mask- clipping mask and layer mask. However the mask in Photoshop comes with the understanding that the editor has some basic knowledge in this area.

Let’s clarify what the layer mask in Photoshop is. When the image requires opacity or transparency, there is a need for the layer mask.  The portion selected in the image for masking, needs a specific opacity of the layer mask. It is advisable to check the opacity ranging from 0% to 10 % and then from 0% to 50%. The transparency level will be seen clearly as black grayish and light grayish scale. The one that matches with the final composition of the image will certainly will be opted for. If there is an active selection tool then the image results will be clearer. As a general rule 100% opacity means it is white and if it is 0% then it is darker or black in shade.

Similarly the clipping masks too have their own explanation. When there are two layers then one determines the clarity or transparency of the other.  The one that determines the transparency is at the bottom. Unlike the layer mask in Photoshop, which shows black and grey shades the ones in clipping path, do not. Rather the layers themselves reveal the transparency. This is best used when the editor needs to use text with images. There are several kinds of tutorials that explain how to use clipping mask in Photoshop successfully. Photoshop has a comprehensive layer palette. With creativity an editor can use them effectively. There are many graphic challenges that the editor takes when dealing with a mask in Photoshop. Utilizing the features smartly really does the trick. When there are opportunities for complex mask in Photoshop then it helps in improving the skills. Dare to be different and make new paths for others to follow. Let them ask you how and why to use the mask in Photoshop.

About Author:
Atiqur Sumon
Chief Executive, DTP & SEO Expert at Clipping Path India

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