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Posts Tagged ‘layer mask’

Many times there is a need to get rid of a white background from a digital picture. This is an action packed method that has so many avenues on the Internet that one can get confused. But the right information can simplify the process and give better results.

Once a picture is shot, the deed is done. And then many thoughts and ideas come to the mind-can this back color be flipped for another? Can the subject be placed against another setting? Can the white parts be deleted? And then the need for photo processing is sought. Many creative professionals working in ad agencies, commercial photographers, virtual selling portals require visually enhanced pictures. Often the white background behind the pack shots are taken, need to be replaced. These are just a few of the areas where one desires the right information to delete the white background. It can be done with a combination of tools and techniques. The picture can be cut or it can be concealed with a layer mask. These are useful to delete the white background. A proper way of doing it will be apply the lasso or the versatile pen tool. If need be some blending can be done too for a proper job. Although this sounds like too much work, it can be done in a few moments swiftly. There is a plug in called Kill White that will transform the backdrop.

Then there is another way too-alpha channel. When the client needs to maintain the original look and yet remove the white BG then this is the immediate solution. What is effective in this technique is that the concluding layer can be replicated in case the darkness has to be increased. Merging the sandwiched layers does the job. Another way to do this is by using the maximum opacity. This requires the use of transparent layer. A series of such layers can make the picture look darker.

There is yet another option that is available. Ever tried the color trick to remove white background? Sounds like a vibrant option? Yes it is, if the entire picture needs to be uplifted and made visually attractive. But this option should be used only when the picture is colorless. If it is already vibrant then this is a bad way to swipe the white background. So this should be an advisory that needs to be booked marked. Often one or two channels are used to remove the white background. The file levels should always be altered before any removal technique is started. If the picture has a black background, then inverse it, to activate the removal process faster.

Graphic artists always try to find new ways to do the same job with improved outcome. The same problem is also faced by studio shutterbugs that need to shoot against the white background. So a white on white can be a super challenge at the editing stage. Another challenge is to remove a darker object from a white background. With the correct use of the extract filter, the process can be achieved beautifully.

Tip: avoid using the magic wand to remove the white background. It leaves a patch of white in the extraction process. The result is not of an admirable quality, which the client is most likely to reject.

About Author:
Atiqur Sumon
Chief Executive, DTP & SEO Expert at Clipping Path India
http://www.clippingpathindia.com

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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
http://www.clippingpathindia.com

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