In this weeks tutorial we will be covering the many Masking techniques you can learn in Photoshop CC 2019. Essentially Masking allows you to show or hide details in an image. This is very useful if you want to pick out specific areas, details, people or objects and you can quite literally hide everything else around that area.
Masking is a massive part of working in Photoshop. To begin with it can feel a little intimidating but once you understand some core principles and tools you will start to love working with masks!
In the tutorial above Martin will show you how to work with Pixel, Vector and Clipping Masks. Then walk you through complex masking workflows for tricky selections. Finally discover the importance of the Frame/ Pen tools and learn some very handy and advanced Masking tricks!
Read on to discover more about the different types of Mask and why they are useful.
What are Layer Masks in Photoshop?
There are two types of layer masks, Pixel Mask & Vector Mask. Adding a Layer Mask in Photoshop allows you to control the transparency of details on that particular layer. A lot of creative professionals use them to Mask out people, products, cars or even landmarks. They work in the same way light works. Details are revealed when something is well lit or in bright surroundings but when we are in dark surroundings we can no longer see those details, even though they are still there.
In the tutorial above Martin walks through how to create and work with both Pixel & Vector Layer Masks.
Why use a layer mask?
It may seem unnecessary to faff around showing and hiding details. Why not just make a selection of what you need and delete the rest of the image? This method essentially results in working destructively and can cause a lot of hassle if your selection needs to be changed or amended. It's always more professional to work non destructively. Meaning details are never deleted simply hidden from view or if you prefer in the dark.
Editing/refining a mask in Photoshop CC
Outcome of the mask in Photoshop CC
Outcome of the mask used with a background image in Photoshop CC
What do we mean by the term Clipping Mask?
This is a great method/technique for combining images in creative and interesting ways. You may have read or watched our tutorial about masking in Illustrator. Where you can also create clipping masks which work in a similar way. The idea is to literally clip the layer top layer into the layer directly beneath it in the layers panel. So you could clip a large complex image into a simple shape.
Why are they useful?
You can create Clipping Masks from all sorts of layers, including text layers. This allows you to clip photographic images into text or other shape layers you have created. Plus once you have created the mask you can move the image around inside the shape it has been placed in or even edit some text with the Type Tool. You can get so creative and again this is a non-destructive workflow so no information is deleted.
Below you can see how two layers can be combined to create a clipping mask. To discover exactly how to create this check out the video tutorial. Start from around 15:00 min.
This is an over view of the two main Masking methods in Photoshop however there is still plenty learn about each method. For example the difference between Pixel & Vector Masks and how you can combine masking techniques.
If you enjoyed reading this post we really think you will enjoy the video tutorial. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Fancy learning even more about masking? We recommend this post it's the first part of our three part Masking series.
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