Layer Masking Basics

Lesson 3 of 7

Additional Selections


Layer Masking Basics

Lesson 3 of 7

Additional Selections


Lesson Info

Additional Selections

I'm going to jump back over to my statue of liberty, and I see that we've got our mask going on right here. I have a couple other things they can do with my masks and part of the problem that I have with this that I see is when I go in here, I realize that my mask that I have right here doesn't actually, you know, work as well see how she kind of loses her spires right there because when I did my selection, I didn't do a very good selection of getting those in there. Okay, so what happens is people get a little bit freaked out there, like, oh my gosh, this is really weird. Well, if it gets weird, just go back into your preview mode here as you can see what's going on, this makes a whole lot more sense. Now, any of the basic photoshopped functions features, tools, all works on a layer mask because it's just a black and white image, ok, that's all it is, and I realized that I would like to include those areas here. I could do that with my paintbrush. I can do that with this election tool...

and paint inside there, whatever it takes for used to using anything with photo shop and doing any photo editing it's the exact same thing so on my mask here I'm just going to go win with my polygon lasso tool and I just have to go in here and get those selections so they could then take my brush and just kind of paint inside the so that I mask those areas out and because they create a selection when I paint inside there it's not going to go beyond the edges so all I'm doing is saying, ok, this is the area that I would like to go ahead and have mask out the mask preview was showing me read so I'm going to go back in and there's gonna paint inside there I don't know if I brush that size but I paint inside and the red is basically going to hide those areas it's a little bit confusing when you first start everything else makes sense until you get to masks and we go ahead and do this so there it is all painted diesel like that I'm a turn off my preview and now I go back to my orange here is my selection tool and now you can see that works great and all we did was simply edit the mask that's it just black is going to conceal white is going to reveal everything works beautifully with this election around an object here we also have a few other things that we can work with we may have done our selection and our mask looks really good but we may have some issue with the mascot maybe too hard edge or we have other things or we'd like to do kind of this ghosting where we'd like to see a little bit coming through we could do that if you double click on your mask it's going to call up your properties panel the property's panel allows you to control the density of your mask well, I said black conceals white reveals we can also have shades of gray shades of gray are going to have various allowances of the image to come through so if I control the density here, what happens is I start lessening the density of my mask, which then starts to allow more through because if black conceals and white reveals if you have fifty percent gray you're going to get fifty percent revealed or fifty percent hide depending on with your the glass half full kind of person or a glass half empty well now you could be a mask half masked person you know? So if I control the density I can have it goes down so that I'm not showing very much through which is one way we can get things to show through other objects but I can also increase the density hire the density the less light is going to come through the lower the density of them or lights going to come through but if I have an object that has a very soft edge around it and my mask is a very hard edge mask, I can also go in and I confess her the edge of my mask, so I don't have to stop and redo my selection and feather this election coming in here, I can actually feather my mask when a zoom in here is we can see I'm gonna go in and more whether my mask here, you'll be able to see how I can kind of soften the edge of the mask doesn't look that much, but let me turn on my preview here, and we can see that a whole lot more. So there is my hard edge mask. The more I feather that the more control the softness of the mask, which allows a softer edge of the object showing through. There are times if this works very nice if you want to do it very softly lit image, and you want to do some compositing with really soft edges. And again, this is also nondestructive on the mask itself, because I can always turn the feather off and get it back right to the hard edge, and I can always soften the whole thing and get it further away, so that preview is really handy just that forward slash their turns on and turns on off that preview. And that your property's panel. You can either go into your windows menu and call up properties. Or double click on your layers later. Mask thumbnail and call it up. Right there.

Class Description

Layer masks are one of Photoshop’s most essential features – in Layer Masking Basics Jason Hoppe will show you how to use them to make your images even more jaw-dropping.

Join Jason to explore the ways layer masks let you isolate and protect parts of an image as you apply color changes, filters, or layer effects to the rest of the image. You’ll learn how to turn layer masks on and off and how to edit and hide them. You’ll also learn about the advantages layer masks have over the Eraser tool and duplicate image layers. Jason will also introduce you to more sophisticated concepts like layer clipping masks.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2


  1. Intro to Masking

    Find out what layer masks are used for and how you can use masks for non-destructive editing.

  2. Refining Masks
  3. Additional Selections
  4. Controlling Attributions of Masks
  5. Painting a Layer Mask
  6. Using Gradients with Masks
  7. Layer Clipping


nancy marckus

excellent, well thought out presentation. practical and creative how-to processes. Jason has a wonderful presentation style


Excellent coverage of Layer Masks. It's a little harder to follow but totally worth the content. Clearly a more advanced and thorough introduction than some of the more basic Layer Mask courses available on this site.

Aussie David

A great short course on masks and bacon - what's not to like right there!