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Layer Masks for Beginners

Lesson 6 of 12

Automatic Masks

Dave Cross

Layer Masks for Beginners

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

6. Automatic Masks

Lesson Info

Automatic Masks

So here I have a couple of layers. I've already dragged Drug dragon drug already moved on here previously, So I never know what the past tense of to drag drag you did. So I already put these on here, and I want to kind of blend them together. So if I take this top layer and move it in and take the other layer and move it into their some overlap, I want to have this nice blending happening. So one way to do it would be to take my paintbrush with a soft edged brush and try and paint, but and it works. But just to show you some of the options, remember, it's the act of creating paint so we can do it from a paintbrush, as you saw, it can do it from making a selection, but can also do it using the great Ian Tool. This is a really interesting tool for masking, because the nature of the Grady in tool is it automatically paints shades off whatever you want in this case, shades of gray. So I go to my Grady int tool. I just need to make sure I am on one of these ones that says Black toe white an...

d everything else about it. It just kind of normal. And all I do is make sure I'm on the layer. I want sole Hide this one for a second so we can see what's happening. I add a layer mask, and I just think about the way the Grady in Tool works Right now. It's going from white to black. I'd prefer it the other way, and the icon will show you. And the way they gray into works is you just click and drag a line to say, This is the direction I wanted to go. So I would start just outside this dragon a little bit, maybe two there. And also we got this really nice fade happening because our layer mask looks like that, and that happened automatically instead of me having toe paint it an estimate. How big should my brush be? And how soft should the brush be? And should I have opacity? It's just the Grady int tool. So it's going completely hidden, kind of kind of mawr, kind of kind of visible, because that's that this is the kind of zone right here that gray stuff in there. So when we look at in the context of the photo now we can see the background very much on the edge and less unless, unless of the photograph, it's more visible. So to blend the two photos together, I do exactly the same thing on this layer. Add a layer mask, take migrating tool on this time dragged this way. Now, every aspect about this and this is what makes this so interesting is still creditable. So if I think well, I still think maybe this layer needs to be up here or over here, the masses gonna move with it. Right? So I say maybe like this, and then take this one down here. And now that I've done that, I think you might Maybe this layer mask needs to be readjusted. So if I unlinked them, take my move tool. Your can actually move the Grady int. So this is how easy it is to decide. This needs to be over here. Maybe something like that. Excuse me. And if you go to an extreme, so you know what? Now that I think about it, this one should be over here, and this one should be over there. Make sure we're linked again. So now the greatest are completely the wrong way. Then again, I can go in and re edit and say In this case, I might just want to say, you know what? I was going to start again. So a simple way to do that? Because if you painted on the mask and you have, like now Grady in its way on the wrong side and the wrong color is just fill it with white again, it's almost like starting again. Instead of throwing away the mask and re adding it a good way, they're just reset is just filled with white. So if I go back to my fill command, of course, you can do this through keyboard shortcuts as well, and just say fill with white click OK, that's like Okay, now I've reset it. So now I could click on the mass, take my Grady and tool and drag on this side, okay, and do the same on the other one. So this is what kind of the point of this is that you don't have to be stuck with at any point? I'd hate to have someone feel well, I guess I have to live with that because of the way I did it. So if I took my eraser tool and it erased the two edges of those two photos, there would be no possibility me saying when I want to change them around cause too late, but with a mask, it's never too late. So the great thing about layer Mass is your never finished. The downside is your never finished because you could go or I could do. Oh, that looks good, too. So you have to a certain point stop. But at least it has that option. You're never feeling like no kind of painted myself into a corner literally. So I don't have any options to change my mind. So all of these things is doing the same thing. They're just putting different shades of black and gray onto the mass. Determine what's hidden and shown. Same thing applies here. I could add a Grady Int and then say, Let's look at this one a little closer, the top part of this. I wish these corners weren't quite so obvious. So let's go here on the layer mask. I could say, Well, I've already done the Grady in, but on top of that, I could still take my brush tool and just kind of round off that corner a bit. So there's no rule that says, because I used the great until now I'm stuck. The only after a member is now that I've done that, if I move the Grady and it's got that little corner on it that I've painted on top of that because you can't layer mass layer onto layer mascot. Also, that's one flat layer or the masters one flat object, I should say so as your paintings have to keep that in mind that if you're painting on top of paint, you don't have the same kind of level of oops. I want to go back a few steps, so you have to. That's the one part about this. It's a little more destructive, but that's a very common Methodist a start with a grating look a little closer and say, I think this part here and I would usually lower the opacity to something lower. So it's a more gradual so something in the range around there, and this allows me to continue to gradually painted in the way that I want now. The worst case of all is you do all that work and then realize and try like that after all. Well, same thing. Just I use keyboard shortcuts. I look at my foreground background color. See that white is my background color. So on the Mac, it's command. Delete on Windows Control back spaces to shortcut for Phil with your current foreground or background color instead of having to go edit. Phil White Just a quick way again to reset the layer mass to start again is just to put it toe white. If you can't remember those shortcuts than the other Methodist throwing the layer mask and at a new one, this just happens to be a little quicker.

Class Description

Using Layer Masks is one of the keys to success in Adobe® Photoshop®. We’ll start at square one and work through all the key aspects of creating, editing and using Layer Masks.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Layer Masks Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Dave Cross is a superb teacher and this is a superb class. Very clear explanations, well organized, and the demonstrations are spot on. I thought that I already understood masking but really I had just scratched the surface of the topic. Learned a lot of useful techniques. Thanks Dave!

a Creativelive Student

Dave is an amazing instructor and even though this is for beginners he takes you to intermediate. Amazing class learned and learned. Thank you!!!

Tony Walker

Enjoyed the course. Now that I am of an age where I tend to forget more than I remember having this course will help when I want to mask something. I can always come back to a specific video for a reminder. How many folks out there follow a tutorial and think great, then a week later you go back and say how on earth did I do that. Having access to this course is great especially if you are not photoshopping everyday.