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Layer Masks for Beginners

Lesson 2 of 12

Why Not Erase or Delete?

Dave Cross

Layer Masks for Beginners

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

2. Why Not Erase or Delete?

Lesson Info

Why Not Erase or Delete?

So let's do our first example of how that might be the case. So I have just a couple of photos here, and I'm gonna take my move tool and drag this photo into the other one, just using this technique that most people refer to as Dragon Drop and that automatically creates a new layer. Now, one thing I will mention just because I find when you're demonstrating layers and masks for people that aren't as familiar, I've actually changed a preference. And Photoshopped, because by default, the checkerboard that shows transparency is like white and very light gray, and sometimes it's hard to see. So I've changed mine. So when you see my checkerboard just looks a little different, I just did that in my preferences. There's an option where you can change that, And the reason I have done that is because I realize in one case where I was working with very small white type on a layer by itself and the white type, which is kind of blending in to this checkerboard, so it was very hard to see. So it's ...

it's a personal preference for today. It just makes better sense because it's easier to see what's happening. Okay, so as an example, So why Let's talk about why wouldn't I just use the eraser or delete? So I'm gonna tap the letter e for my eraser tool and then use the bracket key to make it bigger and just start erasing the part of this layer, which is cool, because now I can see the other layer below. But I'm gonna continue saying, but I also want to only show this much of her. So I do all this erasing and cool. Now I'm done and I save it and I move on and then I show it to my client or to heard she says, Actually, I think we better can. You show, like, not just cut off at the knees, but, like because it's a full body shot. So I could So yeah, sure, I could take free transform and then scale her down except for one little problem. If I hide the back and see the problem is that her legs are gone. It's not like I just hid them or something. There actually have been deleted. So some people say, Oh, but I I always know like when I delete something. I'm 100% sure that I'm never going to need them. Like, really, How do you really know that? And the other point is, you might think you're not gonna need it. But then we're working with someone else and they ask that Oh, just move this or just show that part and you don't have it anymore. The other reason why I think it's important is in that same kind of principle of that those HD TV shows where they're repurpose ing something is what if you later on want to use this same photo in a different document? I'd much rather drag the full layer of her in and mask that one that have to go back and find Where did I do all that work? To find the original photo and so on? And the same theory applies If we just step backwards here, some people would say, Well, what if I just use one of my selection tools like my lasso tool and make kind of a very rough selection and then use a command like feather? I have to go find it cause I never use it. So feather, here's the one resigned. I think feathers really funny thing, because feather softens the edge of selection. But no one actually knows what number to type in here. And the people who think they do are fooling themselves because most people kind of go think I should use 68. And I'm, like, really, like, not 70 or 78. How do you know? No one really knows. So you do that you then inverse the selection. By the way, this is not a good way to do it. I'm just showing you that this is similar problem to erase. Now, if I press the delete key I've got Oh, look at that. Nice soft blended in. Look, that was really cool in 1980. Um, but the same problem applies. If I again go to scale it down, I still have the same issue. Okay, so neither of those is a good approach to take. Now, some people ask me, Are you saying that you never a race and delete? And I would say rarely, if ever. I mean, I have to be fairly darn sure that I Whatever I'm doing that I know that's just a total unimportant piece of a layer that I just know I won't need it. Then I might hit the eraser and do it. But even then, the small voice of my head is saying, You really want to do that? I really want to consider doing that. The way I look at it is as when we talk more about layer mask. There's really no downside to a layer mask other than it adds one more thing to worry about in your layers panel. But once you got used to it, to me, it's just a better way to go, because soon as we're using layers always want to save your file in a photo shop document. PSD file. PSD preserves whatever's in your document layers as well as any masks. So that means I could come back to this three or five years from now and still be able to edit it. Whereas if I came back to it, if I deleted, if I come back tomorrow, it's too late. Some people also will say to me, Well, what about the history panel? Why don't you just use the history brush with history panel? Excuse me, and that's a fair concept, except for one thing. The history panels only active while your documents open. Soon as you close the document, whatever history you had is gone. So if you open a document tomorrow thinking Oh, just go to my history panel and go back to that step before I erased or deleted. No, you won't because it's gone. When you close a document, any history has gone with it. So a layer masses just a better way to go.

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

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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.