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Quick Mask Mode

Lesson 5 from: Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

5. Quick Mask Mode

Lesson Info

Quick Mask Mode

So I wanna show you another way of thinking about your selection. And that is something called Quick Mask mode. If you look in your tools panel, just below your foreground and background colors, which are these two icons, is this. And that is Quick Mask mode. If you hover over it, it should eventually tell you that it means Quick Mask. And it should also tell you a keyboard shortcut, which is just typing the letter Q. Don't type command Q or control Q, 'cause that quits Photoshop. This is Q all by itself. You use Quick Mask mode primarily when you have a selection on your screen and you want to view it differently. It's called Quick Mask. Do you remember when I kind of mentioned masks, I said it's a different way of looking at a selection, where instead of seeing it looking like marching ants, you see it looking like usually a black and white picture where white indicates what's selected, black indicates what's not. And that's gonna do it for us. But instead of showing us black and whi...

te, it's gonna show it as an overlay. Let me show you. I'm gonna type the letter Q and watch what happens to the selection. You no longer see the marching ants on the edge and the area that's not selected gets covered with red. That made a temporary mask. A mask just means viewing a selection in a different way. When I showed you the concept of a mask at the beginning of this session, I think I went to the channels panel to show it to you. Well, let's go look there. You don't have to know that this is happening there but just so you know. If I go to the channels panel, oh, usually it shows it. They've changed it. Usually it would show a channel down there called Quick Mask mode. I'm surprised it doesn't. No it doesn't. Well, it used to show it here in the channels panel, where you could actually see that it is, behind the scenes it's using something called channels. Oh, you know what's happening? Is my interface isn't updating. Let me see if I can get it to, there. I just had to resize it. I'm having a screen redraw issue. So anyway, in channels, there it is. It's called Quick Mask. It does the exact same thing I did earlier to get it to show up here, which means it went to the select menu, it chose Save Selection, and it gave it the name Quick Mask. And it put it there. And it's just overlaying this on the main image. But you don't have to know that. It's just nice for some of you to know that it relates. Alright, so Quick Mask mode. It's a way of viewing a selection where you see it as a red overlay. But what's nice about it is you can use any tool that would work on a grayscale picture. Any tool that will work on a black and white image. That means painting tools, filters, adjustments, anything. You can paste a picture in, whatever. So let's see how we can use this. If I use my paintbrush tool, and right now I'm painting with black 'cause my foreground color is black. Over here on this part of my screen. I'm gonna paint just some stripes in here, some diagonal little lines. Actually let me get a larger brush, okay. Now I'm gonna turn off Quick Mask mode by typing the letter Q, or clicking the Quick Mask icon that is found near the bottom of my tools panel. When I typed the letter Q, I just modified that selection. Because when you're in Quick Mask mode, any area that is covered with red is not selected. And so if I type letter Q to go back to Quick Mask mode by painting like I did, I'm in effect changing that selection. And so, I'm gonna choose undo a few times because I didn't need to do this. And if you need multiple undos, you can go to the Window menu and there's a choice within it called history. It'll list everything you've done to your picture, I'm having a weird screen there, and I can just click on the step that is above the word Brush Tool. That means go back as if I never painted. All right, let's zoom up here. And so I could look closely at this edge and see is it inaccurate anywhere. And if it is inaccurate, I could paint maybe a little bit right there. And if I wanna get rid of the red stuff, then I need to paint with white. So I'm gonna go down here and I see this is black. If I wanna switch these two, this little double arrow would do it for me. And now I'm painting with white and I might just fine tune that littlest bit, wherever it was inaccurate. I just typed command zero to zoom out, just so you know, control zero Windows. When you're done using Quick Mask mode, just type letter Q again. You're back to your selection. So it can be a very nice way of previewing a selection and then modifying it by using a paintbrush.

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Ratings and Reviews


This class is exactly what I needed. Up to this point I have used the tutorials provided with Photoshop to learn and they are excellent, but as I am using PS more and more I need in depth learning. Example: I have been working with a photo for two weeks using what I knew about selections and masking. I have been so frustrated. I decided to dedicate time every day to learning PS and the other apps I have with my CC subscription. I was able to edit the photo and get all of the tiny details I wanted after taking this class. This is the second of Ben's classes I've taken and he is an excellent teacher. Thank you!


The Master once again has presented a clear concise easy to learn and follow class.

a Creativelive Student

Ben is always very thorough and informative.

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