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Layer Mask question

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by Retief, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. I have been trying to learn to work more with layer masking for selective edits on images. Other than futzing around with the fine details, like bird wings or hair, a royal pain, I'd also like to find a way to invert the mask. For example, I make a "Reveal" mask and paint out the main subject, is there a way to then duplicate that layer such that I can reveal the subject and hide the background?

    My guess is the technique is right in front of my face and I too dang dumb to notice it :eek:  , but since I've been trying to figure this out for more hours than I want to admit, I figure I'll do the smart thing and ask for help :smile: .

  2. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  3. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  4. Bill, you have be careful what you are selecting. When you do a mask there are two windows on the layer. When you want to do something, you have to be sure you have either the left (pixel layer) or the right(mask layer) selected. You choice depends on what you want to do.

    aka beaucamera
  5. Hi Bill

    Glad to hear you are trying layer masks - a very powerful tool. I think the reason you are getting irregular results is that you may have selected the layer, not the mask.

    You must make sure to click on the mask part of the layer palette to activate the mask, otherwise photoshop thinks you want to edit the entire layer, not just the mask. This was a point of confusion for me for quite a while.

    BTW, I thought your original explanation was clear. It is easy to confuse a mask and a selection, but they are in fact quite different.
  6. Thanks, Rory, Viriginia and Paul. I think you may have hit on it, which of them I actually had "highlighted". These things are quite cool, now I just have to figure out ways to better create my mask, I need to find that "figure out what I want to mask and do it for me" tool :smile: .

    I have decided that my real problem was lack of Egg Nog on Saturday, anticipating Sunday dinner.......
  7. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Here are some extremely good movie tutorial by Rusell Brown you can down load of view on screen..

    One of them is advanced layer masking. Scroll down under PS7.. It will apply to other versions of PS..

    Good stuff If any one would be interested

  8. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  9. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    lol Paul...Ya get past it after awhile.. But he knows his stuff. He is good.
  10. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I'm not sure if this is relevant but my favorite is by using select color range. For sharpening I may select highlights and create a mask from it. Select shadows for noise removal, or midtones for contrast. Depending on the image of course.:wink:
  11. Ron H

    Ron H

    Jul 5, 2005
    To invert a layer mask, first make sure the mask is active, then press CTRL-I, which will invert the mask.

    Hope this helps.
  12. Without a doubt my main problem was the difference between highlight the Layer vs. the Mask. Worst part is, I KNOW that, and STILL screwed up. And then to make matters even worse, I asked the WHOLE WORLD, so now you know that even I am not perfect :rolleyes: 

    Next step is to find more efficient ways to create the mask by using selections, and getting better at NOT having really hard edges.

    Quick tips anyone????? :wink:
  13. Bill, I seldom create masks from selections. I just copy the entire layer, make the changes I want to the layer, and then create a layer mask as either reveal all or hide all, depending on how much of the image is affected and then paint in or out changes. By changing the opacity or the brush or the grey scale of the foreground and the brush type, you can quickly get the exact effect without any "edges".

    For example, suppose you have an eagle and want to sharpen the eyes and beak. I would ctrl-J (copy layer), sharpen the whole layer until the eyes and beak were right, without worrying about the rest of the image, select layer mask - hide all, click B (Brush), adjust size and softness, click X if the foreground was black (to get white) and paint in the eyes and beak. Flatten and you're done. I often oversharpen, and then fine tune using a brush opacity of 50-70%.
  14. Thanks, Rory, this helps a lot. Much easier then trying to create the masks first, at least for me.

    I sure hope this thread helps someone else, I'd hate to think I am the only bozo on earth who didn't have this down pat :smile:
  15. I think you are in good company. I sort of knew this stuff, but only started using masks consistently in the last year. When you find a technique that works for you make sure to pass it back to me!
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