In Photoshop, masks are used to hide sections of a photograph. Once you have hidden from view the parts you don’t want seen, you can take what is left and display them as desired. For example, you can take a photograph of a person, create a mask showing only that person, and then place the mask on top of a scene in which the person really wasn’t present (but now looks like the person was there). Or, you can create an effect that makes it look like the viewer is seeing the subject using binoculars.
In this example, we’ll take a photo of a house with the driveway and shrubs and create a mask to make it look like we’re looking at the house using a telescope.
Here’s one way to create a mask in Photoshop:
- Open your picture in Photoshop.
- Unlock the background layer by doing the following:
- Create the shape of the mask using text or one of the vector drawing tools (pen, freeform pen, rectangle tool, etc. In this example, I’m using the Elipse Tool).
- Under Window, make sure the Layers is checked.
- In the shape layer (in the example, Shape 1), click the chain link to unlink the vector mask.
- In the shape layer (Shape 1), drag the shape into the picture layer (Layer 0).
- Delete the original shape layer (Shape 1) by selecting the layer (Shape 1) and clicking the Trash Can icon. Click Yes.
- Use the move tool to move the picture to the position you desire.
- If desired, in the picture layer, click in between the picture and the shape to link the mask together.