Posts Tagged ‘mask’

Techie Tip of the Week: Creating a Mask in Photoshop

Friday, October 7th, 2011

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:

  1. Open your picture in Photoshop.
    Orginal file of the house
  2. Unlock the background layer by doing the following:
    • Layer>New>Layer from background
      Screen shot of Layer > Layer from background
    • Click OK.
      Screenshot of clicking OK
  3. 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).
    screenshot of mask shape (in this case, an oval)
  4. Under Window, make sure the Layers is checked.
    screen shot of Window>Layers
  5. In the shape layer (in the example, Shape 1), click the chain link to unlink the vector mask.
    screen shot of linked shape to black layer screenshot of unchained layer and shape
  6. In the shape layer (Shape 1), drag the shape into the picture layer (Layer 0).
    screenshot of dragging shape 1 to layer 0 (1 of 3) screenshot of dragging shape 1 to layer 0 (2 of 3) screenshot of dragging shape 1 to layer 0 (3 of 3)
  7. Delete the original shape layer (Shape 1) by selecting the layer (Shape 1) and clicking the Trash Can icon.  Click Yes.
    screen shot of deleting shape1 layer →  screenshot of clicking Yes
  8. Use the move tool move tool to move the picture to the position you desire.
    Position 1 position 2
  9. If desired, in the picture layer, click in between the picture and the shape to link the mask together.
    screenshot of linking picture to shape layer (1 of 2) screenshot of linking picture to shape layer (2 of 2)