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Chapter 9. Channels > Ben's Techno-Babble Decoder Ring

Ben's Techno-Babble Decoder Ring

Mask— Any time you view a selection as a grayscale image (as opposed to a “marching ants” selection), it is also called a mask. That means it's okay to call a channel a mask if you'd like. And when you see features like Quick Mask and Layer Masks mentioned in Photoshop, those are things that will also be stored in the Channels palette.

Bits— In Photoshop, 256 shades of gray is known as 8 bits. This describes how much memory Photoshop uses to keep track of all those shades. So if you find a setting in your scanning software that is called “8-bit grayscale,” it just means a normal 256-shade grayscale scan. If you hear someone say, “I have a 24-bit color image,” that means they have an image that is in RGB mode (RGB has three channels; each channel is 8 bits; 8 + 8 + 8 = 24). Or, if you hear about a 32-bit image, that just means the image contains four channels; they are either talking about an image that is in CMYK mode (4 channels) or an RGB image (three channels) plus one alpha channel (for a total of four channels).


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