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Chapter 8. Selections and Channels: Paths, Masks, and Shapes

Chapter 8. Selections and Channels: Paths, Masks, and Shapes

You love the painting and retouching tools that Photoshop offers; you love layers; you even love all the options it gives you for saving files. But as soon as someone says “alpha channel” or “mask,” your eyes glaze over. And when someone strings together a sentence like, “Edit your selection in Quick Mask mode and then intersect it with the eighth alpha channel,” you drop your mouse and head for the door.

It doesn't have to be this way. Masks, channels, and selections are actually really easy once you get past their bad reputation. Making a good selection is obviously important when silhouetting and compositing images—two of the most common production tasks. But perhaps even more important, selections are also a key ingredient for nondestructive tonal corrections, color corrections, sharpening, and even retouching. We'll discuss these in the coming chapters, but before we get there, we must first make you a mask maven and a channel champion!


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