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Shades of Gray

Try this out. Turn on Quick Mask mode—you don't need a selection to begin with. Type D to reset the foreground color to black, and then Option-Delete (Mac) or Alt-Backspace (Windows) to fill the Quick Mask. Now paint within the Quick Mask with 20% gray (you can use the Color Picker palette to choose grays). Then turn off Quick Mask mode and paint in the selected area with bright red. Now choose Select > Deselect, lower the opacity of the painting tool to 80%, and paint with bright red. Your reds should look exactly the same. That's how Photoshop makes a selection fade out—by simply lowering the opacity of the tool you are using. This can sometimes be confusing, though, because the marching ants show up only where an image is at least 50% selected. So, try this one on for size. Turn on Quick Mask mode and paint with 49% gray, and then paint in another area with 51% gray. Then go back to Standard mode and paint across the area. Only the areas that are at least 50% gray show up as marching ants, but the other areas are still selected, even though the marching ants don't show up in those areas (Figure 2.102). Now turn on Quick Mask mode, reset the foreground color by typing D, type Option-Delete (Mac) or Alt-Backspace (Windows) to fill the Quick Mask, and then paint with 55% gray. Now go back to Standard mode, and you'll get a warning message (Figure 2.103).

Figure 2.102. When painting in Quick Mask mode, only the areas that contain less than 50% gray will be visible when the selection is viewed as marching ants.



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