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In this hour, you looked at using masks. Masking allows you to apply changes selectively, while protecting parts of the picture that you don't want to change. You learned about the Quick Mask function and how to edit a mask with the Paintbrush and Eraser. Then you learned about Layer masks and how to turn a layer into a mask. You learned how to view your mask, and save it as an Alpha channel.


Q1: My picture has a lot of red in it, and the red mask is hard to see. Is there a way to change it to some other color?
A1: Of course. If you're working in Quick Mask mode, double-click the Quick Mask icon on the toolbox to open the Quick Mask options dialog box. If you're working on a Layer mask, Control+click (Mac) or right-click (Windows) on the Layer mask icon in the Layers menu to open a context menu that gives you access to the Layer Mask Display Options dialog box. In either one, you can set the color and amount of opacity for your mask. In the Quick Mask box, you can also set a radio button to determine whether the selection or the mask is indicated by the colored area.
Q2:If I'm doing catalog photos of small objects and want to mask the backgrounds, is it easier to select the background or to select the object and invert the selection?
A2: That depends on how complicated and/or how colorful the object is. If it's all one color, you can probably select it with one Magic Wand click and invert it to make your mask in a couple of seconds. If the background is simple and the object isn't, select the background.
Q3:I carefully painted in a mask, but the edges look wrong. They seem to have a dark line around them. Why?
A3: You probably had the brush set for Wet Edges. You can fix it, if it's an opaque mask (not painted in gray), by pouring black into the masked area.
Q4:The selection tools missed some of the petals on the flower I'm trying to mask, but my hand's not steady enough to draw them in. What can I do?
A4: Enlarge the image to 200% or even more. Then you can see what you're doing and draw or erase more precisely.



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