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Hour 12. Using Masks > Applying Masks

Applying Masks

Masks can hide either a selected object or the background, and can be opaque or semi-transparent. If the mask is totally transparent, it isn't masking anything. Masks—and channels, which you'll learn about later—are actually grayscale images of your picture. An opaque mask is black, a 50% transparent mask is 50% gray, and so on.

In Figure 12.1, I have a nice photo of a camel against a dead grass background. There are several ways to change this picture. One is to mask the camel, and then blur the background and adjust the color so that it doesn't look so bad. I can select the background or—if it's easier—select the camel and invert the selection. In this example, I have used the lasso to trace around the edges of the animal.


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