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Chapter 4. Layers and Channels > Using the Layer Mask Feature

Using the Layer Mask Feature

A layer mask does something a little more substantial and dramatic than the name suggests. When you put a layer into Layer Mask mode, you can erase and restore image areas using selection or painting tools, but none of the changes are permanent. You can refine the edge of an object on a layer, save the file, and open it up in a week, and still the changes you've made are proposed ones. Nothing you see is permanent until you remove (apply) the layer mask. Let's get to the example of the layer mask, the dart, and the 15ball in the Pocket image.

Creating a Unique Composition Through Layers

You need to do two things to make the dart look as though it was thrown at the 15ball by a small explosion. First, you need to move the dart to the top layer. Second, you need to remove part of the dart's tip and part of its shadow, combine the two dart pieces, and position them over the 15ball.


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