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Chapter 10. Creating Layer and Channel M... > Creating Channel Masks from Scratch

Creating Channel Masks from Scratch

Channel masks are easy to create and once created, are just as easy to modify. All you need is an open document, and access to the Channels palette. By selecting a painting or drawing tool, you paint the mask to define the selection area. The problem is you can't see the image, you only see the mask. What you need is the ability to view the mask and the image, almost like a piece of tracing paper, and then use the drawing tools to paint (trace) the portions of the image you want to select. The secret to viewing the image as you create the mask is to temporarily enable or show, the composite channel. In fact, the composite channel acts like a toggle switch—when it's showing, you see the image and the mask like tracing paper, when it's hidden you only view the mask.

Create Channel Masks

Open an image.

Select the Channels palette.

Click the Create New Channel button.

Click the Show/Hide button on the composite channel. The image is revealed in the document window (the new Alpha channel should still be selected). You will use the image to guide the creation of the mask.

Select the Brush tool on the toolbox.

Paint areas of the image using white to create a selection (painting with white, exposes the original image).

Paint areas of the image black to mask the image (painting with black, masks the image with a default color of red).

Click the Show/Hide button on the composite channel. The image is hidden revealing just the mask.

Repeat steps 6-8 until the mask is complete.


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