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Chapter 10. Creating Layer and Channel Masks > Working with the Paint Tools

Working with the Paint Tools

Unless a mask is created using a selection, layer masks begin their lives as pure white. The reason a created layer mask does not appear to have any visible effect on the image, is that the color white indicates the visible areas of the image. It's only when you begin painting on the mask does the image change. You create transparency in the image by painting in shades of gray. The deeper the shade of gray, the more transparent the image. Painting the mask with pure black produces 100 percent image transparency. Any of Photoshop's drawing or painting tools can be employed to create the mask. In fact, you could even use the custom shape drawing tools and create a mask in the shape of a rubber duck. The trick is to use the right tools to create the right effect. For example, using a hard edge brush creates an image with sharp edges and using a soft-edge brush creates an image where the visible edges of the image blend smoothly with transparent elements.

Work with the Paint Tools

Open a document.

Create a layer mask on one of the active image layers.

Click the layer mask thumbnail.

Select the Paintbrush tool and brush tip.

Move into the document window and paint, and then use black to create transparency.

Use white to touch up the image.

Use shades of gray to create partial transparency.



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