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Chapter 10. Creating Layer and Channel M... > Using Layer Masks to Generate Soft T...

Using Layer Masks to Generate Soft Transparency

When you create a layer mask using Photoshop's selection tools, the edges of the image where transparency occurs appear as if cut out with a knife. This occurs because selection tools create knife-edge selections, and then when you create the layer mask, the edges appear as ragged as the mask. You could click the Selection menu, and then click Feather to soften the effect of the selection; however you won't be able to determine the effects of your Feather option until you create the mask. Many times this technique turns into a guessing game, with you creating mask after mask, until you see what looks best. A better way to work is create the hard mask, and then visually create a softer mask using a Photoshop filter named Gaussian Blur. Since the Gaussian Blur filter has the ability to preview the blur before applying, you have the perfect tool to create visually pleasing results.

Use Layer Masks for Transparency

Open a document.

Create a selection around the area you want to preserve.

Click the Select menu, and then click Feather.

Select a Feather Radius value (1 to 250). The greater the value, the greater the feathering effect.

Click OK.

Click the Add Layer Mask button.

The Layer mask uses the Feather option to soften the visual effect of the mask.



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