Sign & Digital Graphics

September '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • September 2018 • 49 saved within the document. To load the selection press Command (Mac) or Control (Win) and click the channel thumbnail. The marching ants appear and the area is ready for editing. Layer and Vector Masks The other types of masks that are commonly used and important to the non-linear workflow are layer and vec- tor masks. Where a selection marquee isolates a region for editing, layer and vector masks conceal and reveal areas of the image. The only difference between layer and vector masks is how they are made and how they are edited. Layer masks can be made by encircling a region of an image with a selection marquee and then clicking the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. The layer mask can then be painted with white to reveal areas or black to conceal areas. If gray is painted on the mask, the area will be partially concealed or revealed depending on how dark the shade is (see Figure 11) Vector masks are made with the Path tools edited with the Path Selection or the Direct Selection tool. The layer displays a gray and white mask thumbnail. Gray represents the area that is concealed and white represents area that is revealed. Using layer and vector masks com- bined with opacity and blend modes can produce some really extraordinary effects (see Figure 12). Smart Objects The other type of Photoshop mask worth mentioning is the mask that is cre- ated when a Smart Filter is applied to a layer. The layer needs to be converted to a smart object by choosing Convert to Smart Object from the Layer Options menu. Then, choose a filter from the Filters menu. The smart object layer displays a mask that can be painted with White Black or Gray to conceal, reveal or mitigate the effects of the filter (see Figure 13). Masking is possibly the most impor- tant skill to learn in the image editing workflow. It certainly can be the most hands on. Thankfully, gone are the days of cutting rubylith with an Xacto knife. Instead masks are available at your fin- gertips in Photoshop and other image editing software. Learning to make accu- rate masks can be challenging because there are so my types of masks and so many variables in the mask making work- flow, so I hope this article has helped declaw creative masking. Naturally, using these techniques can greatly enhance your ability to create amazing pictures, so give it a try. SDG SGIA Expo Booth 841 Palboard AD -BUST- Half Page Island S7DG-SGIA Booth#.indd 1 8/9/2018 4:46:40 PM

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