Using PS5/Quickmask- Giordan on Graphics | WebReference

Using PS5/Quickmask- Giordan on Graphics

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Step 1-
Setting Quickmask Parameters

Quickmask gets its name from the fact that as you create your selection area, Photoshop masks that area off, tinting it with a colored mask to show what has been selected. When you're finished making the selection, you exit Quickmask mode, and Photoshop automatically converts the mask to a standard selection so that you can edit the image. Quickmask is a visual, painterly way to make a selection, and if its handled correctly, it can make unique selections that are impossible to recreate in any other way.

Before we start creating Quickmask selections, we need to set up the parameters for how Quickmask will work. The following step-by-step will set up the way the painted mask looks as it is applied, along with some other relevant selection parameters.


Figure 18-1- Launch the Quickmask Options dialog box by double clicking the Quickmask icon.

Setting Up the Quickmask Parameters

  1. Double-click the Quickmask icon just below the color swatches in the tool
    palette (figure 18.1)
  2. Select Color Indicates option. Choosing Masked Areas means that any colored
    areas will not be selected when you exit Quickmask mode. The Selected Areas
    checkbox means that colored areas will be selected when you exit Quickmask.
  3. Click on the color swatch to launch the Photoshop color picker, and select
    the color for your mask. This is especially important if the current color
    is similar to the color of your selected area.
  4. Enter an Opacity percentage value to indicate how much of the transparency
    shows through as you paint it, and click OK.

Since you've already chosen a mask color in step 2 of the above step by step,
you don't need to worry about color anymore while in Quickmask mode. In fact,
Photoshop doesn't even let you work with color in this mode; it converts everything
to grayscale. To see what I mean, try to select a foreground color in the
color palette, it automatically converts to it's grayscale equivalent.

The reason for this is that Photoshop uses grayscale values to control the
relative intensity of the mask you are painting. With black as the active
color, the paint tools paint the mask at 100% intensity. If white is the active
color, the mask is erased, and any shades of gray will paint the mask in relative
degrees of opacity. In summary, black lays down the mask color, white erases
it. And if you make a mask/selection with an 80% gray, then any editing done
through that selection will be applied at 80%. Paint into that selection and
it goes on at 80%, delete that selection, and its deleted to 80%.

Photoshop Tip

Even though you set the visible transparency of the mask in the previous step
by step, the actual transparency of the selection is determined by the grayscale
value set as the foreground color while you paint the mask. The Opacity value
set in the Quickmask Options dialog box only controls how the mask looks as
you're painting it, it does not effect the intensity of the mask or the resulting

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Produced by Daniel Giordan

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Created: Feb 14, 1999
Revised: Feb 14, 1999