Masking Unmasked- Pg3- Giordan On Graphics | 2 | WebReference

Masking Unmasked- Pg3- Giordan On Graphics | 2



Cutting a Simple Mask

I say "cutting" because in the old days they used to cut frisket or rubylith to indicate areas that were to be silhouetted or shielded. Digitally speaking, cutting a mask is the same as making a selection. I'll outline the steps below in Photoshop:

  1. Using an organic selection tool such as the Magic Wand, select the area to be masked. In this case, the subject is to be isolated and the background will be masked. Keep the Magic wand Options palette open and adjust the tolerence as necessary to make a clean selection.

    TIP- in many cases, it is easier to select the main object and choose Select>Inverse to invert the selection from the subject to the background.

  2. You should now determine the purpose for your mask. In this case, we will delete the active area to create a silhouette, although we could have used it to define an area for further editing? If you're creating a silhouette, you may choose press the delete key and be done with it, although you should probably take a few extra steps.

  3. In many cases a silhouetted object will benefit from a feathered edge. An anti-aliased look integrates the images with the background and hides and rough areas that may have been hard to select. In addition, if you are doing further editing, feathering is essential to help the edits blend with the rest of the image. To feather the selection, choose Select>Feather and specify the number of pixels to be used. Keep the overall image size in mind as you specify the feather amount.

  4. Press the delete key to delete the background and be done with it.

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Created: Nov. 16, 1998
Revised: Nov. 10, 1998