Lesson 1

Lesson 1 - Use a Layer Mask with a Selection



The student will use the Elliptical Marquee tool to make a selection and create a layer mask on the Soccer Field layer and on the Opposition layer.  You’ll select the Brush tool and a brush tip, and then paint on the layer mask to hide pixels.


Lesson:  Create a layer mask using the Layer menu

  1. Start Photoshop, open PS 8-1.psd from the from the Digital Design folder on the server
  2. Save your work to your folder on the server as PS_C8_L1_Soccer_your username
  3. Click the Default Foreground and Background Colors button on the Tools panel
  4. Display the guides, and the rulers in pixels, and verify that the 'Photography' workspace is displayed
  5. Verify that the Soccer Field layer is the active layer
  6. Click the Rectangular Marquee tool (on the Tools panel) 
    [look under the Rectangular Marquee  tool if the Elliptical Marquee tool is hidden]
  7. Change the Feather setting to 10 px
  8. Drag the Marquee pointer from 50 X/50 Y to 1150 X/750 Y, to create a marquee that includes the players using the guides
  9. Click Layer (on the Application bar), point to Layer Mask, then click Reveal Selection [you can deselect a marquee by clicking Select on the Application bar, then clicking Deselect; by clicking in another area of the image with the marquee tool that you are using; or by right-clicking the object, then clicking Deselect in the shortcut menu]


You used the Elliptical Marquee tool to create a selection, and created a layer mask on the Soccer Field layer using the Layer Mask command on the Layer menu.

Lesson:  Create a selection for a layer mask

  1. Click the Opposition layer (on the Layers panel), then make the layer visible
  2. Change the feather setting on the options bar to 0 px, then drag the Marquee pointer from approximately 250 X/40 Y to 435 X/360 Y (to surround the two players wearing the striped jerseys)


You used the Rectangle Marquee tool to create a selection that will be used to create a mask.

Lesson:  Create a layer mask using the Masks panel

  1. Click Window (on the Menu bar), then click Properties
  2. Click Layer (on the Menu bar), point to Layer Mask, then click Hide Selection
    [The mask in the Opposition layer completely obscures the players wearing the striped jerseys, and partially obscures some of the opposition team; the layer mask thumbnail appears to the right of the layer thumbnail on the Layers panel and appears at the top of the Properties panel; once the mask is created, the Properties panel options for masks are available]
    [Tip:  You can also create a layer mask by clicking the Add layer mask button on the Layers panel; if you use this method, you can press and hold [Alt] [Win] while clicking the Add layer mask button to add a mask that hides the selection, rather than reveals it] 
  3. Verify that the layer mask thumbnail (on the Opposition layer) is active
    [You can tell whether the layer mask or the layer object is active by the outline surrounding the thumbnail and by its appearance in the Properties panel]


You created a layer mask on the Opposition layer, then displayed the Properties panel.

Lesson:  Paint a layer mask

  1. Zoom into the opposition team at approximately 250 X/150 Y until the player is centered and the zoom factor is 200%
  2. Click the Brush tool (on the Tools panel)
  3. Click the Click to open the Brush Preset picker list arrow (on the options bar), click the More Options button, click the Round brushes with size, click Append, then select the Hard Round brush tip, and choose a size of 10 pixels
  4. Verify that the Mode on the options bar is Normal and the Opacity is 100%
  5. Verify that White is the foreground color and Black is the background color
    [Hint:  You may have to switch foreground and background colors]
    [Learning  to paint a layer mask can be challenging – it’s important to make sure the correct layer (and thumbnail) is active before you start painting to know whether you’re adding to or subtracting from the mask, and to set your foreground and background colors correctly]
  6. Drag the Brush pointer player in the foreground until he is completely hidden – as you painted, the shape of the mask thumbnail changed in both the Properties and Layers panels [select a different brush tip if the brush is too big or too small]
    [Tip:  As you paint the layer mask to reveal the opposition player, you can zoom in and increase or decrease the brush size, if necessary - you can also reverse the foreground and background colors to make corrections to your painted mask]


You used the Zoom tool to keep a specific portion of the image in view as you increased the zoom percentage, selected a brush tip, and painted pixels on the layer mask to reveal a player.

Lesson:  Modify the layer mask

  1. Drag the Brush pointer along the right edge of the object, until you reveal more of the player and the field in the Soccer layer
    [as you paint, a new History state is created each time you release the mouse button]
  2. Click the Mask Edge button (in the Properties panel) – the Refine Mask dialog box opens with the On White box selected from the View list arrow – you can use this feature to see if you missed any areas that need to be painted away
  3. Change the Smooth setting to 15 and the Feather setting to 1 px
  4. Click OK to close Refine Mask dialog box, then use the brush pointer to paint away any omissions
  5. Resave your work to your folder on the server as PS_C7_L1_Produce Market


You painted pixels to hide an unnecessary player, and then used the Refine Mask dialog box to modify the mask.

Examine the refined mask

  1. Zoom out until the zoom factor is 66.7%
  2. Examine the results of your modified mask


You reset the zoom percentage to 66.7% to examine the results of the modified mask.