What is a layer mask, what is it for and how does it work in Photoshop?

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Designer or not, the application of the title is known to all, is the worldwide reference for image design and retouching. And that's simply because you have the best tools to work with. Of course, not everyone knows all its functions, so today you will see what it is, what it is for and how a layer mask works in Photoshop.

What is a layer mask in Photoshop, what is it for and how does it work?


Because not only designers have the right to learn, everyone is a fan of photo retouching and redrawing as they please, and much more in the times we live in. So for those hobbyists who need and are looking for an easy guide, welcome to your home.


Don't worry, it's very simple and even in a short time you will be so expert in the subject that you will be able to use the Adobe Photoshop toolbar with ease.

      What is a layer mask, what is it for and how does it work?

      Designers know something an amateur doesn't, and that's that the perfect tool is the best way to make your image the way you want it. With that in mind, you should know that layer mask is one of the best tools in Photoshop.

      But what are they and what are they for? Simply to hide or show parts of the level we want. These are basically editable bit images, which can be modified with internal tools like Paint. A simpler way to explain it is to say that a layer mask offers a canvas on which the opacity is not erased but changed.


      How does it work?

      Its operation is simple, as much as easily creating a graphic pattern in photoshop, since when you create a mask, it will create a kind of canvas to call it something, it appears as a thumbnail next to the layer you have selected for this process.


      When the layer mask is white it means it is visible and when it is black it means the opposite, so with these you can create effects like sparkles and shadows , because in this canvas you can play with the percentage so that they adapt to your image (and the best thing is that you can delete the result without affecting the original image)

      Where can they be used?

      If you want to have complete knowledge of what is a layer mask, what is it for and how does it work? , for obvious reasons you need to know where to put them.

      Keep your knowledge of what Adobe Photoshop is and its tools in general afloat, making the process easier.

      The most common use they are placed in is to extract a person or subject, removing the background of a photo, they can also be used to remove parts of the photo, change the sky in any landscape, change the effect areas of adjustment layers .

      Also for create sparkles and shadows , as well as modifying the hair of a person or an animal (cutting it and giving it a different shape depending on how we use it).


      Since as you read earlier, it is used to hide or delete the parts of the image that are left. With this already answered you have already learned what a layer mask is, what it is for and how it works, but something is missing and that something is the most important here, how are these damn levels created?


      Create a layer mask, easier than showering

      As you read, it is very simple to create a layer mask to start using them, the first thing you should do is the following: go to "Layers", then in the section that appears there "Layer Mask", here are two aspects if you select " Show all" , the layer will be white and if you put " Hide all" , nero.


      Another way is, in the layers panel, go to the box icon with a black circle inside that represents the function "Add mask ", select it and you're done.

      In addition to these two there is a way to create the layer from a selection, to achieve this you must obviously first create the selection with any tool that allows it, such as the lasso. Then go to the level you want to add it to and press the "Add layer" icon.


      This will instantly create a layer, the selection you've chosen will appear white and everything else black. And with this last point, your adventure through the levels ends, so now you can work as a designer and also brag about knowing what it is a layer mask, what it is for and how it works in Photoshop.

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