Masks Are Easy Part 2: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at | WebReference

Masks Are Easy Part 2: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at

Masks Are Easy ... Part 2


Enhancing one image with a mask created from another image. Using masks to accomplish this task gives you complete control over details, though the image on the mask is simply used to set transparency.


Last time, in Masks are Easy ... Really!, we looked at mask basics for PhotoShop, Fireworks, CorelDraw and PaintShop Pro. If you have not see that article, you should probably start there. Masks really are simple once you have worked through the basics.

This time we are going to dig a little deeper and learn the powerful features that can change the way you work with computer graphics. We'll also take a look at masks in Macromedia Flash. By the end of this tutorial, you will have all the basic knowledge you need to understand how masks work. Your job will be to discover how your new mask knowledge can fit into your work patterns. Masks save you time and improve the quality and consistency of your work.

To unleash the full power of masks, we must be able to save masks. This provides the opportunity to repeat effects, and combine masks from one image with another. You can also create masks in other programs – the possibilities are endless.



Photos © Tom Thomson Photography. Used with permission.


Saving a mask
We will discuss individual programs a little later, but first, we should review what is is happening when we save a mask.

In Part 1 of this tutorial, we discovered that masks were simply grayscale images. Black in the mask represents no transparency, white provides total transparency, and the grays between provide graduated transparency. This is the information we can save for later use. However, we need a little more knowledge to move on to saving masks.

Carry on to the next page to learn about channels and how they relate to saving masks. We will then move to the individual programs for step by step instructions on using the basic techniques, as well as some effects you can try.



Next page


Wendy Peck is a working Web designer and writer living in NW Ontario, Canada.


Masks Are Easy Part 2 Tutorial Index

Masks Are Easy Part 2 Start
PhotoShop Save Selection
PhotoShop Import Selection
PhotoShop Load/Save Masks
PaintShop Pro Save Masks
PaintShop Pro Channels
PSP Saved Selections/Masks
Freehand Masks
Masks in Flash

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Created: Apr. 15, 2000
Revised: Apr. 15, 2000