freedocru476121280x1024to5

Hello and welcome all to the lesson nr. 4 of our Photoshop lessons series.

Today I`ll speak about layer masks and I`ll show you how to create a black and white picture with some colored areas and how to merge two pictures,using layer masks.

In Photoshop,a Layer Mask is the best way to hide and reveal certain parts of a layer.

To add a Mask to a layer,first you must select the respective layer and then click on the Mask button.You may find the button in the bottom area of the layer`s section.

1 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

You`ll notice that in the right side of the layer will appear a thumbnail.

2 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

To start using the layer mask,click on the layer mask thumbnail and start hiding and revealing layers.

Next,I`ll present you some examples of using layer masks.You`ll see that those masks will become a must have in your next Photoshop projects.

Create a black and white picture with colored areas

In the first example I`ll show you how to create a black and white picture.After,I`ll reveal some colored areas from the initial image.

First step,download this flowers arrangement photo to get started.After you download it,load the image into Photoshop.

freedocru476121280x1024to5 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Next,we`re going to make the picture a black and white one.Go to Layer->New Adjustment Layer->Hue/Saturation and apply the next settings:

3 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

4 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

To make the image more lighter,go to Layer->new Adjustment Layer->Brightness/Contrast and change the brightness and contrast of the image.

5 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Now we have a back and white image:

6 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Let`s reveal a little color.Click on the layer mask thumbnail of the Hue/Saturation layer.The reason is simple.The layer mask hides the initial picture by painting over the black and white effect.So,to reveal the colors,we must delete the respective areas of the mask.

Now,with the Hue/Saturation layer mask selected,choose a Soft brush and start revealing the colored areas.

8 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Start painting with the brush tool where you want to color.

9 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

The image is ready:

10 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Here`s another images that I modified to show you how great is this procedure:

11 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

12 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

How to merge two pictures

In this example,I`ll show you how to merge two images. One of the tasks that you find yourself doing in Photoshop is cutting stuff out, putting them somewhere they don’t belong and making them fit in.I`ll show you a way to do this,using a layer mask. We`re going to add a sailing boat on a tropical sea.

Download those two pictures:The sailing boat and tropical sea.

Load them into Photoshop.

SailingBoat How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

nature desktop wallpaper avantzone How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Now I`m showing you how to paste the boat picture over the tropical sea.When you load a picture into Photoshop,you notice that the first layer,named Background is locked and it can`t be edited.To make it editable,double click the Background layer.

14 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

The layer has been transformed into a editable layer,named Layer0.

15 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

To select the layer,Ctrl+Click it.Copy the selection and paste it over the tropical sea picture.

13 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Next step is to add a layer mask to the boat layer.Click on the layer mask button to add one.

17 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Now click on the layer mask thumbnail to select it.

18 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

In other words,to use correctly the layer mask,select the foreground color to black.This way,you`ll delete the entire areas around the boat.Otherwise,you`ll have traces of colors from the image.

19 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

Choose an Airbrush round and start painting the boat image.You`ll observe how the tropical sea is revealed.If you want to zoom the image to work more accurate,press Ctrl+ “+” .

20 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

21 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

After you`ll finish the paint job,you`ll have a boat on a tropical sea.But only a few will realize that there are two images in one.For the rest this is a real image.

22 How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

If you want to see more,check out the Landscape Photo Manipulation tutorial and see how the two images are merged.Below is the final image of the tutorial:

final How to use Layer Masks in Photoshop

That was all for today.I hope you`ve learned something from it! See you next time!

If you like this post,please subscribe to the OURTUTS RSS Feed for more photoshop tuts and articles.

Bye!

Written by Madalin Tudose

Madalin Tudose is a web designer and developer who loves to inspect websites for new designing techniques and trends. He`s the founder of Ourtuts, where he blogs about anything related to web development.