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by Wendi E. M. Scarth


Masks For Beginners
Paint Shop Pro


Paint Shop Pro Tutorials by Wendi E. M. Scarth.
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Masking Explained

Basic Masking Principles - Beginners
Written For Paint Shop Pro 7 8 9 X
Paint Shop Pro XI X2 X3 X4 X5
X6 X7 X8 X9 Photo (Ultimate) Students Should Follow X’s Instructions

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Manage The Workspace
X8 & X9x9
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Understanding Layers On-line
Miscellaneous Masking PDF Tutorials
The Principles Of Masking Explained On-line
Cat And Dog Blend Using Layer Masks On-line

The examples above depict a photograph that has two different gradient masks applied to it; and demonstrates how greyscale masks work. For example, you will notice that solid black hides (masks) the areas of the photograph it is applied to - and solid white allows the photograph to be seen. Further Information Can Be Found Here.

When applying Masks, the important points to remember are, white has no effect on the image - black will mask (remove it) completely - and all shades of grey will render the image semitransparent.

A Mask Layer either covers parts of another layer completely - or with varying levels of opacity. Masks are used to fade Layers - or to create special effects with precision.
For example, you can use masks to hide all detail around a photograph’s main subject - or to create dramatic photographic blends - or you can use masks to create web page navigation bars, or buttons - that fade away.

In addition, you can create a New Mask Layer that can be painted on, or you can use the Mask Layer to hide or show underlying layers; alternatively, you can create a Mask Layer from an image, a selection, or the luminance of an image. You can also use one of the customisable Masks stored in Paint Shop Pro’s Masks folder to frame (or mask) areas of photographs.

Mask Layers function similar to other types of Layers, and you can turn the visibility of the Mask Layer on, or off; change the overall opacity of the Mask Layer - or link the Mask Layer to other layers. 

Mask Layers are automatically saved with the image in the
.psp.image format, and you can also save a Mask to an Alpha Channel - or as a separate image file on a disk.

Masks work with Greyscale (with transparency) and 16 million colour images only.

How Masks Affect Underlying Layers

Mask Layers apply to all layers below it (that are of the same level) - as follows:

If a Mask Layer is in a Layer Group, it applies only to layers within the group that are lower in the stacking order.

If the Mask Layer is at the main level (rather than in a layer group), it applies to all layers below it in the stacking order.

To change which underlying layers a mask applies to - from the Layers palette, drag the Mask Layer to a new position in the stacking order.

Mask Layers can never be the bottom layer in the image - or in a layer group.

Mask Layers As Greyscale Raster Layers

Masks are Greyscale Raster Layers and they contain pixels that can display 256 shades of grey. Rather than applying grey paint to the image; however, the levels of grey correspond to levels of opacity, or masking. White pixels show underlying layers; black pixels hide underlying layers, and grey pixels show varying amounts of underlying layers. The darker the grey, the more the underlying pixels are masked.

Even though Masks are Raster Layers, you can create Masks that hide - or show portions of Vector layers.

When you select a Mask Layer, the Materials and Colour palette display black, white, and 254 shades of grey, as available colours. You can paint on the Mask Layer to change the visibility of underlying pixels. All tools and commands that work on greyscale Raster Layers work on Masks. For the Line, Preset Shapes, and Text tools, which can create Raster or Vector Objects, use the tools to create Raster Objects on Mask Layers.

To see what a Mask Layer looks like - (from the Layers palette), position your cursor over the Layer Name, and a thumbnail will display the Greyscale Mask Layer

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