How to Create a Layer Mask in Photoshop

When you wear a mask you cover up a part of your face with something else. You do the same thing when you make a layer mask in Adobe Photoshop. Using a mask, you don't have to have all of one image in the background or foreground. You can make it so that the images look integrated in the final product.

Instructions

    • 1

      Choose two images that you would like to combine into one image. Open the two images in Adobe Photoshop, and arrange the layers so that the image with the background you want is in the back of the other image.

    • 2

      Select the "Layer Mask" icon in the Layer Window. If you do not see a layer window, open it by going through the Window menu. Select the topmost layer. Then select the Layer Mask icon. The Layer Mask icon is along the bottom edge of this window and looks like a dark square with a bright circle within it.

    • 3

      Use the paintbrush tool to select which parts of the image will be visible. Once you select a Layer Mask in Photoshop, your color picker window will only display black and white. Paint black over the parts of the image you want hidden. Paint white over the parts of the image you want to remain exactly the same.

    • 4

      Change the brush color to gray to make a transparent layer mask. Just as how black hides part of an image and white reveals it, gray does something in between. Using a gray paintbrush will mask the layer slightly, giving it a transparent look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Zoom in and use a small paintbrush to make the edges of your layer mask crisp.
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