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 How to use Masks

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PostSubject: How to use Masks   Sun 1 Apr - 2:36

This is always a sore subject for just about everyone at some point. Masks are just something that seem impossible until you get them, then they are a cake walk. We're gonna try to make it a cake walk...

First off you have to have some masks, PSP comes with a few and you can download plenty others just by googling PSP Masks. If you don't already have one, you need to have a folder in your documents file that says My PSP Files, in it you will have folders for everything, including Masks. Save all your masks to this folder and direct your PSP to look for them there. To direct PSP to look at that folder you need to click on File>Preferences>File Locations.

Now you will get a box like you see below. Click add and find your folder with your masks in it and add it and from now on PSP will look in that location for your masks.

I do not add my mask until the very end of the siggy. So keep that in mind, you may like to do yours first, that's ok too. The steps are the same no matter what step applying your mask is.


Open a new image or create a new tag, whichever you like.

Now create a new layer and move it to the bottom, name it Mask. This is what your layers palette will look like.

Now flood fill the Mask layer with the color of your choice.

Now make sure you have the Mask layer selected and go to Layers>Load/Save Mask>Load/Save Mask from Disk

You will get this screen. Click on the drop down menu and select your mask and click Load.

Now your mask is loaded into your siggy...all that remains is to merge the mask layers into one layer.

To merge the layers, go to your Layers Palette and select the mask group and right click and select merge group and there you have it!

Now that I have shown you the traditional way to do masks, I'm going to show you the easy way. This is how I use my masks and it is marvelous. I turn them into brushes and use them.

First you need to know how to make them into brushes....

Open your mask in PSP. It should be just a black and white image. It will need to be smaller than 999 pixels to make a brush out of it...so if you need to resize it, do so now.

Now click on your Brush Tool and go to the tool bar and open your drop down menu where you choose what brush you are going to use.

Now see the little button in the red box in the pic above...click it to create your brush. Simply name your brush whatever you want and save it and you have a new brush.

Now back to Masks. Now that you've got your Mask saved as a Brush, go back to your tag. Create a new Raster Layer and move it to the bottom. Choose your Mask Brush and choose your color and position it where you want it and click. You can resize it as needed. Ta-Da!!!

In PhotoShop:

I use the brush method in PS as well. I honestly can't tell you how to do a mask layer in PS very well, because I don't use the technique. However, I will walk you through my method if you'd like to try it.

First you need to open up the image you want to make into a brush in PS. In PS brushes need to be 2500 pixels or less. Make sure you have it sized correctly.

Now go to Edit>Define Brush Preset and click on it

Now name your brush and save it and you are ready to use it!!
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