Here are a few tips for tweaking photo masks to work perfectly with your image.
I like creating masks with a lot of variation in tones as they work great for design work by allowing areas of the design underneath to show. I also don’t make them too opaque for the same reason. For some photographs, however, this may not be the effect you want or you may want areas where the photograph remains rich and opaque.
Here’s an image I made using a photo mask from the Dry Brush Masks collection.
This is the image before I edited the mask.
For some images, I might like the slight grunge inside the mask, but for this one, I wanted a cleaner look.
Note: The image itself looks lighter in this version because the mask is less opaque so the image is blending a little with the background.
Tweaking The Mask
Duplicate and Merge For A Darker Mask
While I didn’t need to for this image, if you want the mask to be more opaque, you could duplicate the mask layer, set to the multiply blend mode, adjust the opacity and then merge the two layers.
- Duplicate a layer: with the layer selected, hold down Command + J (Mac) or Control + J (PC).
- Merge 2 Layers: with the top layer selected, click Command + E (Mac) or Control + E (PC).
Make Some Areas More Opaque
In the following image, I both duplicated the mask layer (and then adjusted the opacity and merged) to make it overall darker (and thus more opaque) and I further darkened the mask at the flower. Note: I’ve actually used two masks in this image. A mask for the photo and another mask behind it with a digital paper from the Catharina collection.
To Edit inside the mask:
- First create an active selection of the mask by Command (Mac) or Control (PC) clicking it in the layer panel. Making a selection prevents accidentally painting outside the mask area.
- Then with the brush tool selected, choose the softest round brush and brush over the layer mask with the foreground color set to black. Start with low brush opacities and build up as needed.