I usually do video tutorials for you guys, but this week I have been looking for some information myself on the internet and just didn't have time to sit through video tutorials. I needed the information quickly. It occurred to me that I should probably put some instructions into print for quick viewing. If you want to see this information in action (pun intended) head over to our Video Library and watch this video.
Step 1: Add A Layer
You can add a layer a few different ways. In the picture on the left, I have added a "new layer", by clicking the square at the bottom of the screen with the corner turned up. In the picture on the right, I have added an adjustment layer by clicking the half black, half white circle and choosing "Hue/Saturation". There is a big difference between these two pictures. One has a layer mask, and one does not. The picture on the right has a white box. This is called a layer mask. There are many different ways to add a new layer, for todays purposes, we will use these two examples. A layer is any level that is on top of the "Background" layer.
Step 2: Decide If Your Layer Is Black or White
I realize this may sound ridiculous but it is an important step. If the layer mask is white it means that you can see the effect on the image. If the layer mask is black it means that you cannot see the effect on the image, it is hidden. In the two pictures below, you can see that I have played an Action from our new Essential Vintage Action Set. Many layers have popped up, all of them with a white layer mask. In the third picture, you can see that the two layer masks are black.
If your layer mask is white, you will need to use a black brush on it. If your layer mask is black, you will need to use a white brush on it. Think opposites. The picture to the left shows the brush tool highlighted. If you look at the bottom of the picture, you can see two squares, one is blue, one is white.
This is known as the foreground and background colors. The square on top is the foreground color, and the square at the back is the background color. When you are working with layer masks your foreground and background colors should be set to the default provided by Photoshop. Black and white. If yours is a different color, as pictured below click the little squares at the top right just above the big squares. This will set it back to the default.
In the image above you can see that the white layer mask is not selected. You will need to select the white layer mask by clicking on it. When it is selected, it will look like the image to the left.
Make sure that you set your brush opacity by using the slider to move the percentage between 0 and 100 percent. The lower the brush opacity, the less of the effect you will remove.
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