In this tutorial we will learn how to use an image as a layer mask. This technique allows you to create interesting effects.
We will create a soft glow effect.
Here is our original image:
But what happens at the end:
Let’s get started.
Step 1. As always, we start by duplicating the background layer. To do this quickly, click Ctrl + J. Let’s name the new layer “Layer 1”.
Step 2. We need to add a new blank layer between our Layer 1 and background. You can do this in several ways, but the easiest way is to Layer 1 and holding Ctrl, click on the icon to create a new layer in the layers palette. Holding Ctrl, you tell Photoshop that you want to create a layer below the selected one.
Now we have a clean layer between the background and Layer 1.
Step 3.Click D to restore the foreground colors – black, background – white. Then, with the selected blank layer, click Ctrl + Backspace. This command will fill the blank layer with background (white) color. On the image itself, nothing will change, because the white layer is in the middle, but in the layers palette the miniature of the blank layer will be filled with background color.
Step 4. Click on Layer 1. We are going to copy the image to the clipboard. To do this, first click Ctrl + A, to select the whole layer. You will see a selection box around the edges of the image. Then click Ctrl + C, to copy the image to the clipboard.
Step 5. With selected Layer 1 Click on the icon for adding a layer mask in the layers palette.
Step 6. We are going to paste the copied image into the layer mask. Holding Alt, click on the thumbnail of the layer mask in the layers palette.
Our image has become a white sheet, because we do not see the layers, but the layer mask. Now you can paste an image into the layer mask. Push Ctrl+V. We will have a black and white image:
The image is black and white because we are still looking at the layer mask. Only black, white and gray can be seen in the layer mask. This can be seen on the miniature of the layer mask in the layers palette:
Step 7. If you click on the thumbnail itself Layer 1, then we will see our original image, which is “masked” by its copy and white layer (through the white areas in the image of the layer mask, the white bottom layer shines through). It looks like this:
Invert the layer mask so that the light areas become dark and the dark areas become light. To do this, click on the thumbnail of the layer mask in the layers palette (now press Alt hold optional) and invert the layer mask. You can use the abbreviation Ctrl+I. Now our image should look much better:
Step 8. To add a soft glow effect to our image, apply a filter to the layer mask. Gaussian blur. With the selected layer mask thumbnail in the layers palette, go to the menu Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur(Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur).
Drag the blur radius slider to find the necessary amount of blur for your image. For this lesson, a low-resolution image is used, so a small blur radius (6px.). If your image has a higher resolution, then the blur radius should be larger (8 pixels and higher). In general, the greater the “blurring”, the more clearly the effect of “glow from the inside” is visible.
Step 9. Combine Layer 1 with a white layer (click Ctrl+E).
Step 10.The image looks too light and “zamylenny.” Let’s try to eliminate these shortcomings. First, let’s duplicate our new merged layer:
Then, change the blending mode of the new layer to Multiplication (Multiply).
Our image has become more contrast. If you find the image too dark, change the opacity of the new layer. In our example Opacity (Opacity) set to 75%.
That’s what we did after changing the layer blending mode to Multiplication and set the layer opacity to 75%:
Step 11. The image looks good, except for the fact that the colors look a bit dull. Let’s try to fix it. In the layers palette, click on the icon for creating a new adjustment layer:
Choose Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)
In the dialog box that appears Hue / Saturationl change the value Saturation. For our example, the value +25%.
When you are satisfied with the saturation value, click OK.
Now let’s see what we did. Here is our original image:
And here is the final result:
This is just one example of using an image as a layer mask. Experimenting with filters that can be applied to the layer mask or image by changing the color of the middle (white) layer, pasting the image into an inverted layer mask, you can find a lot of interesting effects. Creative success to you!
Author: Steve Patterson