Masking edges


Beau masked - end result

We'll be working with Masks and Layers. This tutorial is at the intermediate level and was written for PSP 7, but you should be able to work through it in other versions as long as you know your way around. Changes for PSP 8 & 9 are noted.

We're going to use a mask to make decorative edges on a photograph. If you'd like to use my images you can download them here and here. When the image appears in your browser, right click and choose "Save image" or whatever choice for saving the image that your browser gives you.

In this tutorial we'll be using a black and white jpg as our mask source. You may use mine (download them with the links above), or one of your own, or one you've found somewhere else. A good place to find these images for masking is at Diana Todd's site http://freetubes.com/

1.

Open the image you want to frame and press Shift+D to make a copy of that image. We'll work on the copy to avoid accidentally saving changes we don't want to the original. You may close the original image.

2.

Open the image you want to use as your mask and minimize it. We only need it to be open, not active. This image should have black edges with white in the middle.

A jpg for masking
You can make your own mask by creating a 400x400 black image, then creating a feathered selection (any shape) in the middle of the image, then floodfilling that selection with white. Deselect. You can then use brushes to create more artistic edges around the feathered part of that flood filled area. Save this image as a jpg and have it open when you want to use it as a mask.
Let's Make a Mask
3.

Click on the title bar of your photograph to activate it.
PSP 7:: go Masks > New > From Image.
PSP 8 & 9:: go Layers > New Mask Layer > From Image

Mask from image

Using the triangle to the right of "This Window" find the name of the image you want to use as a mask. Source luminance should be checked.

You should see something like this...

If you see this instead,
invert the mask

don't panic... PSP 7: Just go Masks > Invert
PSP 8 & 9: Go Layers > Invert Mask/Adjustment
and it will reverse the mask, allowing the center of the image to show rather than the edges.

Go masks - invert

If you look at your layer palette, you will see that your background layer is now a true layer, allowing the mask to do it's work.

Layer1 with a Mask icon
4.

PSP 7: Go Masks > Delete.
Choose "Yes" When asked if you want to Merge the mask into the current layer.

PSP 8 & 9: Right click on the Layer Palette and choose Merge > Merge Group

Masks - Delete
Merge mask into layer

Look at your layer palette. The mask symbol is now gone. The mask is merged into the layer.

no more mask symbol
5.

Add a new layer by clicking on the new layer icon in the layer palette. Move this new layer down below Layer1. Your layer palette should look like this:

New layer moved down below Layer1
6.

Flood fill this new layer with a background color of your choice. I used #E0D4CC to match the background color of this page.

That's it! Save a copy of your image in psp format to preserve the layers if you think you might want to change the background color later. Add a frame if you like and save your image in jpg or gif format.

Finished version

If you enjoyed this tutorial I'd love to hear from you. If you need help with anything here or if the steps aren't clear, please let me know and I'll try to explain it better.

Let's Make a Mask | Lettering with a Mask | Gradient Mask



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