HomeOnline tutorials22 comments 
Masking: part one (further information)

An introduction to the ‘Masking: part one’ tutorial

In this tutorial we will discuss a variety of masking techniques including: creating complex and compound masks; repairing images with less than ideal masks; and how to add a vignette using a feathered mask.

The specific topics covered include:

  • Why we need complex masks.
  • Constructing complex masks.
  • Alternative methods of creating complex masks.
  • Creating compound masks.
  • Repairing a mask.
  • Using masks to add a vignette.

This tutorial contains 3750 words, 47 illustrative images and screen grabs, and has received 22 comments.

Photoshop files included with this tutorial

Each of our tutorials is based around a series of layered Photoshop files, at the resolution originally posted on chromasia, which you can download after you subscribe to the tutorial. The images used for this tutorial, and a brief description of each, are included below – the ‘before’ version on the left, the ‘after’ version on the right.

How to get from this … to this
Image 1
In this example I will show you how to use a variety tools to construct a complex masks. We will also discuss how to save, load and reuse these masks.
Image 2
In this example I will show you how to build up a complex mask using gradient masks and a variety of selection tools.
Image 3
In this example I will show you how to repair artifacts introduced by a less than perfect mask.
Image 4
In this example I will show you how to add a vignette to your images.
What our subscribers have said about this tutorial

"Thanks David; another fantastic tutorial. I've been searching for more blend mode tricks, overlay is almost overused in my workflow these days, and this darken (and presumably lighten) technique will be receiving much use in the future!"

Jordan Cartwright

"I was very glad for this tutorial. It takes me a few time through something to really feel comfortable with it to the point that it becomes natural to think of using it on a regular basis. Mastery of these basic techniques paves the way for the more complicated ones, at least for me. So thanks, and please keep up the great work!"

Tim Smith

"Great tutorial. Didn't know about that halo correction technique (clone stamp in darken/lighten modes) but have just used it on a photo."


Content overview (the rollover graphics and embedded videos are not illustrated)
page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5
How to subscribe
Further information

To find out more about our other individual tutorials please click any of the following images. Alternatively, you can visit our main tutorials page for further information on: our annual subscriptions; our forthcoming issues; and our current members’s offers. You can also read through our sample tutorial on Tonal Range and the Curves tool.

We introduced our Mini-PSDs in February 2010, and release a new image every week. Click here to see the full list of Mini-PSDs and find out more about this feature.
Critique Slot Screencasts
Our Critique Slot Screencasts provide our members with an exciting opportunity to get detailed and constructive feedback on one of their own images, gain an insight into how other members postprocess their images, and see how I might have processed that particular image. Click here to find out more.

David J. Nightingale © 2003–18 • all rights reserved

↓ David
+44 7591 464344
Contact on Skype
Follow on Facebook
  View David Nightingale's LinkedIn profile David's profile on LinkedIn
  View David's Google+ profile David's Google+ profile
David's photoblog feed
↓ Libby
  View David Nightingale's LinkedIn profile Libby's profile on LinkedIn
↓ Get the Latest News
Our blog (summary feed)
Our blog (full feed)
Student gallery feed
software links

Our annual subscribers and lifetime members can obtain a 15% discount on any of the Topaz Labs Photoshop plugins or plugin bundles.

Our annual subscribers and lifetime members can obtain a 15% discount on Photomatix Pro.
training partners

Included above are links to a number of our training partners that we unreservedly recommend.

HomeOnline tutorials22 comments 
Masking: part one (further information)