Inside Photoshop

Harness the power of layer masks for effortless-but impressive-montages

Inside Photoshop

by Amy Palermo

Layer masks are one of Photoshop’s most powerful features; they’re nondestructive, extremely versatile, and they won’t drain your CPUs’ resources. Not only are they powerful, they’re essential when you want to create digital montages such as the one shown in Figure A. Come along for the ride and let’s explore the wonderful world of layer masking.

Article figure image

Prepare for the montage

For the purpose of this article, we’ll explore layer-masking techniques as we compile a montage. You can use any images, but to follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article, and extract the file montage.psd. Then, launch Photoshop and open the file.

We’ve already placed multiple images into one document. If you’re using your own images, you’ll need to bring them all over to one file. To do this, open your images in Photoshop, choose the Move tool from the Tools panel, and click and drag an image from its own image window to your montage image window.

More than one way to mask

No doubt one of the reasons some folks find layer masking confusing is because layer masks are so versatile. You can use[…]


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