Summerana – Photoshop Layers Explained
One of the things you often see us talking about when explaining Photoshop techniques is layer masks. If you are new to using Photoshop and haven’t had much experience in the interface, you may be totally lost as to what this means. Today we’re telling you everything that you need to know about layer masks, so you can start using them with confidence!
What is a layer mask?
Let’s start from the very beginning. A layer mask is applied to a layer, and always has to be attached to a layer. In other words, you can’t have a layer mask if you don’t have a layer.
To put it in the simplest possible terms, a layer mask allows you to apply an effect to only a certain portion of your image.
This can mean many things and can be used in many ways, as you can probably expect. The versatility of layer masks is part of what makes them so useful – and even better, they are also very easy to use once you understand them.
You will identify a layer mask when you see a white or black box pop up next to your layer image in the layers panel. It usually appears with a tiny graphic of a linked chain in-between the two.
In order to create a layer mask, you will need the layer mask button: this is located at the bottom of the layer mask panel and looks like a box with a circle inside of it.