Layers and layer masks are vital elements in Photoshop, and they have played an enormous role in Photoshop’s trajectory toward its adoption as the industry-standard tool you see today.
When learning how to use Layer masks, however, there are simple tasks and then there is hair masking. Intricate masks, like the ones required to extract subjects while keeping believable detail around the hair, have been known to send newer Photoshop users into a tizzy of frustration when their skill level is no match for the dreaded hair mask.
Luckily, Photoshop Training Channel has a half-hour tutorial to help those who lack a firm grasp on the mechanics of masking hair pump up their skills and mask like a pro. The tutorial begins with a primer on masking to make sure that viewers will be ready for the more advanced techniques. Here, they cover the basics like what masking is and how to go through the motions of creating and changing a basic mask.
Can’t remember the difference between black and white masks? No worries, you won’t be left in the dust. Once the principles of masking have been discussed, the narrator moves into techniques for intricate masks and dives into the different methods required depending on the situation.
If you’ve planned ahead with intention to make a composite, you can make things easier on yourself by shooting on a plain background that contrasts with the subject. If, however, you’re performing impromptu Photoshop surgery on an image with a messy background, fear not because that’s covered, too.
Check out the tutorial below, and if you’re in the market for free Photoshop education, head over to the Photoshop Training Channel on YouTube and have a look at their other videos.