Masking is used to select specific portions of a layer, so only part of a layer visible, or to limit the area of a layer that is altered by an effect. The different kinds of masks available allow you to select the best option for the results you require. There are six kinds of masks:
- Gradient Mask: Creates a mask with a large feather, based on a linear gradient. The direction and intensity of the gradient can be adjusted.
Learn more about gradient masks
- Area Mask: A quick option for creating rectangular or elliptical masks.
Learn more about area masks
- Vector Mask: Allows you to draw a specific mask shape, in any shape you desire.
Learn more about vector masks
- Image Color Mask: Creates a mask based on a selected color. A pipette is used to select a specific color from the layer, and you can then adjust the range of colors that are included in the mask.
Learn more about image color masks
- Image Alpha Mask: For images with a built-in alpha channel, this allows you to modify the existing alpha information.
Learn more about image alpha masks
- Image Luminance Mask: Creates a mask based on tonal value. Either the brightest areas or the darkest areas of the image can be removed.
Learn more about image luminance masks
Layer masks vs. effects masks
The primary mask controls in Imerge Pro exit at the layer level, and any layer can have masks applied to it to control what areas of the layer are visible. However, masks can also be applied at the effects level, to limit the area to which a specific effect is applied. The basic controls for the masks remain the same in both cases. For further details on masking effects, please see the Applying masks to effects page of this manual.
General mask controls
All kinds of masks share some general controls, which are located at the top of the mask controls palette.
Expand/collapse all masks
The White triangle to the left of the Masks heading is used to expand or collapse all masks for the current selection. Click the triangle to toggle between the two states.
- Expand: Expand the controls any time you need to access them to adjust their settings.
- Collapse: Collapse the masks when the controls aren’t needed, to save space in your sidebar and limit the amount of scrolling you need to do to access other controls.
A similar triangle exists to the left of each individual mask’s name, and can be toggled to collapse or expand that specific masks’s controls.
Display mode menu
The display mode menu at the top of the masks section controls how the masks are displayed on the canvas. The menu shows the currently selected option, which by default is Apply. Thus the appearance of the menu will change if you have a different option selected, but its location remains constant.
- Apply: Shows the final results of the mask, after it is applied to the images’s current state.
- Replace: Applies the mask before any other adjustments, so any existing transparency data is replaced by the mask shape.
- Show: Displays the actual mask itself, in grayscale, while hiding the layer contents. The full range of transparency is covered, with completely transparent areas being black, and completely opaque areas being white.
- Overlay: Renders the mask in transparent red over the top of the layer, so both the layer contents and the mask are visible.
- Disable All: Disables all masks so you can view the original image.
Create new mask
The plus icon opens the new mask menu, so you can choose the kind of mask you want to add.
Each mask can be enabled or disabled using the square toggle immediately to the left of the mask name.
- Enabled: A blue square indicates the mask is enabled and actively affecting the layer or effect it is applied to.
- Disabled: A dark grey square indicates the mask is disabled, and will have no effect.
The three boolean operators to the right of the mask name control how it interacts with the masks below it in the mask list. Click any option to immediately activate it.
- Combine: The entire contents of the previous mask and the current mask are visible.
- Subtract: The area of the current mask is removed from any areas where it overlaps the previous mask.
- Intersect: Only the areas where the current mask overlaps the previous mask are visible.
Working with masks
Full details on using masks can be found on the following pages of this manual. Select the appropriate page for the type of mask you need.
All kinds of masks support a full range of transparency, although Image Alpha Masks rely on the transparency built into the image’s alpha channel. Each type of mask is explained on its own page of this manual. We will use the following example image, which is made from a green screen image placed above a colored solid layer, to demonstrate the results of each kind of mask.
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