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Blending textures with layer masks

From: Photoshop for Designers: Textures

Video: Blending textures with layer masks

When you want to take your texture and really make it a part of the image then you might consider this technique. It's always difficult to tell which technique is in going to work best, whether it's using layer blending modes or whether it's using this technique of actually taking the texture and using that texture as a layer mask for your image. So there is certain amount of trial and error involved. Here we are using a layer mask; we are not using blending modes. We have a texture and the texture is this and that texture has been taken and applied as a layer mask to this image layer and when we see the whole effect it looks like that.

Blending textures with layer masks

When you want to take your texture and really make it a part of the image then you might consider this technique. It's always difficult to tell which technique is in going to work best, whether it's using layer blending modes or whether it's using this technique of actually taking the texture and using that texture as a layer mask for your image. So there is certain amount of trial and error involved. Here we are using a layer mask; we are not using blending modes. We have a texture and the texture is this and that texture has been taken and applied as a layer mask to this image layer and when we see the whole effect it looks like that.

So we're really making the texture a part of the image layer. It is still completely nondestructive and I can hold down my Shift key and click on that layer mask to disable it. Let's switch back over to our starting point right here where we have the image and we have the texture. I am going to turn the texture on first of all and here's how we make a texture mask, you will need to turn off all other layers that may be interfering with things temporarily.

So all we want to see is that texture that we want to make into the layer mask. When you are done that go to your Channel's panel and hold down your Command key, or your Ctrl key and click on the RGB channel. That's going to load the grayscale values for your image. And if we now go to the layer's panel we can turn that texture layer off and it's to the background layer we that we want to use the texture as a layer mask. I will first of all need to unlock that just by double-clicking on it, and then I can come down here to add the layer mask.

How it looks is going to very much depend upon what are the gray values of your image, if it looks like this it's because the grays are too dark and because they are too dark dogs they are obscuring the image. So what we need to do is work on the Contrast of the layer mask. Now this is not the image itself, this is just the copy of the image used to mask our house picture. So when you clicked on to the layer mask, and you know you run it because you have the four corners around its thumbnail, press Command+L, Ctrl+L to go to levels, and then we need to massively boost the Contrast.

I am going to do that with the black point slider and that's not going to make much difference, it's the white point slider that's going to make all difference, because by introducing more white into the mask we are allowing ourselves to see more of the image, but the image is coming through the texture. So the further I go the more of the image we will see and I am going to stop about there. What we can also do here is put a background color behind it and I'm going to choose a solid color layer and may be we will start out with black and see how that looks, and then I am going to drag that underneath the image layer and that's how a black solid layer will look.

What about if we were to go with a slightly off-white, I think I am going to stick with that. But it's worth mentioning that the layer mask is knocking a hole in the image layer itself and where the layer mask is black we're seeing through the image to whatever is beneath it. Where the layer mask is white we are revealing the image. And because this is by its very nature, so textural when it's applied to the image that's how it's going to look.

The texture layer that we derive the layer mask from is currently turned off and we could actually delete it. It has served its purpose and it's not actually factoring into the appearance of the image in its present state.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Textures
Photoshop for Designers: Textures

60 video lessons · 19757 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
  2. 6m 52s
    1. Working with textures
      6m 52s
  3. 30m 19s
    1. Creating a rocklike texture with Clouds
      6m 17s
    2. Improving a flat sky with Difference Clouds
      3m 43s
    3. Creating a grunge effect with Fibers
      11m 30s
    4. Applying a texture channel with Lighting Effects
      4m 22s
    5. Adding an effect and blending with Lens Flare
      4m 27s
  4. 15m 20s
    1. Applying textures with Texturizer
      6m 8s
    2. Applying realistic cracks with Craquelure
      5m 11s
    3. Preparing an image for a stained glass effect
      4m 1s
  5. 30m 48s
    1. Adding noise to an overlay layer
      1m 33s
    2. Adding film grain
      6m 5s
    3. Painting with grain
      4m 10s
    4. Adding grain to a Camera Raw image
      2m 21s
    5. Matching grain when cloning
      5m 32s
    6. Accentuating texture with Speckle grain
      3m 4s
    7. Creating a split-toning effect with Stippled grain
      4m 20s
    8. Beyond the Mezzotint filter
      3m 43s
  6. 18m 5s
    1. Creating deckled edges and sepia tone
      8m 6s
    2. Adding water stains
      5m 41s
    3. Adding cracks
      4m 18s
  7. 38m 16s
    1. Blending textures with Soft Light
      4m 15s
    2. Blending textures with Hard Light
      54s
    3. Blending groups
      3m 59s
    4. Blending textures with layer masks
      3m 49s
    5. Creating an antique poster
      5m 59s
    6. Blending mode sandwich
      4m 34s
    7. Blending texture from a pattern fill
      4m 9s
    8. Applying texture to an uneven surface
      10m 37s
  8. 42m 43s
    1. Creating a watercolor effect
      5m 30s
    2. Painting on canvas
      9m 57s
    3. Creating a rubber stamp
      8m 42s
    4. Converting a photograph to a drawing with Find Edges
      2m 58s
    5. Combining a black-and-white halftone with color images
      5m 6s
    6. Creating a textured duotone effect with Conté Crayon
      2m 33s
    7. Creating an abstract image with Mosaic
      6m 2s
    8. Creating a reticulation effect
      1m 55s
  9. 59m 11s
    1. Finding and installing brushes
      2m 19s
    2. Creating a shatter effect
      3m 58s
    3. Creating a smoke brush
      3m 50s
    4. Combining Photoshop with Illustrator to create a sample brush
      9m 56s
    5. Creating coffee rings
      4m 13s
    6. Creating a Bokeh texture
      9m 50s
    7. Creating corner brushes
      4m 24s
    8. Sampling a brush stroke
      3m 3s
    9. Creating a rust jewel brush
      5m 43s
    10. Building density with brush settings
      6m 45s
    11. Painting with the Mixer Brush
      5m 10s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Adding texture to type using clipping masks
      2m 25s
    2. Applying texture to type with layer effects
      2m 53s
    3. Applying texture to type using a layer mask
      5m 33s
    4. Painting with a texture brush
      4m 31s
    5. Blending type into background texture
      2m 8s
  11. 17m 55s
    1. Using the texture actions set
      3m 12s
    2. Editing an action
      3m 18s
    3. Creating your own texture action
      5m 14s
    4. Finding, downloading, and installing actions
      3m 2s
    5. Applying texture styles
      3m 9s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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