Adjusting Masks Tutorial

Happy October!  Since it’s a new month, I thought we could have a new tutorial.  This time I’d like to show you how to adjust the masks in Liz’s templates using the “Group Layers” function in PSCC.  You won’t believe how easy and fun it is to manipulate masks so they are perfect for YOUR photos!

Let’s start so I can show you what I mean.  First, I’m using Focal Point Templates 3.  I love the large photo mask and that there is room for some smaller photos too!  What’s the problem?  Well, I need to place my large photo to show off the bears – which means the photo won’t fill the mask all the way.  Look at the right side of the photo.  See what I mean?  The mask is peeking out from the photo.  That's bad!

 So how do I fix this?  Of course I could just create a mask with my background color of white and then non-destructively mask away some of the mask (say that ten times fast!!).  To do this, select the mask layer, go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All.  This should link the white mask with Liz’s mask.  Next select your soft round brush and with a black brush, and click where you’d like to remove the mask.  Now, when you clip your photo to the mask, your photo should fill it entirely.  If it doesn’t, simply select the mask and brush away some more.  This is what my screenshot looks like after I did just that.  Look at the layers panel!

Easy peasy, right?  Yes!  BUT, if you notice, I don’t have those pretty edges along the right side that I like so much about this template.  What to do???  This is where the fun comes in using groups.  You have a couple of options, and I’d like to show you two of my favorites techniques.  First, you can use any element or paint or stamp from your chosen kit and add that to a layer right above Liz’s mask.  Next, you select both the paint and the mask layers, right click, and select “Group from Layers”.  Once you have done that, you can clip your photo to the entire folder like I’ve done below:

Do you see the paint on top of the mask, yet grouped with it too?  And also that my photo is clipped onto the group?  The beauty of this method is that it’s completely non-destructive AND you can manipulate the items in the folder any way you want.  I grabbed the paint and moved it around until I got the edge on the right side just the way I wanted to.  You can keep adding other elements or masks or paints or anything else to the folder and the photo will still be clipped to the contents.  Try it!  You’ll love it 😊

Okay, I told you I’d show you TWO different ways so let me tell you another thing I love to do.  I love the edges in this particular template’s mask.  So, I simply used my rectangular lasso tool to select a portion of the mask that I wanted and then hit Control+J to put that selection on a separate layer above my mask.  I manipulated that selection and placed it where I wanted it to be.  Once again, I grouped both the new mask and the old mask and clipped my photo to both.  See what I mean?

Like I said before, I can now manipulate both masks (or even brush away more of Liz’s mask) and the photo will remained clipped.  Pretty cool, huh?!  And here’s my finished layout.  

made using Storyteller 2019 September kit and September's Stacked Mess, both by Just Jaimee

Now you don’t have to shy away from using templates with masks.  They can be altered to fit your needs and it’s fun doing so!

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Maira Gall