Creating a mask layer In Photoshop for random selection


Today we are going to learn how to work on a photo using mask layer. Sometimes it happens that we want to work on a little portion of a photo, but we can’t make the selection very well. Thus it’s a great problem for photos. So today I am going to tell you how to work on selective portion of a photo using mask layer. We need to follow some steps for that.

Here is the photo we are going to use for this tutorial.



In this photo I am going to give the picture a glamorous look. I only want to give her skin a glamorous look. But if I am going to select the whole photo, it will also change the background and also her dress. So it’s necessary to create another work field in the photo. If you only select her skin that can’t help you much, because it may reduce some changes to her eyes, hairs and lips. So we are going to work with mask layer using Adobe Photoshop.


At first you need to open the photo you want to give “Black and White effect” in Adobe Photoshop. To open it in Adobe Photoshop click on the “File”. Then click “Open” and select the photo. You can also open the photo by dragging it to the Photoshop field. If you photo is in desktop then “left click” on the photo and drag it to the Photoshop empty field. Then loose the “Left click”. So you inserted the photo in Photoshop.



The first thing we need to do is to select the portion we want to process. Here I am going to select her skin. To select it do to the tool option menu and select “Polygonal Lasso tool”.


Now select the skin using it. As I want some break in my selection, I kept the selection “Add to selection” mode. You will find it at the top of the option menu.



You can see that I didn’t select her hairs and I only took the skin in my selection.

If your selection in finished you can see the selection area pressing “Q”.


Now go to the option menu and click “Select”, then select “Color range”. A dialogue box will appear named as “Color range”.



Now select the “Eyedropper” tool and select the highlight area of the skin. Now you can see in the dialogue box that a black and white image. Now pick the “Add to selection” eyedropper and click on shaded area on the skin. Be careful of doing that. Only click on those shaded area on skin. Now you can see the background is also becoming highlight. But you don’t want those areas in your selection. So pick the “Subtract from selection” eyedropper and click on the shaded area to make it black. Continue it until you get a very clear look of black and white.


Some shade areas on face which you can’t highlight. So you need to decrease the “Fuzziness”. It gives contrast. But if you reduce it too much it might make the selection rough. So be careful with that. For my picture I kept the fuzziness 27.


Click “Ok”. Here is the new selection of your image.



To create a new channel, go to the option menu at the top and click “Select”, then select “Save selection”. Click “Ok”.



Now go to the layer dialogue box. There you can see layers, channels, paths. Select “Channels”. There have 5 channels. RGB, RED, GREEN, BLUE and ALPHA. The “Alpha” channel is the new channel which you have created by saving the selection.


Now rename the “Alpha” channel as “Glamour”. Now let’s work on it. Still there has some shades on the skin and the black shades are not proper black. So we are going to clean the skin.



You can fix the channel in two ways.

Adjust the level – to clean those shades from skin select then using “Lasso tool”. Select “Image” then “Adjustment” and select “Level”. Now slide the highlight triangle to the left to clean that shadow. Here I cleaned the shadow of her forehead using this technique.


Dodge/Burn – this technique is very efficient. You can see “Dodge” tool in the tool menu at the left. Select it. Keep it as “Highlight” mode. Keep the exposure at 50%. I am going to “Dodge” only on her facial part. I want it to be shown highlight. So paint over the shades on the surface you want to select.



So you can see a very good highlight on her face without any shades.

Now select the “Burn” tool. Keep the exposure at 50%. Now paint over those areas which you don’t want to select. Make fully black. Don’t make it look grey.


If burn can’t help you much then select “Brush” tool and paint black on the surface you don’t want to select. I didn’t compromise with details, so I have put a very sharp work on the facial. You can now see shadows under nose, lips and eyes.

Now to select the selection portion, press “ctrl + left click” and then click on the “RGB”.


You can see a very good selection of the portion you want to select. Here you can see a very good selection of the skin of the girl. Now go back to the “Layers” and duplicate the background layer and press “Add a layer mask” option. Here you can see a layer mask in your layer.


Now you can give any kind of effect on the selection. Here I made the glamorous look of the model using this technique.


So you see how easy it is to work on selective selection using mask layer.

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