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Quick Mask Tool - Overview and Introduction
The Quick Mask Tool is used to edit a selection. When you are working
within the quick mask tool, you are NOT actually modifying any part of
your image directly. You are modifying the marquee selection. With this
in mind, the Quick Mask Tool contains many powerful features. For example,
you can paint on a Quick Mask, apply filters to a Quick Mask, or even do
manual feathering for image extraction. Lets take a look at some basic
uses of the tool to get you started.
To access the quick mask tool, use your toolbox bar as shown and circled
to the left.
Step #1: Image Setup
Begin with a new transparent document that is about 300 X 300. Draw a square
selection using the marquee tool. Locate the Quick Mask Tool on the toolbar.
Click the Quick Mask button or press "Q".
Once you've entered "quick mask mode", your image
should look like
Step #2: Editing your Quick Mask
At this point in your work, you are now editing your quick mask. You may use
all your paint brushes and most of your filters to modify your mask.
RED area of your work is the are that is NOT selected, while the clear
area is the area that is contained in your selection.
Try painting on your quick mask with a solid black brush. This will "erase" parts
of your mask. If you paint with white, it adds to your selection.
Step #3: Checking your Selection
Lets see what our selection looks like at this point. Click on "Normal
Mode" next to the Quick Mask button or hit "Q" to switch
Notice the shape of your selection. It reflects what you changed it to while
painting or experimenting as shown below:
Step #4: Filters
Try applying a filter to our selection. Hit "Q" to enter Quick
Play with the settings to see the effect it has on your mask. Try different filters
Return to Normal Editing Mode by pressing "Q" and you can see your
Now that you have the basics down on the Quick Mask Tool, you can use almost
every tool in Photoshop to create smooth interfaces, shapes, or other detailed
selections. I often use the tool when grabbing selections around an object in
a photo. After I paint around the area I'd like to extract, I can detail out
the edges and create a soft extraction. Have fun! Heres some examples of using
the quick mask on the edges of a photograph while applying a filter.