Apply mask effects to your pictures
Another tutorial for Paint Shop Pro that you may adapt to any image editing software. Still, it's best to master the basics — that is how to use layers, gradients and patterns. Depending on your chosen application (GIMP, Photoshop, PhotoFiltre, etc.), you'll find many suitable tutorials for beginners on the web. However I'm sure curiosity and patience will lead newbies somewhere close. Take heart and the time to learn.
- a colour image
- a gradient
1. Open a copy of the picture you wish to manipulate.
2. Add Mask from Image and when prompted, choose your current picture (we shall be using the source image as its own mask layer). Make sure you also choose Source Luminance.
3. Merge layer group and then duplicate resulting layer. Marge layers again. You should end up with a single semi-transparent layer.
4. Add a new layer under the existing layer and fill up with your chosen gradient according to your picture and the desired effect (I chose Sunburst style and moved the centre to the top left corner).
5. Add a new layer on top (in between semi-transparent layer and gradient layer) and fill up with a pattern a texture of your choice (you may download the one I used). Set layer blend mode to Hard Light and lower opacity to 55%.
6. Merge all visible layers.
NOTE: To improve the final output, I have lowered the input RGB levels to 0.73 then increased the contrast to 15%. I also lowered saturation to -22% and set hue to 12 (using the Hue Saturation Luminosity tool). Finally, I clarified (strength 3).
For the above variation, while adding a mask, I ticked “Inverse Mask Data”. After merging layer group (step 3), I didn't duplicate the layer but set blend mode to Multiply. On step 4, I added a blue gradient leaving layer settings by default (blend mode to normal and opacity to 100%) then went straight to step 5.
As for improving the output, I only used RGB input levels which I increased to 1.73 and clarified (strength 7).
NOTE: The rule with masks is the darker the source image, the more opaque it will be. So while inverting mask data, light areas will inherit this property while dark areas will let the mask image show through.
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