Its Only a Mask

In traditional printmaking or airbrush painting, areas can be protected from paint or ink with a mask. These can be made from tape, cardboard, or self-adhesive frisket paper cut to the precise shape needed. Earlier in this lesson, I mentioned the use of liquid resist for masking portions of a silkscreen mesh. It shouldn't surprise you that in digital art creating masks is much easier.

Pixel-based applications like Painter and Photoshop provide several tools for selecting portions of the canvas to accept painted strokes or effects. Whatever isn't selected is, by definition, masked. You can make selections based on geometric shapes or draw freehand selections around an irregular area using the Lasso tool. A sophisticated selection tool that has no counterpart in traditional media is the Magic Wand, which selects all pixels in a defined color range. Figure 6.15 shows where the Selection tools are located on the Toolbox. The Rectangular Selection tool is currently active. Its roommates are the Oval Selection tool and the Lasso. Notice the Selection Adjuster tool, which allows you to move or resize a selection marquee.

The Select menu offers handy commands for altering and managing selections. There is also a special Library Palette, the Selection Portfolio, with a collection of common (and not-so-common) selections you can simply drag to the canvas. Open the Selection Portfolio by selecting Window > Show Selection Portfolio and load the Lettering selections from the Extras folder in the Painter X application folder. If you're using an earlier version, choose the heart or star selection from the default portfolio shown in Figure 6.16.

Magic Wand

Selection Adjuster tool

Figure 6.15

Selection, selection, selection.

Magic Wand

Selection Adjuster tool

Figure 6.15

Selection, selection, selection.

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

Are You Frustrated Because Your Graphics Are Not Looking Professional? Have You Been Slaving Over Your Projects, But Find Yourself Not Getting What You Want From Your Generic Graphic Software? Well, youre about to learn some of the secrets and tips to enhance your images, photos and other projects that you are trying to create and make look professional.

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