Photoshop CS3: Mastering Masks

Photoshop CS3: Mastering Masks


Masks are one of the most powerful, and least understood tools in Photoshop. Once you understand how to use Photoshop masks properly, a whole new way of working opens up to you. Learn to use masks to isolate and protect areas of an image as you apply color changes, filters, or other effects to the rest of the image.

Combined with advanced selection techniques (see Photoshop CS3: Mastering Selections), using masks unlocks the secrets of isolating difficult images such as fine hair, clothing, and other tricky retouching challenges.

This 90-minute workshop is the third installment in Jason Hoppe’s celebrated trifecta on Photoshop fundamentals. Layers, Selections, and now Masks — all key tools for non-destructive Photoshop retouching.

This 90-minute workshop covers the real-world use of Photoshop's masking tools. Including:

  • Layer Masks.
  • Raster Masks vs. Vector Masks.
  • Using Masks to save and edit selections.
  • Editing masks visually.
  • Applying and deleting masks.
  • Combining masks with adjustment layers for color corrections.
  • Using Photoshop's Quick Mask features.
  • Techniques for isolating hair with masks.
  • Manipulating masks with blur, sharpen, or filters.
  • Plus many tips and tricks for using masks in real-world retouching.

90-minute Workshops. Learn in the morning and get back to work.

PSCS3-Masks.pngAt CreativeTechs, we're taking a new approach to learning. We've broken weeks of training materials into dozens of smaller, bite-sized modules. The results are shorter, focused classes that allow busy creative professionals to get what they need, without having to set aside an entire day, or two, (or three) for longer classes.

Here's the pitch: Join us Wednesday or Thursday mornings at 9:30am, pick up a couple new skills, and get back to work before lunch. You can put what you learned into use the same day.

Clear, exhaustive explanations in a comfy setting. Plus a complete handout to take home. In 90 minutes you'll pick up dozens of tips and techniques that you can put to work right away.

These workshops are demonstrated using Adobe Photoshop CS3 on Mac OS X, however the learning applies to PC users as well as previous versions of Photoshop.

Photoshop Thursdays: Non-Destructive Retouching.

Every Thursday morning at CreativeTechs, Photoshop guru Jason Hoppe leads an ongoing series of classes covering non-destructive retouching techniques. Learn the secret to improve your images without overwriting the original image data. Done properly, you protect your full image quality as you make edits. Even better, you retain flexibility when clients come back with late change requests.

This workshop on Photoshop Masks starts to touch on some lesser known retouching techniques.

Also Available: Personalized & Group Training.

In addition to the morning 90-minute workshops, all topics are available for personalized group training sessions, or individual one-on-one training. Plus, because of how we've developed smaller, bite-sized topics, we can easily combine a variety of topics to help fit your team's particular needs.

If you are interested in group training, or a personalized coaching session, email

Related Photoshop Tips:

CreativeTechs publishes a free weekly newsletter for creative professionals, drawn from our real world experience supporting hundreds of creative teams in the greater Seattle area. Below are a few recent Photoshop tips:
  • Don't crop. Use Photoshop's Trim feature.
  • Build Animated GIFs in Photoshop.
  • Photoshop CS3's clone tool adds "Ignore Adjustment Layers".
  • How to smooth skin in Photoshop.
  • Scale Layer Effects in Photoshop.
  • Photoshop CS3's Automatic People Remover.
  • Remove unwanted people from public photos.
  • Quick Skin Tone Retouching in Photoshop.
  • Use Photoshop's Background Eraser Tool.
  • Fast way to straighten a photo in Photoshop.
For a complete archive of previous tips, visit

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