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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Using any B&W Image as a Mask in PS

This tutorial will show you how to use any black and white image as a mask on a paper in Photoshop.


B&W Heart
Unryu Paper Pack

1.  Open the black and white image in Photoshop.  For this tutorial, I have provided the image of a heart.

2.  Open up your paper.  I am using one of the mulberry rice papers from my Unryu Paper Pack.

3.  If you image is a JPEG, promote the background to a layer (Layer > New > Layer From Background).

4.  Ctrl + A to Select All.

5.  Ctrl + C to Copy the mask image.

6.  Select the paper.  Promote the paper to a layer if it is a JPEG (as in Step 3).

7.  Now it is possible to add a mask layer.  At the bottom of the layer palette, click the 'Add Layer Mask' icon.

8.  A white square appear will appear on the paper layer.  This is the mask thumbnail.  It should be currently selected (as seen by the highlight around the square).

9.  Press the Alt key and click on the mask thumbnail (white square).  Your paper should turn completely white.

10.  Ctrl + V to paste the copied mask into the layer mask.

11.  Press the Alt key and click on the mask thumbnail to switch back to viewing the paper.

12.  The black part of the mask image hides and the white part of the mask image reveals.  I have placed another paper underneath so that the image can be seen better.


  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave in the DigiFree category today [08 Feb 02:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 1 post on Feb. 08, 2011. Thanks again.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful heart image!

  4. excellent tutorial , very useful , thank you for your time !

  5. Wow! This is a brilliant Tutorial!

  6. Excellent tutorial, as always. I love your UNRYU papers. Exquisitely textured...see you do texture very nicely!

  7. Hi Spencer - Great tutorial, but how come you use a mask instead of just changing the color to pink, or change to target (pink?) As you can tell by the question, I still don't understand why one uses masks.

  8. Masks hide and reveal parts of an image. A mask is not used to change color.

  9. Wow! It's awesome blog post here.... really very interesting for reading.....

  10. Excellent tutorial for learning how to use any black and white image as a mask on a paper in Photoshop.Thanks for sharing this knowledge.This is huge learning for the amateur designer like us.
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  11. masking is never so simple..
    you cover it very well..
    Thanx for such effort
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  12. i think you are going to have lots of people's thanks.
    cause you have made a tutorial that is so defined and easy to understand..
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