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PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask? - Adobe Photoshop Elements

I am making a collage using PE2. I have a background layer (solid color) and then each photo is on its own layer with a layer mask used from the Hidden Power Tools. I was hoping to use the mask to paint with black on each photo to make each of them irregular shaped and remove excess parts of each photo. To do this, I turned off the visibility of all layers except the one I was working on. So, on the layer I was working on (highlighted), the image was visible and the rest of the layer was transparent. ...

  1. #1

    Default PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask?

    I am making a collage using PE2. I have a background layer (solid color) and then each photo is on its own layer with a layer mask used from the Hidden Power Tools. I was hoping to use the mask to paint with black on each photo to make each of them irregular shaped and remove excess parts of each photo. To do this, I turned off the visibility of all layers except the one I was working on. So, on the layer I was working on (highlighted), the image was visible and the rest of the layer was transparent. I would now like to remove parts of the photo by making those parts opaque by painting with black and have the parts painted over, reveal the background layer color. This works fine except some of the transparent parts of the layer also are painted black, which covers the background layer color and changes the background layer color, which I don't want. So, what I need to be able to do is select just the image on the layer and not the tranparent part of the layer so I can paint just on the image and not on the transparent part of the layer. I tried using "Select All," but the whole layer is selected (image plus transparent part).
    How do I select just the image part of the layer and not the transparent part of the layer, so I can paint with black just on the image and not be concerned about the black paint getting anywhere else on the layer besides the image?
    Thanks.
    Richard Hirschman
    Richard Hirschman Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask?

    Richard, I'm having trouble following what you're trying to do. If you have an image on a layer to which you've attached a layer mask, you paint on the mask by first clicking on the mask icon in the layer palette (will change the symbol next to the eyeball to a white ball)then painting on the main image area (not the layer palette)with black. Doing so will make the masked areas disappear from view in the main image area, revealing what's beneath (or show transparent if the layers below are turned off or non-existent). If you go too far, you can switch to white and paint back in - again always making sure you're on the layer mask not the actual image. If that's what you're doing, I'm not comprehending what's going wrong...?

    Chuck
    Chuck Snyder Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask?

    Hi Chuck,
    Thanks again for your help. It was a newbie error on my part and you pointed me in the right direction. I forgot to click on the mask icon when painting. Sorry about that.
    I am still curious about another part of my first e-mail. As I described there, I can't seem to figure out how to highlight just the image and not the tranparent areas in a layer with a layer mask. Do you have any suggestions on how I can do it? I have no particular technique in mind to use it at the moment. I am just wondering if it can be done.
    By the way, as you may know, those Hidden Power Tools by Richard Lynch are terrific - even for just being able to use a layer mask in PE2. (I have no connection with Richard Lynch.)
    Thanks again.
    Richard
    Richard Hirschman Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask?

    Richard, the mask itself is generally either black or white, although you
    can use gray to get a partial masking and can blur the black/white
    transition to create a smoothing effect. The method I use to select just
    the image area - which would be white - is to Alt-mouse click on the mask
    itself in the layers palette. Your main image area will then become a
    depiction of the mask (the image itself will not be visible). Then you can
    use the magic wand to select the white area, then click on the eyeball on
    the layer palette to bring you image back into view. If all worked as it
    should, the image area should be selected and the masked area should not be
    selected. It's very useful when you want to recreate the same mask on
    subsequent layers such as adjustment layers.

    Chuck


    Chuck Snyder Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask?

    Chuck, Richard,

    I have Version 1, but Ctrl/click on layer in palette is what works for me.

    Nancy
    Nancy S Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask?

    Richard, Nancy's approach is an excellent shortcut over mine. When you Ctrl-click on the layer mask, it selects the white area and excludes the black area without having to go through the Magic Wand step in the method I described. Thanks to Nancy!!

    Chuck
    Chuck Snyder Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: PE2: Selecting and painting a layer having a Hidden Power Tools' layer mask?

    Richard,

    You're welcome. Your questions reveal an active mind :)

    Nancy
    Nancy S Guest

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