If you've ever wanted a mask specifically tailored to a particular photo, you'll like this technique for creating a custom mask. You can make masks like this in PI5 too.
I made this mask for a photo of my son, Geoffrey, who caught this big mouth bass in a canal near our house recently. By making a selection, filling the background with black and white, and using the Paint on Edges command, I've come up with a custom mask just for this photo.
You can use my photo if you want to, or use one of your own. The first thing to do is to hit Ctrl+D to make a duplicate of the image. In the duplicate, make a selection that focuses on the part of the photo that you want to highlight. I used the Standard selection tool, Shape=Ellipse, to make a wide elliptical selection, shown below at reduced size.
Go over to your Quick Color Controls on the right side of the work space. Make sure that your background color is black, and your foreground color is white, like this.
Right click on the selection and choose Invert. Doing so will reverse your selection. With black as your background color, hit the Delete key and the selection will be filled with black.
Right click on the selection and choose Invert, so the middle part of the photo is selected again. In the Quick Color Controls, click the "Swap F/B Colors" double-headed arrow. Now white is the background color. Hit the Delete key to fill the selection area with white.
While the selection is still active, choose the Crayon Paint tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Waxy preset. Click in the Color box and change the color to black. Change the brush Size to 55. Edit Transparency to 35. Now select the Pick tool, and hit Shift+P to apply Paint on Edges. You'll see a fuzzy, raggedy edge because the Paint tool's attributes have been painted around the edges of the selection.
To add a little more interest around the edge of the mask, choose the Chalk Paint tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Splatter preset. Click in the Color box and change the color to black. Edit the brush Size to 65. Hit Ctrl+F3 to access the Brush Panel. From the Shape tab, edit the Distribution value (arrow) to 85. This will create a large, airy splatter effect.
Now hit Shift+P to apply the Paint on Edges effect. The Paint on Edges mask looks like this now.
To use this image as a mask, we need to convert it to Grayscale. In the bottom task bar, click the Data Type icon and select Grayscale (or choose Format, Data Type and select Grayscale). This will open a duplicate, Grayscale version of the image. Close out the original True Color mask image now. Click on the blue title bar of the Grayscale image to make it active. Right click on the image and choose All, then right click, Convert to Object. You'll see an animated broken line around the entire image, which indicates that it is an active object.
Click on the blue title bar of the original photo to make it active. In the task bar, click on the Mask icon (or choose Edit, Mask Mode). A transparent red mask will appear over the image. With the Pick tool, drag the Grayscale mask over onto the photo. You can reposition it, resize or otherwise transform it with the Transform tool, etc.
When the mask is situated properly, click the Mask icon in the task bar (or choose Edit, deselect Mask Mode) to get rid of the red mask. You will be left with only a selection area.
Right click on the selection area and choose Convert to Object. With the Pick tool, drag the newly created object into an empty area in the work space, where it will open in its own window. Right click, Merge All.
You can use this technique to make all kinds of masks for your photos. This mask was created by applying the same Paint on Edges settings to a freehand Lasso selection.
And below, the mask was applied to a heart shaped selection. First a 2D path object was centered on the photo. The path object was converted to a selection by choosing Selection from the Mode dropdown list in the Attributes toolbar, and the process for making the mask was the same as above.
This tutorial uploaded 3/02/01
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