I'm still having no luck with Refine Edge / Mask (CS5 & Win 7). Following a tutorial at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssJRkbkHAa4
I come unstuck right after clicking on the Add Mask icon. In the tutorial the mask appears with a black/white checkered edge. As the commentary says, "You can tell when the mask is selected by the dotted border." Well no matter what I do I do not get that dotted border, not when I click on the mask, double click, right click. (Nor do I get the checkered border when I click on the Layer icon. Both the layer and mask have plain white borders.) I can't get to a Refine Mask option, only Refine Edge. When I try to improve the selection it looks as though I'm using an eraser tool at about 20% opacity, it just gets steadily more transparent. So how do I get the mask selected?
David. I think you might be getting confused about the 'dotted' border. The mask is active when it has a double border. The border is made from a broken line, which might be what was referred to as a 'Dashed' line. I am wondering if you are expecting the image to have this 'dashed line', but it is actually the mask in the layers panel as per the image below.
The panel on the left shows the mask as active. The panel on the right shows the layer as active. Martin Evening's tutorial uses the refine mask tool, so you would need the mask to be active. Thinking about it, the shape I have used on the second layer is not a very good example. If the second layer was filled with an image of the young girl from the tutorial, only the areas shown in white in the mask would show in the image.
I don't know if this is helping, but we'll keep working away at it until you are happy.
David, if the white border is around the layer, the layer is active. If you paint on the image, your brush strokes will become part of that image. When the mask is active, painting black on the image will cause that part of the layer to be transparent. Conversly, painting with white will make that prt of the layer to show. If the mask is completely filled with black, the entire layer becomes transparent (invisible). If the mask is filled with white, nothing below that layer will show through.
Refine mask gives you fine control of the mask, in exactly the same way that Refine edge gives you fine control of the selected layer you use it on.
I didn't see your reply until this morning, you are very patient, I thank you for that. I understand that white reveals and black conceals in a mask, and I have used masks in other contexts. But this refining isn't working for me. I not only fail to get the wisps of hair added t the mask, I end up with a ragged mask that looks as though the edges have been erased rather than refined. The plain border to the mask icon even when it's selected is strange, I have two very good books on CS5 and both show the black/white checkered border when the mask is active. (I also have a copy of PS 7 on another machine, if I make a mask on that one there is a double border around the mask when it's active.) Somehow I don't think the mask in CS5 is active.
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