Editing and Modifying Masks

Grayscale masks, being grayscale images, can be edited and modified by using the same commands, filters, and painting tools that you use to edit grayscale images. Vector masks, being mathematical shapes, require a different treatment and can be edited by using the pen and shape tools.

For grayscale masks, the Edit ^ Transform and Image ^ Adjustments commands are probably the most useful in this regard. Among the Adjustments commands, the Brightness/Contrast and Levels commands are good workhorses.

Although you can apply most filters to a grayscale mask for special effects, the Blur ^ Gaussian Blur, Sharpen ^ Unsharp Mask, Stylize ^ Median, and Other ^ Maximum, Minimum filters are very useful for modifying.

Among the tools, the Brush tool is the most consistently used, but you can employ the other tools that use a brush tip, such as Dodge and Burn, and even the Clone Stamp tool.

TIP You can always tell whether you are editing layer content or a layer mask by observing the thumbnails in the Layers palette. Not only do they redraw as you edit one or the other, but the active thumbnail always has a border around it.

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