Layer masks are incredibly useful because they allow you to blend layers without affecting the underlying content. Furthermore, because they are composed of grayscale images or vector paths, they are infinitely editable. You can use layer masks wisely or unwisely without fear because you know they won't damage the underlying content.

If keeping the file size to a minimum or not having enough resources is a problem, consider using vector masks; in many cases, they will do the same job as a grayscale mask but without the overheads.

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