STEPS: Painting and Editing inside a Selection Mask

1.1 selected the slightly rotting skull of the enchanting Russian Saiga antelope. You can see the selection outline in the top example in Figure 9-3. For the record, I drew this selection outline using the pen tool, explained in Chapter 8.

Figure 9-3: After drawing a selection outline around the antelope skull (top), I inversed the selection and deleted the background (bottom).

2.1 reversed the selection with the Inverse command. I wanted to edit the area surrounding the skull, so I chose Select ^ Inverse (Ctrl+Shift+I) to reverse which areas were selected and which were not.

3.1 pressed Ctrl+Backspace to fill the selected area with the background color. In this case, the background color was white — as shown in the bottom half of Figure 9-3.

4.1 painted inside the selection mask. But before I began, I chose View ^ Hide Extras (Ctrl+H). This enabled me to paint without being distracted by those infernal marching ants. (In fact, this is one of the most essential uses for the Hide Extras command.)

5.1 selected the paintbrush tool and expressed myself. I chose the 21-pixel soft brush shape in the Brush drop-down palette. With the foreground color set to black, I dragged around the perimeter of the skull to set it apart from its white background, as shown in Figure 9-4. No matter how sloppily I painted, the skull remained unscathed.

Figure 9-4: I painted inside the selection mask with a 21-pixel soft brush shape.

6.1 selected and used the smudge tool. I set the tool's Pressure value to 80 percent by pressing the 8 key. I dragged from inside the skull outward 20 or so times to create a series of curlicues. I also dragged from outside the skull inward to create white gaps between the curlicues. As shown in Figure 9-5, the smudge tool can smear colors from inside the protected area, but it does not apply these colors until you go inside the selection. This is an important point to remember, because it demonstrates that although the protected area is safe from all changes, the selected area may be influenced by colors from protected pixels.

7.1 added some additional embellishments with the airbrush. After selecting the airbrush, I opened the Brush Dynamics palette on the Options bar and set the Opacity pop-up menu to Fade so that my paint strokes would fade gradually from full opacity to transparency. I entered a Fade value of 20, selected a

Figure 9-4: I painted inside the selection mask with a 21-pixel soft brush shape.

60-pixel soft brush shape, and dragged outward from various points along the perimeter of the skull. As demonstrated in Figure 9-6, combining airbrush and mask is as useful in Photoshop as it is in the real world.

60-pixel soft brush shape, and dragged outward from various points along the perimeter of the skull. As demonstrated in Figure 9-6, combining airbrush and mask is as useful in Photoshop as it is in the real world.

Figure 9-5: Dragging with the smudge tool smeared colors from pixels outside the selection mask without changing the appearance of those pixels.
Figure 9-6: I dragged around the skull with the airbrush to distinguish it further from its background. Pretty cool effect, huh? Well, if this is not your cup of tea, maybe you can track down a teenager who will appreciate it.
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