Articles, Blog

Photoshop Masking – How to Fix This Common Problem

February 7, 2020

hello I’m Robin Whalley
welcome to Lensraft recently I’ve noticed an increase in the number of
people experiencing problems when creating masks in Photoshop I started to
notice it when I recently launched a new luminosity masking course I had a few
people contact me to say their masks didn’t look like mine and appeared to be
the opposite initially I thought they were missing one of the steps but they
weren’t no the number of people with this problem is increasing and it’s not
confined to luminosity masks if every mask they create let me show you an
example of what’s happening with this image I’ve recorded an action to create
three luminosity masks and saved them as channels in the image when I run the
action you can see the new channels created as lights one two and three
notice how the channels or masks become progressively darker no I’m going to manually repeat the
steps in the macro first I hold down the command key or control key if you’re
using a PC and click the RGB channel this loads the image as a selection and
I can save it as a new channel using the icon at the bottom of the channels
window now I can hold down the shift option and command keys whilst clicking
the new channel I saved if you’re using a PC that’s shift hold ctrl and click
this loads a selection as it did before and I’ll save it as a new channel now
rather than carrying on let’s look at the results the alpha-1 channel we
created should be the same as the lights one created by the macro but when you
look at it it’s the inverse now if we look at alpha 2 we see that it’s lighter
than alpha 1 the Photoshop action produced the correct mask but when we
perform the steps manually we get a different result now let’s look at a
simpler example of the problem this time I’ll select the blue channel
in the image and I’ll load it as a selection using this icon alternatively
you can hold down your command or control key and click the blue channel
I’ll save the selection as a new channel the new channel should be the same as
the blue channel but it’s actually the inverse even though I haven’t made any
changes now the selection is still active so let’s try saving it using the
save option in the Photoshop select menu this time the new channel is correct so
if you’re thinking that somehow inverted the selection I hadn’t the same
selection produces different results depending on how you choose to save it
in a moment I’ll show you how to fix this but if you know anyone who may be
struggling with this problem please pass on this video because it might really
help them to fix the problem is really simple just double-click the quick mask
mode icon at the bottom of the tools palette you should then see the quick
mask options dialog displayed in the dialog you should find that the select
areas option is selected rather than the masked areas make the change and click
OK after this you might find that you still have the quick mask mode active if
you have just click the quick mask icon again at the bottom of the tools palette
and that toggles it off now let’s try loading and saving the blue channel
again this time it works correctly I’m not
sure why this seems to be affecting more and more people but it can be hugely
frustrating I’m sure that it’s causing lots of people to give up on masking
techniques far too quickly if you know anyone who could be affected please be
sure to share the video I’m Robin Whalley you’ve been watching Lenscraft I’ll
see you soon for another video


  • Reply derek bell-jack February 6, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    thanks for that,yes,this was happening when i was creating my own luminosity masks,but i am sure i had changed the selection/mask option on the quick mask,previously.thanks for this heads-up,now i can go back to making my own masks without the frustration.

  • Reply Keith Pinn February 6, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Robin: Thanks for this video. I am trying to improve my mask selections techniques and I find it frustrating. I have noticed on your PS workspace that you have Tony Kuyper's TK7 panel. Do you find that the TK7 panel addresses most of your masking requirements? Are you considering preparing videos on how you use this tool as well? Regards, Keith Pinn

  • Reply Dashan Sheying February 6, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    A Tony and Joel Action man.

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