On 10/24/12, Steve Kinney <ad...@pilobilus.net> wrote:
> On 10/24/2012 01:44 PM, Jim Clark wrote:
>> I will save this. Incredibly clear and detailed--I have never rally
>> understood those masks. Still don't, but am sure closer!
> Hey Jim,
> Glad it makes sense to you! I have saved it and I will probably do
> an illustrated version for my website sometime soon.
> Figuring out how to use layer masks is one of the real
> "breakthroughs" that make the GIMP a powerful tool. I have been
> using the GIMP for around 10 years, but I still remember how
> difficult it was for me to wrap my brain around what masks can do.
> You can:
> * Make templates that enable you to quickly and easily create lots
> of different versions of an image, i.e. with different colorization
> as in the present example, or as frames that smaller images will
> appear in, etc.
> * "Remove" part of a layer, spend a half hour working on the image,
> then "undo" an error you just found in your removal by painting a
> little white on the corresponding part of the layer's mask. I
> almost never use the "Eraser" tool - if you have to go back and undo
> it, you lose all the work you did after using the Eraser.
> * You can "paint with any filter" by applying filters and effects to
> a copied layer, adding a black mask to make the altered layer
> vanish, then painting the mask with white to make the changes come
> back only where you want them in the visible image. (Or vice versa:
> Paint black on a white mask to wipe away the filter effect where
> you don't want to see it.) I find this method especially useful
> when working on portrait shots.
> * Isolate under-exposed elements from over-exposed elements in
> photographs, by making a layer copy and masking out the under-
> exposed part of the top layer. Then you can adjust the brightness
> and colors of the bright and dark parts of the picture separately.
> If the contrast between over- and under-exposed areas is strong
> enough, you can use the Threshold tool on a throw-away layer to
> create a nearly perfect mask in seconds, that would have taken a
> LONG time to paint by hand - some call this "finding the natural mask."
> * Use a black/white gradient on a layer mask to give the layer a
> smooth transition from visible to invisible. This sometimes comes
> in handy when processing flash photographs, i.e. a line of people on
> a stage where those at the near end are fully exposed and those at
> the far end are under-exposed.
> ... and a whole lot more.
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