This lesson is a basic fading lesson, but also has a few other basic tips, as well. You can experiment with this as much as you would like.
First off, when you guys ask me for what PS guide book to recommend, the no.1 Photoshop book right now would be the Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature by Matt Kloskowski. A great PS book to learn all the tricks from!
The great thing about using Masks, is that you can mess with it with out messing your image up. Again, quick tip #1 Ctrl Z on a PC, and “open apple” Z on a Mac to UNDO one step. If you screw something up, just do that keyboard short cut and you will be able to go back one step. For those who understand the History Palette in Pshop 5, you can go back more than one step. I will not go into that for the beginners.
First you want to choose your images that you wish to fade. I wanted to choose two images that would look good together, so I chose this woman and this snow scene.
Because I want to remove the skaters from my snow scene, I won’t need to do much more than fill the image with a shade of white similar to the snow surrounding the skaters. So, what I will do is, select the area around the skaters, take my eyedropper tool, and select a color around the image. Then I will Fill the color with that color (Edit-Fill) There is a little line around the square, but I am not concerned with it because the woman’s picture should hide the details. You can use the blur tool or smudge (keyboard letter R), to fade out anything that you don’t like.
I decided that I would rather her picture face the opposite way, so before I copy and paste her into the snow scene document, I flipped her picture by choosing IMAGE-FLIP HORIZONTAL. If you decide to flip an image when it is with another image, you would choose the layer you want to flip and then you should choose EDIT-TRANSFORM-FLIP HORIZONTAL instead. The other way would flip all of the layers in your document. You will need to have both of the images in one file, so we will select all of the image with the woman SELECT-ALL and copy it EDIT-COPY, go to the document with the snow image and EDIT-PASTE to paste it into a new layer on the snow scene image. There are keyboard shortcuts to all of the above, you can find them listed on Adobe’s web site.
Next you want to “add layer mask” Make sure that the woman’s layer is selected like above, and then click on the add layer mask button. In older versions of Pshop, choose “add layer mask” from the Layers palette menu. Reset your foreground and background images to black and white (Quick tip: Hit the letter D on the keyboard) Next, you will select the gradient tool on the tools palette, or by hitting G on the keyboard.
Now you will automatically be inside the layer mask, but if you should need to skip around, just click once on the layer mask. To remove a layer mask, simply drag it with your mouse in the garbage can. With your gradient tool, drag across the image and you should see a similar result as below. Note the pattern in the layer mask. You can simply continue to use the gradient fill on the mask without deleting. White areas will reveal the image, black areas hide the image, and the gray areas partially reveal the image.
Using different black and white patterns will change the way your image looks. There are a few different gradient fills in PhotoShop 5.0, I used the diamond gradient fill on this one, and you can also use airbrushes and other blurs to get different results. You can use multiple images, and remember, practice makes perfect!
Remember, if you did not work it out from my guide you should really get the Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature by Matt Kloskowski. A great PS book to learn all the tricks from!
Author: Gina Hutchings
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