Empowered User: Photoshop Masks



As Tom Giannattasio explains in an essay written for Smashing Magazine, "design is a fluid and shifting process in which layers are constantly modified and tweaked. As complexity builds, so does the need for preserving data in a flexible way. Learning non-destructive editing techniques helps you produce documents that bend along with your creativity. Photoshop Masks are the cornerstone of this process."

In order to complete this badge, you will need to locate a copy of Adobe Photoshop. You can download a thirty-day trial version from Adobe, and you can also access Photoshop on any of the lab computers.


  1. Visit Lynda.Com, and locate "Photoshop CC Selection and Masking Workshop" by Tim Grey.
  2. Work through all five modules of Tim Grey's tutorial. This includes the following: "Basic concepts," "Selection tools," "Advanced selection techniques," "Creating composite images," and "Applying targeted adjustments."
  3. Don't just watch and try to memorize the steps. Instead, you should follow along with the instructor, with your hands on the mouse and keyboard. In order to do this, you will need to download the "exercise files" that are linked to the lesson. If you are unable to locate the files, please contact me, and I'll point you in the right direction.
  4. After spending approximately five hours with these video tutorials, create two pieces of digital artwork that incorporate what you have learned about masks.
  5. When you are finished, post PNG and PSD versions of your work to your folder on the web server, and link to it from your blog posting. In this short (3 to 5 paragraph) reflect on your experiences with masks and selection techniqes. Can you anticipate practical situations in which you will need to draw on this masking expertise? If you were to describe masking in your own words to a friend who had never used Photoshop before, how would you describe it? All badge write-ups should be posted to your personal blog.
  6. Remember to complete the badge assignment by e-mailing Dr. Delwiche with the subject lineĀ  "Pending. Power User: Photoshop Masks" to adelwich@trinity.edu and be sure to link to your blog posting in that message.


Last Revised: January 3, 2017
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