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Photoshop – Inverting your Layer Masks

Photoshop - Inverting your Layer MasksYou may know layer masks as those awesome functions that allow you to mask out parts of your layer. For example, if you want to add texture layers and you don’t want them affecting the face or if you run an action which results in layers you can tweak.

If you want the layer to only affect a small portion of your photo, you have to erase/mask out everything except that little area. In reality, this only takes a second but that’s a long time in the editing world where everything is created to make your job super fast and easy. So instead of wasting a whole second, I just click the layer mask and hit Ctrl+i for ‘invert’. This turns your layer inside out so instead of spending time masking bits out, you can now use a black or white brush to mask portions in.

Two ways I use this often:

  • I like to use MCP Actions‘ Skin Cast blast to turn on layers like ‘bye bye Shrek’ to remove a yucky green colour cast or ‘bye bye lobster’ for red. But when you turn on those layers, it removes green or red from your entire photo. I just quickly invert my layer and then paint the colour correction over the face instead of masking out the whole layer, leaving only the face.
  • A second way is I like to use texture layers to add depth and pop to the iris of eyes. So I invert and layer and paint the texture into the eyes with a soft little brush.

Want to actually see this in action? Watch below and have fun!

Photoshop - Inverting your Layer Masks

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Elizabeth Halford

Elizabeth Halford is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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