One of the features on the wish list of most advanced Photoshop Elements users is Layer Masks. It is one of the key features that separates Photoshop Elements from Photoshop – but it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to create faux layer masks in Photoshop Elements if you know how – and today, I am going to show you how.
One of benefits of this approach to creating faux layer masks in Elements is that it uses features built into Elements and it doesn’t rely on a third party plug-in so it works with most versions of Photoshop Elements.
A bit of background
While Photoshop Elements doesn’t support layer masks for regular layers, it does provide them for all its adjustment layers. This faux layer mask solution takes advantage of this by forcing an adjustment layer’s layer mask to behave like a layer mask on a regular layer just as it does in Photoshop. The trick is to apply an adjustment layer to the image which does nothing to the image at all – so you get the benefit of the layer mask but without forcing any unwanted change on the image. Once you’ve done this you have a layer mask you can borrow.