Photoshop Tutorial for Non-Designers: Layer Masks

Joseph Grubbs-HardyMon, 06/02/2014 - 08:00

Design for Marketers

Are you creating a banner for an image ad, email, or promotional campaign? Do you have a great image that you want to fade into a background color but don't know how? Here's an easy, 3-minute method for using layer masks in Photoshop to fade an image into a background color. Transcript: Hello, My name is Joseph Grubbs-Hardy and I'm a graphic designer here at ASPE. At ASPE, we know that as a marketer, you have many shoes to fill. Even if your organization has a design team, you may find yourself working on various design projects for which you haven't had any formal training for. In this series I will offer tips and tricks for non-designers to quickly and easily make good looking images. This first topic comes as a request from one of our marketing specialists here at ASPE, and is around making layer masks. In many cases you make be making some sort of banner graphic where you have text on the banner but you want to put something else on it to make it more interesting. So in this example, we'll be integrating an image in with text to make a banner image. Currently the image is just cut off and we have a hard edge that doesn't look very good. So, we're going to fade the image into the background using a layer mask. 1. Click on the layer that contains the image you want to fade into the background. 2. Select "Layer" on the top menu, then Layer Mask, and select Reveal All Note: Layer masks control the transparency of your image. Anywhere the layer mask is white, your image will appear fully opaque and anywhere the image is black, it will be hidden. Anywhere in between, the image will be partially transparent. 3. Select the "Gradient" tool from the tools on the left (you may have the paint bucket tool selected, in which you'll need to right-click on the paint bucket and change it to the gradient tool) to create an even fade. 4. Set your foreground to white and background to black. 5. Drag the gradient tool from one side of the image to the other (starting with the hard edge next to the solid background color) to create an even transition on the image.