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Lectures & Projects

Digital Illustration Project 2 Photoshop layer masks and adjustment layers

Building on what we learned from project 1, your second assignment will be to create three to five more “Frankenstein” animal-monsters, but this time with the added power of layer masks and adjustment layers. The main rule for this assignment is that there will be no erasing and no deleting; layer masking will be used instead. I will be spot-checking to see evidence that you have some sort of understanding of how layer masks work. You may also use color, but only use color through adjustment layers.

To keep things interesting, you may use the graphics from assignment 1 in addition to these new graphics, in which I have added some new animals and textures. Same as project 1, your document size will be 8.5 x 11 inches (letter size) with a resolution of 300 DPI and in RGB color mode.

The following tutorials will briefly discuss basic techniques in Photoshop for layer masks and adjustment layers. In project 1, we learned how Photoshop can take the art of collage to the next level. Now with layer masks and adjustment layers, we are trying to learn how to use photoshop for non-destructive digital image editing. This means that we want to avoid any “permanent” effects or changes to the images we use in our collages. This will allow us to easily make changes when we change our minds, or in commercial settings when clients change their minds.

Sample Process

  1. Create a new document, 8.5 x 11 inches, 300 DPI, and in RGB color mode.
  2. Use the same methods from project 1 to create collages in Photoshop.
  3. Use some combination of selection tools and color range to create Solid Color Adjustment Layers and bring color into your composition.
  4. Instead of erasing, make use of layer masks show and hide parts of your layers. Paint with white to reveal; paint with black to hide (and gray is somewhere in between). No erasing!
  5. Repeat this process as many times as you need to create your 3-5 Photoshop collages.
  6. Please contact Adam with any questions.

Tutorial Videos

Photoshop Color Range and CTRL Click

Photoshop Layer Masks

Photoshop Adjustment Layers

Photohsop Threshold – A Warning

Masking Normal vs Adjustment Layers