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Adjustment layers and masks

Community Beginner ,
Jun 25, 2021 Jun 25, 2021

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Hello,

I am having problems when adding a Levels Adjustment Layer to an image, making a selection (quick lasso), and then trying to generate a Layer Mask for the selection.

The problem seems(?) to be that "Refine and Mask" is greyed out.

I've tried the usual options of Googling and looking through Adobe's site, but haven't found anything that seems to provide the answer.

(For the eagle eyed looking at the screenshot - yes, I did manage to get a selection mask on a previous layer, but it took me ages and I can't remember how I got it to work!)

If anyone can tell me what I need to do, I'd be grateful...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 25, 2021 Jun 25, 2021

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Adjustment layers already have a layer mask automatically applied. You cant apply a second layer mask. 

Fill your selection with Black to see the mask change.

You can invert it if need be after you fill with black. 

Kevin Stohlmeyer Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 04, 2021 Jul 04, 2021

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Kevin,

Thank you for replying - sorry I didn't answer sooner but the mail had gone into spam and I've only just seen it.

I think maybe Photoshop was having an off-day (or perhaps it was me), because I've since had no problems with this.

I find I can make a selection, then click on "Select and Mask", and this brings up a Properties box where I can output the Selection to the Layer Mask. But I'm pretty sure this wasn't the case the day I posted the query.

However, to be honest I didn't understand your reply when I read it. But I've done what you said - made a selection and clicked on Edit/Fill/Black. And yes, the mask changes to reflect this. So once again Photoshop seems to offer multiple ways of doing something!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 04, 2021 Jul 04, 2021

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Hi @beestee51 ,

 

That is to be expected because the Adjustment layer has no pixel info on it. Make sense?

 

So, jump to your layer named Skew, refine your mask in Select and Mask, be sure to set output to Selection at the bottom of the dialog.

 

Then, jump back to the layer mask and fill the area you wish to mask with black. Happiness.

 

Let us know how you go.

 

Best

mj

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 14, 2021 Jul 14, 2021

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mj - thanks. You are of course correct - no pixels in an Adjustment Layer! Silly me for overlooking this 😞

Anyway, I seem to coping OK now with making selections and applying masks, so thanks to everyone for your advice 🙂

Regards, beestee51

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2021 Jul 14, 2021

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Hi @beestee51 ,

 

Happens to the best of us 🙂

 

Glad you're sorted, and thanks for the feedback.

 

Stay safe

mj

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2021 Jul 14, 2021

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It sounds like you have this figured out now, which is great.  It's not entirely clear, so is your woprkflow to make the selection as accurately as you are able, and then add the Adjustment layer which automatically be filled according to your selection?  That's the fast way of doing it, but you might not be best served using the lasso tool to make the selection, unless you intend refining the selection with Select & Mask before adding the Adjustment layer.

 

In the case of your screen shot you might be trying to make a precisely defined selection because of the random nature of the foilage, but Select & Mask would make a decent stab at it. Another approach in a situation like that is to use a Luminosity mask to automatically seelect shadow areas (if that was your intention).  There are free Extensions like Sven Stork's Interactive Luminosity Mask  available on Adobe Exchange.

 

You'd be hard pressed to make a selection like this without using tools like Interactive Luminosity Mask. While this has selected areas you did not want to include, it is much easier to paint them out with black, as opposed to painting in the desired pixels with white.

image.png

I personally find the the Camera RAW filter is so good and so convenient, I rarely use anything else for this sort of situation.

 

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