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layer masks; what am i doing wrong

New Here ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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good morning. I am trying to learn and apply layer masks but nothing seems to work. i have a 3 layer file. i am trying to apply a mask to an element in one of the layers. I make that layer active, hit create layer mask button and make sure that the layer thumbnail is active. I select brush, and brush over the element I want to mask, making sure  the opacity is at 100% . nothing happens when i brush over the desired object. nothing appears in the mask thumbnail, and nothing happens to any layers in the file. They are all the same. What exactly am I doing wrong? I have check adobe and a bunch of youtube videos but nothing seems to help. Can anyone give a  clue as to what I am missing? this is getting pretty frustrating. Thank you in advance

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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Make sure that you select the mask thumbnail before drawing. Also make sure that the brush options are good.
If you can share a screenshot with us for the layer mask, it will be more helpful. 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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@Ed5CC4 wrote:

nothing appears in the mask thumbnail, and nothing happens to any layers in the file.


 

You might be painting with white on white or black on black.

  • Before you start, type "D", which is the shortcut to switch to the default colors of pure black and pure white.
  • Create the mask and look at it. Is it white? Then you want to start painting with black.
  • Select a brush and choose a hardness/softness and a size.
  • In the options bar, change the brush mode to "Normal" if it is something else.
  • Select the mask (not the image) and paint. Use Undo if you need to change the settings of the brush.
  • Type "X" to switch the colors.

 

Does this help?

 

If not, show a screenshot including the Brush options bar and Layers panel.

 

Jane

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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Great advice already!  I will add that on numerous occasions I've had an active selection that was hidden keep me from successfully painting on a mask.  If I'm having trouble working on a mask, I always press Ctrl + D to clear any active selections first.

 

Good luck!


George F, Fine Art Landscape Photographer

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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@George_F 

I'm glad you saw that, and thanks for sharing that important detail!

 

I almost added: make a selection first, then add the mask. The selection will be replaced by the mask and in most cases a lot of your work will be done. 

 

Are you the same user as the author @Ed5CC4  or are you adding on to the thread?

 

Jane

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 14, 2022 Oct 14, 2022

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We are separate users, just weighing in with what causes me grief with masks from time to time 🙂


George F, Fine Art Landscape Photographer

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