Help needed ASAP! Having Problems with layer masks

OK here is the deal I am following the fllowing tutorial where i run into problems

I am trying to make detailed textures to be used in 3d max.  I am trying to create grafitti on a brick wall similar to what he is doing in this texture.  However the author leaves out a very critical piece of information.  I create 2 layers.  The bottom layer is my brickwall  the top layer is a redish color that i plan the grafitti color to be.  I create a layer mask on the top layer (THE RED)..... NOW How do I get my picture or alpha channel onto the layer mask.... every tutorial i have ever seen shows you how to do gradients and paint on masks but how do i place my alpha channel pic into the mask area..... I  am completely lost at this point. how do i do this.

to be even more specific here is the exact part i dont follow

"We can now proceded to mask our image. By selecting the mask box on that layer we can start to work on the mask. An alpha mask is a black an white image that says which part of the image is transparent and which parts arent. The way it works is that that black is 0% transparent, white is 100% transparent and the grey inbetween is different levels of transparency. You can test this by painting directly onto that layer in black or white to see the different effects."

"By selecting the mask box on that layer we can start to work on the mask".......  ok so how do i get that greyscale alpha pic to be the mask???????????????????????????

this has to be easy! 500 points to the first person who can assist me in solving this.. hopefully within the hour


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To paste your picture into an alpha channel select the Channels Palette, click on the new channel icon at the bottom, and then paste your picture onto that, just as you would paste something onto a layer.

Here's a simpler method of what I said in my previous post, sorry for the inconvenience:
Discard the mask that you have in your layer.
Select > Load Selection > Choose your alpha channel
Click on the Mask icon on the bottom of the layers palette
You should have your mask now.

I'm pretty sure that the reason the author of the tutorial went through an alpha channel is because he already had his mask saved as an alpha channel. There's quite a bit in the help file about how to do/use this. You could just as easily copy the picture you want to use as a mask, add a mask, Alt-Click the mask thumbnail and then Edit > Paste the picture into the mask. Oh, by the way, the mask is an alpha channel, so anything you paste in there will have the same effect as if you imported it from an alpha channel.
To add a mask that shows or hides the entire layer:

Choose Select > Deselect to clear any selection borders in the image.
In the Layers palette, select the layer or layer set to which to add a mask.
Do one of the following:
To create a mask that reveals the entire layer, click the New Layer Mask  button in the Layers palette (it's the one at the bottom of the layers palette that looks like a little square with a circle in the middle), or choose Layer > Add Layer Mask > Reveal All.
To create a mask that hides the entire layer, Alt click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the New Layer Mask button, or choose Layer > Add Layer Mask > Hide All.

or you maybe this is what you want to do:

Paste your picture into a new Alpha channel.
You have a mask in your layer already, you said, so on the main menu bar choose Select > Load Selection > choose your Alpha channel
Make sure that you have white selected as your foreground colour, and black as your background colour.
Hit Delete.
This should fill the mask with your Alpha channel.
nosaj462Author Commented:
IM at work at the moment and dont have photoshop to try this out...however.  let me see if i get this right.  First of how do I paste my picture into a alpha channel??  Once i get an alpha channel select all and paste right onto my mask?  Will this work just like the tutorial link i left on my first post.  Because Im trying to do exactly what that tutorial is covering Im just completely lost at that one part.  Is this the way that he masked his image?
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
It looks like you've been helped here already, is more needed, before I clutter the thread with other possibilities?
You need click back and forth in the layer palette between the mask and the layer content.  Then you will know which you have selected.

If you are just putting graffitti, seems like you would want to just create  a normal layer on tope and use the brush tool with a airbrush effect, or change the flow and opacity until you get what you like.

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