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Vector Mask in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Posted on 2011-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
What is the purpose of a vector mask and how do I create a one? I am VERY new to Photoshop. I am in an introductory college course and need instructions from basics to completion.
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Question by:vsllc
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by:niralbhavsar
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Hope this answer the first half of your question: http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/10.0/help.html?content=WSfd1234e1c4b69f30ea53e41001031ab64-7866.html

and for the second half of your question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbW-6Bxqpow

Enjoy!
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by:MINDSUPERB
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You may watch this video as well. It would give you insights on Vector mask.

http://www.planetphotoshop.com/vector-mask.html

Sincerely,
Ed
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matthewgonzalez earned 500 total points
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Firstly, masks are a way of hiding portions of a layer or group. They are useful if you want to "clip out" a portion of an image (say you want only to show a single person that is in a group photo) but don't want to permanently erase the rest of the image in case you would like to include other parts of the image later on (say, you decide later that you want to show two people from the group photo... you then would simply adjust the mask).

The vector mask allows you to show only a portion of a layer or group according to a defined Vector shape. Vector Masks are similar to simple Layer Masks in that they either hide or show content of a layer, however vector masks allow you to edit the Masked area as you would a Vector Object. In order for Vector Masks to be used properly, one must have a prior understanding of vectors. If you need help regarding vectors in general, I suggest creating another question so that may be explained to you. For now, I will assume you know what vectors are and how to create them.

There are multiple ways to create a vector mask. My preferred method of creating a vector mask is to first select the layer or group I would like to Mask from the layers panel. Then you must select either the Path tool or Shape tool. Before creating a shape, I make sure that I am creating a Path and not a Shape Layer (there are three icons in the toolbar at the top... "shape layers", "paths", and "fill pixels." "Paths" must be selected.)  Now, I create the shape of the area that I would like to remain visible from the currently selected layer. Once the object is created I will simply see the outline of the shape; it shouldn't be filled with a color. I then click Layer>Vector Mask>Current Path from the menus at the top.

I should now only see the portion of the currently selected layer that was defined by the Path shape that I had created earlier. If you would like further clarification, please let me know.
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