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Powerful selections and effects in Photoshop with Quick Masks

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One of the best kept secrets in Photoshop is Quick masks. It’s funny because this tool is so important that Adobe included it on the bottom of the tool bar. So why don’t more people use them, or even know about them? My theory is, Quick Masks have been around forever and many of us have used them for years. Because they have been around so long (like many great tools in Photoshop) there hasn’t been an emphasis on them, like the newer tools like object selection. As such, they have slid under the radar for younger users and trainers, because no one talks about them. I think that’s why so many of you love it here at the OG photoshopCAFE (this is our 21st year and still going strong). Anyway, check out some of the cool things you can do with Quick mask in Photoshop and don’t forget to come back here often, for a healthy mix of breaking (news) Photoshop new tools and some of the more established ones that still quietly rock your socks off.


At the very end of the video, the result of the final project doesn’t show, this is it here

I’ll add some written steps when I get time.

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22 responses to “Powerful selections and effects in Photoshop with Quick Masks”

  1. I think this will help me in my photographing of animals at the Animal Rescue I volunteer at. Thanks Colin — I always learn lots with you tutorials.

  2. Hi Colin, I have wanted to say thank you to you for a long time for all of your tutorials. I have learned a great deal and become a better photoshopper because of it. I have been a Middle School photography teacher for the past 10 years and have used many of your tutorials in my class or adapted them to fit what I am teaching in Photoshop. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  3. I could never find the quick mask tool. Turns out it was hidden in the toolbar. Not sure how that happened, but this was extremely helpful!

  4. Colin,
    Really appreciate your help with Photoshop and all the tutorials!

    When is it appropriate to merge layers and when is it not?

  5. At 3:49, you say something like “and as you can see.” Ironically, all I could see is you moving some sliders. The screen was black. You need someone to check your work before you publish it because there are always typos, misspellings, and missing information.

    • Unfortunately sometimes that happen with free content, I don’t get paid to do this, nor post ads on the site, so I do the best I can with the time I have. Serious question, Would you prefer I ran ads, and used those to help fund the content?

  6. Since 1990 I have been teaching Quick Masks in Photoshop, mainly applying fancy photo edges into images, very similar to your video clip. I have been working with Photoshop for over 30 years being the first trainer in Auckland, New Zealand to work with the “new” program on Mac computers … the Windows version didn’t arrived until Win 95. In those days we didn’t have layers only ‘floating selections’ which once released were embedded into the single layer image! Happy days!

  7. This was wonderful! I’ve never used the quickmask tool before but what an amazingly useful tool it is! Thank you Colin.

  8. Have always used the quick mask with a gradient, to apply various filters to an image, but I know I have missed a lot of its potential.

  9. Once again a great little tool to play with…I’ve never used it but I certainly will. Thanks alot Colin…

  10. I Didn’t know that Quick Mask existed! It going to be my new toy to play with. Thank you Colin.

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