A picture is worth a thousand words, and never has that been truer than in the modern business world. Advertisement is the key to a customer’s heart and every billboard, poster and magazine photo needs to be perfect to get the proper message across. People look at the shining smiles of the men and women that are set in front of beautiful sunsets or unspoiled beaches and wish they were there. However, very few realize that image was created far away from that pristine setting, on a computer with photo masking. Visit http://www.lunamik.com.au/ for more information.
Digital photography has given us the ability to change almost everything about an image. You can alter its colouring, sharpness, background location and even who is in it. One of the most used image-altering tactics is photo masking. This technique takes your picture and splits it into multiple layers, usually foreground and background, but it can go further. With this you can send a beautiful model that is posing in your studio out into the desert or even on to the moon. And this is only one of the most basic uses for masking.
Basically, image masks work just like the real thing. They let us hide parts of the image and can make it appear as something it is not. For example, you often see dramatic sunsets in advertisements and yet you can’t seem to mirror them. The reason is because they take multiple pictures of the sun at different exposures that focus on foreground and background. Once they have been loaded on a computer, it is a matter of choosing the best foreground picture, turning into a mask and overlaying it. Now you have the perfect sunset where everything is in focus.
There are many ways that you can create photo masks. Perhaps the most popular is using the pen tool that is available with most Photoshop software. This is an easy method for tracing around the border of your subject and then copying and pasting onto another background. If you are dealing with a person or animal, the shape can be much more complex. For this you will need to use more advance techniques that involve colour channels and mixing. In the professional world, perfection is the standard for image quality and Photoshop errors mean a quick exit from the business. There is a fine balance to creating the right layer masks for images. If the colouring and borders do not blend correctly, then that perfect ad will not look natural. Worse, it will look cheaply made and lower customer confidence in the product. However, in the right hands, photo masking can be a powerful tool that will create the right setting for any subject.