Reflection on Layers and Layer-Masking

In the last session, we had a workshop session and tutorial on layer masking and layering images. I personally really enjoyed this session and found it really productive. The skills I learned today are really useful to know and as a practitioner could adopt these to help create graphics that are unusual and effective. these could back up a piece of text and shows the creative side to journalism and digital media.

In this session, i created a blend using layer masking of two famous icons. these were Barack Obama and Jack Nicholson

Before images

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After Image

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 17.48.48

Another image blend of two images was of a frog and some orange peel. To enable me to do this I saved two images from the web and placed them into photoshop, once these were in i then scaled them up to the size that i wanted. I also duplicated the frog layer so that i had two separate images of the frog.

Before images

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 17.48.19

Finally, we were given free reign to pick and layer mask images of our choice. For this i picked the images of a spatter pattern, a pistol and Brad Pitt.

Before Images

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After Images

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When doing this task i follow a process in order for me to do layer masking correctly:

  • I found two images that I wanted to work with
  • I saved them to my hard drive
  • launched photoshop and made a new canvas (changing the presets to international paper clicked to get A3 paper size
  • Then I went to file, place (to import images onto the canvas)
  • If I had a scaling problem, I would have to resize the images

(Cmd+T= free transform mode)

  • In the layers pallet, i have the opacity option if required to help make sure that the images match up by dropping the translucency down on the top layer.
  • Then in the layers palette go to the bottom click on add layer mask on the top layer in the stack.
  • then i went to the paint brush, bringing the flow down to help control what happens,  also turning on the airbrush
  • I then made sure that the colour pickers were set to black (hides) and white (reveals)
  • I then played around with the image to see what i could do with it
  • if colour corrections needed to be done i then went to image, image adjustments, hue and saturation and match up the colours required

I will be able to employ this technique when doing data and information graphs, this will allow me to make more advanced images that will have the required affect on the audience. I also could use this technique when ever I wanted as long as i didn’t lie to the audience. I feel that this technique is more ethical and moral, then changing the appearance of a face or body structure. However, it also depends on how you use the tool. I think it is good for the creative aspect but i would be really careful in my own work to how far I push it and what images I may consider.

Personally, I still believe that there is a fine line to what is acceptable when using any editing softwares as we are manipulating the audiences, we are also manipulating reality by changing the images. This tool could be very fun and could create some really amazing things for my projects.

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