Applying Masks In PSP

A Beginners Guide


There are 3 ways of applying masks in PSP.  One is with an image.
Another is with a .msk file (v7) or .PspMask file (v8).
I will show you how to apply both of these methods.
The last method is with a selection saved to the Alpha Channel - See my tutorial 'Making Masks the Easy Way' on how to learn this particular method.

How Masks Work:

Black and white images are the best to use as masks, as the outcome will be more defined.  Black on a mask will become invisible, while white will keep it's full visibility.  Any colours in between will offer varying levels of transparency, depending on how dark/light they are to begin with.
To switch these options around, both PSP 7 & 8 have a box you can check called 'Invert mask data' while you are applying the mask from a .jpg.
This is a very useful option when you're applying masks from images.
In v7, once applied, a mask will contort itself to fill the entire canvas of the image, while v8 gives you the option of how you want the mask applied.
If you're wanting to apply a 'Portrait' shaped mask to a 'Landscape' shaped image, you'll need to rotate your mask first.  To do this, go to Image/Rotate Direction can be either Left or Right - depending on the mask - degrees=90.

You Will Need:

PSP ~ If you don't already have this program, a trial version is available.
Your own image.
.jpg mask - see 'Masks - For Download' below, if you don't already have one.
.msk mask for v7 - Download one 'Here'.
.pspmsk mask for v8 - Download one 'Here'.
(Both these files are zipped, so just download them to your desktop).
Unzip the v7 mask into your Masks Folder here...
C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 7\Masks
Unzip the v8 mask into My Documents\My PSP8 Files\Masks
Gold Fill

If you don't already have this file, right click and 'Save Picture as'.
(v7 Users): Save it to your PSP Patterns folder, which should be situated here...
C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 7\Patterns
If you've installed PSP onto another drive, go to where you've installed PSP to find the Pattern folder.
(v8 Users): Save the gold_fill to My Documents\My PSP8 Files\Patterns.
I like to keep backup files, just in case, so you might want to do the same and save it to a graphics folder on another drive.

Masks - For Download:

If you don't have any masks to play with, I have uploaded a few of the masks I've made over the years.  If you follow the link below, a new page will open, and give you access to the Masks Page.  Just follow the directions for download.
www.creativelydesigned.pspmadeez.org/Masks_PSP_Download.html

PSP V7 Methods:

Preparing Your Image:
Using PSP7, open the image you want to apply the mask to.
Duplicate the image by going to Window/Duplicate or hold down Shift+D.
Close your original image.
Add a new layer by going to Layers/New Raster Layer.  This is where the mask will be, so name it 'Mask'.  OK.
Go to your Materials Palette - situated down the right hand side of PSP.  If you rest your cursor over the 2 coloured boxes under 'Styles', they will identify themselves as 'Foreground...' and 'Background...'.  Go to the foreground box and click on the side arrow.  When you see the 4 style options appear, click on the Patterns Style - see below for screenshot.
 

Choose the 'gold_fill' pattern, by clicking directly on the Foreground style box.
When the little box with 'Pattern' pops up, click on the down arrow beside the current pattern, scroll down until you see it.  Click on it, OK.
While you were selecting the gold_fill, you would have noticed that PSP has also included any images you've currently got open in PSP.
This is another way of selecting a fill to use.
Go to the 'Flood Fill' tool - looks like a paint can tipped on an angle.
Flood fill your mask layer by clicking with the left mouse key - clicking with the right mouse key will apply the 'Background' currently selected.
Because we're going to learn 2 different methods to apply masks, we need 2 images, so simply duplicate this image by going to Window/Duplicate or hold down Shift+D.
Minimize the duplicate to use with the second method.
 
Mask From An Image:
Open the .jpg mask in PSP7.
With your original working image selected, go to Masks/New/From Image.
A little box called "Add Mask From Image" will pop up.
Go to the Source window, and select the name of the mask image you've selected to use.
If the mask has white edges instead of black, then you'll also need to check 'Invert mask data'.  OK.
Go to Selections/From mask, then go to Mask/delete.  PSP will ask you if you would like this mask merged into the current layer.  Click 'Yes'.
If you'd like to add an effect to the mask, then now is the time to do it - this is why I included the step of selecting from the mask.  If you'd rather, you can just add a dropshadow like I've done with the image at the head of the page.
 
Mask From A .msk File:
With your duplicated working image open, Go to Masks/Load From Disk.  This will open a box called 'Load Mask Channel'.
Select the floral_corner_asp.msk, OK.
If you're using another .msk file, and it needs inverting, now is the time to go to Masks/Invert.
Go to Selections/From Mask.
Then Masks/Delete - once again, PSP will ask if you'd like the mask merged into the current layer, choose 'Yes'.
And that's it. Apply any effect you like to the selected mask layer, or just add a dropshadow to it.

PSP V8 Methods:

Preparing Your Image:
Using PSP8, open the image you want to apply the mask to.
Duplicate the image by going to Window/Duplicate or hold down Shift+D.
Close your original image.
Add a new layer by going to Layers/New Raster Layer.  This is where the mask will be, so name it 'Mask'.  OK.
Go to your Materials Palette - situated down the right hand side of PSP.  If you rest your cursor over the 2 larger boxes there, they will identify themselves as 'Foreground and Stroke Properties...' and 'Background and Fill Properties...'.  Go to the foreground box and click on it.  A 'Material' box will pop up. Under the 'Pattern' tag, click on the down arrow beside the current pattern, and scroll down until you find the gold-fill pattern.  Click on it, and then click on OK.
While you were selecting the gold_fill, you would have noticed that PSP has also included any images you've currently got open in PSP.
This is another way of selecting a fill to use.
Go to the 'Flood Fill' tool - looks like a paint can tipped on an angle.
Flood fill your mask layer by clicking with the left mouse key - clicking with the right mouse key will apply the 'Background' currently selected.
Because we're going to learn 2 different methods to apply masks, we need 2 images, so simply duplicate this image by going to Window/Duplicate or hold down Shift+D.
Minimize the duplicate to use with the second method.
 
Mask From An Image:
Open the .jpg mask in PSP8.
With your original working image selected, go to Layers/New Mask Layer/From Image.
A little box called "Add Mask From Image" will pop up.
Go to the Source window, and select the name of the mask image you've selected to use.
If the mask has white edges instead of black, then you'll also need to check 'Invert mask data'.  OK.
Go to Selections/From Mask.  OK.
Go to Layers/Delete - PSP will ask you if you would like this mask merged into the layer below it, select 'Yes'.
Now is the time you'd add an effect to the mask layer, but if you'd rather not, just add a dropshadow.
 
Mask From A .pspmsk File:
With your duplicated working image open, Go to Layers/Load / Save Mask/Load Mask From Disk.  This will open a large box called 'Load Mask From Disk'.
In the 'Mask' section, click on the down arrow beside the current mask, and scroll down until you find the triple_border_mask_asp.PspMask, click on the mask to select it.
In the 'Orientation' section, make sure that 'Fit to canvas' is selected.
If the mask is mostly white, go to 'Options' and check 'Invert Transparency'.  OK.
Go to Selections/From Mask.
Then Layer/Delete - once again, PSP will ask if you'd like the mask merged into the current layer, choose 'Yes'.
And that's it. Apply any effect you like to the selected mask layer, or just add a dropshadow to it.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
 
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Susan aka Night Owl 2005