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I'd like to achieve a "dynamic" masking workflow where one layer is masked based on another greyscale layer or group which I can actively edit and see the final results instantly with the mask applied.

I wonder if there is some kind of a plugin that allows that? As I understand it could be achieved with a smart filter which turns luminosity into opacity and then such a smart object could be used as a clipping mask.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you please clarify what is the relation with photography? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2023 at 14:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Better ask in GDSE. But hat looks a lot like a layer mask, something that has been around for decades in various image editors (PS, Gimp...). \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Aug 19, 2023 at 15:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Luminocity masks are very useful in merging photos stacked by exposure, it's an essential tool. Here is an example: youtube.com/watch?v=UNqQdi5iAU4 But Photoshop out of the box doesn't allow for dynamic masks and for non-destructive editing of masks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gill Bates
    Aug 19, 2023 at 15:44

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The easiest way to work dynamically in Photoshop is to do it with two windows of the same file.

From: Window > Arrange > New window...

You can have a new window of the file, arrange them so that you can view both and work on the mask in one window and see the result in real time in the other

enter image description here

Image link

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Whoa, hat could work great! \$\endgroup\$
    – Gill Bates
    Aug 22, 2023 at 3:28
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You can create a grayscale luminosity mask (e.g. using "apply image"); and you can then edit that mask with a curves adjustment (or brightness/contrast, etc) for dynamic/viewable edits... It's what I use rather than creating a bunch of different luminosity masks I don't need and guessing which one will work best.

https://youtu.be/R6QSQfDU4ik

And any grayscale based adjustment layer (e.g. curves, luminosity, etc) can be clipped to affect only the layer below it... one layer masked (affected) by another which can be actively edited while viewing the results.

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