Graphics Programs Reference
If you're using an adjustment layer, you'll need to control how it
affects your image. Additionally, adjustment layers (and optionally
all layers) can have a mask applied to control the visibility of the
layer. Photoshop uses masks to obscure parts of an associated item;
transparency is defined by the use of white, black, and gray. In fact,
you can apply a mask to a layer, a vector, or even a smart filter.
Photoshop CS6 offers precise control over masks,
including the ability to adjust their density and
edges. Masks are a useful way to erase parts of
a layer nondestructively, which allows for future
changes. They can also be used to isolate an
adjustment to only parts of an image.
Both masks and adjustment layers are controlled
using the Properties panel. To view the panel,
just select an adjustment layer in an open image.
Here you'll find buttons across the top to switch
between the two. You'll see multiple masks in use
in the sample document (Ch02_Eagle.psd) to isolate the effects of
color correction. You'll explore masks in depth in Chapter 7.
Don't confuse the Color panel with the color mode of the docu-
ment. The Color panel allows you to modify and select colors
using six different color models. You can choose colors using
RGB sliders or the more intuitive Hue, Saturation, and Brightness
(HSB) model. To adjust color, move the sliders for the correspond-
ing value. Sliding the Red slider to the right increases the amount
of red in the new color. Choosing colors is independent of image
mode in that you can use a CMYK model for an RGB image.
However, picking a color to use in a grayscale document will not
introduce color into that image.
Spend some time exploring the Color panel and find a method
that works best for you. Clicking on a color swatch opens the
powerful Color Picker, which unlocks a larger visual interface for
exploring color and enhances the use of the Eyedropper tool to
sample color from a source image. You'll use color in several of the
chapters in this topic, and the Color panel and Color Picker are
fairly easy to understand.