MASKING: A Comprehensive Basic Tutorial (for v3.x to 4.x)

Please post your tutorials here for ProShow Producer only. Provide a lnk if you have a file that can be downloaded by others. This is not a discussion section, but rather a source for sharing tutorials.
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Postby BarbaraC » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:41 am

I think the best thing to learn from all this is what you and I both stated, each in our way: learn (if you can :evil: ) how the two types of masks work, then pick the type you feel most comfortable with. You have an affinity for alpha masks and I have one for grayscale.

If only Photodex had written a decent manual, and in the area of masks had stated that what can be done with one can also be done with the other, so pick your poison.

Barbara

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Postby gpsmikey » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:50 am

BarbaraC wrote:
If only Photodex had written a decent manual, ...

Barbara


Reminds me of a famous old song ... "Dream the impossible dream" :D

Masks are like keyframes in that everybody has a different way of
viewing them that works for them. It is good to learn about alpha masks
since they are very common in video work.

mikey
You can't have too many gadgets or too much disk space !!
mikey (PSP6, Photoshop CS6, Vegas Pro 14, Acid 7, BluffTitler, Nikon D300s, D810)
Lots of PIC and Arduino microprocessor stuff too !!

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Postby BarbaraC » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:21 pm

gpsmikey wrote:It is good to learn about alpha masks
since they are very common in video work.

I'm currently in the throes of learning how to use some much-too-advanced music synthesizing software along with learning my new midi keyboard and trying to remember piano lessions from over 50 years ago, and you're tossing the notion of learning video at me? :shock: I'm a complete non-drinker, but I may have to revisit the issue.

Barbara

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Postby gpsmikey » Sun Mar 23, 2008 2:56 pm

BarbaraC wrote:
gpsmikey wrote:It is good to learn about alpha masks
since they are very common in video work.

I'm currently in the throes of learning how to use some much-too-advanced music synthesizing software along with learning my new midi keyboard and trying to remember piano lessions from over 50 years ago, and you're tossing the notion of learning video at me? :shock: I'm a complete non-drinker, but I may have to revisit the issue.

Barbara


That's the spirit !! (or is that spirits ?? :D )

mikey
You can't have too many gadgets or too much disk space !!
mikey (PSP6, Photoshop CS6, Vegas Pro 14, Acid 7, BluffTitler, Nikon D300s, D810)
Lots of PIC and Arduino microprocessor stuff too !!

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Postby BarbaraC » Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:19 pm

Well, I'm currently dispirited, but you're in high spirits!

Barbara

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Postby imabeatlelover » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:49 am

I don't understand one thing about this but I REALLY want to understand it so I am going to try and sweep the cobwebs out of my brain and try VERY hard to get this. THANKS SO MUCH!!!!! If this can teach me a thing or two then you are truly a WIZARD!

Pat

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Postby BarbaraC » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:57 am

Pat, I think masks are the single most difficult thing to learn in Producer, and because of this, it's important to start out with a simple goal such as using a mask to highlight just one portion of a picture. That all by itself will give you a glimmer of understanding. I've made it just about an inch past the glimmer part, which isn't saying much since I believe there's at least a whole yard left to learn.

Barbara

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Postby imabeatlelover » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:39 am

Thanks Barbara. I know that starting in the middle usually only creates frustration and then you become convinced that you're too "dim" to ever get it. Yes....right now, a glimmer would be wonderful! I have to keep reminding myself that when I started on the computer I can remember asking my nephew (a computer tech) who had just installed my first "used, but new to me" computer where the heck the power button was to turn it on. I put off getting a computer for a long time, not because I was afraid of it or against new technology, but I put it off because I KNEW I'd become an addict and by gosh, I was right! My husband is always saying to me, "Don't you ever do anything else but stay on that %#@*"% computer all day!!!" Fortunately for me, he HATES computers and he doesn't know where the power button is like I didn't but he has no desire to find it. I think I'd go NUTS if he had to share a computer with me. As it is when my kids get on my computer I shake in my boots until they're through. Luckily for me there's only one of the four who still doesn't have their own computer so she's hardly ever using it anymore. When anyone else uses my computer it feels like when I was a teenager living at home and someone would go into MY ROOM and mess with "my stuff"! NOT a good feeling and it made me VERY grouchy! So I guess I'll start today fresh and see what happens and find out if I can learn this "masking" stuff! THANKS! Onward and upward (hopefully!)

Pat

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Postby BarbaraC » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:11 am

Pat, give this a try: create something simple such as a white circle surrounded by nothing but black. Put this as your first layer in a slide and beneath it place any picture of your choice. Now put a check in the box to make that first layer a mask. It'll probably default to Intensity (grayscale), but if it doesn't, choose that. Now look at what happens to the photo. Just the portion where the mask has a white circle will be showing. Then put a check mark next to "Invert" and see what happens. This is masking at its most basic level. Fool around with keyframing, moving the mask around, or if you like, move the picture around instead. What's happening is that whatever's white in the mask will show what's directly beneath it. Whatever is black will show what's in the third layer, and in this case, that third layer happens to be the slide's background. Add a third layer--another picture--and watch again what happens.

Barbara

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Postby briancbb » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:45 am

I like your tutorials Barbara. It must be having that smiling face at the side that does it. :oops:

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Postby marmart » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:33 pm

Wow Barbara - that is Masking for Dummies - 101

I love it and am going to go do it right now!! Thanks

Mary

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Postby imabeatlelover » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:07 pm

OMG BARBARA! Now I think I'm getting it! Not only that but I didn't know I could make my own masks like that! The more I learn the more I find out I need to learn! I think you actually put a flicker in the light bulb over my head! Thanks Barbara! You know....maybe a Masks for Dummies written by you wouldn't be such a bad idea! I'll buy one!! It's always the simplest things that seem to evade us because no one mentions them because they assume we already about them (does that make sense?)

Thanks So Much!
Pat

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Postby BarbaraC » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:04 pm

Aw shucks, folks. 'Tweren't nothin'. :oops:

Barbara

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Postby im42n8 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:59 pm

How about this Pat - - and you don't even have to leave PSP to create it either:

Add a solid black layer (layer 1). Put an image on the 2nd layer and an image on a third layer. Now, size every layer to "fit frame." Now, resize layer 1 to a zoom of 25% or so. Next, make it a mask (click on make this a mask!).

It'll probably be an Alpha (Transparency) mask. See what happened when you did that. Next, invert it (invert mask button) and see how that affected what you see. Like with Barbara, move one of the layers around and see what happens. That helps to visualize what has really happened and what affects what.

Now, change the mask to an Intensity (Grayscale" mask. Note what happened with this type of mask. Then, invert it and see how that affects it.

Then, change the color of layer 1 to white and go through the same steps as above. That's it! And about as simple as you can get without leaving PSP ... and you've just run the gamut of the simple mask choices in PSP.

For jollies, this show provides some examples of masking. It's a tutorial that's not beginner level ... but does show some the things you can do with masks and how it's done. Once you've figured out basic masks you may want to take a gander at this and some of the many good masking tutorials here!

http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewsho ... alb=135843
(updated)

Dale
Last edited by im42n8 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby BarbaraC » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:11 pm

Dale, did you allow an inordinate amount of time for the intro part? I ended up clicking on the Forward button in an effort to get to the menu, and after umpteen clicks, it finally showed up. Or is Photodex maybe all bogged down?

I didn't see screenshots of layers, so it's tough knowing who's on first and what's on second. Without those screenshots, this goes beyond intermediate. Anyway, that's what this beginner thinks. :(

Barbara

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