Masking With a Vector Mask
Photoshop CS6 Tutorial
How to Add a Vector Mask in Photoshop
Masking involves removing unwanted areas of your image. You are often left with just one person or one object.
A new layer can then be added below the masked image and your person or object is transported to a new reality.
There are multiple ways to create a layer mask. In the topic, Masking with a Layer Mask, we described how to mask an object using the brush tool. This topic describes how to create a vector based mask that can be quickly reshaped in the future by moving points and handles. Vector masks are helpful in masking holes in the image, since the drawn path become transparent.
Open an image in Photoshop (File > Open).
With the image layer selected, double-click the layer thumbnail. Click OK and the layer is no longer a Background layer.
Select the Pen tool (p key) , set the tool to Path in the tool options and draw a closed shape within the image.
Open the Paths panel (Window > Paths) and select the current work path.
Return to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), select the layer. then choose Layers > Vector Mask > Current Path.
A new Vector Mask is added to the image layer. The white areas of the mask reveal the image.
To reshape the curve, click the Vector Mask, then open the Paths panel to select the path. Use one of the Pen tools (Add Anchor Point, Delete Anchor Point or Convert Point) or the Direct Selection tool (a key) to edit the path shape.
Applying a Vector Mask
If at any point you want to apply the mask (delete the mask and make the masked image areas transparent), right-click the image layer and choose Rasterize Layer. This converts the Vector Mask into a normal Layer Mask. Drag the mask to the trash icon in the Layers panel and click Apply in the dialog box.