Since the name suggests, masking is a technique used to hide or show parts of an object or even image. With masking methods you can achieve many types of creative effects with images. You can create a mask that gives a different dimension to your images and makes them look even more interesting in the process. You can also make a mask that acts as a fogged window display or hide parts of the images underneath the mask. This technique uses the particular tones of the appearance of the selected object in grayscale to determine the degree of its visibility and alter its look.

Another masking technique employs the transparency of the object (in an image) itself to affect its presence. This can help you to edit your old images and give all of them a new look. You can also have fun with your new images and create some thing unique that can be used in advertising, social networking or just for creating a photograph album. For masking a subject, you can either use a vector or a bitmap image. The particular technique can be applied to several objects or grouped items as well. Often , business professionals use masking for creating magazines for various products that they sell.

Vector masking

When you have used other vector illustration applications such as Macromedia FreeHand, perhaps you are familiar with vector face masks, which are very convenient with regard to image editing. The design of a vector mask object crops the underlying objects towards the shape of its path, creating a cookie-cutter effect. When a vector mask is created, the Levels panel displays a thumbnail with a pen icon to point that it has created a mask of this type. Not only that, you also get the option to customize the colour of the masked object and provide it a different style altogether.
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Bitmap masking

If you have utilized Photoshop you are probably familiar with layer masks. Bitmap masking look like the layer in which the pixels in the image affect the presence of underlying objects. This method can be applied in two different ways:

1 . By using an existing object to hide other items – This technique is similar to the way in which vector masking is used.

2 . By creating what is called an empty mask — Empty, fully transparent or even totally opaque masks will help in highlighting or hiding objects in an image. A transparent (or white) cover up highlights all the masked items, while an opaque (or black) mask hides all of them.