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What, exactly, is masking?

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Hello everybody,

I'm rather new here (yes, stereotypical to say that, but its true) and I have a question about Masking:

What is it??

I went to the newbie playground and searched there, but i couldn't find anything specifically describing what it is. All the tutorials I've tried use it, especially the ever-present Alpha Mask effect, but none that I've seen really explain why we use it, they just tell you to. Personally, I like to understand the concepts that make what I'm doing work!

Could someone give a nice, specific definition, and maybe explain what exactly it does?

If this is a redundant post, please, feel free to redirect me, but as far as I could tell, nothing really explained it.

Thank you all for your time!

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The Alpha Mask effect is a way of manipulating opacity and

transparency with greater control than some other methods may offer.

Follow this link, then click the link that says "Tutorial WIP PNG Link".

Tutorial WIP

There are links in the second post that may shed some light on ways that the effect can be used also.

I really should go get one of those Staples "Easy Buttons" right now, and slam it against my forehead. :roll:

What I wasn't understanding before was that it was using a black-to-white gradient scale and transferring/transforming that to a clear-to-opaque gradient scale (basically, right?)

and now I understand why pretty much everyone uses it! I think what made me not realize it earlier was that most of the tutorials I looked at used alpha-mask in a very black-and-white only manner, so I didn't see that it was changing the opacity. Your post or whatever it is here: Sarkut's tutorial on alpha mask helped me out a lot!


Edited by 1307invert
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