Do You Want Access To 700,000+ Presets & Templates?
Yes, I Want Make Better VideosNo, I Don't Want To Make Better Videos

Gradient Mask Photoshop Step-By-Step Tutorial

Mastering layer masks in Photoshop is essential for creating professional-grade visuals, as they allow for non-destructive editing and seamless blending of elements. By following the step-by-step guide, you'll learn how to create, apply, and manipulate layer masks, equipping you with the skills to elevate your image editing projects to a new level.

September 15, 2023
Gradient Mask Photoshop Step-By-Step Tutorial
"Photoshop Is Nothing Without It"
Join over 1 million users who have upgraded their Photoshop skills with the #1 AI tool for image enhancement!
"It's Like Video Editing On Steroids!"
- Sebastian Navarro, FreeVisuals Editor
Endorsed by Adobe, Envato Elements is the ULTIMATE tool for creating high-quality videos! Browse 15M+ assets for Premiere Pro, After Effects, FCPX & DaVinci!
Get 100s Of FREE Effects & Tools In A Single Plugin!

Join millions of users who have unleashed their true potential with the AEJuice Starter Pack & All In One Bundle!

Download FREE AEjuice Plugins

How do I do a gradient mask in Photoshop?

Layer masks serve as the backbone of high-quality image editing, enabling you to seamlessly blend different elements, construct smooth transitions, and lay the groundwork for advanced photo manipulation and graphic design.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the following key areas:

  • What layer masks are and their core functionalities
  • Step-by-step instructions on creating and applying them
  • The various properties and settings associated with layer masks
  • Techniques for transforming and animating masks for dynamic effects

Mark my words, by the end of this article, you'll have a robust understanding of how to leverage layer masks to elevate your Photoshop projects to a professional level.

Step 1: Open Your Images

Firstly, open both images you want to blend. For this example, let's say you have an image of a heron and another of a water scene. You can go to File > Open and select the images from your computer. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop the files into the Photoshop workspace. Drag and drop is a quicker method if you already have the folder open where your images are stored.

Step 2: Move One Image Onto the Other

Now, select the Move Tool from the toolbar or press V on your keyboard. Click on the heron image, hold, and drag it over to the tab where the water scene is open. Position the heron in the lower right corner so that its top edge aligns with the far shoreline. Trust me, positioning is crucial for a natural blend. Alternatively, you can use Edit > Free Transform or press Ctrl+T (Windows) or Cmd+T (Mac) to resize or rotate the heron to better fit the scene.

Step 3: Create a Selection Around the Heron

Next, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool from the toolbar or press M. Drag out a rectangle around just the heron. If you ask me, this helps in isolating the area where the gradient mask will be applied. An alternative would be to use the Lasso Tool for a more freeform selection, especially if the heron isn't in a rectangular shape.

Step 4: Add a Layer Mask

Go to the Layers Panel, which is usually on the right side of the screen, and click the "Add Layer Mask" button at the bottom. It looks like a rectangle with a circle inside. This will add a layer mask to the heron layer. For sure, layer masks are non-destructive ways to hide portions of a layer. Alternatively, you can go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to achieve the same result.

Step 5: Use the Gradient Tool

Select the Gradient Tool from the toolbar or press G. Make sure your foreground and background colors are set to white and black, respectively. These colors determine how the gradient mask will blend the images. To be honest, you can also use different shades of gray for varied opacity levels.

Step 6: Apply the Gradient

Position your cursor so that it's level with the tip of the heron's bill. Hold down the Shift key (this ensures a straight gradient line), then click, hold, and drag from right to left to the edge of the layer. Release the mouse button to apply the gradient. In a nutshell, this blends the heron into the water scene. Alternatively, you can drag from bottom to top for a vertical blend, depending on the orientation and desired effect.

32% Of Photoshop Users Can't Live Without....

We collected results from 16,832 users to find out which AI tools were most popular. Here are the results.

32% - Topaz
21.5% - SkyAI
11% - Elements 2.0
5% - Gigapizel

Related Content