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mask out the white from a black and white image

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Paul Boone
mask out the white from a black and white image
on Jan 25, 2012 at 6:10:13 pm

I've been given several photoshop files, which I don't know how they were originally created.

In 1 layer there is a black box, with a white background. I want the white background to be masked out.

I have a several of these files with an image that has black lines to form a shape, with a white background and I just want to get rid of the white.

Last night, with a different file.. I swear I figured this out, but don't ask me how.. but I think.. I added a pixel mask, selected color range highlights (white), and then hit the invert checkbox. I can do this all to the layer I'm working on now (the one with just a black box on white background), but for some reason I get a green border around the black box..

I know I can just draw a box, but I need to figure this out because there are many other projects that I need to mask out the white, with more complex black shapes in them.

Thanks


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Scott Roberts
Re: mask out the white from a black and white image
on Jan 28, 2012 at 8:06:14 am

Several ways - - first, for best results, use the pen tool to create a mask. second way, magic wand (most likely you'll have to refine the edge of the selection before making your mask - make sure after selecting the white area that you invert your mask, give it a slight feather (.5px) then create the layer mask.

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Darby Edelen
Re: mask out the white from a black and white image
on Feb 1, 2012 at 7:33:07 am

I'd recommend using a layer mask so that it's non-destructive. Create your selection from the white of the image using any method you like (wand selection, color range selection, personally I prefer to use the image as an alpha channel).

Then create a new layer and opt-click/alt-click (mac/pc) the Add Layer Mask button at the bottom of the layer panel. This will hide the current selection on the new layer.

Fill that new layer with black. Make sure that you select the layer itself and not the layer mask for that step.

Another nice thing about this method is that there's no chance for white spill at the edges of the resulting transparency.

Darby Edelen


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