|There are several ways to use layer masks in your layouts, and
on your photos. You can make your own using brushes and save them
for future use, or download ready made ones from the internet. This
tutorial is fairly quick and simple, and if using a pre-made mask,
requires very little artistry on your part. The mask used in this
tutorial was downloaded from http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/freedownloads/l/blframesmain.htm
, they have quite a large selection of free masks, and there are
many other sites as well.
First, open a new document for your layout, in this example it's
12 x 12 inches. (You may at this time put in the background of
your choice, it is easier to see how the photo will look when
blended.) Open the photo you wish to use, and the mask of your
choice. Click and drag (or copy/paste) your photo into your layout,
and position it where you want.
Click on your mask, making it the active document. Select>All
(Control-A) and Edit>Copy (Control-C). Click on your layout,
making it the active document. Press Q (or click the quick mask
icon) to enter Quick Mask mode. Edit>Paste (Control-V). Your
layout should now look like this:
Edit>Free Transform (Control-T) to resize the mask to the
same size as your photo, and position it directly over your photo.
Press Q again to exit Quick Mask mode (or click the icon). Your
mask will now appear as a selection (marching ants) over your
photo. Making sure your photo layer is the active layer, on the
bottom of the layers palette click the "add layer mask"
icon (looks like a rectangle with a white dot in the middle) to
add the layer mask to your photo.
If you wish, at this time, you may paint further on your layer
mask, using a soft brush, in black to further hide parts of your
photo or in white to reveal more of your photo. When your photo
looks as blended as you wish, you may repeat this procedure with
more photos for a "montage" effect or simply add any
embellishments and text you wish to finish off your layout.