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Convert Image to Layer Mask in Photoshop Using Channels

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Tutorials Photoshop Tips 9477 Views July 22nd, 2013

In this quick tutorial you will learn how to use Photoshop channels to create a layer mask from a grayscale image. You can easily mask an image with another image in Photoshop; you can create interesting effects by combining photos with text for example. Al you have to do is to mask the image layer with a texture containing a handwritten text. You can also check out our Photoshop tutorials for beginners for more basics.

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In this tutorial you will learn how to convert an image to layer mask in Photoshop using channels. This is a very useful Photoshop tip that will help you create interesting effects using any grayscale image as mask for text, shapes or other images.

Start with a simple Text Layer; I will use different colors for the letters to see the image mask effect. he opacity of the text layer is 100%

Add an empty layer mask

I will use this angel stock image as mask for the text layer. You can of course use any image you want like grunge textures for example.

Simply copy the image(right click on the image and choose Copy Image) and return to Photoshop. Go to the Channels Tab and make the Text layer Mask visible.

Press CTRL+V to paste the image into the Text layer Mask from the Channels Tab

While the image is still selected you can use the Move Tool to place it whee you want it to be. You can also use the Transform Tool to resize image and so on.

Return to the Layers Tab and as you can see in the layer mask of the text layer you have a grayscale image

Click on the layer mak thumbnail and press CTRL+I to invert image; you can now see the effect of the image layer mask. You can use adjsutments for the image mask as for example the Brightness/Contrast to adjust the result. As you can see the opacity of the text layer dropped accordingly to the graycale map of the image used.

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7 comment(s) for "Convert Image to Layer Mask in Photoshop Using Channels"

Finja
Finja
3:56 AM Tuesday, July 23, 2013
wieder so ein geniales Tutorial.
Danke f??rs teilen.
LG Finja reply
Vijay
11:23 AM Thursday, August 15, 2013
Awesome Tutorial.
Liked it as always.
Thanks reply
Xitrena
Xitrena
1:53 AM Thursday, November 07, 2013
Everything is simple and clear! thanks for the lesson!
:) reply
John
1:58 AM Thursday, November 07, 2013
I am glad to hear that! This tutorial on how to add an image as layer mask is for advanced Photoshopers :) reply
John
1:50 AM Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Image converted into layer mask using channels in Photoshop made by Vita reply
Darshan Gajara
12:43 AM Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Hey John,

Thanks a ton for your short yet essential tutorial. I wonder, does it work if we want the image to not lose its color? reply
PSDDude
8:03 AM Wednesday, June 03, 2015
All you have to do is to turn the Image Layer into a clipping mask for the Text Layer. That way you get to keep the transparency and the original colors. You might have to align the Image Layer with the mask image.

See Also :

Double Exposure Effect Photoshop Tutorials

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