Masking or adding a fading effect to any pictures is the most common and basic way of enhancing a picture. Users can avail this facility when they want to add a personal touch to any picture or if they wish to focus the viewer’s concentration on a certain area of the picture by fading the rest of it. The users mostly use masking of pictures for creating cards and other personal pictures. Though there is no defined situation of when can a certain enhancement be used and where not. The choice of an enhancement depends on the user completely and might differ from person to person.

Masking pictures can be done using a number of available basic and advanced photo enhancing software or online portals. This software includes the likes of Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, Gimp, etc. Gimp is open source software while Adobe Photoshop and CorelDraw would require you to purchase the rights of usage (or license) for the software. The costs involved with these purchases are pretty high and normally unaffordable by casual enthusiasts of image enhancing. Professionals and companies dealing with photo enhancement mostly use them. Casual users who are interested in learning photo enhancement and basic utilization are recommended to use free software like Picasa. This software won’t provide the advanced features of the paid ones or won’t be as efficient as them. But then again, you won’t need such high levels of precision for a personal job. In case you are able to afford it, then you should go ahead with buying the advanced software.

When you are going around masking pictures with your software you are advised to create a backup copy of the original picture before starting the process. After you have done so, select the area of the picture that you want to be masked. The selection process highlights the layer mask. It can be identified as a B &W image. This is the area that can now be given tones of grey or any other shades of black or even white. The thumb rule here is that the dark areas hide the picture. While the white portions reveal it with a certain amount of transparency.

Shades of grey will affect the transparency of the picture. After you have set up the layer mask you need to choose a colour for the fade or mask effect. This will ensure that your picture’s masked area will have a colour tone of your choice. In case you want it to be natural, and then choose white or transparent as the colour. Once you have chosen your mask’s colour, the last step involves choosing a gradient effect from the available ones. This choice will affect how the fading looks and its alignment on the original picture. Once you have finished with this, you have your final picture with the desired mask effect in your choice of colour tone.

Mask effects are easy and basic picture enhancing tools, which can be used by a beginner or amateur in this field. But if it is for business, do consult a professional editing studio whose job will be more refined.

Author's Bio: 

Atiqur Sumon
Chief Executive, DTP & SEO Expert at Outsource Experts Ltd.
Mask Picture | Graphic Design | Photo Enhancement