Adding a Vector Mask to Text in Photoshop


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I recently wrote a post that talked about making a selection in Photoshop and then converting that selection into a vector mask. The vector mask was applied to some text and it appeared to somewhat integrate itself into the text to offer a very cool effect. To read the post and see all the screenshots I included in it, click through below.

In this post here, I wanted to give a quick synopsis of the longer version on the blog. What I did over there was simple enough and if you're dealing with a similar type of photo as I did in the previous post, you shouldn't have any issues. What you'll need is a clearly defined high contrast image to start off with. I used a photo of some sparks being twirled at night in the dark. The light of the sparks was definitely a contrast to the darkness of the environment. I then selected those sparks and masked them from the text. The outlines and shapes of the sparks were cut out of the text. Very cool.

Okay, to begin, I typed out some text in a new text layer. Then, I hid that layer from view by clicking the small eye icon in the Layers panel. I selected the bottom photo layer again and then used the Select > Color Range option from the menu. When the Color Range dialog appeared, I made some adjustments so all of the sparks were selected. I'll tell you that this wasn't very difficult because of the contrast between the sparks and the darkness that I mentioned above. The sparks were orange and the night time air was black.

Once the sparks were selected, I clicked on the OK button to close out the dialog box and then I clicked on the text layer eye icon again to make the text visible once more. I clicked on that layer to make it active and then I went to the bottom of the Layers panel and clicked the Add Vector Mask option. I'm assuming the Add Layer Mask button changed to the vector version because of the vector characteristics of text in Photoshop. After I did that, the mask was implemented and the sparks were either removed to the text or the text was removed from the sparks. Take a look at the post to see what I'm referring to. I did invert the mask a few times, which added to the coolness factor. It's fun to flip back and forth to see which offers a better effect.

If you have any questions about how to deal with vector masks while working in Adobe Photoshop, please ask me below. I'm always here to help and I'll do what I can. Thanks!
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