Masking Images

What does it mean to mask images?

Similar to clipping, masking is a technique by which complex objects or people can be separated from their original background, in great detail.

Masking is a professional image processing tool that makes it possible to process and change selected areas of an image easily, without affecting the original picture. The masking tool is mostly used for clipping complicated motifs from an image, in order to capture the finest details, such as hair, fur or fringes.

The color masks that are created by masking are ideal for further processing of sections of images, for color correction and for coloring of image details.

Example: In the field of photography, masking is ideal for capturing and clipping even the finest details and hair of people when processing photos.


Process for masking images

There are different ways of masking images in terms of image processing. However, masking is often associated with color correction masks. As the name suggests, this involves separating motifs in order to change the color of selected areas. This includes, for example, color corrections or changes in color tones, but also exposure adjustments and other retouching and image processing work. Color correction masks are therefore ideal for displaying clothing in different colors in online shops or catalogs.

Another popular form of cropping images is masking over so-called alpha channels, which is mainly used for motifs with blurred or insufficiently defined edges. This includes, for example, hair or fur. It is therefore clear that this type of masking is particularly helpful in model photography.

A good source image are "half the battle"

In order to save a lot of work when post-processing the pictures, you should remember when taking the picture that the motif should be used as a cut out. For example, a large blende and focusing on the contour of the motif ensure a photographic separation between the motif and the background.

In a model picture, imagine that the area of the hair is to be exposed. This is significantly easier if the contrast between the hair and the background is relatively large. Because the better the hair stands out from the background, the easier it is to mask this area. The same applies to the sharpness or blurriness of the hair.


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