Light Painting Tips and Techniques: Double Masking Using a Group…

Here’s a  short video tutorial I put together on a basic technique that I refer to as “double masking”.   One of my recent workshop students, Gary Johnson, asked me to clarify this technique to him, so I thought it would be a good idea to put the information in a video for others to see. Sometimes, when we bring a light painted image into our main image, we create a mask that reveals all of the good information that we want, and hides the information we don’t want (the purpose of a mask, of course).  Occasionally, these masks take a bit of time to create, and once we create them we don’t want to alter them, thereby losing the work we just did.  In those cases, I like to place the layer and its mask into its own group, and then use a mask on the group to further modify the content of that layer.  One function of this technique is to preserve the first mask that we created, which can sometimes be a little surgical in nature, and therefore take some time to create.  The other, and probably more important function of this technique, is to allow us to have a little bit more creative freedom and how we bring in the information from a light painted layer.  The image I’m using in this video was shot at a workshop by student Paul Kolman, using light painting, and as part of the workflow that I teach, the captures are simply layered together to create the final image. This tutorial shows just one layer being brought in, and use of “double masking”.  This video is just a quick look at the kind of information that my students learn (although more in depth) at my workshops.

Just after the video loads, please click on the HD button on the upper right of the video for better video quality…

To see more videos on Light Painting by Harold click HERE

~ by Harold Ross on September 28, 2012.

4 Responses to “Light Painting Tips and Techniques: Double Masking Using a Group…”

  1. thanks,Harold

  2. why would switching from white to black on the first mask have ruined that mask? Can you not get the same effect by painting in from the first mask?

    • Fax, The first mask gets rid of the things that we don’t want to see (ever). If we get rid of those things with 100% black (or, conversely, as in the video) reveal what we do want with 100% white), then the second mask allows more freedom in “aesthetic” masking. The first mask is “utilitarian” and would be ruined by painting on it further (in areas that we don’t ever want to see). The second mask can then be altered in any way, but it would never reveal the things we hid by the first mask. Put another way, painting on the first mask with white would reveal the things we hid in the first place.

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