Gently Applying a Filter
'Quick Mask'

Clive R. Haynes FRPS

To apply a filter gently across or around an image, Quick Mask' can come to our aid

Open the image

Activate 'Quick Mask' and select a Linear Gradient set for black/white
Left: The Quick Mask icon near the base of the Tool Bar
It's a personal choice whether or you you prefer to use Quick Mask set to 'Masked Areas' or 'Selected Areas', whichever way around your Quick Mask 'option' is set, you can either swap it (see below), or, after 'selection' simply 'Inverse' (Ctrl + Shift + I) the selection to work on the area the way around you need it.
To access the Quick mask Options box (below) - double click on the Quick Mask r.h. icon
Note: Photoshop defaults to 'Masked Areas' - you may wish to change this.

Above: Quick Mask will indicated the 'Selected Area' (used below)
Above: Quick Mask will indicated the 'Masked (protected) Area'
Click on the right hand 'Quick Mask' icon/button to activate Quick Mask
With 'Quick Mask' activated, select the Gradient Tool from the Toolbar (see below)
Left: the Gradient Tool

Set the f/g colour to black, the b/g colour to white

Choose Foreground to Background for the gradient option. (You could click on the pre-set 'Black - White' Gradient option if you prefer)

For this example, a 'Linear Gradient' was chosen

Set the opacity of the gradient


Applying the Gradient

Drag the cursor across the image - and a translucent red, 'Ruby Lith', area will appear

Tip: To drag in a precise horizontal or vertical direction - hold down 'Shift' when you 'drag'

You may require several attempts to place the gradient where you require it, to estimate it's transition and to set its opacity.

The extent of the Gradient will be seen by the extent of the 'Ruby Lith'
The application of the Gradient has the effect of producing a gradually feathered selection across the area .

Exit Quick Mask by clicking on the left hand Quick Mask icon/button or by 'Q' on the keyboard.
Now the selection will be visible as 'marching ants' (the mid-point of the 'feather' is indicated ).
If it should be the wrong way around, 'Inverse' the selection (Ctrl + Shift + I).

Tip: Should you wish to alter the feathering, Ctrl + Alt + D will show the 'Feather Radius' dialogue box.
Above: the application of the gradient
Above: the 'Selection' produced
Choose the Filter you wish to use.
For this example Filter > Brush Strokes > Splatter, was used
As an alternative: the image below was made with the same filter but this time using the 'Circular Gradient'
Neither image will win any prizes but I hope they'll give an idea about how the Quick Mask Gradient can be applied.
Have fun!
Delving Deeper Into Layers
Gradient Mask
Know-How Contents
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