The Transparency Selection Method - Adobe Photoshop

This is the easiest method to create a matte. If you are so lucky as to know that you will need to provide a matte before you have begun painting your matte painting, you can keep the elements that you will need to provide mattes for on different transparent layers.

  1. Take a look at CanIGoHere.psd see in Figure below.
  2. This is a Photoshop file that still has its elements on separate layers.

    Make mattes for the foreground and midground.

  3. Select the foreground layer and go to Select > Load Selection, like you see done in Figure below.
  4. Make sure the foreground layer is selected before going to the Load Selection dialog box

  5. You do not have any masks saved, so the only selection that can be loaded is the layer transparency. Click OK to accept this, like you see in Figure below.
  6. Loading the layer’s transparency as a selection.

    You see that you are now back out to your image and the foreground element is selected with tight crawling ants enclosing the image. You can see the ants in Figure below Figure.

    The selection enclosure is sometimes referred to as crawling ants.

  7. Return to the menu bar, but this time go to Select > Save Selection.
  8. Make sure that it is a new channel. Give your alpha channel a name. I called it FGAlpha for Foreground Alpha, as you see in Figure below Figure.
  9. You can name your new alpha channel anything you want.

    That’s it. You’re done. Really. If you go to you Channels palette, you see your new alpha channel on the bottom. Figure below shows this. Figure.

    You can see the black and white alpha channel by clicking its layer in the Channels palette.

    Try making an alpha on your own for the midground using the same technique. (No, the second matte is not called the beta channel.)


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