On1 Masking Tools Explained

Following my recent demonstration on YouTube of the On1 Photo RAW editor, I have received a lot of questions. Most of these are relating to the On1 Masking Tools. What are the sliders doing, how do they work and how do I know what to do with them? If you want the On1 Masking Tools explained, this tutorial and video is for you.

 

On1 Masking Video

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On1 Masking Notes

Let’s start with the secret. Once you understand the basic principles of masks, you can apply the information to work with any masking tool. They are all the same.

There are only three things you need to remember to understand On1 Masking:

  1. Black on a mask hides an effect.
  2. White on a mask reveals an effect.
  3. Grey on a mask will partially reveal an effect. The lighter the grey, the more the effect is revealed. The darker the grey, the more the effect is concealed.

Once you understand this, you should be able to look at a mask and understand what it’s doing. Although you may need to practice a little before it becomes second nature to you.

When you understand what the mask is doing, you can then use the adjustment sliders to change the mask and its behaviour. Typically, all these sliders do is make the tones in the mask darker or lighter. Because you understand how the mask works, you can quickly understand what the sliders are doing to it and how they will affect the image.

If you have any questions about using the On1 masking tools, please let me know. I may use your question as the basis for a future video.

Further Reading

If you would like to understand a little more about how masking works in general, read my article Understanding Photoshop Masks. Whilst this article uses Photoshop to explain masks, the masking principles in On1 are the same. If you prefer videos to reading you might like my tutorial Introduction to Layer masks in Photoshop.

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