Masking off areas

If you've ever painted your house, I'm sure you've had to block off parts of a wall (such as electrical sockets or windows) so you wouldn't accidentally paint over them. Usually, you cover the area(s) with some blue painter's tape to protect it. Then, when you're all done painting, you simply remove the tape, and all the places you want protected come out clean.

Masking in panel layers work the same way. The idea here is that you mask off areas of the panel layer that you want to protect. This way, you can work out your drawing as much as you want. Then, when you close the panel layer, everything that's masked off simply disappears from the main page.

To create a mask for your panel layer, follow these steps:

1. Open the panel layer you want to work on by opening the Layers palette (F4 on your keyboard), and double-clicking the layer.

The panel layer opens in its own window.

2. Create a new masking layer in either of the following ways:

• Click the icon next to the masking title on the Layers palette. When the dialog box pops up, click OK. (You can't change any of the settings anyway.)

• Or you can create a masking layer from the main menu by choosing LayerCNew Layer. In the New Layer dialog box that appears, select Masking Layer from the Layer Type drop-down list (all the other options except for the Name will gray out) and click OK.

3. Select either the Lasso/Polyline or Marquee tool.

You can use most any kind of drawing or selection tool on a mask layer if you want to, hut the Marquee or Lasso tools work best if you want to mask off large sections,

4. Select the Fill tool from the Tools palette.

5. Click the selection you created.

You see a light red/pink color filled into the selection.

6. Repeat Steps 3-5 as necessary until all the areas you want masked off are filled in.

If you want to create a masked panel layer from the main page, you can select the Draw on Mask Only option. Now, when you create a panel layer, a mask layer will be created that covers the area outside the shape you created.

You won't see anything on the main page, because there is no border draw. It's only when you open the panel layer that you'll see the masked-off area.

You can have only one masking layer per panel layer.

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