The use of a Radial Gradient Mask is a quick, easy way to highlight the sun, a face or anything else on your photo. You can create an ellipse or circular shape that makes its easy to create a gradual blend between two states. It can be used with an image layer to add ramping transparency. For an adjustment layer, it’s useful to create a blend between the modified and original state.
Here’s how to use the Radial Mask tool
- Create a Layer or Adjustment Layer mask as previously discussed in this chapter.
- Click the Edit Mask button on the layer.
- Select the Radial Mask option from the drop-down.
- Click and drag to create a circular gradient.
- Click the Visibility button in the top toolbar to make it easier to visualize the gradient.
- The tool offers simple controls to refine the gradient.
- Drag the middle of the gradient (the dot) to place its center.
- Drag the inside circle’s radius to affect the size of the gradient.
- Drag the outside circle’s radius to affect the feathering of the gradient.
- Drag a handle on the outside circle to adjust the aspect ratio to create an ellipse shape.
- Drag outside the outer circle to rotate the gradient mask.
- You can change the mode of the mask if you need to change how a mask is applied by clicking the Invert button. By default, the Radial Gradient mask that is created will “protect” the center of the circle/oval and any enhancements will be applied outside of the inner circle. Click this button to invert the mask so that effects will be applied TO the inner circle.
- You can also adjust properties like Blending modes and Opacity to change the masks impact on the image.
- When satisfied with the mask, click the Done button.
- If using an Adjustment Layer, adjust the Filter controls as needed. The mask will control how its results are applied.
You can edit the results of a Radial mask by clicking the Edit Mask button. This lets you add or subtract from the mask using the Brush tool for greater control over the mask.