Step-by-step: Make the most of your layer masks

ImagineFX - - ImagineNation -


Start by drawing the ob­ject you want to scuff up. In this case it’s a suit of ar­mour. No­tice how the ar­mour is con­structed out of dif­fer­ent metal el­e­ments that can be masked separately, so they can quickly be mod­i­fied later on. When paint­ing ob­jects like th­ese, try to un­der­stand how they’re shaped. It helps you to paint on the dirt more log­i­cally.


For each ma­te­rial, I cre­ate a brightly coloured layer on top so they can be masked out separately. Us­ing bright colours helps to see where your mask will have gaps. So if you can still see the un­der­ly­ing lay­ers, go over them a sec­ond time. Now go to the Lay­ers panel and Ctrlclick the thumb­nail of one of the coloured lay­ers to se­lect its con­tent.


Cre­ate a new layer and click Add Layer Mask at the foot of the Lay­ers panel. Your se­lec­tion be­comes that layer’s mask. Now fill the layer with a dark brown colour, click the Chan­nels tab, hide the RGB chan­nels and un­hide your new layer mask. Us­ing black tex­tured brushes, paint over the white ar­eas to clean up the ar­mour and gen­er­ate an or­ganic dirt map.

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