Advanced Masking Video


Advanced Masking Video

Advanced Masking Video

$ 69.95 USD

Product Overview


1.Sectional Multi-Channel Masking technique
A new advanced masking technique to add to your masking toolkit covering faster and more accurate ways of creating and adjusting hard masks
2.Sectional Masking workflow/framework
A new overall masking workflow to combine different masking methods. Perhaps the first structured workflow that covers all methods and increases your chances of making masks were they weren’t possible before.

Scroll down this page to see the Table of Contents for the video and the Showcase Examples of what you will learn


The live Advanced Masking Webinars held in June 2020 were received so well, that I decided to create a video-only version of the Advanced masking class, available as of this moment as HD quality video tutorials recorded in a studio setting without an audience. And therefore even more extensive and detailed than the live classes.

Product Background


From Joel Tjintjelaar, one of the main photographers who created and popularized a style that has now become ubiquitous under the banner of ‘B&W fine-art architecture’, the photographer who also developed a structured B&W workflow to enable that style and has been adopted by many followers worldwide, now comes an entirely new masking technique and, again structured, workflow that he’s sharing with the world to make hard masking for B&W and color processing even easier and more sophisticated.

Having spent the last 5 years developing software for B&W post-processing, Joel at the same time has developed a new, masking technique and workflow to support his views on B&W fine-art photography and the software to enable B&W fine-art post-processing. Where digital B&W post-processing has evolved over the past decade to a creative, all-is-possible process within a structured and repeatable framework such as Joel’s iSGM method, the creation of hard masks mainly consisted of isolated trial and error techniques, and not so much of a structured and integrated approach.

With Sectional Masking and Sectional multi-channel masking, Joel has created such a repeatable and integrated framework with new sophisticated hard masking techniques.


*Scroll down this page to see the Table of contents and the detailed Showcase with examples


The creation of hard masks is essential to control a photograph completely. A photograph consists essentially of shapes and light. Light can be controlled with luminosity masks and shapes with hard masks. Isolate and control shapes and light, and you control everything.


But creating refined hard masks is one of the biggest challenges in photo editing. Existing methods are often limited to specific shapes and contrasts, and there’s no structured approach to deal with all masking issues.


This video explains an overall approach that combines different methods together and also demonstrates a new contrast-based method that goes beyond traditional methods to enable masks where they weren’t possible before and improve the quality of your masks.


  • how to create hard masks using a multitude of color independent channels, instead of, traditionally, just 1 color channel, to create masks where they seemed impossible before.
  • how to create more accurate masks and work faster with less effort using the new method.
  • how to split up the image in separate masking sections with different masking techniques like the pen tool for 1 hard mask.
  • how to make a hard mask that combines hard edges/transitions with local soft edges/transitions in 1 mask (semi-hard, semi luminosity mask).
  • sophisticated and non-degrading mask adjustment techniques like mask-in-mask and normal and overlay gradients
  • how to make the right masking decisions, learn more effective mask management, mask optimization, and much more.

This class isn’t only about the HOW but also about the WHY of hard masks and the techniques used. No true skills can be developed without understanding WHY.


  • a class where you learn to use basic Photoshop selection tools, such as the pen tool or polygonal tool. There are plenty of online classes on the Internet but I will briefly highlight those basic and more traditional tools and I’ll be using them in combination with my methods during the class
  • a class about how to use masking software


Hair, feathers, trees, architecture, product photography; everything can be masked with this method. But, this is not a magic technique: masking should already start in the field when shooting by visualizing the masks you need to create and adjust your shooting style to the light conditions, instead of trying to mask something that’s impossible to mask.

Learn what to look for when shooting in the field with the figure-ground principle in mind, to later create masks easier on the computer. See the table below to get an idea of how this principle is applied in the class.

What’s Included

  • 5 hr video tutorial Download in HD quality and English language (option to turn on English subtitles via VLC player)
  • A Photoshop action set to generate luminosity masks
  • 5 High res TIF practice files to follow along with the demonstrations in the video
  • Quick Reference Guide for quick lookup of key elements in the tutorial
  • Table of contents – Download PDF version here or scroll down this page to view it online

Quick Overview


Price: $ 69.95 USD


5-hour video DOWNLOAD (NO DVD!)

Includes the 5 high-res TIF files to follow along the video


Not only the HOW but also the WHY

The video starts off with the WHY behind hard masking, how it is essential to control shapes, and how it relates to soft masks (luminosity masks) before it goes into the HOW extensively.


Topics highlights

  • Overview and the WHY behind masks
  • Photoshop set up for masking, baselining terminology and way of working
  • Learn a structured way of creating hard masks that results in better masks and mask decisions with Sectional Masking Workflow
  • Learn an advanced technique of creating hard masks with Sectional Multi-Channel Masking for more accurate results
  • Learn to create a hard mask with varying hard and soft edge transitions, doing justice to landscapes
  • Learn to work with mask-in-mask correction techniques
  • Learn mask-in-mask single-channel hard mask creation with ‘overlay-mode’ gradients
  • Learn to combine techniques by working in sections.

Showcase Examples

Scroll down this page to see the showcase with examples of what you will learn in this video:

  • Hard masks with soft/hard transitions for landscapes
  • Hard masks with more transparent areas and softer transitions for hair, feathers, etc.
  • Masking in sections and much more

Related Testimonials

In June I’ve carried out three 3.5-hour Live Webinars on Advanced masking with very similar content as in this video – albeit less detailed and extensive than the video-only version of this class. To get an impression of how those Live webinars were received and what you can expect in this video-only version of this class, you can have a look at the testimonials for those Live webinars here. Just scroll down the page after clicking the link.

Video Table of Contents

Video preview # 1 – Advanced Masking

A short 3.5-minute preview of the Advanced Masking Class Video to get an idea of what’s in the video.

Video preview # 2 – Advanced Masking

The second short 3-minute preview of the Advanced Masking Class Video to get an idea of what’s in the video.


Examples Of What You Will Learn

Masking of landscapes – combined hard and soft transitions

As is often the case in landscapes, there are combinations of hard transitions with soft transitions to represent clouds and fog over mountains for example. Or shorelines. Sectional masking allows you to split up the image in sections for hard transitions and sections for soft transitions seamlessly. The multi-channel technique with normal and overlay gradients allows for exactly the right type of transition: soft or hard. Mask-in-mask techniques provide for controlled corrections that don’t degrade mask edges and in case of hard masking based on 1 channel/section, are also a very accurate and very fast way to create hard masks.

The original color image that will be masked. Notice the hard edges and varying soft edges separating ‘figure’ (the mountainous landscape as a whole) from the ‘ground’ (the sky). The sectional multi-channel masking method provides a way of dealing with those characteristics.

The mask of the entire image – a hard mask to isolate the sky from the foreground or to separate ‘figure’ from ‘ground’ has different edges; soft to represent fog/clouds/atmospheric perspective and hard where the separations are clear.

The mask from the part of the image that is covered in clouds is soft and then goes on to the part without clouds is represented by a hard edge. Created with multi-channel masking techniques as demonstrated in the video.

Another section of the image, where the mountain tops are covered partially by clouds, again have a soft edge transition, created with sectional multi-channel masking and iterations of ‘overlay-mode’ gradients.

Yet another part of the image where the part farthest away from the observer, around the horizon, is hazy and soft, are again represented by soft, almost luminosity mask-like transitions. Accomplished with the sectional masking technique.

Masking of wildlife

Wildlife poses a different challenge when dealing with hair or feathers in masking. Multi-channel masking allows for just the right transparency and intricacy.
Sectional masking provides a way of seamlessly combining soft and transparent masks for feathers for example and hard masks for beak or legs.

The entire mask built up from 3 different masking sections, each section assigned to a different technique, to respect the character of each section: hard edge or soft edge, transparent, or solid. Bird image (c) copyright Phillipa Alexander who generously provided this bird image for the advanced masking class video.

The tail with feathers is softer and more transparent than the rest. At the same time very intricate. Very easy to control with sectional multi-channel masking

The wings are not completely solid white but have areas that are light gray to represent the transparent wings. If one prefers to make it completely solid, then that’s just as easy to do with the techniques demonstrated in this class.

Another part of the bird representing a mask of the hairs. It is softer, partially transparent, and very delicate. Accomplished fast and easy with the methods demonstrated in this class.

Masking of architecture

Due to the less intricate and more geometrical nature of manmade constructions with predominantly rectilinear and curvilinear shapes, masks can often be made with the traditional pen tool. Antennas, powerlines, windows, and the combination of trees and other foliage in urban settings however, often make it impossible to only use the pen tool.
With sectional masking, one can split up the architectural image in straightforward pen tool sections, parts that require intricate masking and parts that have semi-transparent elements like windows that can be done only with a contrast-based technique like multi-channel gradient masking.

An example of architecture where the ‘figure’ – the building and foreground – needs to be separated from the ‘ground’ – the sky – and where there’s a combination of geometrical lines and more intricate powerlines, and trees. Correctly created hard masks should do justice to those different characteristics by using the technique applicable to those specific elements. They can then be combined by using sectional masking.

The entire mask is built up from 5 different sections, each section using different channels, and one section, done with the pen tool. If you look at the bottom left corner then the masks of the powerlines there, required a different approach with a different source-channel to accomplish that type of intricacy.

Zoomed in detail from the bottom left corner. Notice how the cables and other intricate details have been masked. This section has been masked with different source-channel and different adjustment techniques (mask-in-mask correction and more overlay gradients).

Another architectural structure also demonstrated in the video, to show more examples of sectional multi-channel masking. Notice the crane to the left. That part had to be masked differently from the rest of the image.

This is the crane from the previous example. Notice the almost invisible cables/strands in the crane that have been masked using multi-channel masking with iterations of normal and overlay gradients.


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