Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Photoshop: Channels


To be introduced to Photoshop's masking, blending and colorization tools. To create the above montage by example.


Photoshop has the ability to collage images seamlessly. When creating montages, be sure that there is a great contrast in size to help the viewer enter the picture. In this example, the contrasting subjects also help communicate a concept: the merging of art and technology. This illustration was used in a brochure for printing inks, therefore saturated colors were chosen.


masking mona

  1. download starter files
  2. open "mona.psd" in Photoshop
  3. rename "background" layer "mona"
  4. new layer "black"; fill with black (opt+DELETE)
  5. restack layers
  6. draw oval (w/ option key); select > transform selection, adjust
  7. "mona" layer: layer > add layer mask > reveal selection
  8. layer mask: filter > blur > gaussian blur (40)

making alberts

  1. open "albert.psd"
  2. copy/paste image into "mona.psd" (cmd+A; cmd+C, cmd+V)
  3. rename layer "albert"; hide others
  4. window > show channels
  5. go to blue channel; image > adjust > invert (cmd+I); go back to "RGB"
  6. window > show layers
  7. dupe albert (move tool, add option to copy)
  8. go to channels, invert red channel, go to RGB channel, return to layers
  9. dupe albert again
  10. go to channels, invert blue channel (again), go to RGB channel, return to layers
  11. combine all 3 alberts: merge down (cmd+E), repeat
  12. dupe again (option+move); reposition, repeat
  13. combine alberts: go to top layer, merge down (cmd+E), repeat
  14. reveal "mona" and "background" layers

masking alberts

  1. layer > add layer mask > reveal all (note icon in floating palette)
  2. choose default colors
  3. draw linear gradient (foreground to background)
  4. new layer "corner"
  5. draw linear gradient (foreground to transparent)


  1. add your name and the exercise number on the PSD file
  2. layer > flatten image; image > mode > CMYK
  3. file > save as (format=JPEG; quality=10)
  4. open the JPEG in Photoshop and print a proof for grading
  5. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 3/2/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young