Where has this Quick Mask Preview Tip Been My Whole Life?

I always liked the idea of the Quick Mask in Photoshop.  For those who may not be familiar, the Quick Mask feature is accessed by pressing the \ key on your keyboard while painting a mask on your image.   It shows you in a temporary red veil what you are masking out when toggled on (where you are painting with black).  On the surface, it sounds great, but it has a massive flaw, in my opinion.

The Quick Mask is red and a faint red at that, so it can be difficult to see very well when you toggle it on.  It was because of the Adobe default that I never really used it.   Here I, about 20 years later, think that the Quick Mask feature would be awesome if I could change the color.

After doing some serious digging in the menus of Photoshop, I found out how to change the Quick Mask, and I just had to share it with you. I thought it would be in the normal Photoshop preferences, I was wrong :/

To change the color, follow the tutorial at the bottom of this page or the directions below:

  1.  Open a new document.
  2. Add an Adjustment Layer
  3. Start painting in the mask with black
  4. Go to “Channels”
  5. Then select the mask you are painting
  6. Go to the options in the upper right-hand corner of the channels palette
  7. Click on “Layer Mask Options”
  8. Change the color and Opacity to your desired preference.  I prefer about 65% opacity with a pure magenta color.

I will show you how to do this in the tutorial below and compare it to my other favorite way to see what I am doing on my layers in Photoshop with the Layer Styles dialog.  Enjoy!

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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