I’m starting this thread so that more experienced 'Choppers can post their tricks, tips, and know-how so that contest participants new to Photoshop can pick up some valuable skills.
My first entry here is basic masking using the QuickMask tool:
QuickMask is a great way to mask an object that doesn’t have straight lines, such as a person or animal. QuickMask lets you “paint” your selection. This is just a quick demonstration; for the exact functionality of this tool, look in Photoshop’s Help or google “photoshop quickmask”.
On to the 'toot:
We start with this lovely source image:
We zoom in on the area to mask, enter QuickMask by pressing Q, paint in the mask area as shown. For hair, fur, or other less defined edges, you can use a soft brush for masking. This is a fairly simple mask to do, but the time you take on proper masking here will make or break your image.
Pressing Q again exits QuickMask, with your painted mask selected:
Ctrl-J copies the selection onto it’s own layer, ready to be maniuplated further: