Using Bryce Masks in PSP

This is a tutorial on using Bryce masks in Paint Shop Pro in order to modify certain sections of your rendered Bryce image without affecting other parts.
Okay, here’s the original image. I need to kick up some sand under the octopus and texturize the octopus.

In order to do this, I need two masks.

One for the octopus only …

and one for the octopus, plants, and shells (to kick up the sand).

Looking back, I should have also rendered a mask for the in front plants.

To render a mask in Bryce, select the object you want to make the mask of..
Click on the image for a larger version.
Next, pull down the menu from the bottom arrow (circled) and select Mask Render.
Next, choose File > Render to Disk.
When rendering an image that I’ll be doing post-processing on, I prefer to render it at 2048 x whatever and at 300 dpi.
Name your file, save as a .bmp or a .tif file.
And it renders to disk. Repeat for each mask needed.
Now we need to load the masks into Paint Shop Pro so that they can be used to mask the actual image.
Open the first mask image in PSP (I’m using PSP7).

With the image active, choose Masks -> New -> From Image.
The Add Mask From Image panel comes up. Since I want the mask to “mask” everything but the octopus, I make sure that Source luminance is selected and Invert mask data is not.
Click on OK and here’s the mask.
Choose Masks -> and pull down the menu. Now, we can do one of two things here. Either save the mask to disk or save to the alpha channel.

If we save to disk then we can close the mask image.

If we save to alpha channel, then we cannot close the mask images or the alpha channel masks won’t be available to use in the original image.

For now, choose Save To Alpha Channel.

The Save To Alpha panel comes up. New Channel is selected, so click on OK again. Enter a name for the mask into the New Channel panel.


Click on OK.

The mask is now saved to an alpha channel.

Do not, I repeat, do not close the image you made the mask from!

Open the second mask image in PSP.

Umm, you did leave the other mask image open, didn’t you?

With the image active, choose Masks -> New -> From Image. The Add Mask From Image panel comes up again. Click on OK and here’s the mask.
Now save the mask to an alpha channel.
If you have limited memory on your computer or the files are huge, use the Masks -> Save To Disk after you create each mask. Save the masks using the same name as the masks so that you can remember them (i.e., octopus_mask.msk, octopus_plants.msk). You can then close the mask files before loading the rendered image. I’ll take this into consideration when showing how to load the masks on the next page.
Now we need to load the masks into Paint Shop Pro so that they can be used to mask the actual image.
Now, it’s time to start adding the masks to our rendered image, so load it into PSP.
We don’t want to touch the background layer at the moment, so select Layers -> Duplicate.

I needed two duplicate layers so I chose Layers -> Duplicate again.

Name the layer to match the mask you will apply to it, in this case, “octopus and plants” and “octopus only”
Select one of the layers to mask out. I like to hide the remaining layers so that I won’t be distracted.
With the correct layer selected, choose Masks -> Load From Alpha Channel…
The Load From Alpha panel comes up. You may need to pull down the listing to select the one you want. I need the octopus mask.
Click on OK and here’s the masked image.
Let’s load the mask for the second layer. Make sure that the layer is active. Hide the first layer and unhide the second layer.
For this next layer, I’ll use the load from disk option.

Choose Masks -> Load From Disk.

Select your mask from the Load Mask Channel menu and choose Open.
Here’s the mask applied to the layer.

Wait …

that’s not right …

The octopus and plants are supposed to be masked out.

There are two things you can do here:

1. Choose Masks -> Invert

2. Figure out what you did wrong

Since we’re learning how to make masks, #2 is the correct answer.

Choose Edit -> Undo Alpha Load Mask. This will take off the mask and revert back to the original layer.
Load the original mask image and choose Masks -> New -> Load From Image. Aha! You forgot to check Invert mask data.
Select Invert mask data and click on OK.
And here’s the mask we wanted.

Now, you can (1) save this mask to an alpha channel, (2) save it to disk, or (3) reload the mask we did wrong and invert it.

Whatever you choose, here’s the correct mask applied to the layer:
These are just quick bits on the post-processing I did on each layer.
On the “octopus and plants” layer I want to kick up the sand under the octopus to give a sense of motion. I unhid all the layers and selected the “octopus and plants” layer.
Next, I selected the push tool and set the Opacity to 57 and the Density to 38.

Set the brush size as needed.

Okay, here’s part of the area I’m going to work on.
Using the push tool, I swirled the sand up under the tentacles until I was happy with it.
Next, I changed to the burn tool and adjusted the opacity and density so that the burning wouldn’t be too harsh or too much.
Using the burn tool, I laid in “shadows” in the swirls.
Finally, I changed to the smooth tool and smoothed out some of the shadows.

I kept switching between the push, burn, and smooth tools until I got a nice swirled up area under the octopus and a little behind him to show where he came from.

The octopus needed to be textured next. Right now it looks flat and too 3d-ish.
I hid all the layers except for the “octopus only” layer and selected it to make it active.
Next, I applied a filter from my Photoshop LE program called “craquelure”
I decided that I needed more kicked up sand so that it looked like it was swirling up in front of some of the tentacles. I created a blank layer above the “octopus only” layer. Next, I hid all layers except for the “octopus and plants” layer and made it the active layer.

I selected the sand area I wanted to work on and copied it. I left the selection area active.

Next, I hid the “octopus and plants” layer, unhid the new blank layer that I had called “sand in front” and made it the active layer. Since the selection area was still active, I chose Edit -> Paste -> Into Selection. The copied area was pasted into the new layer, exactly where I needed it.
I unhid all the layers, making sure that the “sand in front” layer remained active. Using the push, burn, and smooth tools, I kicked up some sand in front of parts of the tentacles, in front of the back plants, and the shell behind the octopus. This is where I realized that I should have made a mask of just the plants in front of the octopus. I ended up having to use the eraser to remove excess sand from in front of them.
Oh, you may have noticed, that the color of the octopus has changed from green to orange and yellow. My sister Jessica didn’t like the green and messed around with the original rendered image by changing the color map in PSP. I liked what she did and applied it to the “octopus only” layer in my file.

The finished image. (to be added later when re-added to gallery)

I’m through playin’ now. Hope that this helps in some way.