http://www.TheArtofRetouching.com – This Photoshop video tutorial will introduce Alpha Channels. This is the second of four videos about working with channels. We will explain what Alpha Channels are, and how they differ from regular Color Channels. Before you watch this video, we recommend you watch the previous Adobe Photoshop tutorial about Color Channels, and you can then follow this one with Spot Channels, and the Channel Mixer which you can find on our main website http://www.TheArtofRetouching.com
Alpha channels are additional channels that can be added to an RGB or CMYK image. They are generally used to hold complex masking information. While layer masks can hold the same information, Alpha channels allow you to have access to that mask, but not have it actually used within the image. As an example, if you mask a person, you can use an Alpha Channel to hold the mask of a full person from head to toe. You can then use a layer mask in the image would contain parts of that person, like the arms, legs, face, etc. So basically, the Alpha Channel holds the full figure, and the layers use parts of that mask. But again, this is only an example. In the end, it is only a dummy layer used to hold information that you may need later.
This Adobe Photoshop Tutorial answers the question: How to use Alpha Channels For Masking? This tutorial is also valid for older versions of the Creative Suite series, including CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 and CC. However, most of the Cropping options start with CS4. If you would like to learn more about Photo Enhancement from a Professional Retoucher, I offer consulting one-on-one classes. Contact me today, and I will be able to add you to the schedule too. If you would just like to watch online videos, The Art of Retouching Studio offers many Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners and Advanced users.