Drawing a Mask Using Paint Tools with Various Edge Attributes

So far you have learned about select tools that are either based on shapes (Rectangle, Ellipse, Lasso, and Paths) or select on the basis of color and color-connected areas (Fuzzy Select tool [Magic Wand], Select by Color tool). The edges of the selection are initially "sharp-edged" and this affects the entire selection equally.

However, GIMP provides two methods to either draw or edit masks with paint tools. Since you can determine the edge attributes with the paint tools and the Eraser tool, a selection created in this manner can therefore have various edge characteristics depending on the brush pointer you apply.

With the first method, you can paint a mask on a separate layer using several different paint tools and the color black. Then you create a selection from it using the Layer > Transparency > Alpha to Selection menu item.

In the second method, you must first create a rough selection of the image object or section with the "usual" select tools. Then you switch by clicking the Toggle Quick Mask button at the bottom left of the image window, switching to masking mode. You can then use the Paintbrush and Eraser tools

(with a variety of tool pointers) to add, delete, or edit masking sections. When you are finished working, you switch back into selection mode by clicking Toggle Quick Mask again.

We will have a look at the second method, using an example.

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