Many people e-mail me asking about fading techniques (fading to background, to another image, borders etc). Here are some simple ideas on how to do that using masks.

First thing you should know is how to switch to Quick Mask mode and back to Normal Mode. Following image shows you what are the buttons in toolbox to do that.

The button with red rectangle around it is used to switch to Quick Mask mode.. Second one (at the left) is used to switch back to normal mode.
Ok, I'll use example from Photoshop tutorial files.

Let's start with simple fading to black (or whatever color).
Switch to Quick Mask mode. Now pick gradient tool (in toolbox) and drag it over the image (vertically), so you get something like this:

Fine, now switch back to Normal Mode. You have a selection that was built by Photoshop basing on the mask you just made.
You almost got it.. Simply Edit>Fill... with black or white or whatever.

Play with this effect and you can do alot of stuff.. for example you can use complex gradients (adjustable in Options palette when u pick gradient tool) HINT: If you want to do soft transition from one image to another, simply copy selection to clipboard and paste it over another image. Yes, it's that simple ;)

Now let's take a look on how to do border fade. There's some freeware plugin to do that but it's not adjustable at all. Express your imagination.
First, in normal mode draw a rectangle that will border with image edges.. Then switch to Quick Mask mode.. You should get something like that:

Now use Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.. with seting of 2 or 3 (play with it - depends on your needs). Then switch back to normal mode and fill the selection with black or copy/paste it as i explained before.

© 1996 Nick Ustinov.