I am trying to remove part of an image, but each time I add a mask, that mask is always semi transparent. Opacity and Fill settings for the brush I am using are set to 100% and blending modes are set to normal.

I have never come across this before and I think I have tried everything. I don't know if this is a Photoshop problem or if there is a setting I should change. Any idea what is it?

Semi transparent mask

  • 6
    Are you sure, that color of mask fill is black (0,0,0)? – sergeydyadyul Mar 9 '16 at 13:18
  • Thanks guys, I have changed HEX to #000000 and that sorted my problem. – Adam Mar 9 '16 at 14:20

As sergeydyadyul suggests in the comments, please make sure that the colour you use to fill the black part of your mask is actually fully black. Not just CMYK 100%K black, a full 0,0,0 RGB black.

Especially with the colour picker, it's easy to accidentally select a very dark grey. Just drag the circle all the way beyond the edge of the picker to ensure a good black, or manually enter #000000 in hex mode.

  • Thanks guys, I have changed HEX to #000000 and that sorted my problem. – Adam Mar 9 '16 at 14:20

Actually, if you work in CMYK, the black on your mask needs to be C100-M100-Y100-K100.

Sometimes the Hex black will not show you that transparency and will look alright on screen.

But on plates or real printer proof, you will see that the mask isn't totally opaque! So hex 000000 is alright for web projects I guess but use the C100-M100-Y100-K100 if you think you'll ever need that image for print though.

I personally use the CMYK registration black for all masks.


I have the same problem since a day or two, it works for me to use the "levels" tool on the layermaks and set the whiteness higher.


I'm no PS pro but I have left my mask heavily desaturated while working on it and then forgetting to turn it back to 100%. I have the same issue when I forget to change it back.

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