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Adobe Photoshop Unmasked: The Art and Science of Selections, Layers, and Paths by Nigel French

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Chapter 2. Channels

Before there were layers, before layer masks and adjustment layers, before clipping masks, Smart Objects, and all the other selection-related features that Photoshop offers today, there were channels. And as impressive as those features are, they can never supplant channels in terms of their fundamental importance. Channels underpin every Photoshop image you work with, and working in Photoshop you’re working with channels whether you know it or not.

Every image is made up of channels—or a single channel if it’s a grayscale, bitmap, or indexed color image—and utilizing those channels will vastly expand your range of image-editing possibilities and massively speed up your workflow. Channels come in three flavors: color channels, ...

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