While my demo was simplistic the principle would be much the same, no matter how complex the imagery... use a solid colour where you want complete masking and use tools appropriate to the edge quality/opacity level you are seeking elsewhere.
Stencils, Masks and Selections are simply different methods the computer uses to represent Alpha, the behaviour is exactly the same. The advantage of making stencils is that you have the full array of artrage tools with which to make your alpha mask. You also have the option of using layers to 'build up' your 'positive' before merging them and creating a stencil.
If you were wanting to speed up the process there's no reason why you couldn't use conventional selection tools to get the area's that will be 100% masked, fill with black paint bucket, deselect and then concerntrate on the edge details with whatever artrage tools were going to give the edge quality you were seeking. Then convert to a stencil etc as in the tutorial.
So if you are wanting soft watercolour type ragged edges, you would set the brush settings and layer texture to something that causes your water colour brush to give that sort of edge quality and then paint them in with whatever opacity level you require.
Lastly when switched to the blue 'guide' mode, stencils will allow a little bleed from the paint tools either side of the edges which can also be nice for creating looser edges.
Last edited by Juz; 03-09-2012 at 02:22 PM.
"I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)