Creating a linked chain and a threaded rope
Justin gave us a file that contained a link of chain with some copyright material on it, using the spot Healing Brush (J), and the Clone Stamp tool (S), we removed the copyright information to produce a single chain link on a white background.
Using Transform (T) we reduced the size of the chain.
We then selected the Quick Selection Tool (W) and proceeded by selecting the white component of the image, and then removing this out by using Ctrl + X. This gave us a single link on a clear background.
Selecting the Move Tool (T) we held down the Alt key placed the cursor over the chain then holding down the left mouse button dragged to create a duplicate of the chain, we repeated this twice more to give us four identical links.
To give the chain a little variety a couple of them I used Image>Rotation to change the horizontal and vertical characteristics of the chains.
Using the Move Tool (V) I aligned the chains up to begin the process of linking them.
I created a layer mask by clicking the Add A Mask button (bottom right of the screen). I then selected the Brush tool (B) and making sure my brush was Black with the layer mask selected I began to carefully paint away where the chain intersected. This then gave the impression of the chains being linked.
I repeated the above for each intersecting link to eventually make a chain of four links. While painting with the brush on the layer mask I was able to change from white and black by using the short cut key X. (black conceals, white reveals).
Justin then gave us a file that was an image of a loop of rope and asked us to thread this through the chain, using the same techniques as above I did this with ease and was quite pleased with the result.
Here is a close up screen grab of the layers panel showing how the layer mask is acting upon the image.
In this image, you can see I added a solid colour background by clicking on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer Icon (bottom Right of the screen) and selecting Solid Colour from the popup menu. I then moved this layer down to the bottom of the layer stack of visible layers. I saved the file as a PSD so I had a high-quality file with all the layers intact, then I flattened the image Right click on the gray area of one of the layers and select Flatten Image. I then saved a lower quality JPG that is usable on websites etc.