Muntz's Texture Mask Trick
I mentioned this masking method to a friend on Flickr the other day. Since Carriementioned it in her description of her design, I've decided to write it out. It's pretty simply, but it works well for me.
It requires a good set of textures. I'm using these from Lost & Taken for the tutorial.
Here is my original art. The text layers are separate from the background texture.
Open up one of the textures and go to Select > Color Range.
You can click anywhere on the thumbnail, or on the image itself. Try to choose a nice balance even balance of black and white. You can add to or subtract from the selection by holding shift and alt (respectively) while selecting colors. The fuzziness allows you to select partial pixels for a more natural feel. Like typical masking, white reveals and black hides.
Once you're happy with your balance, click OK and you'll see the selection on your image. I'll force the selection into a mask using a solid color layer. It makes it easier for me to move the mask between files.
Now we just have to move the layer to our original document. That's just a click and drag.
I resized and repositioned a bit to get as much of our cool mask as possible.
Now, in the Layers panel, drag the mask from the Color Layer to the Type Layer.
That's it. Pretty simple, right?
Do you already do this? How does your process differ?