Mask creation & adjustment in PHOTPSHOP is too static - it needs to be more live and interactive. One example of a such a mask is in Camera Raw sharpeneing - it has a slider and a live view of the effect of the slider. But that tool is too limited. What is required is a general layer mask tool, unattached to sharpening, that can be used to create layer masks for edges, surfaces, highlights, &/or shadows, or combinations of these. In addition, it should have sliders for bright, dark, radius (breadth), contrast etc. and the effect of the sliders should be live - visible on the screen immediately. That way, it can be used to create a layer mask for many purposes.