Classroom in a book help


I am currently wading my way through Photoshop CS3 Classroom in a Book which is brilliant. I'm stuck however on lesson 6: Masks and Channels. I've created a mask and am trying to add a gradient to the mask so the object blends into transparency with an object in another layer showing through. The mask thumbnail in the layers palette doesn't show the gradient like the book says it's supposed to and when I add a filter effect to the object, the whole object displays the filter with no transparency. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Am I using the right gradient? I've tried them all!

I've followed the instructions to the letter as far as I can see.

I hope someone can help.

PS. I could send the end image I'm supposed to be creating so you know what I'm on about.
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Not a big fan of the C in a B series. Usually better books out there.

I'm in a rush and need to dash out right now, if no-one has answered by the time I get back i'll see if i can find out where you are going wrong.

Feel free to e-mail the final file you have to in the meantime.
I bought a book and couldn't understand it so I find this book helpful because it's good if you know nothing.

I'll email you the final file.

I have managed to complete this lesson now by starting from the beginning. I think I had just missed a small part out like I hadn't clicked on something. So if anyone else is in the same boat I would suggest starting the lesson again as something small may have been overlooked.