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clipping masks final

clipping mask z

Graphic Design Tutorials

Clipping Masks

Clipping masks are another method for masking part of an image without deleting pixels. In this tutorial, we will be using a shape to hide part of a photo.

In this tutorial, you will also get an introduction to shapes and patterns in Photoshop. I promise we will look at these features in greater detail later.

 

Part 1: Using a Shape as a Clipping Mask

We'll start with a photo of your goofy teacher, taken a few years ago:

clipping masks a

  1. Open the image goofy-teacher.jpg in Photoshop. Save it as lastnamefirstinitial-clipping.psd.
    (Remember to change the Format to
    Photoshop (*.PSD,*.PDD)
    .)
  2. Double-click on the Background layer and click OK so that we can move this layer around later.

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  1. Select the Custom Shape Tool from the toolbox. It is in the fly-out menu for the Rectangle Tool (not the Rectangular Marquee Tool.)

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  1. In the Options Bar, make sure that the Shape layers button is selected, not the Paths button next to it.

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  1. Click on the Click to open Custom Shape Picker arrow next to the current shape. From the Custom Shape Picker that pops up, click on the right-facing arrow that opens the menu.

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  1. From the menu, select All.
  2. When a dialog box asks you what you would like to do, click Append.
  3. Open the Custom Shape Picker again, and find the Flower 6 shape. Double-click on it to select it and close the picker.

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  1. Draw the shape over my face. Hold the Shift key down to keep the shape in proportion. Remember that you can press the Spacebar while you are drawing to reposition the outline. Make the shape large enough to show my whole face.

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  1. When you let go, the shape will fill with whatever your Foreground color was, but the color won't matter once we apply a clipping mask.

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  1. In the Layers palette, move the photo layer above the flower shape layer.

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  1. Here's where the clipping mask comes in. Hover your mouse over the border between the two layers. Then press the Alt key. You should see an overlapping circle icon appear where your mouse was: clipping mask icon
  2. Click with your mouse when that icon appears. A clipping mask will be created which hides the photo outside the edges of the flower shape. Save the file.

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  1. Select the shape layer in the Layers palette. Hold the Ctrl key while you click on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. This will add a new layer below the current layer, rather than above it. That's where we need this new layer to be.

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  1. We'll fill this new, empty layer with a pattern. Make sure it is selected in the Layers palette.
  2. Go to Edit > Fill.
  3. In the dialog box, change the Use: dropdown to Pattern.
  4. Click the dropdown arrow next to the current pattern, then click on the right-facing arrow that opens the menu.
  5. From the menu, select Nature Patterns.

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  1. Append the Nature Patterns. Then select the pattern called Blue Daisies. Save the file.

clipping mask n
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  1. That's a cool effect, but let's go further. Select the photo layer and run the Watercolor filter on it (Filter > Artistic > Watercolor.)
  2. Select the daisies layer and run the Underpainting filter on it (Filter > Artistic > Underpainting).

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  1. Select the shape layer and add a Bevel & Emboss:
    1. Click on the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
    2. Select Bevel & Emboss.
    3. Set the Size to 18.
    4. Click OK.

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  1. Let's move the flower image up to the left:
    1. Click on the photo layer in the Layers palette.
    2. Hold the Ctrl key down and click on the shape layer. This will select two layers at the same time.
    3. Select the Move tool in the toolbox.
    4. Click-and-drag to move the flower into the upper-left corner. Make a bit of it disappear off the top and left edges.
    5. Save the file.

clipping mask r

  1. Select the top layer in the stack. We want to add a text layer above it.
  2. Select the Text tool in the toolbox.
  3. In the Options bar, select a font (I chose BrodyD). Set the font size to something large like 250pt. Set the color to white.
  4. Type the word "spring" anywhere on the canvas.

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  1. Now we want to flip the text on its side:
    1. Ctrl-T to transform the text.
    2. Right-click inside the transformation box.
    3. Select Rotate 90° CCW ("counter-clockwise") from the menu.
    4. Press Enter to save the transformation.

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  1. Select the Move tool and move the text to the bottom-right corner of the image.
  2. Set the blend mode for the new text layer to Overlay.
  3. Save the file.

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Here is the final image:

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Part 1: Using Text as a Clipping Mask

Clipping masks work with any kind of shape, including the shape of text. First, let's save the file with a new name, and undo a couple of things:

  1. Save the Phostohop file as lastnamefirstinitial-clipping2.psd.
  2. Hover your mouse over the border between the photo layer and the flower shape layer in the Layers palette until the clipping mask icon appears. Click. This will undo the clipping mask.
  3. Hide the flower shape layer (click the eye icon to the left of the layer in the Layers palette.)

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  1. Select the "spring" text layer in the Layers palette. Change the blend mode back to Normal.
  2. Select the Text tool in the toolbox.
  3. In the Options bar, change the font size to soemthing larger like 500pt.
  4. Select the Move tool in the toolbox.
  5. Move the "spring" text so that it is off-center but all the letters are readable.

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  1. Move the "spring" text layer below the photo layer in the layer stack.
  2. Hover your mouse in between the text layer and the photo layer. Press the Alt key and click when you see the clipping mask icon icon to create a clipping mask.

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  1. Select the Move tool in the toolbox.
  2. Select the photo layer in the Layers palette.
  3. Click-and-drag in the image window to move the photo inside the text outlines. Move the photo to a place you like. You can use Ctrl-T to resize the photo as well.
  4. Feel free to fill the background pattern layer with a solid color so that the text and photo are more legible. You can also change the font, if you like.
  5. Save the file.

Here's my final image for #2. I changed the background to a pale green, and the font to something much bolder (FrankfurterHigD), but at a smaller size (back to 250pt).

clipping mask z

 

Original tutorial by Dawn Pedersen.


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