How to use Photoshop's "Clipping Layer Mask" tool (example)

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Catherine Le Nevez
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In this modern era of design, it is essential to learn how to use the "Clipping Mask" tool to create eye-catching images. For this reason, in this tutorial we will teach you how to use masks to hide layers in Photoshop and create stunning images.

But first we will analyze the layer functions and then what steps we need to take to use the "Clipping Mask" tool.

Layers feature in Photoshop

By understanding the role of layers, it will be easier for us to understand what use is being given to clipping masks. Something we need to keep in mind is that the Photoshop program supports the use of different layers for the same image . Regardless of whether these layers have nothing to do with the program's masks, they will serve to mask the underlying image.



Something we have to take into account is that, when saving the image, depending on how we do it, it will be saved in these formats:

  • PSD or TIFF , preserving the levels.
  • JPG or PNG , unifying all levels.

Example of the function of the layers

Next, we will give you an example so that you can understand how you can copy and paste layers, images and selections in Photoshop. Let's say we have three acetate sheets, where we drew something different on each, well, each sheet represents a layer.

When we combine the three layers of acetate, they will form a single image , in the same way it happens with layers in the Photoshop program.

Since the three acetate sheets are the same size, when they are put together, you won't notice that there are other sheets underneath. And in this way, each of the layers will work as a mask for each other , unlike the last one which will be the background.



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Layer Clipping Mask What are they?

The clipping layer masks are the result of two or more levels , where one cuts to another, so that it can be shown. Let's say we have three layers, one that will serve as a background, another for clipping, and one with some text for the clipping mask.

  • First we will choose the layer with the text, which will have the task of being the mask of the clipping layer, placing it on top of the other image.
  • Thus, the area we observe of the upper layer will be the one that is inside the image of the lower layer.
  • And the result will be one text mask that crops the background image and becomes part of it.

Let's design a clipping layer mask

To design a clipping layer mask, we need to order levels , the one to be cut out under the one to be cut out.

  • Let's put a background and two more layers first.
  • One of the layers must be on top, to cut it out and another on the background which will not be visible and will serve as a mask.
  • Then a we select the layer we want to cut .
  • Next, with the right mouse button, we click on the image and choose "Create clipping layer mask".
  • Now design your clipping layer mask with the second Photoshop button.
  • Or go to the toolbar at the top and choose the option, Layer> Create Clipping Layer Mask.

Note: Did you know that with Photoshop you can make many drawings, for example you can make photomontages of your favorite images and give them amazing styles.



Design your own clipping layer masks with shortcuts

Here we will explain what the shortcuts you can use , to design your clipping layer mask, so you can progress faster.

  • The first option is to use the keyboard CTRL + ALT + G.
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  • The second alternative is to select ALT, at the same time as we click with the mouse, in the center of the two levels we will use.
  • When we see that the arrow changes its icon, we click and we will have our clipping layer mask ready.

We hope these tips are very helpful when using it Clipping Layer Mask tool with Photoshop. So take advantage of this guide so you can edit photos with Photoshop in a few simple steps.


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