How to Edit With Adobe® Photoshop® Elements

Lesson 8/10 - Compositing: Clipping Masks


How to Edit With Adobe® Photoshop® Elements


Lesson Info

Compositing: Clipping Masks

For what I'm gonna do next, we're going to surrender some of that editability so that we can gain something else. Does that make sense? Okay, so we are going to rasterize the two type layers. So we've got the text, and we've got the exclamation point. Rasterizing it simply means we're gonna convert it from editable text into pixels. In Elements, it doesn't use the word rasterize, it uses the word simplify. So we're going to simplify that very complicated text layer, and we're just gonna turn it into pixels. So to do that, I think I can do them both at the same time. So to select both layers, I've got one selected already, you can tell by the blue bar here. To select both, I'm gonna hold Shift and click the other other text layer. Then, I'm gonna right-click or Control + Click and choose Simplify Layer. And just like that, they both turn into pixels. Okay, let me undo that so you can see what happened to the icon one more time. So when it's a type layer it's got a big T here. That lets ...

you know that it's text and it's editable, and you can scale it, and it's vector, it's sharp, it's crisp, it's whatever. But now we're gonna convert it. So again I'm gonna Shift + Click on the layer to select both of them, and I'm gonna right-click on the blue bar here in the Layers panel. Right-click or Control + Click. Simplify Layer. And now you'll see those T's are gone, so now it's just pixels that are laying around in the shape of letters, if that makes sense, okay? And, one other thing I'm gonna do is merge these together. Because we're going to actually glitterify the text, and it's just less complicated if it's all on one layer. So I'm gonna smash them down together, it's called merging. So to do that, we're gonna right-click or Control + Click again on the bar right here. Right-click and I'm gonna say, actually I think we can only do one. I'll select this top one, right-click. And I'll choose Merge Down, okay? Whenever you merge layers, you can only merge down, not up. So in this case I want to merge this layer with the one underneath. So, if I had selected this layer, it would merge it down with his mustache. That's not what we want. So, I have to click on this one right here because it's on top, so I'll select it, right-click or Control + Click, Merge Down, and now we just have all of that on one layer, okay? Now I'm actually also gonna scale it down because it's obviously a little too big. So, because it's no longer text, I can't scale it by selecting the text and changing the font size, so I'm just gonna transform it. So, to pull up that Transform box again is Command or Control + T for Transform. So I'll press that. I'm not gonna hold Shift, because it's already going to constrain the proportions for me. So I'll just click and drag in, something like that. If I click within the box, I can reposition it. So we'll put it about there. If I want to spin it, maybe give it a little bit of an angle, I can hover my cursor outside of this box, and you'll see it turns into a bent arrow. I call it a macaroni noodle, because that's what it looks like. I'm gonna click and then drag, and I can spin it. So maybe something like that is kind of fun. When I'm happy with it, I'm gonna click the checkmark right here, and that's looking good. Okay we're ready for the glitter. Are you guys ready? This is so fun. It's the most non-messy glitter experience you will probably ever have. Because glitter is really messy. So I'm gonna grab the glitter over here. So I'm gonna click to get the glitter image. Grab the Move tool, because anytime you're moving parts of an image, or an image from one to another, you use the Move tool. And we'll go back to our Photo Bin, and I'm just gonna click on the glitter and drag it straight down into his image. And I'm gonna drop it. Wow, and now we're done. Just kidding (laughs). That looks great, you can just guess what he looks like, and guess what his name is, and all that stuff. Okay, this is so easy, so we just dumped all this glitter into our workspace. Now we're gonna clean it up in a snap, and we don't even have to vacuum, it's gonna be great. So, what we want to do is we want to make the glitter stick to the text. Yeah? Okay, so to do that, we're gonna make what's called a clipping mask. In the Layers panel, I'm gonna put my cursor between the glitter and the text, and I'm gonna hold the Option key. And you see that the cursor, when I press Option it changes into the square with the little arrow. And if I click in the space between those two layers, it clips the glitter to the text. Now that's a whole lot of glitter. I don't want it on all of the text. I just want it on Senor Ze and the exclamation point. So now I'm gonna prove to you that Elements has layer masks even, okay? And if you don't know what layer masks are, you're gonna find out. So, what I want to do is hide the glitter from this line of text right here. So I want the glitter just down here and on the exclamation point. So we're gonna do what's called masking it. To do that we come up here in the Layers panel and you click this picture that looks like a circle inside of a rectangle. That's the Layer Mask button, so I'm gonna click with it, and it just adds this white mask over here. Nothing happens in the image, that's okay, because the mask is blank. The way the masks works is you just use your paintbrush, and you use black or white paint. In this case I'm gonna use black paint, so I need to flip flop my colors, because I currently have white on top. Whatever color is on top here, that's the color that you're gonna be using. That's what's gonna come out of your brush. And in this case I want the black. So I want to flip flop these colors, so I'm gonna click this little macaroni noodle right there, and it's gonna flip flop until I have black paint. Then I'm gonna just put my cursor over here, and paint. Paint the glitter away, and I'll explain what's happening in a minute. I'm gonna make the cursor smaller with those bracket keys that we used earlier. I'm not actually painting black paint. That's what it looks like, but that's not what's happening. So let's take a look at the Layers panel. I've got the glitter here. The glitter is clipped to the text, meaning the glitter only shows up where the text shows up. So if you imagine that the text was written in glue, like imagine in the actual real world. Imagine we took a bottle of glue and like painted with it, and we wrote these words, and then we dumped glitter on top of the table. And then shook it off, the glitter would only stick to wherever the glue was. So, in Photoshop in Elements here, this is the glue, and this is our glitter. And because we've clipped it, it's only gonna stick to wherever the glue was, okay? And again, that was Option and clicking in between the layers. So it's clipped to the text right here. Then we added a layer mask, which allows us to say, hey glitter, I know you're sticking to all this glue, but can you just like ignore this area? And we basically paint the area where we don't want it to stick. So we're just hiding it. If we make a mistake and paint, like oops I painted onto the exclamation point, and I didn't want to do that, I can unhide it by switching back to white paint, and just painting it back. So that's happening here in the layers mask. So like the name mask, when you wear a mask, like if you were gonna rob a bank or something. That's terrible, if you're dressing up for Halloween, and you don't want people to know who you are, you wear a mask on your face, right? And it covers your face, it hides your face. Here in Elements, this mask is called a layer mask because it's hiding part of that layer. And just like if you were gonna dress up as Zorro or something, you'd wear a black mask to hide your face. Here in Elements, the black paint on this layer mask hides that area of that layer. Are you with me? This is some advanced stuff for Elements right now, but I just wanted to prove to people that Elements can hang with the big boys, because it's pretty awesome on its own. So I was like, we gotta talk about layer masks. Okay, just so we can drill this in a little more, let's add a subtle bit of watercolor texture to the rest of the text that we have here. Just so we can review, right? So I'm gonna go to the watercolor layer. I'm gonna grab the Move tool, and again I can go to my Photo Bin and drag it down. Or, I can drag with my Move tool, I could also just drag up into the tab right here. So, whatever works. Now the same thing, oh my gosh, this watercolor is huge, it's covering everything. Let's transform it, so we can see a little more text within the area that we're gonna be using it. So I'm gonna press Command or Control + T, and we can't see any of the control handles because it's huge, so I'll press Command or Control + Zero to scoot way back, and then we can see them hiding way in the corner like this. So I'm gonna click and just drag inward, and here's a little trick too. If I just drag like this, then it's going way off here, and then I have to move it down. I can also, while I'm dragging, I can hold the Option key and then it will drag from all corners inward. So it just saves me a little time. When I'm happy with it, I will click the checkmark, and I'm gonna position it so that it's on top of the text again, and now we are also going to clip this watercolor layer to the same text. Remember, so again, pretending that the text was written with glue. We're gonna make the watercolor stick to the glue. We do that again by holding the Option key, and you see the cursor I get here? I'm gonna click, and now the watercolor is clipped the same as how the glitter is clipped. Now of course, the watercolor is actually covering the glitter now. I'm zooming in with Control + Plus, or Command or Control + Plus, and I'm gonna drag this area of my screen over by holding the spacebar. Okay, so now we have the same situation where we want to mask part of this watercolor so it's not covering the glitter. You with me? So I'm gonna get the Mask button, right up here. Gonna click that. Nothing happens to the image yet, because we just basically put on like an empty mask, like it's blank. It's like you're dressing up as Zorro and you put, like imaginary, like invisible, like you're wearing a mask made out of cellophane or something. Good luck with that. So, don't try to rob a bank like that. I don't think you'll get far. Or just don't rob a bank, because that's not a good thing to do. All right so, now we'll go back to grab our paintbrush over here, with the picture that looks like a paintbrush, right? And again, remember that in order to hide things with your mask, you want to paint with black. So I've grabbed the paintbrush, and I'm gonna switch the colors so black is my active color. And then I'm just gonna paint where we don't want to see the watercolor layer. So we don't want it on top of the glitter. So, it looks like I'm painting glitter, but I'm actually painting a mask that's just hiding the watercolor. Revealing the glitter that's underneath. Are you with me? I know it's kind of mind warpy, but we're just gonna jump in and you're gonna learn to swim. That's how it's gonna work. Right?

Class Description

Everyone has heard of Adobe® Photoshop®, but have you met its easy-to-use counterpart, Adobe® Photoshop® Elements?

Adobe® Photoshop® Elements is the perfect tool for hobbyists and beginners who are looking for a simplified introduction to image editing and organization.

In this class, Khara Plicanic will get you started in this easy-to-use program. You’ll learn about everything from organizing your image collection to retouching to adding graphics. Khara will help you discover the function and features that make Adobe® Photoshop® Elements an awesome solution for folks who don’t need all the bells and whistles.  

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015