Layer Masking Basics

Lesson 7 of 7

Layer Clipping


Layer Masking Basics

Lesson 7 of 7

Layer Clipping


Lesson Info

Layer Clipping

What I'd like to do here is I've created this cool little file going to get rid of this mask here is it's not really going to work for us at this point? So I have this orange on a transparent background, and somebody has given me this little label that they would like to go on the orange, and so what I'm going to do is I'm going to scroll through, and I have this band who has made an illustrator and it's a smart object, and I would like to put this band around the orange, of course, it's not really the shape of the orange that's kind of curve, and I'd like to put that on there, so I'm going to get my tabs here. I'm gonna drag it on to buy orange wherever my orange is. Where is my orange? Right there. Okay, so they're gonna take my smart object and I need to get this I can actually get there we go, drag it onto my orange awesome. Drag it in it's really big. Reduce that down so that it fits his band's going to go around my orange. Now, I would like to fit this to my orange here, but I re...

alize that if I create a mask, I'm going to run into, you know, a few little issues, but the great part with this is yet another way to make a mask. If you need one, I would like this band to stop at the edge of my orange. So you could go in here and very carefully used one of your selection tools. When I say carefully, okay, I could do that, and I could put a mask on there just fine. But the problem with that is, is that I have to be very careful where it fits to the orange, one of the things because it's on a transparent background and there's nothing else to select another little trick. If you command to click on an object in the transparent background that gives you a selection, which, if I then wanted to turn that into a mask, I already have my select shit that matches my image and aiken mask that. Okay, I would need to make sure I unlock that so that I could then move that freely around, and I could put my band wherever I wanted to. Ok, so we now have a little bandido orange right here, which is great. The one problem with this is if I go in and I moved my orange like that. That stays there, and I'm like, oh, I want this to go over here and it's like that, I have to go in and I have to move my mask and I can't see the mask and then I have to get it lined up. It could be an issue, I'm making it an issue, so we're going to do something a little bit different, and this is really awesome. This is one of my favorite things to dio, and if you haven't been confused now, here comes the magic trick. What I'm gonna do is I'm going to do a type of masking here, but I'm not going to actually use a layer mask in and of itself. What I'm going to do is I'm actually going to have one layer mask another layer because I have a transparent background here and there are no pixels. I would like this band to appear on lee where the orange appears. Okay, so all this transparency around, so I showed you if I put a mask around this, I would then have to make sure you move the mask with everything and kind of keep all the layers. Like together we get moving faster in a photo shop file, sometimes you forget those things, and things get shifted. So I have my band, and all I wanted to do is I would just like it to go so that it on ly locks to the pixels on the orange layer. There are no pixels out here is totally transparent. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hover in between my layers. They put my object on top of the object that would like to then clip it to anyway, I actually explain this is kind of like, you have multiple papers and you're just going to clip them together with a paper clip and they just stay together and they work together. So my bans on top layer oranges on the bottom layer, I'm gonna hover in between these two layers. I'm gonna hold down my option tea and an older versions of photoshopping get these two little circles with an arrow that kind of points in there, and here you get this little box with his little down arrow and what this is called. This is called layer clipping. I am actually clipping the band two on lee, the visible areas off the one below, and it's a different form of masking it's, just using one layer as a mask or another, and when I do that it on lee appears where there are pixels on in this case, the orange layer. Awesome part with this is I can move this band all around wherever I wanted to go no matter what and it on lee stays within the confines of the orange there with no attached mask to it if I move my orange here of course I have to move my mask as well but I don't have to realign my mask if I had an actual layer mask because you saw if I tried to realign that I guess a lit more tricky so this is actually called layer clipping and you can find this in the layer menu here by going in and grouping or on grouping your layers here and this is going tio I'm sorry releasing here releasing your clipping mask so if I release my clipping mask there it is if I go in and I can actually create a clipping mask I think of grouping because it's option command g so command jia's group option command ji is a player clipping that goes in and does that but option clicked between the layers does that as well? So we used to use this for years you have a carton of milk or something and somebody wants to put a label on it I can put the milk on even if I had it on a masked background by the way so if this were on a mask background right here and this we're actually no I don't want that if this were actually a having a mask around it as well like this, this band is going to work because it's only going to show where you can see. So if this were on a mask background, it works exactly the same cds you have a cd, somebody gives you a label, you want to cut out the label to fit in the cd you put your cd in, which in this case is the orange, the ban would be the label and you link them together puree cd is masked or is a transparent background. That label will only appear on the area that has pixels. And so basically, what we've done is we've clicked these together vice like both of these. Then they all move together. She's pretty cool, totally fantastic. Yeah. That's layer clipping it's a lot of fun to d'oh good stuff that I use all the time we get into layer adjustments and stuff like that, you actually use layer clipping constantly. Is that something you could do with a text layer? Absolutely that's a great idea. Yes, because it actually going to do that next because we may have something like this. Okay? And we may want to go ahead and we may want to really spell out the word bank, but bacon isn't good enough. Because we want to go in and we actually want to put the word bacon on top of bacon to make it that much better take my type tool and I go and I take bacon and doesn't matter what color the type is, by the way because the color of the type is simply going to disappear and watch it grow watch it grow I could do it faster, but so I'm just going to change this to a color so we can actually see there we go and I'm gonna go to my fund here I don't know what fund I want so I don't go through the drop down menu here another isil shortcut just put your cursor thanks to the font menu here up hero down hero and you can walk through everything and get something nice and bacon e who that looks nice and bacon he doesn't it ok, so there is my type, so now I'm going to go and I'm going to make us nice and big and I want this I would like the bacon to show through two ways to do it to a layer mask or go ahead and do a layer clipping, so if I was going to do a layer mask I would need to put a selection around by letters, right? So people go in with their lasso tool and they begin to draw around their letters you know, and they spend yes, really, but we don't do it that way because the type is on a transparent background. So anything it's not a transparent background if I hold down my command key and command, click on that transparent background it's going to select every pixel on there, which it did great. Now that selected. Okay, now, putting a mask on my bacon layer doesn't do any good because it just simply hides everything around the type player well, there's, nothing else on the type player, but I'm going to shut that off and I'm going to with my selection than select my bacon layer because that's where I want this election to be right, putting them asking the bacon layer does nothing are on the word bacon player. Putting it on my bacon layer is what I want to ask out. I want to see inside these areas everyplace else I want to have mask out, so if I do that and I applying my layer mask there it is so that's one way of doing the type and using the type is my basis right now the type doesn't you know the type was great for selection, but I actually don't need this anymore if I change the type, I will need to go back in and change this election. So I have a client that's really picky and they keep changing these words here this is kind of a long way to do it draw the type command, click on it, shut it off and then go in apply a mask here they don't like it delete the mask, go back to my type player change it, I'm not gonna do that, I'm going to use layer clipping and what I'm going to dio is I'm going tio clip my bacon to the type which requires the bacon to be on top I came because then the bacon is going to then be clipped to my type player so it's exactly opposite of how you you think ok, so the bacon goes on top and I'm going to use the word as my clipping, so I hold down my option key and I do that now I've got that the great part is as I can, then use this bacon and I can make it any size to cover up that type and that's why I say the type of it doesn't really matter what color it is because at this point would make it so big I can see that but distinct advantage if I go in and I edit my type here and I'm looking for different styles here I don't have to redo my mask every single time the font is the mask so, aiken dynamically change this as I go through, and I can get the bacon ist font ever gothic bacon. They should have a fund that's, like ask extra crispy or something. Bacon is music. There we go, that's a great one. But anyway, you go through all there we go, what totally fantastic, so that's by using that as a mask itself. Of course, we can always undo that option clicking, and it'll bring them apart. Option, click will go ahead, and group goes back together, as opposed to going in and doing this. Where that's up their command, click on this turn off that layer, click on that layer, apply your layer mask, and now you've got that pretty much baked in there. Not bad, huh? It's, always good to finish on bacon.

Class Description

Layer masks are one of Photoshop’s most essential features – in Layer Masking Basics Jason Hoppe will show you how to use them to make your images even more jaw-dropping.

Join Jason to explore the ways layer masks let you isolate and protect parts of an image as you apply color changes, filters, or layer effects to the rest of the image. You’ll learn how to turn layer masks on and off and how to edit and hide them. You’ll also learn about the advantages layer masks have over the Eraser tool and duplicate image layers. Jason will also introduce you to more sophisticated concepts like layer clipping masks.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2


  1. Intro to Masking

    Find out what layer masks are used for and how you can use masks for non-destructive editing.

  2. Refining Masks
  3. Additional Selections
  4. Controlling Attributions of Masks
  5. Painting a Layer Mask
  6. Using Gradients with Masks
  7. Layer Clipping


nancy marckus

excellent, well thought out presentation. practical and creative how-to processes. Jason has a wonderful presentation style


Excellent coverage of Layer Masks. It's a little harder to follow but totally worth the content. Clearly a more advanced and thorough introduction than some of the more basic Layer Mask courses available on this site.

Aussie David

A great short course on masks and bacon - what's not to like right there!