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Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 36 of 58

Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template


Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 36 of 58

Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template


Lesson Info

Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template

I'm told we have a question, let's take a look. It says, "Can you clip to shapes and use them as templates?" Yes, I think I know what you mean. So, like a photo, perhaps? That's a really great question. Let me show you an example of that. Let's get back to our really beautiful illustration that I put together for you today. I'm gonna hide all these layers. We'll just get rid of all of those. We can start from scratch here. If I can get my computer to cooperate. Okay, and we'll drag this back to 100%. So I'm thinking that you might be thinking about maybe even putting an image on like a frame or in a frame. So let me show you because that's a great example. I'm gonna go back to the shape tool. We'll pick up a shape. Maybe you're thinking of something like one of these. Let's, let's do, like, this one. So if we look up here there's all these, I think they call these Frames. Let's see, if you click this dropdown I think those are, well these are the actual frames. What do they call those?

Shapes? No, I don't know what they call them. Crop Shapes. Yeah. So they call these Crop Shapes. And you can use them like the name implies, to crop, just like we did with the glasses, you would use it the same way using the crop tool and the option for the cookie cutter. Or, what I end up doing, because I think it gives you a little more flexibility is, I do it this way using a clipping group. So I'm gonna pick a shape like this one. I'm just gonna double-click to get it. And I'll click and draw out the shape. Something like that, and it doesn't matter what color it's filled with because I'm gonna replace it all with a photo. So, let's just put the cat in there because that's what we have. And we can either bring him over without his beautiful additions. We'll turn those off, we'll just grab him by himself. So I'll grab the background, grab the move tool. And then I'm just gonna click and drag him over into this image. I'm gonna shift, drop so he lands not in outer space. And he's huge and I need to size him down. But before we do that, let's just see how this is gonna look. We see that that shape layer is right here, Shape 3, and then on top of it is the cat. And I'm gonna clip the cat so he only shows up in the shape layer by doing the same thing. Hold down alt or option between those two layers. And now the cat appears only within the layer. And I can move him around within that layer. And I can also, of course, transform him with cmd or ctrl, plus T. Now because we're so zoomed in and the cat is so big I don't see the handles anywhere on the screen. But if I press cmd or ctrl, 0; then it'll scoot out, wow that's really big. It'll scoot backwards and I can see that the handles are way up here. So I'm gonna scale that down so he fits a little, he fits a little better in there. Aww, so cute. So maybe I should have left the shapes on him, because that was kind of funny. (laughs) So that's an instant way to create a little work of art that you could frame, get that printed and framed. And what's nice is you can adjust these things independently. So what I like about doing it this way where I can draw the shape and then clip the photo to the shape, I like doing it that way instead of just cutting the cat into the shape with that cookie cutter because I can edit this now. So after the fact, I can say oh, maybe I should have moved the cat a little bit up or down. So in the layers panel if I want to move the cat I just make sure the cat layer is active and I just use my move tool and I can move him within the shape or I could select the shape. Like now when I look at it I feel like it's a little bit too high within the document. So I would move the shape down a little bit. And I can either use the move tool or for making smaller movements I can also just use the arrow keys on my keyboard. So you get a lot more flexibility out of it that way. But ultimately no matter which way you did it the end result would be the same. But if you are like me, you change your mind a lot when you're working. And I think it's also important to remember that this is a process of experimenting. So when you're creating things, whether it's a silly illustration with mountains and a stream and a little cloud, or a silly little cat picture, you don't know what shape is gonna work best, or what brush is gonna work best, or what texture is gonna look good, or even the color. So you have to be gentle with yourself and be patient and remember that it takes time and leave yourself time to experiment and don't feel bad that it's a process that you have to go through. Because that's how we all do it.

Class Description

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Understand How Elements Works
  3. Importing Images
  4. Workspace Basics: Organizer
  5. Workspace Basics: Editor
  6. Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
  7. Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
  8. Apply Black & White Filters
  9. Sharpen an Image
  10. Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
  11. Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
  12. Explanation of Photoshop Elements
  13. Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
  14. Guided Edit Overview
  15. Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
  16. Ways to Save Files
  17. Layers & Simple Selections
  18. Combine Images with Layers
  19. How to Use Layer Styles
  20. Make Selections with Layers
  21. Make Selection with Lasso
  22. Compositing with Multiple Images
  23. Refine Edge Selection on Image
  24. Use Refine Edge on Images
  25. Create Gradient in Image
  26. Gradient Map Differences
  27. Options for Saving
  28. Brushes Overview
  29. Creatively Use Brushes
  30. How to Change Brush Settings
  31. Use Shape Tool with Brushes
  32. Work with Multiple Shape Layers
  33. Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
  34. How to Load Brushes into Elements
  35. Add Layer Style to Image
  36. Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
  37. Retouching Overview
  38. How to Use Content-Aware Fill
  39. How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
  40. Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
  41. Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
  42. How to Remove Tattoos
  43. Remove a Gap in Teeth
  44. How to Whiten Teeth
  45. Adjust Facial Features
  46. Working with Type Overview
  47. Match Type for Image
  48. How to Manipulate Type Layers
  49. Create Postcard with Type
  50. Add Type on a Path
  51. Organizing Images in Elements
  52. Add Keywords to Images
  53. Smart Tags Overview
  54. Using Albums in Elements
  55. Places Workspace Overview
  56. Use Event Tags on Images
  57. Timeline for Image Organization
  58. Recommended Workflow


a Creativelive Student

Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.


I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!

Ven S

Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.