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Creating a clipping mask

From: Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

Video: Creating a clipping mask

This is going to be a fun movie because here we're going to focus in on how we can work with a Layer Clipping Mask. Layer Clipping Masks are fascinating. They allow us to make adjustments so that one layer only affects another layer rather than affecting all of the layers in your Layers panel. Let me explain. Well, here you can see I have this photograph that I captured of the surfer at sunrise. I also have a few other layers as well. Let's turn on the visibility of this layer. Here, you can see I have a smaller version of this picture.

Creating a clipping mask

This is going to be a fun movie because here we're going to focus in on how we can work with a Layer Clipping Mask. Layer Clipping Masks are fascinating. They allow us to make adjustments so that one layer only affects another layer rather than affecting all of the layers in your Layers panel. Let me explain. Well, here you can see I have this photograph that I captured of the surfer at sunrise. I also have a few other layers as well. Let's turn on the visibility of this layer. Here, you can see I have a smaller version of this picture.

Let's turn on the layer style effects, and this will help separate it from the background, and I can click and drag to move this around if we target that layer and use our Move tool. You can see that I can reposition this. Well, above all of my layers I have this adjustment layer. For now if we turn on the visibility, what we'll see is it that changes the overall color of all of our layers. Both layers are now blue. Well, if we want this adjustment layer, just to be applied to the layer underneath it, you can create what's called a Layer Clipping Mask.

To do so, you press Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows. Then you hover over this little dividing line between the two layers, and you'll see your cursor change. When you see that, go ahead and click. This will then add a new icon to the layer, which is showing you this is a clipping mask. Yet more importantly, you'll notice that this blue color, it's now only affecting the layer immediately underneath it. Well, this is kind of interesting, isn't it? You can imagine that if you have a lot of layers, well, layer clipping masks can help you have really specific control so that you can make adjustments which just apply to a certain part of your image, rather than to the entire document.

Well, let's take a look at another scenario where we can use layer clipping masks. This one's going to seem a little bit confusing at first, but the final results will just be kind of interesting. Let's turn off the visibility of these two layers for a moment. The next thing that I want to do is focus in on my text layer. Let's turn on the visibility of this text layer. What I want to have happen is I want my image to fill up this text. Rather than the text sitting on top of the photograph, I want the photograph inside the text, and I want to be able to edit or change or free transform the text.

Well, we can do this by creating what's called a Layer Clipping Mask. In order to do this, let's copy this background layer, sunrise surfer. One way to copy the layer is to click- and-drag this to the New layer icon. Next, let's go ahead and click and reposition this or click and drag this so that it's above the text layer. Now for a critical step we need to turn off the visibility of the background layer for a moment. Well, here I have my photograph, underneath that I have the text. I'm ready to fill the text with this photograph layer by creating a layer clipping mask.

Let's turn on the visibility. Next, hold down Option or Alt and hover over between the two layers. When you see the new cursor, just go ahead and click. Well, now you can see that this image is filling up this text field or this text layer. If we click on this layer and use our Move tool, well, we can go ahead and change its position. We could also go to our Edit pulldown menu and choose Free Transform and we could transform the text field. Again, this is completely dynamic, because these two layers are now connected.

We could use our Type tool, change the copy here. It's really flexible. Well, the one thing that I want to do is to click in the top layer and then click and drag this around. You can see that I can reposition this so that it looks good with this particular type. And by doing this, by creating this layer clipping mask, it could help me create sometimes some interesting effects. Let's go to the Type layer. With the Type layer, how about if we add perhaps a layer style effect? We could do so by clicking on the fx icon and then choosing something like Drop Shadow.

Here, you can see it's just separating that from the background a little bit. Or maybe we want to add a brush stroke, and by adding these, we're just modifying this text field. In other words, we can modify this in any way we want to. This is simply filling up what we have here. All right. What would happen if we were to change, say, its color a little bit? Let's double-click our fx, and let's go to this Color Overlay here. Here, when we click on Color Overlay, we're going to choose a Blending mode.

I know we haven't covered these in detail yet, but for now let's just go ahead and try this. If you go to Blending mode, you can then select one at the bottom which is called Color. Then with this Color chip active, let's go and select a new color, and I'm going to choose blue just to simulate the color that we had before and then click OK. Well, now here I have something fascinating, right? We have this Text field which has all of these different layer style effects, and really what's making the magic is that this image is filling up the text.

Now if we want to turn on our background layer, what will happen is we'll all of a sudden see that original document there in the background, and we could then click and drag this around in order to change how that's filling up that area. You can modify that so it's either aligned with that background or not. You can just create a little bit of separation or perhaps an interesting look. By doing this, it now looks like, well, that image is filling up the text field. Another thing that you might want to do is to turn off this background layer, and perhaps you just want to create a layer which is filled with a solid color.

To do that, click on the sunrise surfer layer and then click the New icon. Next let's go to our Fill command. We've seen this one before. If you go to Edit, you can then choose Fill. Here, I'll fill this up with a solid color. I'm going to choose white, and then click OK, and then again, I'm just trying to illustrate how you can start to get creative as you're picking up these new techniques. And the wonderful thing about all of this is that we can modify or edit this. We can change these different layer style effects which we have here.

We can also change the overall position or location, and we can modify these layers in some powerful ways. So as you're starting to get a glimpse, layers open us up to so many different possibilities and options. And to really reiterate what's most important about this movie, it's a whole concept, that a Layer Clipping Mask allows you to apply an adjustment to a layer so that the top layer only affects the underlying layer.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

173 video lessons · 26649 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 43s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      45s
  2. 11m 49s
    1. Ideas for how to learn Photoshop more effectively
      4m 25s
    2. Isolating what you've learned and taking quality notes
      3m 53s
    3. Getting creative and being ready to be surprised
      3m 31s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Customizing the Bridge workspace
      4m 46s
    2. Reviewing and evaluating your photos
      4m 22s
    3. Rating, ranking, and filtering photographs
      5m 42s
    4. Organizing photos with stacks
      3m 55s
    5. Grouping pictures together with collections
      3m 56s
    6. Adding metadata and keywords
      4m 47s
    7. Renaming images
      1m 45s
    8. Accessing the Photoshop tools from within Bridge
      2m 28s
    9. Working with Bridge and Photoshop
      2m 40s
    10. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 36s
  4. 45m 29s
    1. Setting up your color settings
      3m 31s
    2. Choosing preferences for the HUD color picker
      3m 50s
    3. Setting image interpolation preferences
      3m 3s
    4. Modifying zoom preferences
      4m 20s
    5. Changing HUD brush options
      3m 41s
    6. Customizing interface preferences
      3m 30s
    7. Opening up documents in tabs
      4m 11s
    8. Reviewing file-handling preferences
      5m 4s
    9. Setting performance preferences
      4m 23s
    10. Choosing cursor preferences
      5m 14s
    11. Reviewing guides and type preview preferences
      4m 42s
  5. 21m 4s
    1. Exploring two simple steps for more accurate color
      2m 57s
    2. Introducing color profiles
      5m 17s
    3. Opening and saving files with embedded profiles
      7m 33s
    4. Setting up your studio
      1m 59s
    5. A demonstration of monitor calibration
      1m 46s
    6. Finding color management resources
      1m 32s
  6. 28m 34s
    1. Introducing the Tools panel
      4m 53s
    2. Changing the view mode and working with panels
      5m 33s
    3. Opening and arranging multiple documents
      6m 31s
    4. Combining, saving, and closing multiple documents
      5m 17s
    5. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      5m 11s
    6. Working with a Wacom tablet
      1m 9s
  7. 18m 24s
    1. The foundation of digital imaging: pixels and bit depth
      6m 12s
    2. Introducing image resizing
      3m 42s
    3. Resizing images effectively
      3m 48s
    4. Resizing and straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 28s
    5. Creative tip: sizing images correctly
      2m 14s
  8. 41m 56s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      2m 47s
    2. Accessing the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 16s
    3. Improving your images with the basic controls
      7m 0s
    4. Correcting color and white balance
      4m 44s
    5. Processing multiple images at once
      5m 56s
    6. Utilizing the Crop tool to recompose your pictures
      5m 28s
    7. Creating dramatic black-and-white conversions
      5m 34s
    8. Reducing noise and making tack-sharp photos
      7m 11s
  9. 32m 55s
    1. Introducing layers
      2m 22s
    2. Understanding layers and layer transparency
      1m 29s
    3. Working with layer opacity
      3m 29s
    4. Aligning layers
      1m 32s
    5. Creating new layers
      4m 53s
    6. Organizing layers
      2m 31s
    7. Filtering and finding layers
      2m 8s
    8. Adding layer style effects
      5m 28s
    9. Creating a clipping mask
      6m 50s
    10. Targeting and moving layers
      2m 13s
  10. 33m 22s
    1. Making selections with the marquee tools
      4m 50s
    2. Using the three lasso tools
      4m 56s
    3. Selecting with the Magic Wand tool
      5m 43s
    4. Working with the Quick Select tool
      7m 21s
    5. Selecting based on color with the Color Range controls
      7m 13s
    6. Correcting skin tones with Color Range
      3m 19s
  11. 23m 2s
    1. Introducing masking
      1m 14s
    2. Painting away the contents of a layer with a mask
      3m 59s
    3. Using a selection to build a mask
      3m 3s
    4. Removing a subject from the background with a mask
      6m 37s
    5. Using a mask to selectively sharpen an image
      3m 58s
    6. Making selections with Quick Mask
      4m 11s
  12. 13m 42s
    1. Creating a custom border using selections and masks
      5m 4s
    2. Painting custom border effects
      3m 34s
    3. Using prebuilt borders
      4m 13s
    4. Exploring the PhotoFrame plug-in
      51s
  13. 11m 49s
    1. Adding brightness and contrast
      3m 3s
    2. Using hue and saturation and the Target Adjustment tool
      5m 34s
    3. Working with vibrancy and saturation
      3m 12s
  14. 14m 36s
    1. Working with auto levels
      3m 36s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      4m 12s
    3. Painting in adjustments with levels and masking
      4m 10s
    4. Creative tip: checking in
      2m 38s
  15. 29m 50s
    1. Introducing the Curves dialog box
      3m 12s
    2. Using auto curves and adjustments to enhance an image
      4m 17s
    3. Changing brightness with curves and masks
      3m 59s
    4. Using curves and masks to improve tone and color
      4m 56s
    5. Making advanced selections and masks
      3m 53s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks
      5m 53s
    7. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      3m 40s
  16. 20m 12s
    1. Introducing the magic of blend modes
      6m 33s
    2. Blending multiple images together
      3m 50s
    3. Using blending modes to remove white or black
      2m 8s
    4. Improving exposure, contrast, and color with blending
      5m 37s
    5. Using blending shortcuts
      2m 4s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Working with color correction in Camera Raw
      1m 21s
    2. Correcting color with the eyedroppers
      3m 11s
    3. Correcting color and tone with the eyedroppers
      5m 54s
  18. 36m 1s
    1. Using a Replace Color adjustment
      4m 14s
    2. Using Replace Color, Hue/Saturation, and masks
      5m 32s
    3. Replacing color with advanced masking
      7m 14s
    4. Selecting and modifying color with the Hue/Saturation eyedroppers
      2m 30s
    5. Using Color Balance to create vivid color
      4m 3s
    6. Modifying color with Selective Color
      5m 3s
    7. Changing color with Photo Filter
      4m 4s
    8. Making creative color changes with Color Lookup
      1m 44s
    9. Creative tip: shoot more
      1m 37s
  19. 35m 13s
    1. The modern equivalent of a traditional technique
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing two burn and dodge techniques
      7m 22s
    3. Burning and dodging with the Brush and Gradient tools
      4m 18s
    4. Dodging and reducing shadows in a portrait
      6m 0s
    5. Using selections, masks, and curves to change tonality
      7m 21s
    6. Improving a black-and-white landscape
      8m 32s
  20. 16m 9s
    1. The power of black and white
      4m 14s
    2. Converting a portrait to black and white
      4m 6s
    3. Converting a landscape to black and white
      4m 23s
    4. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      3m 26s
  21. 31m 57s
    1. Introducing Smart Filters
      3m 36s
    2. Applying Smart Filters
      6m 20s
    3. Creating a soft contrast effect
      6m 38s
    4. Changing focus with the Blur Gallery
      3m 40s
    5. Working with Tilt-Shift Blur
      3m 52s
    6. Creating a realistic lens flare
      2m 45s
    7. Adding light with the Lighting Effects filter
      5m 6s
  22. 12m 33s
    1. Using the Noise Reduction filter
      3m 46s
    2. Exploring advanced noise reduction using channels
      2m 49s
    3. Masking in noise reduction to a specific area
      2m 1s
    4. Reducing noise with Surface Blur
      3m 57s
  23. 48m 30s
    1. Cleaning before you enhance
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the healing and cloning tools
      7m 22s
    3. Cleaning up the background of an image
      6m 21s
    4. Basic portrait retouching
      3m 15s
    5. Brightening shadows under the eyes
      4m 53s
    6. Brightening the eyes
      2m 30s
    7. Retouching selected areas
      5m 27s
    8. Using Content-Aware Fill to remove distractions
      5m 34s
    9. Moving a subject with the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 54s
    10. Changing shape and dimension with Liquify
      4m 12s
  24. 24m 2s
    1. Using the Lens Correction filter
      6m 52s
    2. Reducing exaggerated distortion
      5m 16s
    3. Applying Free Transform to correct perspective
      3m 49s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Perspective Crop tool
      3m 45s
    5. Using Puppet Warp to correct perspective
      4m 20s
  25. 26m 48s
    1. Combining two photos with movement
      4m 12s
    2. Using two frames for a group photo
      4m 57s
    3. Creating a panoramic photo from multiple frames
      3m 37s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle correction
      7m 34s
    5. Cropping, filling in the gaps, and making final panographic adjustments
      6m 28s
  26. 27m 24s
    1. Working with Smart Sharpen
      6m 17s
    2. Using Unsharpen Mask
      4m 49s
    3. High Pass sharpening an image
      4m 47s
    4. Selectively sharpening the in-focus areas of an image
      3m 35s
    5. Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks
      7m 56s
  27. 22m 44s
    1. Preparing images for the web and email
      4m 38s
    2. Sharpening for the web
      3m 5s
    3. Using Save for Web to create an optimized JPEG
      4m 26s
    4. Exporting images to Facebook or Flickr
      4m 46s
    5. Creating a web gallery
      5m 49s
  28. 26m 6s
    1. Desktop printing recommendations
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a PDF layout and contact sheets
      5m 56s
    3. Using a soft proof to visualize the print
      8m 0s
    4. Adjusting printer settings
      3m 43s
    5. Customizing the Print dialog box options
      5m 41s
  29. 32m 4s
    1. Opening up a video file in Photoshop
      7m 7s
    2. Editing a video clip and adding text
      5m 15s
    3. Using adjustment layers and adding an audio track
      4m 47s
    4. Creating a project with multiple clips
      4m 55s
    5. Adding a cross-dissolve fade and creating custom shortcuts
      4m 43s
    6. Customizing the workspace to review your project
      3m 2s
    7. Exporting a project
      2m 15s
  30. 3m 4s
    1. Exploring additional resources and ways to keep in touch
      2m 29s
    2. Goodbye
      35s

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