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Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1
Illustration by John Hersey

Using clipping groups


From:

Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1

with Bert Monroy

Video: Using clipping groups

In quite a few of the movies, I use clipping groups to mask out parts of a layer. Here, I want to explain what a clipping group is. I have here three layers, red, green, and blue. Each one is set on a transparent background. There is the red, there is the green, and there is the blue. Now, right now they are on top of each other. I am going to use the red layer as the clipping group for the other two. What's going to happen there is that these guys will be confined to the live area of the red layer, the live area where the actual pixels are not taking into account what's going on in back with the transparency.
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  1. 2m 12s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 14s
  2. 23m 11s
    1. Using clipping groups
      3m 33s
    2. Explaining alpha channels
      6m 29s
    3. Using layer masks
      3m 47s
    4. Creating alpha channels
      5m 56s
    5. Using Adobe Bridge to stay organized
      3m 26s
  3. 26m 6s
    1. Introduction
      14s
    2. Preparing the scene: Retouching
      7m 36s
    3. Turning day into night
      6m 18s
    4. Creating the sky
      6m 24s
    5. Creating chimney smoke
      5m 34s
  4. 16m 23s
    1. Introduction
      14s
    2. Creating the castle
      6m 14s
    3. Creating a floating island
      3m 29s
    4. The final composite
      6m 26s
  5. 29m 22s
    1. Introduction
      30s
    2. Creating the basic cliff
      4m 50s
    3. Including cliff details
      2m 38s
    4. Adding plateau details
      8m 53s
    5. Creating a cascading waterfall
      5m 31s
    6. Building a rock cliff
      2m 13s
    7. The final composite
      4m 47s
  6. 30m 49s
    1. Introduction
      40s
    2. Creating terrain
      3m 47s
    3. Adding buildings
      9m 18s
    4. Creating the planet
      4m 7s
    5. Creating planet rings
      9m 39s
    6. Adding atmosphere
      3m 18s
  7. 25m 4s
    1. Introduction
      49s
    2. Creating islands
      5m 56s
    3. Creating a beach
      4m 28s
    4. Adding a planet and a moon
      6m 42s
    5. Adding the secret base
      7m 9s
  8. 49m 34s
    1. Introduction
      33s
    2. Manipulating the plane with the Pen tool
      8m 12s
    3. Adding the logo to a curved surface
      4m 14s
    4. Compositing and aging the plane
      6m 14s
    5. Busting up the plane
      8m 54s
    6. Breaking glass
      5m 53s
    7. Adding moss and lighting
      7m 15s
    8. Adding water and reflection
      5m 2s
    9. Applying finishing touches
      3m 17s
  9. 26m 41s
    1. Introduction
      15s
    2. Creating the sea
      4m 15s
    3. Creating the dome
      8m 4s
    4. Compositing and colorizing the city
      9m 3s
    5. Adding a flock of birds with the Pen tool
      5m 4s
  10. 21m 6s
    1. Introduction
      22s
    2. Creating the scene
      7m 49s
    3. Making a castle on an island
      7m 16s
    4. Adding foliage
      5m 39s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Introduction
      53s
    2. Composing the scene
      9m 6s
    3. Creating explosions
      8m 54s
    4. Adding flying debris
      3m 30s
    5. Applying finishing touches
      4m 49s
  12. 26s
    1. Final thoughts
      26s

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Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1
4h 38m Intermediate Sep 18, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Discover how to use Adobe Photoshop, without any added fine art skills, to modify artwork and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Author and illustrator Bert Monroy takes an unexciting photo and transforms it into an amazing dream sequence by combining it with other photos and techniques. His process touches on compositing, digital painting, masking, and other key image editing techniques. All you need is Photoshop, some images that could use a boost, and your imagination!

Topics include:
  • Creating alpha channels
  • Isolating content with clipping groups and layer masks
  • Turning a day sky into a night sky
  • Compositing photos
  • Creating tableaus
  • Blending color and tone in combined images
  • Painting in explosions
Subjects:
Design Photography Design Techniques Digital Painting Masking + Compositing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Bert Monroy

Using clipping groups

In quite a few of the movies, I use clipping groups to mask out parts of a layer. Here, I want to explain what a clipping group is. I have here three layers, red, green, and blue. Each one is set on a transparent background. There is the red, there is the green, and there is the blue. Now, right now they are on top of each other. I am going to use the red layer as the clipping group for the other two. What's going to happen there is that these guys will be confined to the live area of the red layer, the live area where the actual pixels are not taking into account what's going on in back with the transparency.

This will also take into account transparency along the edges for the anti-aliasing. It will take all that into account in preparing how these things are masked. Now, I am going to do it the way I do it throughout this series, and that is by the shortcut. I simply hold down the Option key and press between them. Now, if I don't hold the Option key, you see that the little hand is going up and down through the Layers Panel. But when I hold down that Option key, it changes the cursor when it gets in between. So, what I am going to do is I am going to click right here.

And you notice that the red suddenly became underlined, and the green became indented with an arrow pointing down. And you see that it's only visible inside the area of the red. I am now going to clip the blue. The blue doesn't seem to make a difference, but if I was to take the blue and move it around, you can see that, yes, the blue is being hidden inside of the red. And they are still individual layers that I can do things to, as you can see. I could take that green layer and reduce its opacity. I can even go in there and give it a drop shadow, increase the distance, and the size, so there is this nice little drop shadow right there.

I can go to the blue layer. There it is. There is the blue layer. We'll kind of bring it over to the side here a little bit, and I am going to go in there and give that a nice little drop shadow, give it a Bevel & Emboss. Nice depth, we'll make it a Chisel Hard, and we'll make it a little bigger. So, it's got this nice little effect going on in there, and I can even give it a filter, because it is a totally separate layer. So we'll give it some noise, we get a lot of noise, click OK, and there you can see.

I have affected all these layers and they are still individual layers. If I want to separate them from the group, all I have to do is Option-click between them. So, I can go over here, and I could just go in there, and Option-click between these two layers, and you can see that it get separated from it, Option-clicking again, and they'll come back and become part of the group again. Now, they are manipulated in any way I want, opacities, anything I want to do. Now, anything I do to the base layer will affect all of them.

There, I made the blue one transparent, didn't do anything to the green one. I will, however, go to the red one and reduce its opacity. When I reduce its opacity, you notice that they are all being affected. If I give a layer style to the base layer, I say we give that an Inner Glow which will make quite large. You see that it is affecting all the other layers, they are getting the glow as well based on the shape of what we are creating here. So that's what a clipping group is. It's a way of going in there and masking other layers with the live area of the base layer in that clipping group.

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