Learn how to use a layer mask to nondestructively remove elements like a pro—instead of deleting pixels permanently.
- [Instructor] In addition to making selections, we're also gonna need to know how to work with layer masks and clipping masks. And these are both non-destructive ways of working. So let's talk about layer masks first. Here in this layer I have my placket, but it's hiding the buttons. I would like to see the buttons. So what I'm gonna do is add a layer mask. And that is this icon down here, kinda looks like a camera. And basically what it did was add a plain white, little box over here next to my placket.
Now I'm gonna grab a paintbrush and paint with black. Where are my buttons? There's one, there's one. And I'm going to paint black on this layer mask. And I'm zoomed in really close, so I'm not gauging where my buttons are well at all. I'm painting black on this layer mask to reveal my buttons, because black blocks things, and what I mean by blocks, is it's blocking this flower pattern to reveal the buttons in the layer beneath it.
Now here's why using a layer mask is so much better than just deleting. I made a mess here. You can see I did a terrible thing. And the only way to fix that if I had deleted would be to undo. But what if I close the file and open the file next week and had to undo it. That would be a problem. But because I used a layer mask, I can swap from black to white and just paint white back in my layer mask. And that is going to restore my floral pattern and allow me to just show the buttons.
So I will clean this up a little bit. I'm gonna hold Alt and click so you can see. That's what I just painted on the layer mask and it allows the button to show through. I can paint the button out by painting white and I can bring the button back by painting black. And that is how a layer mask works. The other type of mask that we need to talk about is called a clipping mask. And a clipping mask is a way of gluing one thing to another. So I want you to consider this duster layer here glue.
And I put a pattern fill on top of it, and I want this pattern to only stick to where the duster is. The way I can do that is right click on the pattern layer and select create clipping mask. And now the pattern only sticks to the duster layer. The great thing about this is is it's also non-destructive. If I right click on it, I have the option to release the clipping mask. So again, I haven't erased anything. I can do this down here. Instead of attaching it to the duster layer, I'm gonna clip it to the sleeves.
And another way to clip, besides just right click and selecting clipping mask, is to hold the Alt or Option key, move your cursor between the two layers, so that's the layer with the pattern and the layer that's essentially I'm calling glue. We'll click that and now I have clipped the pattern to the layer that's got the glue on it, or the sleeves. And again, I could undo it by holding the Alt and clicking. And that is how you use layer masks and clippings masks.
It's really important to remember the difference and know when to use one or the other.
- Using and scaling pattern fills
- Making basic patterns
- Turning scanned swatches into a pattern
- Working with textured fabrics or ditsy prints
- Working with other types of repeats
- Preparing your illustration
- Manipulating pattern fills
- Swapping patterns
- Mocking up photos