Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Using shapes as vector masks, part of Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: Design.
- [Instructor] There are several ways to display a photograph within a shape in Photoshop. Now that we know how to work with vector shapes, we can add them as masks to control which portion of a photo is hidden or revealed. To create this effect, I'm going to select the Custom Shape tool from the toolbar and then, from the Custom Shape picker, I'll select the triangle. But before I drag out a shape, I want to change the option from Shape to Path. Then I'll click in the image area and drag out a triangle.
I want to make some copies of this triangle, so I'll switch to my Path Selection tool, and then, to duplicate this, I'll hold down the Option key, click on the path, hold down the Shift key in order to constrain it to moving it horizontally, and then release the cursor. I'll do it again where I hold down the Option key to create a copy, and then as I start dragging it, I'll add the Shift key in order to constrain it. Then, I want to add two more and flip them. I'll click and drag in my image area in order to select those two vector paths and then I'll use the keyboard shortcut Command + C to copy them, and then Command + V in order to paste them.
Right now, they're sitting directly on top of the other shapes, so when I select Command + T or Control + T, which, in this case, is automatically been changed to transform path, I can then right click and choose to flip them vertically. Then I'll click and drag to the left in order to reposition them. Then I'll apply that path transformation by clicking the check mark. Now, in order to distribute these evenly, I'll click and drag over all of the paths, and in the Options bar, I'll choose to distribute based on widths, and then select the option again in order to align on the top edges.
Now in order to convert these paths into a vector mask, because they're all selected, I just need to choose Layer, and then Vector Mask, and Current Path. We can see in the layers panel, I now have a different looking mask than the typical layer mask. This is your vector mask, and it is hiding or revealing my photograph, or the contents in the layer next to it based on the shape. You can also add a regular layer mask to a layer that has a vector mask.
So, from the bottom of the Layers panel, I'll click on the Mask icon to add a regular mask, and then just widen this group of panels a little bit. Then, I want to fill the regular layer mask, or the raster mask. So I'll choose Edit, and then Fill. I want to fill it with a pattern, but it's a specific texture that I want to add. So, under Custom Patterns, I'll use the downward-pointing triangle in order to access the gear icon where I can load up different sets of patterns.
I'll choose Erodible Textures, and I'll append it so it'll add these textures to the ones that are already there. Then, I'll use the gear icon again in order to view this by a small list. That will make it easier for us to scroll down and select the rough texture. When I choose that, and then click OK, it fills that layer mask with this rough texture, but I need to change the values in that layer mask to get the effect that I want.
So under the Image menu, I'll choose adjustments, and then levels. I can move over the black point slider, and in this case, it doesn't really matter if I'm clipping the image to black or white, or in this case, the mask, to black and white. In fact, that's the effect that I want. So although I might be really pushing the pixels to almost all black or all white, I'm creating an effect that looks like snow. So we'll click OK, and then in the Layers panel, I'll just click in the empty area to hide those paths.
As you can see, there are many ways to use vector shapes in Photoshop.
Photoshop CC boasts tools and features for making tonal and color adjustments, applying effects and treatments to type and graphics, and distorting, filtering, and layering elements—all while maintaining the highest-quality output. In this course, Julieanne demonstrates how to efficiently perform common design tasks, including editing images, drawing shapes, and working with type and fonts. Along the way, she shares the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and helps you master features such as layers, filters, blending modes, typography, custom brushes, vector masks, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
- Working with Smart Objects
- Linked vs. embedded Smart Objects
- Creative transformations and warping
- Essential filters for designers
- Emulating traditional drawing techniques
- Working with shape and fill layers
- Pen tool basics
- Applying layer effects and styles
- Type essentials
- Creative brush techniques
- Working with libraries and artboards
- Exporting files and sharing images