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Photoshop Clipping Mask Tutorial

September 21, 2022 |

Creating a clipping mask in Photoshop is a quick and simple task that can enhance your design dramatically. It simply uses the content of one layer to control the visibility of another, by clipping it into it’s shape.

This is what the end result will look like
1. Start by opening the desired image in Photoshop.
It will be automatically set as a locked background layer.
2. Click on the padlock to unlock the layer
It will automatically be renamed to Layer 0
3. Click the + button to create a new layer
Layer 1 will be added above Layer 0 by default.
4. Drag and drop the new layer below the image layer.

In order to create a clipping mask, we need the image to be one layer above the desired shape.

Clipping masks use the content and transparency of the layer below to control the visibility of the layer above.

5. Select the image layer and from the right mouse button menu, choose Create Clipping Mask.
Now, your image layer should be indented to the right with an arrow pointing downwards to the transparent layer. The image layer will “disappear”, and all you will see is the transparent layer below.

For this example, we will create a shape using the Ellipse Tool, and add some flair with a Photoshop brush.

The Ellipse Tool
6. This is the step where your creativity comes in!
Create the shape to which you would like to clip your image to.
Using the shape tools will transform the layer into a shape
To simplify things for this example, we will Rasterize this layer, which basically means to convert it into pixels.
You can also group layers and apply the Clipping Mask to a group.
Now, we can draw with a Photoshop Brush into the same layer
Choosing the brush settings
Try blending using different brush size combinations!


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