TUTORIAL: How to Use Clipping Masks (Cutout an Image to Reveal the Layer Below)


In this tutorial I will attempt to explain clipping masks in Photoshop. Below is an example using text with a photo of my boy Max...as you will see...any bold silhouette type image works best.

Here we go:

1. First open a new document and choose Transparent from the background content dropdown box. Transparent backgrounds display as a gray and white checkerboard pattern, so don't be alarmed.

2. Apply your silhouette to the transparent background. I used a Photoshop paintbrush of a cow using black as my foreground color.

3. Open the image you wish to use for your background and drag it on top of the original image with the silhouette on the transparent background.

4. From the Layers menu on the top, choose "Create Clipping Mask" (Keyboard shortcut is Ctrl or Cmd+ Alt + G)

5. Now, depending on which layer you have active (highlighted) you can move either the background or the silhouette image to place where you like. (Be sure to have Auto Select box UNCHECKED or you will only be able to grab the background image.)

To move this image to another document, you must flatten it or save it as a jpg...

Let me know if you have any questions or comments! I always welcome feedback here in the comments section of the posting.


Sharyn said…
Thanks so much for sharing! I'm a novice at photoshop but I love learning new things.
misti mony said…
We've had a lot of satisfied customers in 2012; we plan to close out the new year by offering some really cool stuff! Moving Masks.