June 12, 2009
Clipping masks are most commonly used when an adjustment needs to be applied to a single layer in a multi-layer document. For example, if you have a triptych of images (each on their own layer) within a single document and need to brighten only one of the images, you can add an adjustment layer and “clip” it so that it only effects that single layer.
The easiest way to “clip” an adjustment layer to the layer below it is to target the layer that needs the adjustment in the Layers panel, then click the clipping icon at the bottom of the Adjustment panel before adding the adjustment, (or, if you forget, you can click the clipping the icon after adding the adjustment at the bottom of the Adjustment panel). As you make the adjustment, you will notice that the modification is only effecting the layer that the adjustment is “clipped” to.
Another use of clipping masks is to clip content suce as a photo to a shape such as type. In order to do this, put the type layer under the photo layer on the Layer’s panel, target the type layer (by clicking in it in the Layer’s panel) and select Command-Opt (Mac) / Control-Alt (Win) + G to create a Clipping Mask.
Or, on the Layers panel, hold the Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) key and position the cursor over the line that separates the two layers in the Layer’s panel. When you see the icon switch to a triangle with two overlapping circles -click to create a Clipping Mask.
You can have multiple layers clipped to a base layer. Visually, you will know that the layers are clipped because the bottom most layer’s name will be underlined in the Layers panel, and the clipped layer(s) will be indented with an arrow pointing downwards towards the base layer.
June 11, 2009
To paste content (from the clipboard) into a Layer mask, Option (Mac)/ Alt (Win) -click the Layer mask icon on the Layers panel and then select Edit > Paste.
If you have an active selection in your document (marching ants) and have content on the clipboard, selecting “Paste Into” will paste the content from the clipboard into your selection – and automatically convert the selection into a Layer mask.
June 10, 2009
Clicking on the Link icon (between the layer and the mask icons in the Layers panel) will unlink the mask from the layer (allowing either to move independently of the other). Click in the empty are to relink the layer with the mask.
June 9, 2009
To temporarily disable a layer or vector mask, Shift-click the mask icon in the Layers panel. For a Layer mask, simply clicking on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel will enable it. For a Vector mask, you must shift -click the thumbnail again to enable it. You can also Control (Mac) / Right mouse (Win) -click on the mask in the Layers panel and choose to Enable or Disable the mask.
June 8, 2009
Clicking on the Vector mask icon in the Layers Panel will toggle the path’s visibility. When the path is hidden, drawing with the Pen or Shape tool(s) creates a new path/shape – as oppose to adding to the mask.
June 5, 2009
To view a layer mask, Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. Tapping the “\”(backslash) toggles the display of a layer mask on and off (as a red rubylith overlay). (Looking at the Channels panel, you can see that this shortcut toggles the channels visibility.)
June 4, 2009
Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + “\” (backslash) targets the layer mask in the Layers panel. Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + 2 targets the layer.
June 3, 2009
Drag a layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to move it from one layer to another.
Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -drag a layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to create a copy of the mask.
Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) + Shift -drag to create copy of a layer mask while simultaneously inverting the mask. (Note: this shortcut does not work with a vector mask – in order to invert a vector mask, select the path with the Direct Selection tool and click the “Subtract From Shapes Area” icon in the Options bar.)
June 2, 2009
To delete a mask, target it on the Layers panel and click the Trash icon on the Masks panel. If you prefer to click the Trash icon on the Layers panel, or drag the mask thumbnail to the Trash icon at the bottom of Layers panel, adding the Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) key will bypass the option dialog box. You can also Control -click (Mac) or right mouse click on the layer mask and choose discard from the context sensitive menu to bypass the dialog.
June 1, 2009
To add a mask to a layer, click on the layer or vector mask icon in the Masks panel. If you prefer to use the Layers panel “Add Layer Mask” icon, click once to add a layer mask, click again to add a vector mask, or if you want only the vector mask, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click the mask icon. To add a layer mask which automatically hides the selection (as oppose to reveals it as it does by default), Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click the icon. Of course with Photoshop CS4, you can always invert a layer mask using the new Invert button on the Masks panel!
August 6, 2008
In this training video, (Creative Retouching Techniques and Edge Effects in Photoshop), you will discover how to to completely change the look and feel of a photograph with some simple retouching, creative adjustments, and the addition of edges and texture.
April 6, 2008
Explore several of the new tools in Photoshop CS3 in this video tutorial (The Creative Composite “Drifting”), as Julieanne Kost walks you though the creation of a digital composite she created based on a personal assignment for the concept drifting.