Photoshop Clipping Mask: Removing A Layer From the Photo

Written by Mejba Biplob

I am a passionate and experienced professional photo editor with over a decade of experience in the industry. I have an eye for capturing life’s most precious moments and using my skills to create beautiful images that last forever. In addition to photography, I also teach Photoshop and other photo editing software as well as providing creative consultation on how best to showcase your photography work online.

September 27, 2017

Before we go through discussing Photoshop’s clipping mask, we need first to take a look at the definition of the clipping mask. Maybe we heard a lot of things about what the Photoshop clipping mask is, but let us take a deeper look into it.

What is a Mask

An understanding of what a mask is necessary in order for you to excel in Photoshop design. Simply put, the general meaning of the term “mask” is to cover.

It also means applying something to a particular area of an image. In Photoshop, this “term” is more than just a term but is actually related to a tool/process known as a clipping mask.

While we also have the layer masks, our focus for this article will be limited to clipping masks. Actually, if you can really understand the clipping mask, you won’t have a problem understanding the other. While they may produce the same result, their application is somewhat different.

what are the clipping mask

What Are Clipping Masks?

In Photoshop, clipping masks are a powerful way of controlling the visibility and transparency of any layer. This is probably one of the favorite functions you can have of Photoshop, as they are a great way of enhancing collages and graphics.

Its functions are almost the same as that of layer masks. No matter the similarities, there are still features and functions that are unique to each of them.

A major difference between them both is that while a layer mask makes use of white and black to hide or show different aspects of the layer, a clipping mask uses the transparency and content of one layer.

Clipping Mask Layers

There are two basic layers involved in creating clipping masks – top and bottom layers. The function of the bottom layer is to control the top layer’s visibility.

This automatically makes the bottom layer the mask, while the top layer clips to it. This implies that where the actual content is contained in the bottom layer (that is shapes, types, or pixels) the top layer will be transparent or visible.

Also, if there is any transparency in any part of the bottom layer, the corresponding area on the top layer will be hidden. I guess that sounds a little confusing, however, it is not that difficult in its working.

Clipping Mask Layers

How to Create A Clipping Mask

You can create a clipping mask with these few steps:
1. While in the layers panel, arrange the layers accordingly. Remember that the layer you want to mask should be placed on top while the bottom layer is the mask is below.

2. Still, in your Layers panel, right-click on the layer of your image and select where it says “Create Clipping Mask”.

3. If you still desire to add more layers to a clipping mask, repeat the above step 2. Make sure to add just one level at a time to the Layers panel.

How to Remove a Layer From a Clipping Mask
” Select the layer with the clipping mask in the Layers panel.
” Still on the layers panel, right-click on the photograph and select “Release Clipping Mask”.
This command automatically removes the layer you selected and also any layers above it.

A great way to make a twist in any artwork is with the use of a clipping mask. This tool helps you to really explore and appreciate the beauty of editing.

How to Create A Clipping Mask

Clipping Mask

  • A set of layers in which a mask is applied.
  • An object whose form masks other drawings so that only parts that lie within the figure are visible, clipping the artwork in the form of the mask.
  • The objects that are masked and the clipping mask are known as clipping set.
  • Used to hide undesirable parts of a layer from sight in a file.
  • Use the content and transparency of a layer to limit which part of the layer above it stays visible.
  • One of the advantages of it is that all of the overlying layers can be seen.

Photoshop Clipping Mask vs. Layer Mask: Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Layer Mask is working as a one-to-one sort entity while the clipping mask works more as a one-to-many type entity.
  • A clipping mask is, by its very nature, multi-purpose while a Layer Mask happens as an alteration to a layer.
  • Layer Mask does not depend on the original layer.
  • Layer Masks have the ability to take back or hide regions of the original photo as you please.
  • The disadvantage of a Photoshop clipping mask is that your image needs to be placed above the text layer in the layer’s Panel for it to work properly.
  • Using the clipping mask, you can simply drag the image and rotate it while it remains within the text layer.

The use of a clipping mask is a big help in making a twist in your artwork. Using the Photoshop clipping mask, you can explore the beauty of editing.



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