In this tutorial we will cover what Clipping Masks are and how to create them in Photoshop. We will also touch on some retouching scenarios when they can be very useful.
- Clipping Masks allow you to apply pixels on a layer or color and exposure adjustments via Adjustment Layers to only one particular layer as opposed to all layers below it.
- A clipped layer’s pixels or adjustments will be applied to any opaque pixels in the layer it is clipped to.
- The opaque pixels essentially form a mask for the one or more layers that you clip to it.
- When a layer that has other layers clipped to it is disabled/hidden, all clipped layers will automatically hide as well.
- Clipping Masks can be created in a variety of ways, with the easiest being to select the layer you want to clip to the layer below, then use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+G (Ctrl+Alt+G).
- The most common use for Clipping Masks is to apply various adjustment layers to a specific layer as opposed to the entire image
- Clipping masks are also very useful for removing fringing in a subject cut-out within a composite image, or to add texture to areas of smoothed skin as demonstrated in the video.