How to Use Clipping Masks (on a premade template)

A clipping mask is a layer that defines what's visible of the layer above it.

For a photographer or a blogger or anyone who needs photoshop templates in their day to day life, clipping masks will probably come up. Many of the digital templates I sell on my etsy store makes use of clipping masks, because they make life so easy - no need to crop every photo or line everything up every single time.

Good storyboards and photo templates from any one who makes them to sell or for personal use are almost always made with clipping masks.

To easily define clipping masks in layers you'll see something like this

See the little corner arrow and how the top layer is indent slightly? That suggests that 'Layer 1' is clipped to 'Photo 1'.
Here I'll show you how to use existing clipping mask templates.

First, file > open and find your template to open in photoshop. I'm using one of my own to demonstrate.

Make sure you can see all the layer with Window > Layers

These are the layers, you should have something similar if using a premade template:

The boxes that are light grey are base layers. They are the clipping mask, the part that defines what is going to be visible.

The teal layers above are clipped to the base layer. The teal layers are there so that your photo automatically turns into a clipping mask for ease and speed of use. This way, you don't need to clip anything, just drag and drop.

Make sure to turn off the little eye on the layers that are clipped so that your photo is the only layer that will show up. (Most of mine should already be off, but it's easy to click on or for me to miss)

Then file > open all the photos you want to use for your template
Drag and drop your photo onto the template.

This photo layer needs to fit the space on the template.

The layer that is already clipped will automatically make your photo clipped too.

Click and hold on your photo layer to drag and drop it between the Base layer and the already clipped layer.

Some of your layers may need to be resizes or moved around to fit into the mask. Like below, you just need to select the layer and click and drag to fit it into place. 

Make sure Auto-Select is ticked off because this can make for some unneeded hassle when tried to move layers around.

There you have it. I hope this helped, if anyone has any question feel free to ask I'll be happy to help :)

I'll share how to make clipping masks next week :)

Love, Georgee

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