Photoshop 101: How To Create and Use Clipping Masks

July 27, 2009 • By

A clipping mask is a quick way to create masked effects that show and hide parts of images or photos. In this tutorial we will create a clipping mask with text and an image.

Step 1: Find an image with some interesting texture.

I’m going to go with a grass background. Download the image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nebrow/3736422961/sizes/o/

Step 2: Add text to the image

Open the image in Photoshop and use the type tool and type some text on top of the image.

Step 3: Drag the text below the grass layer

Step 4 Create the clipping mask

With the grass layer selected go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask. The keyboard shortcut for this on a mac is Option+Apple+G.

And there we have it! Masked text! Now lets take this one step further by adding some detail and changing the color of the grass.

Step 5 Add a drop shadow

Add some nice shadow to the text by right clicking on the layer effects icon and adding a drop shadow.

Step 6: Add More Grass

Next lets duplicate the grass layer and drag it below the text layer.

Step 7: Change the color of the grass

With the top grass layer selected go to Image>Adjustments>Hue Saturation. The keyboard shortcut for this is Apple+U on a mac. I chose to make my grass purple in this case.

And there we have it… Purple grass!

Download the PSD

Simple Clipping Mask PSD (ZIP)

By Niki Brown – author of The Design O’Blog. Follow me (@nikibrown) on twitter!