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Chapter 15. Collage > Clipping Masks

Clipping Masks

When you create a Clipping Mask, the layer you're working on will show up only in those places where there is information on the layer directly below it. This can be useful for simple effects like controlling where shadows fall or placing a photo inside of some text.

Sample Use: You've spent hours creating a big retro head-line that could have come from the movie poster of Creature from the Black Lagoon. Your client—not exactly the king of good taste—calls and says he wants you to put flames inside the headline. You put aside your better judgment and agree to the flames, but only because he pays on time. Then he calls back; he's got some unresolved issues. He doesn't know whether he wants flames or hot lava inside the text, and he's also thinking about changing the headline altogether. He wonders out loud if it will take long or cost much more to do this. “Well,” you say, “I think I could wrap this up in about three hours.” Greatly relieved, he tells you you're a miracle worker and hangs up. Then you pop open the Layers palette, where you've used a clipping mask to get the flames to show up in inside the shape of the headline, and faster than you can say “hocus pocus” you've tweaked the text and swapped out some lava for the flames and are off to the beach for a three-hour (paid) vacation.


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