Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Using a Clipping Mask.

So, not really a "trick" but just a more simple way of getting something done.  I'd previously learned how to take a shape and change it to a new pattern via this long process involving the magic wand tool and a series of steps and layers, and are you still with me?  Yes, neither was I.  I've always had to open that book back up. 
But today, today I learned of "Ctrl-G" and I'm never going back.  It's so simple!  And so fun!
The basic instructions are:
1. Draw shape on open file.
2. Create new layer to put the color via Paint bucket or to Place the patterned paper you want the image to be filled with.
3. Use Ctrl-G, and ta-da!

Now how simple and very fun is that!  Then it hit me - I can use that to cut my photos into shapes which is how I finally learned to use a photo mask in PSE.  Now I'm not just limited to the crop shapes menu (although the one above is on that menu).  Here's a very fast example of some shapes and a picture that is masked.  This may be simple to those more experienced but wow, did this just open some doors for me.

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