Creating Effects with Clipping Masks

Photoshop Tutorial

Today I’ll show you how to create different Effects with Clipping Masks. With a Clipping Mask, your photo remains intact. When you’re done you can save the Photoshop File with the first photo as a Smart Object. You can replace the Smart Object with another photo to apply the effect on different photos.

Step 1: Choose your texture.

This Effect is all about textures. You can choose a texture or you can create your own texture. The texture I’ll e using is one I created in Photoshop with an Inkbrush.

The texture has different areas of opacity: the middle-left side has more opacity because that is were we’ll place the subjec the photo.

Step 2: Place your Photo.

Now we’ll place our photo. For this tutorial I choose a photo of Inna Mikitas, an Ukrainian Model. Place the photo on top of the texture as a new layer. Go to the Layer menu and choose Create Clipping Mask.

You can stop here and use this kind of Photo is any product: in an album, a collage… The transparency of the background will make this blend on other Photos.

For example: when this photo was taken on your holiday, you can place another photo of that day as background above a solid white background. Change the opacity of the background to whatever works for your photo.

Further Building of Effect:

You can build further to create different Artistic Effects. I explain how I created the effect in the example at the beginning of this article.

A. Add a Light Effect. Set the Blend Mode of this Lightleak to Lighten. Add a Mask and paint away any unnecessary parts.

B. Add another Texture for creating a Clipping Mask. This time only cover the subject of the photo. Duplicate the original photo and place on top of the Texture. Create a Clipping Mask.

We’ll do this one more time.

Two Texture Layers.

C. Add an Old Paper Texture. Or another texture with color or grain, scratches… Set the Blend Mode to Lighten and the opacity around 60%.

I’ve created a Mask for this texture and painted with a brush (50% opacity) on the subject of the photo. I wanted the effect on the model less then in the background.

And we’re done for now. I’ll build other effects with Clipping Masks in later posts.