OK, I hope you're ready here for the basics of Clipping Groups. You know, I haven't really done a good job of explaining exactly what a clipping group is and how it's going to function. Well, I started to say that it was another method of masking here inside Photoshop but it works in a slightly different way. Luckily it's very easy to work with so here's the deal. Here's how it's going to work. We can take any image that we want, any photo that we have, maybe a family photo or a texture or, you know, really anything that you have and what we're going to do is we're going to overlay it on top of our Cookie Cutter Layer. So we're going to stick it on top of our black circle here and the reason why I called my layer Cookie Cutter is because I imagine this overlaying photo that you and I are about to stick onto this circle as the dough and then our actual layer here that you and I have created is going to be the cookie cutter. So in other words, it's going to hide away or it's going to clip away anything that falls outside of our Cookie Cutter Layer. So we're only going to stuff inside the circle, if that makes sense. And by the way, on your Cookie Cutter Layer you can have whatever you want. I just did a simple circle here with you just to keep it easy but we could have maybe a star shape or a pattern or, you know what would be really cool is some text. You know when you see some text, maybe a company name or something and then you see a photo inside the letters? That's exactly what we're talking about here. We could really pull that off and in quite an easy way. So anyway, I'm anxious to show you how this is going to work. So I'm going to go and open up another file. I'm just going to hit Command O on my keyboard or Control O there of course on the PC side and I'm going to go and grab an image here. You can again use any file that you want, any graphic that you have. I'm going to use Resizing.jpg. This is a pretty big photograph so I'll pop this guy open. OK, there he is and as always, what I'm going to do is I'll head up to my Application Bar and I'll choose Float All in Windows, something like this and maybe you've kind of picked up on where I'm going with this. I essentially want to take this photo and drag him over on top of the black circle. Do you remember how to do this? We did this a while ago. I'm on my Move Tool inside my Toolbox. Go ahead and hit the V Key on your keyboard to switch over to that tool and all I'm going to do is click and drag my photo from his window into the black circle, something like this. OK, perfect. And as far as Resizing.jpg, we can close out of him. I'll go back to my Application Bar and then choose Consolidate All. Alright. Now, have a look at my Layers Panel. So we have the background layer, I have the Cookie Cutter Layer and then we have Layer 1. Now, you might want to rename that. I'll just call this, maybe I'll call this Photo or you could call it Cookie Dough or something like this. Now here's the moment of truth. What I want to do is I want to clip this photo to the Cookie Cutter Layer. In other words, all I want to see is a circle with my photo inside it. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to bring my cursor over inside my Layers Palette. I'm going to hold down Option or Alt and bring my cursor right between my two layers and you should get this really weird, funky-looking cursor. This guy here, try clicking. That's all there is to it. So what's happened here is the photo is now clipped to the contents of the Cookie Cutter Layer and again, the contents of that layer can be whatever you want. Now, I hope this worked for you. Here's the cool part. I'm going to go back to the Photo Layer, select him. I'm still on my Move Tool and now what I can do is I can move the image around inside my Cookie Cutter. So maybe I want to have something like this, you know, the road disappearing in the background or something like that. Or you know what I could even do is I could make use of my Free Transform. Command T or Control T and I'll zoom out just a little bit and I'll scale this guy down. It's great when you start to get to a point in Photoshop where you're using a lot of different skills together. You're using your resizing and your combining your images and you're using your masks and you're clipping groups and all together to create some kind of a layout, right? OK, very cool stuff. Now, what I'm going to do here is of course I could move and resize my photo, right, inside Cookie Cutter? That's awesome. Or what I could do is I could grab the Cookie Cutter Layer and I could move him around, right? So the two are independent, right? I can move each sort of independently of the other. Just going to Undo that and go back to where I was. Or what I could do is I could hold down Control or Command and select both layers inside the Layers Palette and then move them both in unison if you want. The final thing that I want to show you, I'm going to select my Cookie Cutter Layer and what I can do on the Cookie Cutter Layer is I can add or subtract pixels on this layer which will show or hide more or less of my photo. So again, it's really all tied to the pixels on the Cookie Cutter Layer. So for example, I'm going to grab, let's see. I'm going to grab my Paintbrush Tool. I just hit the B Key on my keyboard. Again, it doesn't matter what color I paint in so long as I'm adding pixels to my layer, right? So I have my Cookie Cutter Layer selected and I'm just painting in pixels. Or what I could do is I could switch over to my Eraser Tool over inside the Toolbox and I'll crank up the brush size here just by tapping my Closed Square Bracket Key on my keyboard and I'll start erasing away pixels on that layer. So there you go. That's kind of the basics anyway of clipping groups. They're a lot of fun and you can do some really cool things. Now, next up I want to give you more of a practical application, a more practical example of where you might use this in your own work.
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