Photoshop Clipping Mask trick

This little trick which involves manipulating layers is quiet simple but it is a very powerful device for photomontages. It is important for a Photoshop artist to know how to make layers interact with each other. If you are new to Photoshop probably you do not know that Layers is one of the features that make Photoshop the best among the rest. Now is the time for you to start experimenting and playing with Layers.

In this example we will be changing the shirt of the child in the image, from a plain white to something that is printed. I have used two images, image A and image B. Image A is the image with the child and image B will be use to “change” the child’s shirt.

Don’t mind the lighting problem of image A because we will take care of that in the next tutorial, for the mean time we’ll just change the child’s white shirt into something that is printed.

The first thing to do is to make a selection of the shirt. There are many ways to make the selection, you may use the magnetic lasso, pen tool, or you may choose to use quick masking or any other method that suits you. After the selection has been made create a new layer out of what has been selected by pressing Crtl+J.

Now after pressing Crtl+J you will see that another layer is added in the Layers panel.

The next thing to do is place image B as another layer. You can do this by clicking File in the menu bar and choosing Place.

image B will cover the child’s shirt :

Now create clipping mask by pressing Alt+Crtl+G (if like me, you are using CS3). For earlier versions just use Crtl+G. The result would be like what is shown below:

But we are not satisfied with the result yet, we need play with the Layer modes to achieve realism. You can change the layer modes by selecting from the pop-up menu at
the top of the Layers palette. Or you can use keyboard shortcuts to do this, just hold down Shft+Alt while typing the first letter of the name of the mode you would like to use. You can also manipulate the opacity of the layer to achieve realism. In this exercise i used the modes Multiply, and Difference and adjusted the opacity of thew concerned layer. Below are the different results of the different modes i used.

This is multiply:

This is difference:

Here i played with opacity, notice how the real plain white shirt blended with the flowers creating the illusion that the flowers were actually printed on the shirt.

That’s it. The possibilities with Photoshop is limitless, all you need to have are a few tricks in the bag and imagination to create. The next tutorial would be about how to fix a picture with a bad lighting (like what i’ve used above).