I have a problem with Inkscape.

I want to clip JPG portrait to a shape of paint-splatter PNG (technically two of the same paint splatter PNG grouped into one but I tried with just one to same non-result).

I'm putting my "mask" (cutting shape) on top of my JPG, selecto both and use either Clip > Set or Clip > Set Inverse, depending on current need.

Everytime I do that though, either nothing happens or I get an empty object (nothing on screen) as a result. Size of the resulting object seems to be "as desired" because selection outline is visible and object is still selectable/unselectable but there is nothing there.

1 Answer 1


Clipping only works with vectors (paths, rectangles, circles etc.). For bitmaps you'll need to use 'Object → Mask → Set Mask' (or right-click, then 'Set Mask').

Masks work a little differently compared to clip-paths: the final transparency is based on the brightness of the mask pixel, i.e. black is fully transparent and white is fully opaque. This means you'll have to edit your mask-image so that the inside of your shape is white (or close to white) and everything outside is black.

Mask example

Also, if you're exclusively working with bitmaps, it might be better to use a raster-based editing tool like GIMP instead of Inkscape.

  • And if both my images are multicolor and I still need to cut one to the shape of the other?
    – Nec Xelos
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 17:12
  • 1
    The color of the object that the mask is applied to doesn't matter, but you very likely have to edit the masking image to make it work. It's probably best to use GIMP for that.
    – Xrott
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 17:19

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