I have a black & white pixel layer that I want to "cut into" another pixel layer. I've read so many tutorials and even tried asking ChatGPT, but nothing has worked.

I want the black triangle to be cut into the white layer behind it, but just like cutting out the pixels from it. I don't want it to be a black color in the final result, I want it to be transparent, y'know?

I also don't want the rest of the triangle (that isn't covering the other layer) to be like included when I select the entire layer. It should just be like one big layer with that part cut out.

The first image is what I'm working with. The second one is an example of what I want the end result to be like (red = my white).

The black-colored layer is what I want to cut out of the white-colored one Second image, an example of what I want the end result to look like


3 Answers 3


The short version...

  • create a selection of the black
  • Highlight the "white Layer" in the *Layers Panel
  • Click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel.
  • Turn off visibility for the black layer
  • Need Script for adding layer mask from selection. Feb 2 at 14:46

I think I found a way to do it;

  1. Create a completely white mask for the white layer
  2. Go to the black layer
  3. Use the Magic Wand to make a selection of the black layer (probably a better way to do this)
  4. Switch back to the mask you created in step 1, your selection of the layer from step 2 should remain
  5. Use the paint bucket tool to fill in the selection with black (or any color you want)
  6. Delete the original black layer in step 2

I think this is what you were trying to say, Scott, but it didn't work for me since there was no mask to begin with, thank you though as it helped me find this solution!

Also, if you want to repeat this process for multiple black layers, you just skip step 1 and use the same mask after the first layer!

  • This is exactly what I posted essentially. If you have a selection active and click the "new mask" button, a mask is added with the selection already part of the mask You did the same thing, just in 3 more steps :) Glad you sorted it.
    – Scott
    Sep 20, 2023 at 2:46
  • Yeah I assumed it was the same as what you posted. But for some reason when I clicked the new mask button it reset the selection though, or maybe it didn’t… I’ll have to check again!
    – srnyx
    Sep 21, 2023 at 4:36

The most simple and intuitive option is to make a selection of the layer and then make a mask, as per other answers. But really that is not the question.

So how do you turn a layer into a mask:

Let's say we have a file like this and we want to knockout the green using the black layer.

enter image description here

Double-click on the layer with the black triangle to get the "Layer Styles". Set Advanced blending Fill Opacity to 0. Select "Knockout Shallow".

enter image description here

This will result in this.

enter image description here

If we want to only have it affect the green, we would make a group around the mask layer and the green.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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