It is really hard to explain, but kind of easy to understand once you actually see what I mean.

I want to design a specific shape, and to make a layered mask "folder" and be able to add shapes into that folder that will reflect transparency to the main masked layer.

Instead of making a shape in a shape, it will mask a hole in it with the same shape. the thing is, that I know how to do it through adding all into one folder, and then using the marquee/selection tool. btu it is always croppy, and it never gives me the fine abilities that the path tool gives me.

So I want to be able to design the shapes inside, and that the final design will have the "holes" in it. so lets say i output a final logo file, and i drag it into a background-colored image, the bg color will reflect through the holes i "inverted" in the masked folder.

http://gyazo.com/01ac3a70b88789dd4fd51a3c174cd8e7 < here you can see how I manually have to color the shape, but i want to allow the freedom of just putting an image with its "holes" so it automaticaly does it http://gyazo.com/01ac3a70b88789dd4fd51a3c174cd8e7 < here you may see the shapes that I want to be cleared/masked.

I'm sorry if this sounds abit odd, i tried many online sources and i couldn't find the specific answer.

EDIT: here is what im really trying to do, but without the regular mask on the shape layer and the selection tool http://gyazo.com/013721d4996cd570b5dddc45f633dc40

2 Answers 2

  1. Create a layer
  2. Create a shape
  3. Ctrl + drag shape over the layer in the layer menu
  4. TADA, now you have layer masked with a shape

If you want to add more shapes to this mask just add them while shape mask is selected, but they must be paths instead of shapes. SO when creating a new shape select Path from top left instead of Shape.

  • I couldnt get it done right, darn. is there any guide online that you can link me to?
    – Dan
    Sep 18, 2014 at 16:07
  • If you are on OSX, use the Command Key Jun 10, 2016 at 20:15

Here’s a shape layer in Photoshop:

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If you select the shape and choose Subtract Front Shape from the options bar, the object will now subtract the objects below it.

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If it’s the bottommost object, they layer will be filled first.

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Shape masks can be applied to groups. There’s many ways to do it, but here’s an easy method:

1. Create a shape layer with the shape you want.

enter image description here

2. Cut the object, select the group, paste

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3. If you’d like it to subtract, choose Subtract Front Shape from the options bar

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4. Groups can have any contents a shape layer can.

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You can also nest as many groups as you’d like, creating some pretty complex masking that’s easy to edit at a later date.

  • Thanks, I had no idea that this was so easy... I was converting everything to pixels and "cutting" out of that, but then you cannot (easily?) do rounded rectangles etc. This is too cool! May 6, 2016 at 1:56

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