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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

5
  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 '14 at 16:07
  • If you are on OSX, use the Command Key – DigitalDesignDj Jun 10 '16 at 20:15
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Here’s a shape layer in Photoshop:

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

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! – Dan Rosenstark May 6 '16 at 1:56

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