Clipping masks are loads less complicated than you would possibly suppose by definition – they’re basically once you apply a layer masks to a bunch of layers. That’s it.
This function was not obtainable in earlier variations of GIMP (earlier than 2.10), and so quite a lot of customers are unaware of how you can carry out this process in GIMP 2.10 or newer, or that they will even carry out the duty within the first place. The nice information is you could now simply add clipping masks to layer teams in GIMP. Right here’s how.
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Let’s use the next instance: you’ve gotten two pictures, every of which you need apply a layer masks to to have them fade into each other, and also you wish to put these pictures inside a specific form (i.e. an ellipse) – which would require one other layer masks, however one which applies to each of them. To perform this, you’ll need 3 masks – a layer masks for every layer, and a bunch layer masks to “clip” each pictures to kind a diamond-shaped body. There are clearly different eventualities that will require a clipping masks, or a layer group masks, however I believe this instance will sufficiently reveal why such a function is helpful.
Step 1: Create a New Doc & Import Images
Go to File>New to create a brand new doc in your composition.
In my case, I went with 2000×1280 for my composition’s dimensions (I’ll be combining two pictures which can be 1920×1280). I additionally went with 72 for my X and Y resolutions, and set “Fill With” to “Background Colour” (my background shade is white, so my background layer will present up as white).
After getting your new composition created, you’ll must open up the pictures you wish to use in your clipping masks. I shall be utilizing two pictures for this tutorial – one in all a person and one in all a lady (each sitting on a bench at Union Station) – which I’ve made obtainable so that you can obtain at no cost right here.
Obtain these pictures to your pc for those who’d prefer to observe alongside, then open them up as layers into your composition by going to File>Open As Layers.
Navigate to the situation of your photograph in your pc, click on on the file, then click on “Open.” Repeat this step for the second photograph.
You must now have 3 layers in your composition – with every of your two pictures having a layer and the background layer sitting on the backside (proven within the photograph above, denoted by the purple arrow). I made the “Girl” photograph the highest layer, and put the “Man” photograph beneath that.
Step 2: Create a Layer Group
Subsequent, click on the “Create a New Layer Group” icon on the backside of your Layers panel (denoted by the purple arrow within the picture above) to create a brand new layer group folder.
The folder shall be named “Layer Group” by default. Double click on on the identify to vary it to no matter you need (denoted by the purple arrow within the photograph above). I’ll identify mine “Clipping Masks Images.” Press the enter key in your keyboard to use the identify.
Now, click on and drag every of your photograph layers into the brand new layer group folder. (Trace: click on and drag the photograph layer and hover it over the layer group folder. You’ll know the folder is chosen as a result of it should have a dotted line round it. Launch your mouse, which is able to drop the photograph layer into the folder).
You’ll be able to all the time click on and drag your layers up or down to vary the stacking order (i.e. which layer is on high vs. which layer is on the underside), or use the Increase/Decrease icons (denoted by the purple arrow within the photograph above) on the backside of the layers panel (simply be sure to are click on on the layer you wish to increase or decrease within the stacking order).
Step 3: Add the Clipping Masks (Layer Group Masks)
Now that our photograph layers are in place contained in the layer group, we will add a Layer Masks to the layer group, which is able to apply a layer masks to all the layers within the layer group.
Earlier than we add the clipping masks, we wish to be sure that the masks covers the complete space of our composition and doesn’t get lower off by the layer boundaries of our pictures (because the pictures aren’t as broad because the width of the complete composition). To do that, we’ll lengthen the width of our photograph layers to the width of the complete composition boundary. Go to Layer>Layer to Picture Measurement (proven within the photograph above). This can make the boundary of your lively layer, in addition to the complete layer group, the dimensions of the composition boundary. (Layer boundaries are outlined by a yellow and black dashed line, whereas the Layer Group boundary is printed by a lightweight blue dashed line – which you’ll see if you find yourself clicked on the layer group and never a layer). Repeat this step with the “Man” photograph layer in order that each layer boundaries have been elevated to the dimensions of the complete composition.
Subsequent, since we would like the layer masks to be a specific form (an ellipse), I’m going to begin by grabbing my Ellipse Choose instrument from the Toolbox (denoted by the inexperienced arrow within the picture above) and drawing the ellipse across the space I wish to masks out. For this instance, I’ll simply drag my mouse from the highest left nook of the composition right down to the underside proper (you may see the realm I drew within the picture window within the photograph above). This can draw an ellipse throughout my complete composition.
Proper click on on the Layer Group and go to “Add Layer Masks” (denoted by the purple arrow within the picture above).
Underneath “Initialize Layer Masks to:” select “Choice.” Click on the “Add” button (proven above). This can add a layer masks within the form of an ellipse to your layer group, revealing the background of our composition exterior the ellipse choice space.
Maintain “ctrl+shift+a” in your keyboard to deselect the ellipse choice space you drew.
Step 4: Organize Your Images and Add Layer Masks
Our clipping masks is in place, however we will solely see the highest photograph (which is masking up the photograph within the layer under). Moreover, our pictures are usually not correctly positioned. To repair this, click on on the highest layer in your layer group (in my case it’s the photograph of the blonde girl).
Seize the transfer instrument out of your toolbox and click on and drag the photograph of the lady to the left to re-position it (as demonstrated within the picture above).
Subsequent, proper click on on the Blonde Girl layer and go to “Add Layer Masks.” Underneath “Initialize Layer Masks to:” select “White.” Click on the “Add” button.
I’m going to now make it seem as if our high picture (blonde girl) is fading into the picture under. To do that, I’m going so as to add a gradient to our layer masks. The gradient will fade from black to white – since black signifies transparency on a layer masks, and white signifies full opacity.
I’ll seize the Gradient instrument from the Toolbox and can be sure that my foreground and background colours are set to black and white. The gradient itself shall be set to “FG to BG (RGB),” (you may set this by clicking the icon denoted by the inexperienced arrow – my gradient says “customized” within the photograph as a result of I made an adjustment to the gradient after I set it to FG to BG RGB) and the form set to “Linear.” Be sure you are clicked on the layer masks (denoted by the blue arrow within the picture above), and never the picture layer, earlier than you draw your gradient.
Click on and drag together with your mouse from left to proper (maintain ctrl to attract in “straight line mode” to ensure your gradient is straight), beginning simply after the lady’s face and ending on the layer boundary (you may see my begin and finish factors within the photograph above – my finish level has a circle round it). (If you would like an in-depth have a look at how you can use this instrument, take a look at my Gradient Device video tutorial on my channel). If the colours are backwards, hit the “Reverse” button in your gradient instrument choices (it’s the opposite button subsequent to the inexperienced arrow). As soon as the gradient is the way you need it, hit the enter key to use the gradient (or seize a random instrument, just like the transfer instrument).
Subsequent, click on on the “Man” photograph layer, seize the transfer instrument, and click on and drag it to the fitting to maneuver it into place.
You’ll be able to all the time redraw the gradient on the layer masks on the “Girl” layer for those who aren’t pleased with how the 2 photographs fade into each other, or use the transfer instrument to re-position the pictures till every thing appears to be like the best way you need it to.
Step 5: Export Your Picture
Now you can export your picture as a JPEG if you wish to hold the white background, or can cover the “Background” layer and export it as a PNG to provide it a clear background.
Both approach, go to File>Export to export the composition (proven within the photograph above).
Change the identify of the composition on the high of the Export window (denoted by the purple arrow within the photograph above), then choose the situation the place you wish to save the file in your pc. Lastly, beneath “Choose File Kind,” (denoted by the blue arrow) select no matter file sort you want to save the composition as. As soon as you might be prepared, hit Export.
In the event you chosen the JPEG possibility, you’ll want to pick out your picture high quality (I like to recommend someplace between 60 and 70 for those who intend to add your photograph to a web site, or 100 for those who plan to print it) then hit Export once more.
For a PNG file, simply hold all of the default settings as they’re and hit the Export button.
That’s it for this tutorial! In the event you loved it, I invite you to take a look at my different GIMP How-to Articles, in addition to my GIMP Video Tutorials!