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6.2 Masking and Clipping

Affinity Designer provides both vector- and pixel-based clipping, as well as vector- and pixel-based masking. Learn the shortcuts for all four types of masking and clipping in this lesson.

6.2 Masking and Clipping

Hi and welcome back to Affinity Designer Quick Start. In this lesson you're gonna learn about using masking and clipping in Affinity Designer. And with both masking and clipping, what you're doing is taking one shape and using it to hide a portion of another shape. In Affinity Designer, there are two types of masking and two types of clipping. In each case you can create either a vector or a pixel based mask and you can create either vector or pixel based clipping. If that seems confusing at first, don't worry because it's going to make sense once you go through some examples. Let's start with an example of vector based clipping, and then we'll do an example of vector based masking, and we'll put those side by side so you can see the difference between the two. So grab ourselves a rectangle and draw it out. And now what I wanna do is use this shape to perform some clipping, and there are a couple of ways that you can go about this. The easiest one you saw in an earlier video and that is to use this button up here, insert inside the selection. So if I press this button, and then I pick another shape, and then I draw inside, you can see that part of the shape is not visible, the area that's outside our original rectangle shape. And that's because the rectangle is clipping the circle and in our layers palette, you'll see that the circle has been nested underneath the square. And this is what happens in Affinity Designer anytime you nest one shape inside another. The shape that's above will clip the shape that's nested below. And because you can control this in the layers palette, you don't have to use this button if you want to do clipping. So if I just delete the shape that we created, and this time I'll just draw the shape out normally without having that button activated, but now what I can do is just drag this down and nest it underneath the rectangle, and I get the same effect. So, it's still being clipped by the rectangle. So that is how you do vector based clipping. Vector-based masking, on the other hand, is a little bit different, so we'll draw out another rectangle, and we'll also draw out another circle. So here is our two shapes that we've just drawn out, and this time we're gonna right click the top shape and we're gonna choose mask to below. And now you can see that it's the circle that is controlling how much of the rectangle is visible. And unlike with clipping, where both shapes remain visible with one just being clicked, with masking only one shape is visible and the portion of it that is visible is determined by the shape that you have used to create your vector mask. Now, as with clipping, there is more than one way to set up vector masking. So just move this one out of the way. So we'll create another square and another circle, and this time instead of using the right click, we're going to grab this layer. And instead of nesting it underneath the rectangle, we're going to nest it right inside the layer with the drop zone, this little rectangle here, just to the right of the thumbnail of the layer that you are trying to mask. So that gives us the same effect, that's just two different ways of going about creating that effect. So that is our two vector-based methods. We have clipping in this example, and masking- In these two examples. The third method that we're going to look at is pixel based masking. Pixel based masking works just like these two masks that we have here, but instead of using a vector based shape to create your mask, use a pixel based shape. So we'll draw out one more rectangle. And this time what we're gonna do is head up here and switch to the Pixel Persona. Now creating a mask over the top of our new rectangle is as easy as just grabbing the eraser and then just erasing over the top. And you're not actually affecting the rectangle shape here. What has happened is Affinity Designer has automatically created a layer mask for you, and this layer mask is comprised of pixel based brush strokes. So once you have a mask layer here, if you wanna continue editing it, you just need to click on the thumbnail for the mask, and you can then keep on hammering away at adding in definition to your mask. And you can also use the paintbrush tool to work up your mask. And the way that the paintbrush tool affects your mask will depend on what color you have selected for the brush. Now right now, I have black selected, so that means that when I use this brush, it's going to continue to add transparency on to my shape, like so. However, if I change this color to white, I can start painting the shape back in. And I can also use anywhere in between, so that if I just want to make something opaque, I can do that too. And because this is a paintbrush, you can use any one of the brushes that are available in your brushes panel to build up your layer mask. So rather than just flat opacity, I can add a little texture into how my masks come out. So as you can imagine, that gives you a whole lot of different possibilities with the type of effects that you can achieve using pixel based masking. Now the process that you saw before for creating clipping with vectors is basically the same with pixels. So just grab a different brush, something a bit more basic, and I will just increase the size of the brush. Now if I paint out a pixel layer here and then choose another color, make a new pixel layer and paint out another pixel layer. Now if I nest one layer under the other, now we have clipping working in exactly the same way that you saw before with a vector based clipping. So that is how you work with masking and clipping using either vector or pixel based layers in Affinity Designer. In the next section of the course we're gonna look at styles and effects in Affinity Designer as well as pen pressure and velocity. And we're gonna start first by learning how you can use effects and styles inside your documents. I'll see you there.

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