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Using Layer Mask

Masking objects on a layer is a purely visual, non-destructive way to hide parts of the current layer’s content.

To Enable Layer Masking:

  1. Open (App) > Preferences… Editing in the main menu.
  2. Check “Enable Layer Mask Commands”. Mask commands will be made available in Layers > Mask in the main menu.

To Add a Shape to a Layer Mask:

To_Add_a_Shape_to_a_Layer_Mask.png
  1. Select a layer in the Layers panel that contains the objects you want to mask.
  2. Draw one or more shape objects on the layer to be used as the mask (image 1).
  3. With the masking object(s) selected, choose Layer > Mask > Add To Layer Mask.

4. The masked area is initially displayed with a semi-transparent checked-pattern, hiding the drawing objects underneath. The original masking object(s) is not automatically removed from the drawing (image 2) – move or delete the masking object(s) as desired.
5. When you are satisfied with the layout of the mask, choose Layer > Mask > Hide Layer Mask to visually remove the checkered mask area.

HINT: A Layer Mask is a visual effect applied only to the objects on a single layer. In this example (image 3), a Layer Mask is applied to the “background” layer of buildings, while the figure is on a separate drawing layer on top that is not masked.

To Clear a Mask from a Layer:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to remove in the Layers panel.
  2. Choose Layer > Mask > Clear Mask.

To Add Additional Shapes to the Layer Mask:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to add to in the Layers panel.
  2. Draw another shape to add to the existing mask area.
  3. With the masking object(s) selected, choose Layer > Mask > Add To Layer Mask.

To Subtract Areas From an Existing Layer Mask:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to subtract from in the Layers panel.
  2. Draw a shape(s) to subtract from the existing mask area (it should overlap the existing mask area).
  3. With the masking object(s) selected, choose Layer > Mask > Subtract from Layer Mask.

Note on Using Text and Paths in Layer Mask:

  • Convert text before adding to layer mask by selecting the text and choosing Graphic > Convert To Path or Graphic > Convert To Shape.
  • Outline paths before adding to layer mask by selecting the path(s)and choosing Edit > Path > Outline.

To Disable (or Enable) a Layer Mask:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to disable (or enable) in the Layers panel.
  2. Choose Layer > Mask > Disable (or Enable) Layer Mask.

To Hide (or Show) the Layer Mask’s Checkered Mask Area:

  1. Select the layer with the mask you want to hide (or show) in the Layers panel.
  2. Choose Layer > Mask > Hide (or Show) Layer Mask.

Image crop with Artboard OS X

How To Clip Images with Complex Objects

Artboard makes it easy to clip your images with complex vector objects. Draw any shape and use the Intersect command. Here’s how.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard 1.7+ for Mac OSX
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Image Browser and Intersect
Estimated Completion Time: about 15 minutes

Step 1 – Draw the Clipping Shape

Open the Image Browser and drag-and-drop from the Browser to your drawing canvas to place your image. Draw any shape – from a simple rounded rectangle to a complex outline of the area you want to clip. Here we’ve used the Bezier Path [b]tool to draw an outline around the girl in the picture. We used a simple red stroke with no fill to better see the outline as we traced over the picture.

Step 2 – Clip the Image

To clip the image with your shape, hold the Command-key and use the Select [s] tool to select both the image and the shape. Then click the Intersect icon on the Toolbar, or choose Graphic > Combine > Intersect from the main menu. Clipping images is non-destructive – an image that is clipped still has the original image hidden behind the clipped area, and the clipping path can be removed later as desired. Double-click the image to reposition it or scale it within its bounding box. An image effects panel is also displayed. If you want to remove the clipping path, right-click the image and choose “Remove Image clipping path” from the contextual menu.

Step 3 – Mask and Resample Image (optional)

An image with a clipping path can be permanently cropped to remove portions of the image that are hidden, thus reducing overall file size. Cropped images are resampled to the clipped area. To crop a clipped image, right-clicking the image and choose “Crop and resample image” from the contextual menu.

Final Image

Clipping images in Artboard is as easy as 1-2-3! We hope you enjoy the simplicity of how it works just like the Boolean operations with any vector objects.