Alpha Lock, Clipping Mask, Layer Mask: in Procreate and Photoshop | Esther Nariyoshi | Skillshare

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Alpha Lock, Clipping Mask, Layer Mask: in Procreate and Photoshop

teacher avatar Esther Nariyoshi, Published Illustrator based in the US

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Alpha Lock


    • 3.

      Clipping Mask


    • 4.

      Layer Mask


    • 5.

      Case Study One


    • 6.

      Case Study Two


    • 7.

      Thank You


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About This Class

Masking Options in Photoshop and Procreate are mysterious. Well, not any more. 

If you have worked with some of the most popular programs like photoshop or procreate, you have probably heard of the term “alpha channel”, “clipping mask”, “layer mask”. They are unique in many ways, which sometimes can be confusing, especially when they are used interchangeably to achieve the same effect.

In this class, we are going to take a closer look at each techniques, so that you can really understand the pros and cons of each method. For each lesson, I am going to give you a practical and well-rounded definition, as well as hands on examples, so that you would really experience deep learning, and apply each concept appropriately to your own work. At the end, I will also cover some case studies step by step. The goal is to get you more familiar with the tools. And we will walk through all the decisions together. So hopefully that will help you to be more comfortable using these techniques in your current or next project. 


Connect with Esther:  Shop Esther's Handcrafted Procreate Brushes | Portfolio | Instagram 

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Esther Nariyoshi

Published Illustrator based in the US

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1. Class Introduction: Hi there. This is [inaudible]. I'm a surface pattern designer, illustrator and a lettering artist. If you have worked with some of the most popular programs like Procreate or Photoshop, you have probably heard of the term Alpha channel or Alpha log, clipping mask, layer mask. They are unique in many ways, which sometimes can be confusing especially when they're used interchangeably to achieve the same effect. In this class, we're going to take a closer look at each technique so that you can really understand the pros and cons of each method. For each lesson, I'm going to give you a practical and rounded definition, as well as hands-on examples so that you would really experience deep learning and apply each concept appropriately to your own work. At the end, I will cover some case studies step-by-step. The goal is to get you more familiar with the tools, and we will walk through all the decisions together. Hopefully, that will help you to be more comfortable using these techniques in your current or next project. 2. Alpha Lock: The first concept we are going to cover is called Alpha Lock. Even though all the techniques are going to be demonstrated on procreate iPad. But all the concepts are applicable to Photoshop, and many other similar programs as well. Procreate comes with the ability to lock a layers transparency, which is called Alpha Lock. Well, Alpha Lock is active. You will only be able to paint or smudge inside the area that already has paint on it. It's really handy, once you have all the edges worked out and only want to paint inside. Imagine if you're working on a shaky train, wouldn't that be nice not to draw outside of the defined boundary, every time the train wobbles? That's the point of Alpha Lock. Over here you will see a layer with an area painted in beige color, with the text Alpha Lock on it. The entire area is considered painted. Once you draw new elements on top of the area like the hearts over here, with the Alpha Lock turned on. It looks seemingly the same as a normal drawing on top of a layer. However, once you really approach the edge of the painted area, you will only be able to draw within the painted definition. Because all the transparent pixels around are locked. Like the example shown here, the heart's drawn around the edges appear to be cut off. Because the transparent pixels or unpainted pixels are locked. It doesn't matter what type of content is on the layer. It can be scribbles, or text, or paintings. They don't even have to be in one single area. As far as the Alpha Lock is concerned. The original area before Alpha Lock, serves as the content boundary for that layer. You can activate Alpha Lock by clicking the layer thumbnail, and you will find Alpha Lock in the layer option menu. You can also turn it on quickly by swiping left to right with two fingers on that layer. At anytime if you want to modify the edges, you can temporarily turn off the Alpha Lock and work on the edges, and just turn it back on once the edges are done. All right, lets hop over to the app to take a look. Over here I have sample artwork with the word love, written in calligraphy style with texture, and in the background I have the pedal and the sandy texture, the fine scratches. If you open my layer panels, there are tons of layers. I created this artificial situation to show you sometimes when your artwork gets very complicated and you can't possibly reduce the layers. It is possible to reach the maximum amount of layers in your particular file dimension. If I hit the plus sign over here, procreate will kindly remind me that I have reached the maximum layer counts. Though that means that I cannot possibly create a new layer. Let's just pretend I'm not willing to combine any of these layers. That's one of the condition that calls for Alpha Lock is that you're tight on layers. Alpha Lock is very similar to a Clipping mask, which we're going to introduce next. But almost the only time I want to use Alpha Lock over clipping mask is when I'm tight on layer accounts. Because any changes that I make right now under Alpha Lock is going to be on the original art layer, and it is destructive. The word sounds pretty heavy, but basically that means that once you exit out of the file, the changes are irreversible. If you go back to the gallery right now and comes back in, you will not be able to undo whatever changes that you have done under Alpha Lock. Once you exit the file, the result on that particular layer is permanent. The only way to revert that result would be redrawing that layer. At the moment, I want to do a final highlight on the word love. But I don't want to draw outside of the purple boundary that I have. I'm just going to turn the layer on and off so you know which layer I'm talking about. I'm going to turn on Alpha Lock by clicking the thumbnail and choose Alpha lock. Active alpha lock is shown by the checkered background in the layer thumbnail. Now I have the Alpha Lock turned on. I want to add some pink, highlight to the word love. I want to make sure I have the right brush. This is fine. Increase the size a little bit and start drawing. I'm going to intentionally draw close to the boundary. So you will see that the portion where I supposedly land outside of the boundary doesn't really show because the transparent pixels on that layer is locked. I would be able to draw within the purple boundary over here. That's Alpha Lock. It locks down the transparent pixels and let you modify the painted pixels. You can use it when you're short on layer accounts or when you are absolutely confident that your final changes are going to be final. Before we jump into the next lesson, I do want to mention that Alpha Lock is different from the layer lock. A layer lock is designed to protect your artwork from any changes. You will not be able to modify anything on that layer until it's unlocked. It also works for groups as well. This function protects you from accidental changes on that layer or group. While Alpha Lock only protects the unpainted area. You can lock any group or layer by swiping left with one finger and click on lock. That layer or group will remain untouchable until you unlock it. 3. Clipping Mask: The next concept in line is called Clipping Mask. Think of it as a close cousin of Alpha Lock, we just learned, but only a 147 times better. If you ever face the choice between Clipping Mask and Alpha Lock, always go for Clipping Mask. Because it's non-destructive. Which means that you can revert your changes anytime without permanent consequences to your drawing. Even after you exit out of your file. It can be converted to a normal layer whenever it needs to. And it has all the options that are normal layer comes with. Without further ado, let's jump into this lesson. The official definition of Clipping Masks have something to do with control the ability of one layer using the content of another. That can be a little bit abstract to understand at first. So let's look at the visual here. For instance, we have a layer here as our primary layer, or you can also call it a parent layer. On top of that, there is a new layer with the paperclip icon on it. When I turn the top layer into a Clipping Mask, you will see that the icon gets clipped off where a runs outside of the edges of the parents layer. In reality, the paper clip is actually still intact, but only the overlapped area is visible. That's the none, destructive nature of the Clipping Mask. You can turn any layer into a Clipping Mask by selecting Clipping Mask on the layer option menu. Once a Clipping Mask layer is created, you will be able to see the elbow shaped arrow as an indicator, and the layer will be slightly indented as well. Now let's hop over to iPad to see how it works. If you want to follow along, you're welcome to download the foliage file that comes with the class. Once you have the file open, you can come over to the layer panel, and you can see the layer structure we have. It's pretty simple. All the foliage is on one layer and we have a simple background color. First, we want to create a normal layer on top of the foliage. At the moment, nothing special, no masking, no Alpha Lock. I'm just going to create a very contrasty color, maybe this yellow, to draw on this new layer we just created. I'm going to use a pretty big fluffy brush to just draw diagonally. Don't worry too much about the shape. Just give it a natural stroke. Then I'm going to pick orange color to draw another parallel stroke next to it. Right now this layer is entirely independent on itself. But I'm going to turn it into a Clipping Mask by selecting Clipping Mask, over here. As soon as the transition is finished, you can see that the only visible area is where the foliage and the big strokes intersects. Actually leads us back to the definition which says the visibility of the clipped layer is controlled by the content and the transparency of the parent layer below. In our specific situation, the foliage is the parent layer. All the leaf shapes controls the visibility of the top layer. I'm going to create another layer on top of that. Before I draw anything on it, I'm going to turn it into a Clipping Mask. And I'm going to pick a nice dark purple on it, and draw another big stroke. This time I can visualize the final results in real time. I'm just going to draw a big fluffy stroke kind of parallel to the previous stroke we have before. Even though it looks like our big blue fluffy stroke is clipped, stroke itself is actually intact. If we turn off the Clipping Mask on the blue stroke layer, you can see that we have the entire stroke preserved, is just that the visibility can be affected by Clipping Mask. Now I'm going to create another Clipping Mask and give it a different texture. This time instead of big fluffy stroke, I want to choose something that is sandy and more detailed. I'm just going to zoom in so you can see the effect better. I'm going to increase the size of the stroke. Just a little nice touch, over here, I'm going to do the same thing for the orange. Maybe increased the size a little bit more, and add little sparkles next to the big fluffy strokes we have. Now we have the foliage selected. If I click plus sign over here, automatically it adds another Clipping Mask on top of the foliage. That's not exactly what I want. I want this layer to be independent of the foliage layer. So I'm going to drag this layer below, and you'll see the little elbow shaped arrow has disappeared. That shows me that there is no clipping relationship whatsoever. I'm just going to go around and pick a random color, maybe this lighter green. See how it goes. Go back to my fluffy stroke. I'm just going to go around and fill the gaps a little bit. I think I'm done here. I'm just going to turn this layer on and off so you can see what I did over here. This is the scribble layer, I'm actually going to rename it so we know what we're talking about, scribble. I'm going to turn the visibility on and off so you can see what I did over here. Say that I exit out of the file and even turn off the appropriate, and then the next day I came back and all of sudden for some reason, I want to change all the scribbles to a different color, say this bright pink. The worst option which is still workable is to delete this layer entirely and to redraw the whole thing. That involves a lot of work. Scribbles are relatively easy, but if you imagine, you spend two hours on a drawing and you probably don't want to do it again, unless you have to. The second least favorite option is to use Alpha Lock. Like we learned before, you can just turn on the Alpha Lock, and come to each individual scribbles and just paint over it. We're low on layer counts. We can afford to create a new layer just for the coloring purpose. First I'm going to turn off the Alpha Lock over here and create a new layer. Then turn it into a Clipping Mask, and pick whatever color you chose and just drag and drop the little color dot to the canvas. Instantly you have everything you painted beneath colored in pink. Of course you can change it to whatever other colors you choose instantly. Then you can also change the blending mode of this one. Like any other layer, you change to multiply, darken, whatever option that fits you the best. We're going to stay with the multiply. You can also change the same thing over here on any Clipping Mask. It just adds more fun and flexibility to it. Say that in the future, if you're low on layer counts, you can select two layers and then just combine it down, and it will preserve the blending mode you have selected. Now will free up one more layer for you. Over here, I'm going to show you another scenario that might come handy in the future. Say that I have another layer that is under my original parent layer. Just for the sake of being super obvious, I'm going to make it like a red, oval shape over here, and I'm going to color this whole thing. This exists under the foliage layer. Say that for some reason I'm going to delete the foliage layer. What happens to all the Clipping Masks is that immediately they're going to hunt down to whatever that layer that is right beneath the original parents layer. Instead of having the foliage layer as the parent layer, they will hunt down to this big red dot as parent layer. Do remember, of the Clipping Masks and the parent layer, has to stay together. If you want to group them together, you can do this by a hit swipe, each one of the layer, and then click group over here at the very top, let just undo that. I'm going to de-select the primary layer. If you only grouped the Clipping Masks, automatically, the clipping relationship is going to be deactivated. As you can see over here. Although they are indented, because they're all belong to a new group, we don't see the little elbow shaped arrow over here. Procreate only allows one degree of Clipping Masks, which means that you cannot create a secondary Clipping Masks. For example, if you want to draw within the boundary of this yellow and orange strokes, you do have to use Alpha Lock over here. Say that I Locked it and I'm going to pick obnoxious green color so that you can see the contrast in a if draw over here, my strokes are staying within the boundary of the painted pixels. I guess you can combine the Alpha Lock together with the Clipping Masks. 4. Layer Mask: The last concept we're going to cover is called Layer Mask. We use layer masks to hide or show the content in the layer below without actually erasing any content, and you can probably already infer that by definition, this method itself is also non-destructive. Part of the reason why I've really loved digital design is the flexibility. Whenever I do have a choice between destructive and non-destructive methods, I always go for non-destructive. Masking is another non-destructive method that can really transform the way you work. To help you to understand how masking works, it actually makes sense to come over to propriate first. Over here I have a simple setup, which I will make this file available for you to download as well so you can play with it. If we open the Layers panel over here, you will see the layer structures. The very top, we have the layer that's called scratch here. I don't know if you're familiar with the scratch off ticket, like lottery ticket or something like that. It basically has a protective coating that is opaque at the very top where you cannot see the number below. But as you scratch off with a coin or fingernails and you'll be able to reveal what is underneath. The second layer we have is called lucky number. I'm just going to turn off the first layer to show you, so this is the lucky number I have, and the third layer, it's just a background. I'm just going to turn it on and off, so you can see what I mean by that. To create a masking layer, we're going to give ourselves ability to reveal and conceal a certain layer. For example, let's create a masking layer for the very top layer, which is called scratch here. You can click on the thumbnail over here and under the layer option menu, there is mask that you can click and you will see that automatically there is another layer called Layer Mask created above the top layer. It doesn't make any visual difference because automatically it's colored white, which means that everything you have on the parents layer will be shown. Now you want to select your paint color to be black. When you're in Layer Mask Mode, whatever color you select will be translated to grayscale mode. I'll explain what that means in a second. But as for now, let's go with black and white. I'm just going to select a color black over here and I make sure I have my Layer Mask selected. Even though they highlight both layers whenever you click one of them, the other one is also highlighted. This time I just want to highlight the layer mask because I'm about to draw with black color on the mask and I increase the size of my brush, make sure it's big fluffy brush. I'm just going to draw as if I'm scratching. As you can see, this basically scratched off the top layer. It functions very much like eraser, but the eraser is destructive. If you do the same thing with eraser, the whole thing comes off. You've raised that pixels. But if you're using a mask, you're actually only messing with the visibility, not really the actual pixels. Which means that you can always restore the original look by painting it back with white paint. I'm just going to select the white over here and paints back, unscratch what we have just done. To make it quicker, you can always fill the layer. Click the thumbnail of the Layer Mask, and the fill layer with the white color and it will undo whatever we have done. That's the nature of the non-destructive method. This is really helpful when you want to reveal parts of your layer below without actually doing any damage to the layer above. To help you remember, some people say white reveals, black conceals if that works for you great. But I've never really remember how the pairing works. I always like to just create a layer mask and color it with either black and white and test it with the opposite color. I have my a layer masking White and I'm just going to paint black on it to see if this is what I'm looking for. If it's not, I just flip the color. That can sound cumbersome, but I feel like that's the easiest way for me to work. A minute ago we talked about layer masks work in grayscale. So basically that means that unless you choose either black or white, everything else is going to be translated to grayscale. For example, if I'm clicking the blue color over here, it's going to be interpreted as darker gray. When I do paint on my layer mask over here, make sure your layer mask is selected, it gives me a transparency. It doesn't conceal or reveal completely because I'm not using either black or white. I'm using a grayscale. That's another fun fact about layer mask. There are many scenarios where you can use a layer mask. For instance, if you have a piece of artwork here on your primary layer and you don't want to show the entirety of it, but only parts of it for now, you can create a mask layer above. You can use black to black and white to reveal. Whenever you don't know which is which just color the layer, white or black and use the opposite color to test it. There's a quicker way to do that. You can come over to the layer mask menu and click on the thumbnail and select the invert, your will switch the black and white color. In turn, you will have the concealed area and revealed areas switched as well. That being said, the layer mask does count towards the maximum layer counts. Whenever you are short on layers and if you reached your maximum layer counts, you can actually merge both layers into one layer. For example, over here you can click on the thumbnail of the layer mask and click Merge Down and that will reduce to two layers into one and free up one additional layer for you. I'm just going to undo that. You can also transform both of them at the same time by selecting the arrow over here. You can just do your normal transformation stuff and you can see the panel options over here as well. Whenever you want to delete your layer mask, you can just swipe left and click delete. Having a layer mask doesn't affect the normal options for your primary layer. For example, if you want to turn on alpha lock on the primary layer, you can still do that. I'm just going to give it bright pink color to demonstrate what that means. I'm just going to draw across the scratch here layer and you can see the alpha lock still works normally. If your turn off the visibility of your layer mask, you can see that the alpha lock functions just as normal. The layer mask only changes the visibility of the layer below, not really altering any pixels. Like any other normal layer, a parent of a layer mask can also be turned into a clipping mask for the layer below. If this is too much information for you I totally get it, just remember that having a layer mask doesn't reduce the functionality of the parents layer. Maybe later on you can experiment different type of masking and alpha lock on top of each other and you will be able to understand better. Whenever you want to merge layer mask and the primary layer, you can also work from the primary layer by selecting merge mask over here, and it will combine the two layers together. Before we go into a few case studies, I want to give you another concrete example of how mask works so that you can leave with a solid impression. Over here we have a layer that is colored as ambry effect. It basically has a few shades of green. I want to create a layer mask on this layer. By default, it will color the mask in white, which visually doesn't change anything. For our purpose, I'm going to color it black. Actually our ambry layer is entirely blocked. I want to write with my white color to reveal as my pen travels. You want to make sure you have the layer mask selected and you can write whatever word you want. I'm just going to write the word mask. As you can see, wherever my white pen touches, it reveals the layer below. So this is a quick way to create a ambry effect. You probably have seen the watercolor effect, people create actual watercolor paper, so this is a fun digital version of that where you can create in seconds. That's how masks work. Just remember that they work with the visibility of the layer below, not really altering any pixels. In the next few lessons we're going to cover some case studies. The goal is to get you more familiar with the tools we just covered and we will walk through all the decisions together. Hopefully that will help you to be more comfortable using these techniques in your own work and of course, I will leave those sample files available for you to download. 5. Case Study One: In this next example, we're going to create an image like this. We will start a with a simple setup with the native topography tools in procreate, and we will move on to different masking decisions. I will show you a couple of different ways of achieving the same a fact. To follow along, all you need is a photograph and a word that you want to work with. You can also hand letter if you want. I'm going to start with a photograph, and then I want to spell the word road on top of that. I want to come to setting, add text and click the keyboard to change to text. Then click Edit Style. The first two columns called font and style, that gives you different font families and different styles within that font families. You're welcome to browse and see what fits you best. But I'm just going to go with the default. I want to increase the size a little bit. Once you're done, you can click Done over here on the right. If you want to learn more about the topography options, you're welcome to check out my other class called text and animated gifs on iPad. But for here, we're just going to go with the basics of the basics. I'm just going to select my word and then keep changing the size and I rearrange it, so that it partially covers the road on the photograph beneath. I'm happy with that. Right now, it's still a text because it has an A on it, which means that you can change the font and all other typographic properties. Once you rasterize it, it will change it to what image? If you want to work super quickly, you can just erase the part where you want the road to show. As you can probably guess, this is destructive, which means that you cannot go back and change anymore. For example, if you open up your layer and you'll see that parts of the word road is missing, you lost that part permanently. If you want to recreate the road, you have to either undo or create a new layer. I'm just going to undo and show you a much better alternative. As you see the final result, we're dealing with visibility, we're not really drawing on top of the letter, and we're just showing parts of the letter. In this case, I want to create a mask to hide certain portion of the word by clicking black. You want to make sure you have the appropriate brush. You can just come in and draw the part. You might ask, what's the difference? It seems similar to the first option we had. At the moment if you open up your layer mask, if you turn it off, just the mask portion, you actually still have the word intact, which means that this masking is non-destructive. You can come back to fix it anytime you want. I'm just going to continue on. This is a very, very rough sketch. As you can see, this is like a pretty hard edge over here because my pen is opaque. If you want to create a software blend, you might want to consider using less opaque brush. For example, over here I have a few watercolor brush that is really transparent. You can also use gray instead of black and white. That will make your blend much more softer. I want to lower the size of the brush. As you can tell, this blend is softer. It depends on what effect you are trying to pursue. This gives you a softer look. Yeah, just keep brushing on top until you're happy with it. I'm just going to go around and do the same for the rest. Remember to use transparent brush, and use grayscale, that will give you a softer blend. I'm pretty happy about this. If you turn off your layer mask, you can still see the word in complete format. This is really neat if you are not set on your final layout yet. If you look at my text layer, it still has A on it, that shows me that the word is still editable. I'm just going to click the thumbnail and edit text. I want to select only one letter, which is the letter A. You can change your selection just like texting. Make sure that A is highlighted, and I want to come over to baseline and then change the baseline to a little a bit lower. Now, it's giving me a problem. It looks like the letter A has broken the road in half. Don't worry, we can go back and fix it because this is non-destructive. It has a lot more grays to it. I want to highlight the word R and move it up a little bit. In this way, my word is more dynamic. It's less boring. I want to go back to my layer mask, make sure it's highlighted. I want to use the white color to restore where I erased off of the A. Make sure I can see all the letters, and make sure I can see all parts of the A, and the same thing for the letter R, and I want to reevaluate which part of the R and A I want to hide under the road. Now I'm going to click black color, and then come over here to show the road. I want to come here to draw on top of the letter A. I'm drawing on top of the Layer Mask right now. I'm just masking the letter A as well as R. Now I want to switch will burn to a softer brush and gray color to create a softer blend. You might need to paint a couple more times. As you can see, because masking is non-destructive, we didn't have to go back and recreate the whole thing. We just have to move the certain letter up and down and then just change the masking situation. It will save you a lot of time in long-term. Say in the future that if you are running short on layers, you can always just combine the Layer Mask with its original layer. You'll just turn the word road into one layer. That's how you use mask. If you want to get super fancy, let me just go back to make sure I have my Layer Mask restored. What I did is to double-tap, to redo. I want to create one more layer on top of this image to create some shadow. First, I want to come over to this little co-portion, and I want to sample this color of the road and just make it a little bit darker to create this shadow. You do want to pay attention to the light source, it seems like the light comes from left to right. Naturally the shadow should be on the right. I'm just going to go around to give a generic shadow to all the parts that's supposed to have shadow on it. This will cast a shadow over here. Basically this makes the typography even more dynamic and realistic. Just go over our layer structure one more time. We have the word road over here, and we create a layer mask on top to hide certain portion of the word, and then we have this layer to cast the shadow on the road. All these are independent layers. That's how you create this effect. If you end up making anything, I would love to see it in student gallery. If you end up making anything, I would love to see them in student gallery, and feel free to ask me questions in here or over Instagram. I would love to know what you're working on and be part of it. 6. Case Study Two: Over here we have a reference photo on the left, and I give it a little light background, and at the very top there is a new blank layer to host my leaf shape. There are many ways of drawing the same leaf. I'm just going to show you what I would normally do. I like to draw the overall shape first. Maybe give it a little tip over here and then color it. Instead of tracing it literally, I like to just look at the photo and draw in own interpretation. I know I want to use the same brush shape on my eraser. You can do that by holding down the eraser for a few seconds and that will change the eraser shape the same as your brush shape. I'm just going to go in and erase. I'm going to click the lasso tool over here and switch to automatic and then just click add. As you can see, the pink portion shows me what's selected. That's what I want to have, so I'm just going to duplicate this portion and then delete what's underneath. That will save me some erasing time. I see that there is a couple white spot over here. I just want to go in and cover it. This gives me overall shape. Right now, I just want to go in and give it a light shading. There are a couple of ways of doing that. If I'm short on layers, I would go into use alpha lock. Since the shading goes within the boundary of the leaf, I want to make sure that I do not draw outside of the boundary, so I'm going to lock all the painted pixels on this layer by double fingers swipe right. You see the checkerboard indication in the background of this layer thumbnail, it shows you that all the transparent pixels are locked. I'm going to use slightly lighter green right now to define the stem over here, so I want to select the original green. You make it a little bit darker. I want to go in and select something along the line of a very dry brush. Think about where your light source is at this point, I want my light source to come from above, so that will naturally leave some darker area over here at the edge of the leaf. Because I have all the pixels locked, even if I'm drawing outside of the edge, it's not showing. Also going to shade over here. You can leave it as it is but if you don't really like how the darker green interact with the stem, you can redefine the stem a little bit, select the color, and then just draw over it again. This is how you do it when you use alpha lock. There's another way of doing it, which is using clipping mask. I'm just going to recolor everything back to the original green over here by selecting the background green and then come over to the layer option and click fill layer that will automatically fill all the painted pixels with your parent color selection. First we want to create a spine first, so I'm going to create a clipping mask over here instead of alpha lock and select a lighter green over here. Then I want to create another clipping mask on top of that and then change my color to a darker green. I'm going to select the background layer over here, or you can use the same color and then change it to multiply. That will give you a darker color but consequently you have less control over what exactly the color is going to be because it's hard to predict how two colors interact with each other on top of blinding mode. But I'm going to change it to multiply in this case just to show you that you have that flexibility. I'm going to select a dry brush and then start painting over here. It's a lot darker than what I want it to be. You can change the transparency. But if you want to work with the exact color, you probably don't want to play with the blending mode right now. I'm going to change the transparency to a little bit lower. Because these two clipping masks functions independently from each other, they are both serving the leaf base. Remember last time we had to redraw the spine, this time you can just bring the spine to the top and it will cover the shading area. It gives you much more flexibility. If you want to be fancy, you can add another layer and draw with a even lighter green. I'm just going to select a lighter green color over here, and then I want to give a little highlight to the edge on this side. At this point I'm not really looking at my reference photo because I know what I want. Maybe a slight highlight around the spine over here. Again, you can change the binding mode to maybe screen that will bring it even lighter and then bring down the opacity. Say at one point you want to change your leaf to some really odd color. You can do that by just saying, let's go with this odd pink over here and you can just drag and drop. It's fairly simple to change because all these layers are independent from each other and you don't have to redraw the whole thing. You can just change one layer at a time. If you want to change the color of this guy, you can, for example, give it a lighter pink and you can just drag and drop onto that spine. It's pretty instantaneous. If you need to do a lot of adjustment on the fly, for example, if you are not sure about your final color palette just yet, you want to use a lot of clipping masks because that gives you maximum amount of flexibility. Imagine if everything we have is on one layer. What I did was just pinch all the layers you want to combine together. If everything is on one layer, you can go to the adjustments panel and change the hue, saturation and brightness this way as well. It doesn't give you the exact color control, especially you have to work within a specific color palette. But I do want to show you that you have that option to change colors if you want. You can go to the adjustments and just adjust the hue, saturation and brightness, and that will give you different results. That's how the leaf is made. I hope you have a better understanding of clipping mask as well as alpha lock at this point, and we'll continue on with another example in the next lesson. 7. Thank You: Thank you so much for taking my class. I hope you now have a better understanding of the different techniques that we have covered. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. I'd love to help in any way I can. Until next time, have fun.