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How to Use Clipping Masks with Photos and Text in Affinity Designer
  • By Design Bundles
  • 05 Jul 2021
  • 6 Mins
  • Affinity Tutorials

How to Use Clipping Masks with Photos and Text in Affinity Designer

Clipping Masks in Affinity Designer are clipped to the boundaries of the parent layer. These masks can be something like a photo clipped to a text layer. The photo then takes the shape of the text non-destructively. In this tutorial you will learn how to use Clipping Masks with photos and text.
We will be using a tulip stock photo by Maryna Konoplytska and a quirky font called Top Knot.

Step 1 - Open the photo and type out text


When you open Affinity Designer click Close on the Welcome Menu. Click on File, then Open and choose your photo. Under Layers on the right you will see the photo on its own layer. Click on the lock next to the thumbnail to unlock the layer so it can be moved.
Unlock layer Affinity Designer
On the left side panel click on the Text Tool and select Artistic Text Tool. Click and drag out to a desired size and type out your text. Align the text to center and change the font. Position the text where you think it works best.
You can adjust the Transparency of the font above the Layers panel if it helps to position.
Type out text Affinity Designer

Step 2 - Clip photo to text layer


In this step we will be creating a parent and child layer relationship. The text will be the parent or main layer. The child layer is the photo which will clip beneath the text layer.
In order to clip the photo layer it has to be placed correctly. Click and drag the photo layer up and place your mouse over the text description. A blue line shows between the two layers. Release the mouse button. Do not place your mouse over the thumbnail else you will create a mask.
Clip photo to text layer

Step 3 - Use the pen tool


You can take your text design further by adding back parts of the photo. For this to work we need to remove the photo from the text layer. Click on the arrow of the text layer to expand. Click and drag the photo down onto its own layer.
Next, we will use the pen tool. We have a great guide on using the pen tool in Affinity Designer if you are new to it.
Click on the Pen Tool on left side panel and draw a selection around the area you want.  We chose to add the one Tulip back in.
Make selection with Pen tool

Step 4 - Add curve to text layer with Boolean operations


To combine the curve and text layer we need to use the Boolean operations at the top panel. But first, click and drag the text layer to the top of all the layers. Click on the text layer and then Ctrl + Click on the curve layer to select both.
Move and select layers Affinity
Click on the Add button at the top of the screen. Both layers will be combined into one.
Combine layers Boolean Affinity
Now click and drag the photo up to clip to the new Curves layer. Add a background layer for more effect. Click on Add Pixel layer and fill with a color of your choice.
Final clipped layer Affinity
Text can be creatively edited to stand out more with Clipping Masks. If you enjoyed this tutorial be sure to check out how to add a gradient in Affinity Designer.

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