Masking Question

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2019-02-15 01:45:01

I'm trying to do something that should be simple but I can't see how to accomplish it.

I want to overlay an image with a semitransparent layer so that you can see what's in the image below but its somewhat opaque.
Then I want to create one area that breaks through and is completely transparent, showing just one area of the image in the bottom layer.
I've tried doing this by covering the image with a rectangle and making it 50% opaque.
Then I assume I need to add a clipping mask. I tried adding a shape and defining it as a clipping mask but I can't make that work. I think the problem may be that I need to "Invert" the shape of the clipping mask but 1. I can't accomplish that task. 2. I'm not sure that's the correct approach.

Anyway, how do I get to make the major of my image semi opaque and one area completely clear.

Thanks.
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2019-02-15 16:27:56

There are a few ways to do this, the most important thing, really, is getting the mask shape and you basically need an inverted circle shape. That's kind of easier said than done when working with vector shapes. If you want to use shapes, here's how you'd get an 'empty hole' shape:

1. Draw an Ellipse shape
2. Draw a Rectangle shape above
3. Select both in the Layers sidebar, Control-click them, and choose Exclude Shapes
4. Drag this new compound shape below your 'fill' image and create a clipping mask
5. Adjust the opacity of the mask layer

You can also do something like this:

1. Press the Command-Shift-N keyboard shortcut to add an empty layer
2. Choose the Elliptical selection tool and draw a circular selection on that layer
3. Press the Command-Shift-I (I as in invert) keyboard shortcut
4. Press the Command-Backspace keyboard shortcut to fill that selection with a color
5. Create a clipping mask from the layer as above

This method is slightly faster because of the keyboard shortcuts, but it's a little less versatile if you're planning to make future adjustments.

If that doesn't give you the results you're looking for, could you show me an example of what you'd like to achieve? I'd do my best to help out!