Clipping Mask: Crop Images with Precision and Creativity
Updated Jan 9,2024
Updated Jan 9,2024

In the latest 1.6 version of xTool Creative Space software (XCS), we've introduced a powerful feature - Clipping Masks. This function allows you to crop bitmap images using any vector shapes you like. Imagine crafting unique Textured Typography that adds depth and delicacy to your projects, precisely cropping your image in any shape, or creating Custom Frames that elevate your photographs to a new level.

 

In this guide, we'll walk you through how to use Clipping Masks effectively, explore creative scenarios, and share some handy tips and tricks.

 

The Logic Behind Clipping Mask:

By positioning a vector shape over the base bitmap image, the vector shape will act as a mask, revealing only the portion of the base design that overlaps with the vector shape. Everything outside the shape will be hidden.

Where to Use Clipping Masks

Clipping Masks in XCS can be applied to various elements, including:

  1. Bitmap images compatible with XCS.
  2. Materials from the built-in Shape Library in XCS.
  3. Text created using XCS's Text tool.
  4. Imported vector assets compatible with XCS.

 

How to Use Clipping Masks in PC Software

Here's a step-by-step guide to using Clipping Masks in XCS:

 

 

  • Start with importing the base image that you want to engrave or cut. Then choose the vector shape you intend to use as the mask.
  • Select both, right-click to open the options menu and choose "Create Clipping Mask."
  • Position the vector shape or path over the base design

 

Please note that the triggering conditions require simultaneous selection of an unmasked bitmap image and a non-mask vector graphic. Otherwise, the "Create Clipping Mask" function won't be available.

 

 

  • Adjust the size and position of the bitmap image and the vector until you achieve the desired Clipping Mask effect.
  • Click "Done" to generate the clipped bitmap as shown below.

 

 

 

Revise Clipping Masks

For Clipping Masks that you've already created, you can easily make adjustments. Right-click on the masked image and choose "Edit Clipping Mask" from the menu. Alternatively, you can double-click with the left mouse button on the asset to access the adjustment options.

 

 

Releasing Clipping Masks

If you're not satisfied with the Clipping Mask you've created and want to revert it to its original bitmap and vector, follow these steps:

 

  1. Right-click on the Masked image.
  2. Choose "Release Clipping Mask" from the menu.

 

 

Exploring Further

Clipping Masks offer even more possibilities in XCS. For text entered within XCS, you can undo and redo Clipping Masks as needed.

However, once text has been welded, it becomes non-editable.

 

 

Additionally, you can export your creations as SVG files directly by right-clicking and selecting "Export as SVG" after applying Clipping Masks. This allows you to save your artwork with masks intact.

Once you're satisfied with your Clipping Mask design, save or export it in a format compatible with your laser engraving or cutting machine.

How to Use it in iPad App

Similarly, by overlapping a shape with an image, and clicking Clipping Mask on the horizontal toolbar, you can quickly crop the image into specific shapes.

To use this feature, please make sure you have installed XCS v1.7 or higher versions.


That's just the start. As you dive into the world of Clipping Masks for laser making, don't hesitate to explore these scenarios and more. You can effortlessly add captivating collages, design Product Mockups, and create depth and dimension... 

 

So, go ahead and experiment, you'll reach a whole new level of artistic excellence!

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