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SKETCHBOOK BLOG

TRENT’S TIPS: MASKING AND GROUPING LAYERS IN SKETCHBOOK

Colin Smith
August 10, 2017

Our favorite YouTuber Trent Kaniuga has created a great set of short videos showing how to approach some of the most important features in SketchBook. Some of these tutorials — or as we like to think of them, “Trent’s Tips” — are as good as our own tutorial content, so we wanted to make sure you’re aware of this excellent resource. Subscribe to his channel if you’re a SketchBook devotee but someone who still hasn’t explored all the options. Or just someone who likes character design, which is Trent’s specialty.

Can You Mask and Group Layers in SketchBook?

In this video, Trent starts out by answering a common user question: “How do you group and mask layers in SketchBook?” As he notes, it may not seem that these things exist in SketchBook unless you dig down a bit more. For example, if you’ve always been a Photoshop user who is used to seeing the Photoshop interface in your mind, you’ll find that things work a little differently in SketchBook. Trent uncovers the details and puts it all into context in his video:

The way to accomplish grouping is to link layers together and nest them in a folder. You simply choose multiple layers (hold the Command key) and hit Command G (Group Layer). That will place those layers into a folder, and you’ll see a folder icon with the layers nested underneath.

Layer grouping and masking all happens in the Layers menu using either marking menus or hot keys.

Masking and Lock Transparency

When it comes to masking, Trent shows how he uses Selection Tools (Lasso, Polyline, Magic Wand, etc.) to quickly define an area. You can then draw only on that area or use the Invert option to draw on everything else. One thing that also different from Photoshop is the Lock Transparency option for layers in SketchBook. You do this by clicking on the little lock icon. Lock Transparency creates a mask that locks out the transparent portion of the layer. You are only able to make changes to that area of the image on that layer. We’ve noticed that most people use this feature for changing the color of an object they’ve drawn or adding Layer Styles.

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Colin Smith

Colin is a Sr. Product Manager on the Automotive and Conceptual Design Team at Autodesk. During his 25-year career in the CAD industry he has worked in customer support, training, consulting and as a product manager for Alias and Fusion 360. Currently, he works on SketchBook Pro and Create VR and is based in Toronto, Canada.

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  1. Avatarvivmi@vivmi.com

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    When can SketchBook for IOS realize the grouping function?

  2. Avatarmengjiulay

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    Hello

  3. Avatarkayla.haugen.kh

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    I really irritated because all of my stuff got deleted off of the picture I was drawing over

  4. Avatarkayla.haugen.kh

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    I tried to make a drawing on this but I wanted to sketch over a picture that I was referencing first so sketching over the picture that I imported and when I tried to take away the background picture that I imported from my camera roll all of my stuff got deleted on what I sketched over it is there any way to sketch over a picture and then take it away from the background so then you’re left with the sketch!

    1. Avatarmengjiulay

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      Why my sketchbooks are not look like you

  5. Avatarguiartwork

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    Is there a way to do the same on the I pad pro sketchbook app? I tried desperately to find a way to group, link, or select multiple layers, and there is absolutely no way to find it… I tried to google it, no answers…. this tool, is strongly missing in the app…. is there another way or a tip you could give us?

  6. AvatarbARBERLX

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    HI

  7. AvatarsampsonsDP74V

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    ..cool