A clipping mask allows you to mask multiple layers using a single, editable mask that sits on its own layer. This mask will clip all the layers that sit above it, which saves you from needing to create multiple layer masks based on the same shape.
The clipped layers inherit the base layer's properties. So, for example, if the base layer has a 50% opacity, the clipped layers will also have 50% opacity.
To unclip layers, hold the Alt (Option) key and click below the layer you wish to unclip. All the layers above it will be unclipped.
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