Figma UI UX Design Essentials

Masking & cropping images in Figma

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi everyone, as you can see by this messy artboard, we're going to look at Masking/Cropping, this way, we're going to mask it in text, inside of shapes. There's a couple of different ways that Figma can do it for you, let me show you the ways. 

All right, first up I use the word Mask and Crop, interchangeably here in Figma, because they mean the same thing to Figma. Figma calls it Crop, you might call it Masking, same here. So the first thing to notice is the difference, between Cropping and using Fill. So these images we bought in the last video, nothing to them, just dump them in here, and by default, if we go to the 'Fill', and go to 'Images', this is the option, 'Fill', we're going to look at Crop in a second, but Fill does a kind of cropping.

So this might be enough for you. If I have nothing selected, I've got my Selection tool, I can just grab the outsides of these, and that might be enough of a crop for you. The problem is, I can't kind of move it up and down, I kind of can, it's a bit responsive, but that might be enough. So we're going to switch now to Crop, what does this mean? Basically, it kind of shows you the extras, so now I can work on the, like crop edge, interchangeably from the image edge. 

Now, grabbing the image edge, you need to hold down 'Shift', otherwise you get a bit squidgy. Now it's not clear, it took me a while to like when I first got this I was like, "Oh yeah, it makes sense." How do I-- double click, double click, I was trying to like adjust the image. You just need to, like magically-- Figma needs to add, they might do already, some sort of handles out here, to know that you can click and drag it, that's my advice anyway, but you can click, hold, and drag it, hold 'Shift', you can rotate it out here as well, can you see? 

So that's cropping, now there's a couple of ways of doing cropping, let me kind of break them down, because, yeah, you're going to stumble across all of them. There's kind of three ways to mask, so a way that often happens is, you will do it with a shape, I call this the two shape mask method, I made up these names, you're not going to be able to find these anyway. So I'm going to grab the 'Polygon' tool, draw out, hold 'Shift'. 

Now most programs, you'd have the shape on top, you'd select the background image, and I got both of them selected, and you'd hit this option, see that there, he's new, he's not there, he's there when you've got two things selected, that is the Make Mask button, boom, not what I want. So you have to be-- the image has to be on front, who remembers the shortcut to bring things to the front? You can right click it, yep, or you can use that square bracket, it's the kind of second square bracket, there you go. 

So they're both there, just hiding underneath, so image on top, select both of these, thin mask, hey. So that's one way of doing it, and it's really good, you can still get in there, I can double click, it's kind of different, it's two separate objects, over here, in the Layers panel, there's a Mask Group, there's my image, and there's my shape, that's why I call it the two shape mask. You need two, you need an image, and some sort of shape to mask it, and you can still adjust them separately, there you go, click over here, click on my image, so that's my two shape method. 

The other way of doing it is, my kind of shape first mask, another name that I made up. So you draw the shape, and kind of, like we did before, we click on this, we've done this a little bit, click on the 'Fill', we don't want it to be gray, no. We see that gray, we're going to go to 'Images', click on there, pick one of my images, and we've masked into there, kind of, but we're using that Fill one, you can switch it out now, and go to Crop, you're like, "This, how is that different from this?" It's mainly to do with, over here, that, see this big kind of construction here, that's my two shape method, this one here is my shape first. 

So we drew the shape and we just added a Fill to it, it's just tidier over here, and it's, just works slightly differently, they do the same thing, watch this, if I double click on it, actually I don't want to double click, I want to go over here, open up my little image thing, and you can see, I can see the edge of both my shape, and remember the magical-- you just meant to know-- grab the edges here, hold 'Shift', you get to the same place, can you see, one, two shapes. 

Probably the easier way to kind of get your head around this way, is every shape can have a Fill, and if you change that Fill, from Fill, there's two Fills, excellent, to Crop, then you can adjust them separately, rotate them, that type of thing. 

The third way is the way we did at the beginning, and that is what I call the Vanilla Crop, I'm giving these names, it's probably not helpful, but the Vanilla Crop is, bring in image, let's do it together, we did at the beginning there. I'm going to bring in this one, drag it out, hold 'Shift', and instead of drawing the shape first, like we did here, and then fill it, we've already got it, we've got a shape, that's a rectangle, it's got a fill, it's set to Fill, we set it to 'Crop', and then we can adjust the shape and the image. 

So three ways of doing this similar sort of thing, you get me, two shapes, start with the shape, start with just the image, and switch it to Crop. These two require you changing the Fill to Crop, this one here is more like a traditional kind of mask, where you've got something masking the thing underneath, but in this case the thing's on top, weird Figma, weird. Another thing is, using those techniques, you can do it with text, so, my text, Roboto, how did I get to Roboto? Oh well, Roboto, it is. 

Font size, upgrades, 'Command Shift' and the full stop, '.' key, did I do that earlier? I'm pretty sure I did. 'Command Shift' on a Mac, 'Ctrl Shift' on PC, and you can do this either way. I'm going to have two of them, you can either do it the two shape method, so I can say, you, now there's an image on top or on bottom? 

Let's do it with another one, let's do this guy. Image on top, on bottom, that's right, image on top, using square bracket, select both of them, do the same thing, Mask, boom. I can still get in there, double click it, got my shape, my, the inside one, I can still edit the text, it's probably easier to do it over here. Is the text editable? Turns out it's not. I assumed it would be, "Wait up there, Dan." In that original video I was like, "You can't change the text," you totally can. 

So I've come back from the future, and I'm going to show you how, thank you, Victoria Burrowdale, who's reviewing the course, and said, "You can totally change the text, Dan," so there we go, we all learn something. So like I did before, this kind of two-part method, where there's an image, and the text, to make sure the image is on the top. So selecting it, I'm going to use my square bracket, to bring it to the front, select both of them, and then click on the mask icon, and we've got this. 

Now to edit the text you need to be on this part of your layer, it's got the letters that I need to adjust, just switch to the 'Type' tool, that's what I missed, and now I can go in here and say, now it is "Ben." So that's how you adjust the text. Updating the image part is to click on this bit , that's the image that I brought in, grab my 'Selection' tool, and I can kind of move it around, by just clicking anywhere inside the bounding box, and I can adjust the size of it in here as well. So that's how I adjust the text and the image. 

Now there's another way, the kind of, that's the two-part method, you've got an image and text separately, and you join them by using that masking icon along the top. The other way, kind of more vanilla way, is grab the 'Type' tool, and it's just, click off on the side here, and let's type in it. Now, instead of having two separate things and combining them, what we can do is, I'm back on my 'Selection' tool, I've got it selected, we can go into 'Fill', and go and click on the color, and I'm going to say, from a solid I'm going to go to image, and I'm going to click on 'Choose Image', and then I'm going to go pick an image, we can do it that way, yeah, there it goes. The same thing as before, is it's actually a little bit easier to adjust the type, because you can just double click on it, yeah, and adjust it, there we go. 

So it's just a different way of doing it, the difference here is, watch this, do you see how it adjusted, watch this, so I type in 'O', can you see, the image kind of expands to fill it, whereas this method over here, the image stays where it is, it doesn't matter how big the text gets, let's delete it. So you can adjust the image in this one, so let's click on it with the 'Selection' tool, because I want to see the fill, and instead of, where it says Image, under Fill, it's kind of expanding. 

Fill means it's going to expand and contract, depending on the type size. We're going to go to 'Crop', and now, you get a bit more control, like we had in this option here. So there's no right or wrong way, but I can adjust the text, I can adjust the background image. The background image here, like the other masks. Again, remember it's a bit weird, there's no bounding box around the outside, you just kind of click, hold 'Shift', there you go. 

So that is masking with text, a tiny little update to my knowledge as well, so there you go, on to the next video.