Photoshop: How to use a smart object as a layer mask?

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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I'm using the latest version of Photoshop CC I believe.
I have two layers, one is a smart object and the other is a shape. I want the shape to be visible everywhere except where the smart object is. So essentially the smart object would make a hole in the shape. 
If I had to give an example, let's say the shape is a big circle, and the smart object is a star in the middle of it. I would want the star to be transparent on the shape layer, so it's like a doughnut with a star shaped hole.
Thanks for any suggestions.
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Ella Rackers

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of JEA


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Double click to the right of the smart object thumbnail in the layers panel, set the Blending Options Fill Opacity to Zero and the Knockout to Shallow.

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Max Johnson, Champion

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To add to this, I would recommend putting both objects in a group. Shallow knockout will only knockout things in that group and you can place another object under the group as a background.