Hi my friend,
If your building is just one layer, this means that your layer is made by both the black color and the white building, just use the Magic wand tool in order to select the black windows. Once you selected the windows, just press the delete or backspace key on your keyboard and you will have a hole, through which you can see the Background layer.
When using the Magic Wand tool, be sure to uncheck the "Contiguous" option in the upper option bar, otherwise you will select also the black background of the layer.
If you feel like to be more advanced, instead of deleting the black holes, just apply a layer mask, If you do not know what is that, no worries, you will get there once your Photoshop skills will advance.
Please let me know if u solved the problem,
Could you please post a screenshot with the pertinent Panels (Layers, Channels, Options Bar, …) visible?
Just a variation on Martin's explanation.
1) starting with the original black and white building you just want to punch holes in the windows to reveal the background
2) Add a color overlay layer to provide the background color and set the blend mode of the upper (building) layer to 'Screen' This will cause the black elements of the graphic to disappear and reveal the background.
3) With the building layer selected, use the magic wand tool with a tolerance of '0' and 'Contiguous' checked to make a selection
4) Now select the layer mask on the color overlay layer and fill with black. In other words have black as your foreground color and press alt-backspace on the keyboard for a PC and option-backspace for a Mac. This will fill the selection and create a mask with just the blue color overlay revealed behind the windows.
I understand you just want the windows to cut through
If you have done this with shapes then you could do the following:
I started with two rectangles for buildings over a black fill layer and the windows were just black rectangle shapes copied and repositioned.
Method 1 - Use knockout :
Go to group Windows and right click. In blending options reduce the Fill to 0% and set knockout to Deep. This will cut through to the yellow background layer
Method 2 - Use Clipping
Put the required color on a layer above the "Windows" group. Alt click on the border and the layer will "clip" to the group below (i.e that group below acts as a mask). A small down arrow appears next to the layer to show it is clipped.
I hope those two methods help you
As the OP mentioned
Right now the windows are a black shape.
I wonder if they are Shape Layer/s and the Vector Mask could be utilised further.
This was constructed using the rectangle tool.
So the building is a series of white rectangles and the windows are a series of black rectangles.
In order to use the magic wand on the black windows I have to rasterize the layer. Once selected, if I cut or delete the window selection, I'm left with the white of the building. I'm wanting to cut through all layers underneath so what ever background color is selected the color will show through the window.
Here's a screenshot of layers.
You can see all the black window shape layers.
Below that is a smart layer of the white building. It's also comprised of white shape layers.
If I try to select a black window layer and use the magic wand to make a selection, the magic wand won't allow me to make a selection. I have to rasterize the window layer first. But the cut out result will obviously just reveal the white building layer underneath. I still can't figure out how I can easily cut through both layers - window and building.
Seem like I should be able to select both layers, make the selection and cut through. Easier said than done for me.
Try either of the methods I showed in post 5 . The demo was made of rectangles and involved no manual masking or rasterising
Do you need to keep the rectangles as separate shapes for some reason? If not and they are in separate groups - the white rectangles and black rectangles, you can just merge them into two layers so that you have a white layer and a black layer. You can either use the pull out menu on the layers panels or clicking on the group use the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd E - it will merge the layers in that group. Then you can use the layer mask or one of the other methods described above to get the image to show through.
Thanks for all the great advice!!