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Is it possible to create a layer mask with the pen tool?  I have a very difficult subject that needs to be removed from a photo and the pen tool will allow for precise cutting.  Photoshop can do this with tremendous ease... I would need this to be possible in Photo.  Any advice?

 

Thanks!

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Draw the path over the image you wish to mask (make sure the path has a fill). This will create a curve layer above the image layer. Now drag the curve layer over the thumbnail for the image layer and drop it.

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Hi PiperMedic,

 

[EDITED]

You can't perform boolean operations with vector objects used as masks so it's not easy to add to an existing object other than editing it directly.

 

One way to deal with this would be to create a new group and put your vector objects created with the Pen tool inside (they must have a fill to work as masks). Then drag this group over the thumbnail of the image to use it as a mask. To add more objects or edit the existing ones move the group outside the image (unmask it) edit or add more vector objects as you see fit and drag it again over images's thumbnail when finished. The group will be composed as a single mask when dragged over the image's thumbnail.

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Yes, you can create the path and simply edit it.

But since PiperMedic asked about adding more to the mask after it's created, in small sections, i suggested the group since you can create separated pieces (vector objects) and they will all be composed as a single mask when dragged over the image's thumbnail. Unless i've misunderstood him?

But i agree, my answer wasn't very clear regarding the purpose of this. I've edited it to make it more clear.

Maybe there's a better way?

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I believe I have the same question or a similar one, so felt it was best to post it here rather than creating another topic. :12_slight_smile:

 

I would like to remove the background of an image using a mask created with the pen tool, but I don't understand how to use multiple curve objects for one mask.

In this video, I have an image of a person in front of a white background that I wish to make transparent. 

I can make the white area surrounding the person transparent with one curve. 

But as you see, I need another curve to remove the white space between the head and the tassel. The grouping method didn't seem to work unless I'm doing it wrong.

 

I'm including the affinity photo file too, just in case that helps.

 

 

IMPORTANT:

I wish to use only masks rather than pen tool selections. Masks allow me to go back and edit non-destructively. 

I'm aware I could the same thing with pen tool selections instead but this is not ideal for my workflow.

photo_graduate_02.afphoto

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1 hour ago, DigitalDesignDude said:

…But as you see, I need another curve to remove the white space between the head and the tassel. The grouping method didn't seem to work unless I'm doing it wrong.

There are a couple of ways:

1a) Select the two curve layers in the layers panel

1b) Press and hold the 'ALT' (or Option) key

1c) With the 'ALT' (or Option) key still pressed, click the 'Subtract' button in the tool bar (which will create a Compound object).  

You may first need to add the 'Operations' group of icons to the tool bar by going to [View > Customise Toolbar] and then dragging it to the tool bar.

1d) Drag the 'Compound' group over the Background image thumbnail (small vertical blue bar) so it acts as a mask for the image.

001.thumb.png.d08bb23ac33a77efb6c5509a6ed3eb4a.png


Alternatively:

2a) Select the two curve layers in the layers panel

2b) Right-click on the image with the Pen tool or Move tool selected

2c) Go to [Geometry > Subtract] to subtract the top curve from the bottom one

2d) Drag the combined curve over the Background image thumbnail (small vertical blue bar) so it acts as a mask for the image.

2e) Switch to the Pen tool to see the nodes

002.thumb.png.78679f1c1be4538ab295582c016fb6b5.png

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Excellent, it worked!

I'm glad I could use the options in the toolbar once I added them. I didn't need to hold Alt on my PC though, but I figure it's alright since it worked.

Thank you for your help. I'm glad this is possible after all. :D

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