Jump to content

Layers Guide - Understanding Masks, Moves, Crops, Clips, and Adjustments


Recommended Posts

Have you ever tried to arrange objects in the layers panel only to loose them, and then find it nestled in a collapsed group of objects?  

Ever try and move an object so it clips anther object and it ends up with an unexpected result?  

Ever wonder what those enigmatic icons in the layer thumbnails are trying to tell you?

 

This guide is for anyone with those questions. From folks that are new to Affinity Products, to people who has been using it for years and struggled with the behaviour of layers.  This 3-page visual how-to guide will hopefully help reveal any or all of the cryptic layer mysteries!

The guide is in English for desktop versions of the products, designed the Windows version, tested mostly in Affinity Designer, but should translate well to Affinity Photo and Publisher.

I would love to hear your feedback, if you notice any errors, have any additions, and/or let me know if it helps you, please chime in!

 

NOTE: PDF DOWNLOAD AT THE BOTTOM.  Please download it!

 

Cheers,
Dave Vector

1 Layer Panel - Crop, Clip, Move.jpg

2 Layer Panel - Adjustments & Masks.jpg

3 Layer Panel - Adding-Editing a New Mask.jpg

Affinity Layers Guide - Understanding Masks, Moves, Crops, Clips, Adjustments.pdf

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Wish I had this a year ago. 

One refinement would be to reflect/emphasize the different levels of indenting for cropping and clipping in your examples, as shown in your layer stack image above.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, BeauRX said:

Wish I had this a year ago. 

One refinement would be to reflect/emphasize the different levels of indenting for cropping and clipping in your examples, as shown in your layer stack image above.

Thanks @BeauRX your advice is noted!  I updated the PDF version  to illustrate the different indentations in the Layers Panel and made notes to call attention to the different indentation levels.  Unfortunately indentation is not consistent with Masks.  In other words, a Mask thumbnail can exist at either indentation level 1 or level 2 but the results seem to be the same, unless someone more knowledgeable than I can refute my claim with an example.  Hopefully adding this to the summary and the PDF does not make masks more confusing than they already are, but currently this seems to be the reality.

So here is the updated summary illustration as well as the updated PDF downlaodable below!470629561_Summary-CropsClipsMasksMovesv2.1.thumb.jpg.d252ebc9aa701645a1bc50a832e486b9.jpg

 

 

Affinity Layers Guide - Understanding Masks, Moves, Crops, Clips, Adjustments v2.1.pdf

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2020 at 5:16 PM, Dave Vector said:

[...] a Mask thumbnail can exist at either indentation level 1 or level 2 but the results seem to be the same, unless someone more knowledgeable than I can refute my claim with an example.

A masked Pixel object will be blended correctly when the Mask is mask-nested or clip-nested.

A masked vector object or Image object or Passthrough mode Group/Layer object will be blended correctly when the Mask is mask-nested, but incorrectly when the Mask is clip-nested. This is one or more old bugs that have been neglected.

clip-nested Mask in vector object.afdesign

1203450211_screenshotclip-nestedMask.png.70a6b385b252d6a9ac5c1ed1a9c619d3.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

11 minutes ago, anon2 said:

A masked vector object or Image object or Passthrough mode Group/Layer object will be blended correctly when the Mask is mask-nested, but incorrectly when the Mask is clip-nested. This is one or more old bugs that have been neglected.

@anon2, thanks for helping clarify this odd behaviour with a great example.  I hope Serif's team will address this bug soon as it makes things confusing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...
  • 1 month later...
11 hours ago, ashf said:

The first example "Crop the Lower Layer with the Top Layer" sounds strange to me.
Isn't  the one being cropped is the top layer, is it?

 

@ashf I appreciate your feedback.  I see you are referring to my original (first) post in your comment. 

I admit my first attempts to articulate the layer behaviour in Affinity Design was not perfect and I have since updated the descriptions and the entire explanation into a single handy sheet.  Please see my February 19, 2021 post.  The attached PDF contains the same information as the inline PNG. 

"The first example" you are referring to is now in the "Task" column labelled "2. Rectangle Crops".  I hope that makes more sense than the original description.  I made the "Task" labels short descriptors and hopefully easy to understand.  So to be clear:

  1. The Rectangle is on the layer above of the "Q"
  2. The Rectangle Crops the "Q"
  3. The Rectangle is Clipped by the "Q"
  4. The Rectangle Masks the "Q"
  5. The Rectangle is on the layer below the "Q"

Does the updated February 19, 2021 post help? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very Helpfull, thanks. BUT, I have to do 2 things on layer 4. First RightCLick 'Rasterise to Mask'  and then 'Mask to below'  to get the number 4 effect. If I don't Rasterise to Mask, I get number 2.

And I still don't know the difference for adjustment and live filters. Do I drag them ON the tumbnail (number 2) or do I clip them (number 3). Can anyone clearify that for me?

 

Happy greetings, Yolanda

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Yolanda said:

Very Helpfull, thanks. BUT, I have to do 2 things on layer 4. First RightCLick 'Rasterise to Mask'  and then 'Mask to below'  to get the number 4 effect. If I don't Rasterise to Mask, I get number 2.

Hmmm, to address this question:

  • Task 2 I called "Crops" because it a.) added the crop icon beside the layer when the task was executed, and b.) behaved the same as using the Vector Crop Tool.
  • For Task 4, I now see that the right-click "Mask to Below" pre-step is also performing the crop action and adding the crop icon beside the layer.
  • In order to do Task 4 (use above layer rectangle object as a mask) the pre-step is now: "In the Layers Panel right-click on the rectangle and choose 'Rasterize to Mask' in the drop-down menu".  Then proceed to drag onto the layer below, otherwise it will mask everything below that layer.

I do not remember it working this way in previous versions of Affinity Designer.  Before I go updating the Cheat Sheet, can anyone confirm if this is new deliberate behaviour from an update to Affinity Designer?  Currently using Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035

Can anyone confirm if "Mask to Below", acting like a crop and also showing the crop icon, is a bug?  

Thanks,

Dave

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Dave Vector said:

Hmmm, to address your first question:

  • Task 2 I called "Crops" because it a.) added the crop icon beside the layer when the task was executed, and b.) behaved the same as using the Vector Crop Tool.
  • For Task 4, I now see that the right-click "Mask to Below" pre-step is also performing the crop action and adding the crop icon beside the layer.
  • In order to do Task 4 (use above layer rectangle object as a mask) the pre-step is now: "In the Layers Panel right-click on the rectangle and choose 'Rasterize to Mask' in the drop-down menu".  Then proceed to drag onto the layer below, otherwise it will mask everything below that layer.

I don't remember it working this way in previous versions of Affinity Designer.  Before I go updating the Cheat Sheet, can anyone confirm if this is new deliberate behaviour from an update to Affinity Designer?

Can anyone confirm if "Mask to Below", acting like a crop and also showing the crop icon, is a bug?  

The crop symbol on a thumbnail indicates a vector mask. The Crop Tool in AD uses a vector mask.

I recall no change to vector masking in the almost four years that I've used Affinity apps.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note there is currently a delay in replying to some post. See pinned thread in the Questions forum. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.