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I'm converting myself from a PS user to AP. So far looking very good. Inevitably however I am running into things I don't understand. Most of the time I can find answers but I have a question now regarding refining a mask which has me stumped.

I have a reasonable mask, actually made using select colour as it is plant shot against a white background, which requires some work to make it better. Specifically the black part of the mask has some grey areas which I need to intensify to black. In PS I would work on the mask using the paint brush set to black with the actual brush in overlay blend mode. That would then have the almost magical effect  of allowing painting black where I need to not having to worry about the white areas as overlay mode prevents painting the white. Thus you can clean the mask very efficiently and precisely. Of course you can also clean the white areas up in a similar way using white.

This overlay trick does not seem to work in AP. Is there another way of doing this, cleaning the mask that is, in AP or is it one of the differences. 


Grumpy Hec

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Grumpy Hec!

"I'm converting myself from a PS user to AP."
Me too.

"In PS I would work on the mask using the paint brush set to black with the actual brush in overlay blend mode. That would then have the almost magical effect"
I know. Great functionality!

I have to say that, during this trial period, editing masks on A. Photo is by far my biggest complaint.

If instead of a mask you have a pixel layer that limitation goes away.
So, what I have been doing is converting the mask to a pixel layer. Do my editing/cleaning and then convert back to a mask.

"Hey! that is a lot of steps just to clean a mask", you might say.
Well, that is only half the problem. The other problem is that while your mask is rasterised you are not able to see, on the fly, the impact the changes make on the layer.
In some situations it is like painting blindly.

Great workflow, don't you think?

I wish i had a better solution.  But, just like you, i am new to A. Photo.

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Hi, guys...

Affinity Photo has seen its share of complaints regarding the editing of Channels, and the editing of Masks is another manifestation of that. A while ago, I came up with a set of macros that try to address this. It’s by no means a perfect solution, but I think it might help you out in situations like this.

The original post, along with the macros category, is linked below. Please let me know if this was helpful.


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Many thanks for your comments and pointers to macros that go some way to addressing the shortcoming.

For me I confess it is too late as I have decided that I will stay with Adobe CC. My reasons are varied and do include this sort of limitation plus some of the bugs, e.g. non working Ctrl+alt+r-Clck & drag to change size and hardness of brush, but also, crucially, the lack of a DAM to properly work with AP without spending a lot of money. I did try ACDSee which has many good aspects but the keyword handling was, to say the least, messy and the .afphoto thumbnail would not expand into full screen. If there was an Affinity Dam which could import all collections (including collection sets and smart collections) from LR, I have 75K images with a large collection hierarchy to organise them so that is critical for me, I may have decided to stick with AP. The truth is I really wanted to as I find much of AP to be excellent with a great look and feel and some superb tools and workflow. It is just lacking in a few areas, such as mask refining and luminosity masks, which even some of the excellent areas, such as bend ranges,built in frequency separation/live filters/excellent focus stacking to name but a few, cannot fully balance for me. This is purely personal of course and others will undoubtedly disagree which is fair enough. 

I intend to keep my copy and watch developments in AP with a view to reviewing the situation again in the future as I really want to convert.


thanks all

Grumpy Hec

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