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I feel like I'm being a bit stupid, but I just can't figure it out. I'm using a curve adjustment layer, with a grey scale image as a mask. As you can expect, a mask is just a normal pixel image, meaning I can manipulate it how I want, use a brush, whatever. What I'm trying to do is to increase contrast of the mask image, by using an adjustment like curves or levels. But I just can't figure out how to use adjustments on a mask! It always creates a new, separate adjustment layer, not manipulating the existing mask.

What am I missing?

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Hi Belifant,
Welcome to Affinity Foums :)
Drag the adjustment over the thumbnail of the mask in the Layers panel to nest it to the mask, double-click to adjustment to edit it, change the channel to Alpha and adjust the curves or sliders as needed.

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Thanks @MEB, changing to the alpha channel was what I was missing. I appreciate the non-destructive workflow, but sometimes it would be ok to just throw a quick change at the mask without creating additional layers. Like I can do with Blur adjustments, I can just applies these directly to the mask.

Follow up question, is there a way to see the final result of my mask? I would like to see how hard I made the transitions from black to white.

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2 hours ago, Belifant said:

is there a way to see the final result of my mask?

One way, which is admittedly a bit of a kludge, is to Cmd+click (MacOS, probably ctrl-click on Windows) on the mask thumbnail. This will create a selection based on the white area of the mask. If you then create a new Fill Layer, you'll see the masked area as a coloured overlay above the image, more or less opaque depending on the whiteness/blackness of the mask.




Affinity Photo 2.0.3,  Affinity Designer 2.0.3, Affinity Publisher 2.0.3, Mac OSX 13, 2018 MacBook Pro 15" Intel.

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