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Non-destructive Mask

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This is a method of creating a completely non-destructive mask that allows you to use a normal layer as a mask, and do with it everything you can do with a normal layer, without any restrictions. 

You can also use a group as a mask! Everything you put in this group automatically becomes a mask, and you can mix them together in Multiply mode, for example. This way a mask can be a composite of multiple layers of any type (raster, vector, color, grayscale). This gives full creative freedom! 

This non-destructive mask method, created with two layer settings, Blend Ranges and Erase Blend mode. This method creates a mask from any Layer type, in a non-destructive way, keeping the original intact. And also apply Live Filters, and Adjustments.

1. Select the layer that should be the mask
2. Change its curve in Blend Ranges
3. Change its blend mode to Erase 

Creating a Mask


Creating a Composite Mask 


Using an image as a Mask


Creating a Composite Mask using different layer types


Applying the Live Filter


An alternative method using Procedural Texture


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks @telemax Most helpful and for iPad users, easily repeated on iPad version using layer blend ranges. 

M1 IPad Air 10.9/256GB   lpadOS 17.1.1 Apple Pencil (2nd gen).
Affinity Photo 1.10.5 Affinity Design 1.10.5 
Affinity Publisher 2, Affinity Designer 2, Affinity Photo 2 and betas.

Official Online iPad Help documents (multi-lingual) here: https://affinity.https://affinity.help/ 


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  • 1 year later...
1 hour ago, Jung21 said:

Which is better between this method and alternative method with procedural texture?

Both methods do the same thing. The main concept is to make the contents of the group work as a single mask. The main advantage is keeping the contents of the group in their original state.

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