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R C-R

[AP] Editing a gradient mask layer

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I created a mask by first creating a new pixel layer & using the Gradient tool to fill it with a linear white to grey gradient, then used 'rasterize to mask' to turn it into mask. That got the fade out effect I wanted on the photo pixel layer below it, but I then decided to edit the gradient's position, angle, & grey levels to refine it.

 

This isn't a refine mask type thing -- I just want to use the Gradient tool's control handles, endpoint color setting ability, etc. to do this, just like I did when creating the gradient to begin with. I thought all I would have to do is select the Gradient tool with the mask layer selected in the layers panel, but when I do that I get a default gradient of "none" in the context toolbar. Changing that back to linear & clicking on the color swatch works, & restores the endpoint colors, etc.

 

So far so good, but if I nest the mask as a child of the photo layer so I can add a solid color pixel layer below it so the photo fades to that color instead of to transparent, I can't find any way to use the gradient tool on the mask layer without it replacing my edited gradient with a default one.

 

I hope this makes sense, but if not basically what I'm asking is how to get the gradient tool to select an existing gradient instead of creating a new one. Hopefully this is just something simple I'm overlooking.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Hi R C-R,

 

To have a colour fade gradient I would not use a mask but rather a gradient on the pixel layer with lower opacity settings as attached screenshot, when it is a mask the gradient has to be recreated when you wish to make a change. 

post-25202-0-75510200-1455269739_thumb.png

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I don't want a color fade effect, only an adjustable opacity gradient that I can apply just to one pixel layer without it affecting the layer(s) below.

 

I have attached an example file to better show the effect I'm looking for. I have blurred the face in the top "Photo" layer for privacy reasons but otherwise it is a simplified version of a project I am working on for a friend. The mask layer is a diagonal white to grey linear gradient, beginning a bit above the left side of the forehead & ending near the bottom right of the pink shirt.

 

This has the effect of subtlety fading out the lower part of the pink shirt so it blends with the background layer below it. (Toggle on & off the visibility of the mask layer to see the difference more clearly.) Placing a pixel layer above the Photo layer would not have the same effect since it would affect the background layer as well.

Fade example.afphoto


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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R C-R FYI this sounds related to an issue I had turned in on: https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/14154-ad-gradient-on-adjustment-layer-is-not-editable/ I got pretty much the same answer.  Hard to believe that AD would have something that couldn't ever be edited.  I figured this had to be a bug.


iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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I created a mask by first creating a new pixel layer & using the Gradient tool to fill it with a linear white to grey gradient, then used 'rasterize to mask' to turn it into mask. That got the fade out effect I wanted on the photo pixel layer below it, but I then decided to edit the gradient's position, angle, & grey levels to refine it.

 

This isn't a refine mask type thing -- I just want to use the Gradient tool's control handles, endpoint color setting ability, etc. to do this, just like I did when creating the gradient to begin with. I thought all I would have to do is select the Gradient tool with the mask layer selected in the layers panel, but when I do that I get a default gradient of "none" in the context toolbar. Changing that back to linear & clicking on the color swatch works, & restores the endpoint colors, etc.

 

So far so good, but if I nest the mask as a child of the photo layer so I can add a solid color pixel layer below it so the photo fades to that color instead of to transparent, I can't find any way to use the gradient tool on the mask layer without it replacing my edited gradient with a default one.

 

I hope this makes sense, but if not basically what I'm asking is how to get the gradient tool to select an existing gradient instead of creating a new one. Hopefully this is just something simple I'm overlooking.

 

 

+1 This should be addressed.

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Hi R C-R,

 

To have a colour fade gradient I would not use a mask but rather a gradient on the pixel layer with lower opacity settings as attached screenshot, when it is a mask the gradient has to be recreated when you wish to make a change. 

As far I see it, a gradient on a pixel layer also has to be recreated each time.

The gradient is only editable in vector objects. Please correct me if I´m wrong here.


 

 

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Yes, to me it sounds basically like the same issue, & the suggested workarounds seem clumsy at best.

 

Plus, to reemphasize something I mentioned in my first post, as long as the gradient mask layer is not a child of any other layer, while selecting it & switching to the Gradient tool in AP shows a default of "None" in the context toolbar, switching that back to the original linear type does restore the original endpoint grey values & displays the gradient control points in the document, so at least part of this info is retained.

 

That is better than nothing but it does seem odd that a way to edit an existing gradient mask is not a part of the app.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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As far I see it, a gradient on a pixel layer also has to be recreated each time.

The gradient is only editable in vector objects. Please correct me if I´m wrong here.

I think you got it right, except for what I just mentioned about the gradient retaining some of the original values.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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I'm trying to find a way to achieve what you want... and I'm not certain that I get you right.

 

Well.. if I have a picture I want to add ie. a colour to, only partially.

I add a pixel layer, fill it with that colour.

Then I add a mask and fill that mask with a black and white gradient? Then the effect or colour I added is only partially affecting the picture. Yes?

 

So now I want to edit the gradient that I added to the mask.

 

I click on the mask and  the gradient is not there to be edited.

 

What I then would do. Use the gradient tool, go to the swatches and choose gradient. There's a list over recent gradient.

Then you have your gradient back and can edit it.

 

Not very user friendly, but a little better than editing a gradient from scratch.

(I think there's an editable gradient in Photo on the roadmap..???)

The gradient in Designer is editable.

 

 

post-14034-0-91270300-1455296536_thumb.png


- Affinity Photo 1.6.7

- Affinity Designer 1.6.1

 

MacBook Pro 8 GB
MacBook Pro Mojave 10.14.2

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You can also use a rectangle in photo which is a vector object and fill that with a gradient.
You can then set it to a blend mode/ use blend if and you can still edit the gradient later.

Not a solution for the mask but maybe an approach for certain conditions.

I'd request that the gradient stays editable until one paints with a brush on the mask. Then it should get "rasterised". But I know now that masks are not pixel layers but channels so I guess this behaviour is not very likely to be implement soon.

Edited by MBd

 

 

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MBd, I haven't a clue about the mechanism of gradients. ;)

 

I would just add that in the swatches panel, you can click on the palette icon to save the gradient you use.

It will add to the list and you can call it up again. It makes it a little easier I think.


- Affinity Photo 1.6.7

- Affinity Designer 1.6.1

 

MacBook Pro 8 GB
MacBook Pro Mojave 10.14.2

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So now I want to edit the gradient that I added to the mask.

 

I click on the mask and  the gradient is not there to be edited.

That's the problem. I want to non-destructively edit the gradient that I used to create the mask, including its type, starting & ending colors (all grayscale because it is only used for opacity masking), any intermediate "stops" or midpoint changes I added -- everything that I can do with the gradient tool on a regular pixel layer when I first create it.

 

What I then would do. Use the gradient tool, go to the swatches and choose gradient. There's a list over recent gradient.

Then you have your gradient back and can edit it.

 

That isn't what I get. When I choose my recent gradient from the Swatches panel I get the original end point colors (grays) & gradient type back but nothing else -- it defaults to a starting point handle in the top left corner of the layer & I have to drag out just to get an ending point handle.

 

Also please keep in mind that I do not want to change the color gradient of the masked layer, just its opacity, & I do not want that to affect any other layers below it. In effect, I just want an alpha channel gradient mask that I can apply to a single layer & have it remain editable.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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I'm trying to get my head around this, but I don't think I really get what you mean, ..-or that I'm not clear enough in what I try to explain.

 

If you are trying to fade an effect/colour/gradient you will add a mask to the layer with that effect?

To that mask you add a gradient witch go from white to black?

 

Then you want to edit that mask..  

 

You then select your mask. Drag out the gradient tool (again) in the angle you want. Click in the recent gradient swatch.

Now you can edit the gradient just the way you want to.

It's just one or two step less then a new gradient, but I think it helps. I think it's cumbersome to change the colours in the gradient.


- Affinity Photo 1.6.7

- Affinity Designer 1.6.1

 

MacBook Pro 8 GB
MacBook Pro Mojave 10.14.2

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Please forget colors regarding what I want to do -- this is just about opacity, & it isn't necessarily about going from 100 to 0% opaqueness. It is primarily about being able to adjust the angle, end point grey levels & document positions, stop points, etc. while being able to see their effects update on the document as I change them.

 

It doesn't do me any good if I have to start all over again without all the original gradient properties restored, or if I can't see the overall effect on the document while I'm editing it.

 

It might be easier to see what I'm talking about if you download my "Fade example" file. Toggle on & off the mask layer to see its effect, noting that it does not effect the bottom "background fill" layer (which in the project I'm working on will actually be several different layers below the "photo" one). Now delete the mask & try to reproduce the same effect.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Is this surprising? Rasterized is rasterized right?

They're just dumb pixels after that, with no "smart" memory of how they got to their present state.

 

As far as retained info when going back to Linear, I'n not getting that at all. I get the default horizontal light/midrange gray values.  :huh:

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I'm not sure if I missed it. But I don't think I saw the use of the Gradient overlay in the FX panel mentioned.  I believe this will give you what you are looking for, without rasterizing, or adding a mask.  You can either play with opacity or blend mode right in the FX, and you can adjust at any time.

 

If if was already suggested, I apologize to whomever did. 

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crabtrem, i think i don't get it.

i can apply a fx gradient to a pixel layer (that is, to its non-transparent areas), and it is adjustable till it is a pixel layer. but if i rasterize it to mask, the gradient is burned into the layer and cannot be edited anymore later. 

a fx layer cannot be applied to a mask.

i am surely missing something, but the only way i've found so far to make an image fade into transparency is to apply a gradient as a mask, and this leads to the issue r-c-r pointed out.


take care,

stefano

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crabtrem, thank you so much for your kindness and time. the video is clear and well explains how to use fx gradients, and that they are non destructive.

however, i still don't understand how to use them to fade a layer to transparency: i tried all of the blend modes, but none works. again, if i don't miss something obvious.

the only method i found to fade to transparency is to use the gradient as a mask, and apparently this can't be done with fx options.


take care,

stefano

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crabtrem, i think that in his original post, r-c-r pointd out just what happens in your video at 00:52: when you want to edit a mask where you previously applied a gradient, you have to apply a new gradient, instead of just editing the old one, as one would suppose to do. so the point is to understand if this is a bug or an intended behaviour (which doesn't make sense imho).


take care,

stefano

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well what you showed in the video is just the problem itself, the gradient has to be redrawn completely 

 

and the thing wth the fx panel works but is just as functional as using a rectangle and fill it with the gradient tool, another alternative though


 

 

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