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rui_mac

Why does Dodge and Burn tools don't work on masks?

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My mask creation workflow (in Photoshop) requires that I use most paint/edit tools on a mask. After all, a mask is just a greyscale image.

So, why is it that the Dodge and Burn tools (two of the tools that I use more often when creating masks) don't work with masks?

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I know this method, Crabtrem.

I don't mean dodging and burning on an image.

I mean, on a mask.

For example, when I have a mask that I derived from a color channel, sometimes I need to darken or lighten some areas of the mask. And I mean, is a very specific way, not globally.

Check out this example I created sometime ago:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6H_8gjX-eI

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i've read somewhere else in the forums that dodge/burn doesn't work on masks. i use to paint setting the brush opacity as needed.


take care,

stefano

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After all, a mask is just a greyscale image.

Actually, a transparency mask has no color or grayness, only transparency/opaqueness.  It is just represented as a greyscale image so we have a way to see it. That may explain why in AP the dodge & burn tools don't affect it.


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 know that.
But it is just like a greyscale image, because the transparency mask is a set of values that goes from 0 to 255.

We should be able to use ALL paint/edit tools on a mask, just like we can, in Photoshop.

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well, apparently the dodge / burn tools have no effect on grayscale images in general, even if they have not been rasterized to mask...


take care,

stefano

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But it is just like a greyscale image, because the transparency mask is a set of values that goes from 0 to 255.

We should be able to use ALL paint/edit tools on a mask, just like we can, in Photoshop.

I'm not so sure that just because something is possible in PS it should be possible in AP, or at least that it should be possible to achieve in the same way. If you think about it in purely technical terms, it doesn't really make any sense to try to "burn" or "dodge" transparency. It doesn't make much more sense in metaphorical ones, considering those tools (& the sponge one grouped with them) mimic old school darkroom techniques.

 

One thing I really like about the Affinity apps is they encourage me to experiment with alternate ways of doing things I have never thought about trying before. For me at least, that often leads to the discovery of new techniques, which keeps me from getting into a rut. Of course, that involves a learning curve, but I think it is worth it.

 

All that said, if you want these tools to apply to masks, you could post that to the feature request section. If enough people like the idea, maybe they will add that capability.


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
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Have you seen my video?
R C-R, I'm a image processing professional for more than 20 years. And I can assure you that dodging and burning a mask is A MUST for all professionals.

Don't think of a mask as simply a transparency. A mask can be used as a selection. I use masks/additional channels very, very often, because I need to create very precise selection for compositing or for color calibration.

So, I often start with a copy of a color channel or a combination of channels. Then, I have to edit that new, additional alpha channel.

To do so, I need to use ALL the arsenal of tools, adjustments, filters, etc, that I have available for a simple grayscale image. Because alpha channels/masks are just that: grayscale images.

If I can't edit an alpha channel/mask with all the tools, adjustments or filters, that will diminish the methods and techniques used by professionals.

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Yes, a mask can be used as a selection but at least in Affinity it is an all or nothing one -- either a pixel is in the selection or it isn't -- so I do not see how that is relevant. Besides, alpha channel masks are not really images, greyscale or otherwise, even though it is convenient to visualize them as such.

 

Nevertheless, if you want Affinity to have this capability, I think your best bet is to add it to the feature request forum.


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 already did.
I have been asking for more control over alpha channels ever since Affinity Photo was released.
Between 50% to 80% of a professional photo retoucher/calibrator has to do with alpha channels.

If editing alpha channels doesn't get more flexible and powerful, lots of things that are simple in Photoshop will be a pain (or almost impossible) in Affinity Photo.
And, believe me, I really want to use Affinity Photo for everything :)

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rui_mac, these capabilities will be done I'm sure, but as you know they are not going to add all the bells and whistles to a version in the 1.5, 1.6 and so on. These complete tools won't come till huge upgrades are released maybe at 2.0 or later I'm afraid. I feel your frustration.

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rui_mac,

 

Just to satisfy my curiosity & so maybe I could learn something new, could you explain to me why you can't get the same results using the paint brush on the mask layer as you would if you could use the dodge & burn tools? I have watched your video more than once (had to remove the superfluous "http:// prefix in the link in this topic to do so) but from what I could tell, using the brush with suitable opacity or grays & hardness, etc. settings would do the job quite well.

 

Is it an efficiency issue or something else I'm missing?


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
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When you are dodging/burning you are just adding more contrast to the textures that are already present in the image, since they are derived from the color channels.
So, imagine a wool sweater. It has a distinct edge, that results from the coarse wool. It even has a kind of... lets call it "organic feathered edge". So, painting would create a harder edge. Simply dodging and burning would create a nice mask with the "organic feathered edge" in a very controlled manner. I could even decide to increase the density of some parts of the edge and keep it softer in other places.

The same with hairs. Sometimes I just want to keep the thicker hairs and ditch the thinner ones. By dodging and burning on a channel that was derived from a color channel, I can create a very perfect hair mask, that is completely controlled by me, not a result of automatic processes. Oh, I can use automatic processes. But dodging and burning will allow me to edit the result of the automatic process in a very controllable way. Painting hairs is not efficient, specially when they are already there, in the mask, just requiring some brightness/contrast adjustments.

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Just to dog-pile on this already mature thread, I completely follow what rui_mac is saying. When you click on the layers mask, you are presented with what looks like a grayscale layer, the black (obviously) being the mask. Of course, the black is usually not uniformly black, especially if you've created the mask via Select Sample Color to mask out, say, a green-screen background. With dodge and burn, you can simply select your desired tonal range (say, affecting the shadows only) and it is breathtakingly simply to tighten your task: you don't have to worry about brushing black onto your white cutout, because you're burning only shadows which in this case is nothing more than your imperfect mask.

 

If you use a regular brush with black color, you are reduced to the painstaking work of brushing just up to the fine edge of your cutout while not cutting in on detail.

 

So, two votes for dodge/burn on Masks!

 

If there's a different way to do this I would love to hear it!

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There is no valid reason why all pixel adjustment tools should not be applicable to all pixel selections, be they ordinary image or just a separate channel.

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I cannot agree more with the requests made here.

The Affinity mask behaviour seems completely wrong to me (and this is hurtful considering how much Affinity Photo or Designer are good).

Fixx last comment makes absolute sense.

I've also been on my side asking about enhancements:

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/41815-mask-gradients-enhancement-highly-needed/

 

Today (that's the reason of my answer here), I had to outline a people silhouette.

I've first used the selection brush + refine to get the main part of it, then created a mask.

Obviously, you still have greyed area, like here:

post-7538-0-95474800-1499593265_thumb.png

In Photoshit, you just have to get the dodge tool, paint, and boom, you're done with a perfect mask.

 

In Affinity Photo, I've lost great time just to figure out the workarounds.

• You cannot dodge / burn the mask

• You cannot level / curve the mask

• You cannot use brush blend mode on the mask

• You cannot draw gradient (while keeping previous painting) on mask

• You cannot covert the mask to a basic pixel layer so dodge, burn, level, etc. would finally work…

 

These are quite some limitations just for a mask don't you think?

 

You must merge your mask twice (for white + black) before been able to get a black & white layer (or get the pixel selection of the mask and fill a pixel layer)

Then you do your work (with NO preview since it's not a mask anymore.

Then you rasterize to mask hopping you're adjustments are goods… Guess what if not… you start over the complete thing… it's seriously madness.


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Tazintosh


 

You can paint on a mask with the brush tool in either white, or black and if you set the opacity of the brush on the context menu to 5% or 10%, that gives the same effect as dodging or burning (or vice versa?). The same process by another name, surely?


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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Hi toltec.

 

Sadly, absolutely not. rui_mac & F_J_Woods have nicely explained this on the previous page.

The Dodge/Burn feature to work on a mask is an absolute need for any advanced work on compositing etc.


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Painting with a regular brush set to a low value (let's say, 10%) of black and set to Multiply, will simply add 10% of black with each stroke, no matter if you are painting over highlights, midtones or shadows.
The same way, painting with a regular brush set to a low value (let's say, 10%) of white and set to Screen or Add, will simply add 10% of white with each stroke, no matter if you are painting over highlights, midtones or shadows.

This is not substitute for the true dodge and burn tools.

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Since masks don't actually have black, white, or grey levels (just colorless transparency/opacity levels) I can kinda see why Affinity Photo's dodge & burn tools don't work on them, but it would be convenient if those tools worked as if the mask's alpha channel was a greyscale image.


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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It just depends on how masks are interpreted.
To me, a mask is a greyscale image. White means opace, black means transparent.
And ALL professionals think like this.

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