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Greyscale to Transparency : how to ? [Solved]

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Doesn't even need to do all that in his case if he right clicks on the channel he wants and selects "Create Mask Layer"

I suggested the keyboard shortcut because the Channels panel (where the "Create Mask Layer" is a right click option) may not be visible, or for one reason or another it may not be convenient to find & right click on the appropriate channel in the panel. For example, the panel might be free-floating but collapsed to just its title bar, or the Studio panel group it is in has been collapsed to make more room for other panel groups, or it might be on a second screen, or the entire UI hidden at the time.


As long as the intent is to use an image layer (greyscale or not) as a mask (remembering that is all an alpha channel really is), "Rasterize To Mask" does exactly that. It does it in one step, assuming what I called step zero (selecting the pixel layer) has already been done.


Regarding why it is named "Rasterize To Mask" instead of "Convert To Mask," I guess that might have been done to emphasize that it creates a rasterized mask layer, or possibly to indicate that it can be applied to any kind of raster image (even embedded documents & image layers, not that that is likely to do anything useful), but it seems unnecessarily confusing.

All 3 1.10.6, & all 3 V2.03 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.6; Affinity Designer 1.10.6; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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True. I was just trying to make a point about the number of clicks.


I can also imagine in most cases wanting to actually do something with the greyscale layer before converting/rasterizing so your method would be better in almost every case. 

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

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  • 10 months later...

well... I must be the dummest artist on earth, because after reading here and trying for 15 minutes to follow the many varied directive here I'm still unable to paste a damn greyscale sketch


Just cleaned a greyscale sketch on white background, and cant generate a damn transparent png where the white becomes transparent.


Yes Ive used PS for 15 years, and yes I've only been using AF for a few months now, but I fail to understand the process...


Finally got it. Pfeew.


- Apply "Layer /Rasterize to mask"  on my greyscale "on white " sketch layer

- create a layer under it which is filled with the color that will be displayed

- export as png


Still happy about switching from PS to AF but theses Irritating and frustrating blockings are tiresome.

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  • 2 years later...
On 5/31/2017 at 7:33 PM, Gep said:

Voila, a mask on the Alpha. Not 2 seconds but under 30 seconds. 


Yeah, thanks.

You're both kind to have taken time to reply, but i find the solutions quite cumbersome, sorry... 

Again, why is it impossible to paste anything directly on alpha channel ? That's really strange...

Old thread, I know, but I'm wondering if the reason we can't easily use a g/s image as a layer mask, as we can so easily do in PS, is because, under the hood, AP isn't working in absolute pixels but a kind of res-independent format. That's my guess. So there has to be an extra rasterisation process to fix the resolution for use as a mask. Maybe?

I'm sure someone here who is a lot more knowledgable about the inner-workings of AP will know.

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