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I'm using Affinity Photo [v1.5.2] on an iMac. I have a photo that I removed the background from by:

 

  1. ​Open photo
  2. Selection Brush (selected the subject of the photo only)
  3. Clicked "Refine" (added strands of hair I wanted to be included)
  4. Output>"New layer with mask"
  5. New Pixel layer with mask is created

I would like to know how can I add/subtract from the mask using "Refine". When I click the mask, and select the Selection Brush again, I see the "Refine" button, and it opens up, but I can no longer add or subtract from the image like I was able the first time around. Is this possible? How?


In God's Harmony

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If you go to refine and select "Foreground" you can remove from the mask by painting on it.

 

If you select "Background" you can add to the mask by painting

 

If you select "Matte" you can paint round the edges to refine the edges.

 

If you select "Feather" you can feather the mask in the area you paint on. A bit cruder than refine but useful.


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

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toltec,

Thanks for the reply. I am aware of the Foreground, Background, features. The problem is, when I click on the mask layer, select the Selection Brush again (so I can get the "Refine" button to show), choosing Foreground or Background does nothing when painting in the area(s) I want to be visible or invisible. As a matter of fact, placing the cursor (round circle representing the brush) on top of an area, does not reveal any expected change underneath. So when I paint over a section choosing "Foreground", I can only paint over the already "red" sections which don't alter anything. If I paint choosing "Background", nothing happens at all.

 

I just noticed that clicking on "Refine…" at the top of the window is what doesn't allow any changes after the fact. If I right click on the mask itself, the context menu allows "Refine Mask…" enabling me to now be able to utilize the Foreground, Background, or Feather options. But, the end result when using Foreground or Background, is an ugly pixelated result on these new selections and all around the edges of my image once applied. You can see what I mean looking at the edges of the hat, blouse, and even the necklace.

post-7178-0-07047300-1497560092_thumb.jpg


In God's Harmony

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Sorry to say, but "Matte Edges" being off or on does not change anything. Also, when "Matte Edges" is unchecked, painting over an area with "Background" as a choice doesn't produce that section from being removed (or included if "Foreground"). Only if "Matte Edges" is checked will it be removed when selecting "Background" (or included if "Foreground").

 

And, as I stated before, I can only refine the mask by right-clicking on the mask icon, and not by clicking the "Refine…" button at the top of the toolbar.

 

Something has to be wrong here, but not sure what it is.

 

I appreciate you trying to help me with this.


In God's Harmony

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Yes, the refine edges from the context menu does not work. If I refine by right clicking it does and Matte Edges makes a huge difference. With it ticked I get the same result as you. Uncheck it and it is sharp.

 

I deliberately used a low res picture below below

 

Sorry, can't help more.

post-59234-0-71506200-1497582009_thumb.jpg

post-59234-0-48110200-1497582020_thumb.jpg


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

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I do appreciate you taking the time to try and help me. Not sure why Matte Edges isn't altering the results on my end.

Thank you so much anyway.


In God's Harmony

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I don't know if this will help, but note that "Refine" applies to selections, not just to edges -- if nothing is selected then there are no edges to refine. Also, the adjustment brushes just select an area to refine -- they are not the same as the Selection Brush tool, the lasso ("Free Hand Section") tool, or the other tools that create pixel selections.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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R C-R,

 

Thanks for your input. As to the jagged (pixelated edges as seen in the attachment), this is the first time this happens. I import a photo, make selections, refine, and all has been fine. So, I still don't know why after doing the same thing it caused the edges and portions of this particular photo to get pixelated.


In God's Harmony

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I added my issue to another thread. I was informed that this is an issue they are aware of now, and are looking into it.

 

Also, it seems that adding a layer with any masked image is now adding a white thin frame/border line (the entire outer edge of the image) onto any layer underneath it.This did not happen before. Maybe this is also related to what they will be looking into.

 

Thank you toltec, and R C-R for your help. I appreciate it.


In God's Harmony

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is it possible, after creating a mask, to adjust it using curves or levels? Ideally I'd like to be able to create an adjustment layer specifically for the mask, to keep it revisable, but I'd settle for a one off application of curves or levels to the mask (as in older versions of Photoshop)

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2 hours ago, Haitch said:

is it possible, after creating a mask, to adjust it using curves or levels? Ideally I'd like to be able to create an adjustment layer specifically for the mask, to keep it revisable, but I'd settle for a one off application of curves or levels to the mask (as in older versions of Photoshop)

Go to the Official Affinity Photo Tutorials forum

scroll down to the Filters and Adjustment  section for links to video tutorials explaining Adjustment layers


Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471 ; Affinity Photo Beta 1.7.2.464; Win10 Home Version:1903, Build: 18362.207: Intel Core i7-4770, 3.90GHz, 32GB Ram, Nvidia GTX 645, 3-Internal HDD (1 Crucial MX5000 1TB, 1-Crucial MX5000 500GB, 1-WD 1 TB), 4 External HDD

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Thanks. The issue is not to understand what adjustment layers or their masks do. The issue is with adjustment of the mask. I've yet to see anything by way of tutorial, or to find by trial and error in the program, a way to apply levels and curves to the mask itself. Most of what's available, as with the videos you refer to here, simply involves painting into the mask. The only operation I've found applies to the mask overall is the Invert command, which one of these videos shows.
So, suppose I use the background image to create a mask .. that immediately and automatically gives me a mask that corresponds accurately with the image, including with the subtle transitions from highlight to shadow that you find in a face or figure (I mostly shoot people). I invert the mask, and now I have a mask that protects my highlights from the effects of the adjustment layer, and which transitions in its action as subtly or abruptly as does the background image as it moves from highlights to shadows. But now I want to control, for example, how my mask works in the midtones. I want to look at the mask, and then use levels or curves to adjust the midtones of the mask. I can't see how to do that in Affinity. Ideally I would like an adjustment layer that applies only to the mask. Failing a live adjustment layer for the mask, I would like at least to be able to apply curves and levels in a one-off operation to the mask, and with the option to use the history brush to paint in those adjustments to particular areas of the mask. And then perhaps later in my work on the image, I might go back and re-edit the tonality of the mask, again with a one-off application of curves or levels.
I appreciate that it would be possible to duplicate the background, use whatever adjustments I want, and then apply that as a mask, but then the mask remains fixed. That just doesn't work. I want to be able to create the mask, and then adjust it or refine it as I continue with my editing process .. perhaps altering the way the mask for one adjustment layer works as I look at how other adjustment layers affect the overall result, balancing the effect of one masked adjustment layer, say HSL, with a different masked adjustment layer, say a Curves layer set to Colour Blend.
This use of the original image as a mask for an adjustment layer has been a central part of my editing process for years. As far as I'm aware, it's part of many photographers' editing process. I just can't seem to find out how to do it in Affinity. I'm using the example of curves and levels above, but of course, I might just as easily want to apply filters to the mask. The point is to use the image to mask itself, and be able then to edit the mask freely.

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2 hours ago, Haitch said:

And then perhaps later in my work on the image, I might go back and re-edit the tonality of the mask, again with a one-off application of curves or levels.

Unfortunately, in Affinity masks have only alpha channels, which affect the transparency of whatever they mask. Thus, they have no tonality.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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Haitch...  I think there are a couple of answers to your questions. First, using an image to create the mask is, in essence, the definition of a Luminosity Mask. You can create one in a number of ways. The easiest is to hold down Command and Option (on a Mac) and click on the Layer thumbnail. This creates a luminosity selection, and you can click the Mask icon on the Layers panel to create a straight luminosity mask. You can Command-Option-Click and then Invert the selection to get the reverse type of mask (the one that protects highlights). Alternately, there are a number of users (myself included) who have posted Macros to create various types of luminosity selections and masks. You might want to try these:

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/27214-luminosity-masks/&tab=comments#comment-132021

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/30523-luminosity-masks-for-adjustment-filter-layers/&tab=comments#comment-149299

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/39420-luminosity-mask-visualization/&tab=comments#comment-196801

The other thing to know is that, as R C-R alluded to, you can't apply most adjustments and filters directly to a mask. While Photoshop seems to treat masks as editable greyscale images, Affinity Photo treats masks as pure Alpha Channels. As such, most of the standard adjustments can't be done to them directly. HOWEVER, you can apply a Levels adjustment or a Curves adjustment to a mask. Create a mask to be adjusted. Then create a Levels (or Curves) adjustment. Drag the new adjustment layer onto the Mask icon in the Layers panel. In the Levels (or Curves) adjustment, change the channel selection from "Master" to "Alpha." You can then apply the Levels or Curves to the Mask directly.

 

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1 hour ago, smadell said:

First, using an image to create the mask is, in essence, the definition of a Luminosity Mask. You can create one in a number of ways. The easiest is to hold down Command and Option (on a Mac) and click on the Layer thumbnail.

Thanks for the reminder about that! I keep forgetting the ⌘⌥ option exists. :S


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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My pleasure, sir. I actually never use that method of creating luminosity selections anymore, since I have my own luminosity macros almost always ready at hand.

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On 8/4/2019 at 9:27 PM, smadell said:

Haitch...  I think there are a couple of answers to your questions. ...

 

Many thanks for this answer. There's a lot to digest and try out.
Yes, some people call it Luminosity Masking .. I've never found that a helpful term when I've been showing people how I edit .. 'using the image to mask itself' goes more directly to the underlying idea.
I think I understand what the macros are doing, but I'm really looking for something which allows me to keep to a structured process, but work with the masks in a more intuitive, 'painterly' kind of way .. which is not just about choosing the diameter, opacity and softness of a brush tool, of course .. more about feeling your way with curves and levels. Finding my balance point between left brain and right brain, maybe. I will hang in there for a while in hopes of finding it.

All the best.

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