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Here's a common operation I've done in the past with Photoshop:


1. Create a mask for a layer

2. Extract the mask as a regular pixel layer by copying the mask channel contents to a new pixel layer

3. Use filters and adjustments to refine the pixel layer (I find that Levels does a great job of uniformly hardening edges, for example)

4. Select all and copy the refined pixel layer

5. Paste the clipboard contents back into the mask channel, thereby applying the refined mask


I'm trying to adapt this workflow to Affinity Photo, and I've noticed that adjustment layers can supposedly be applied to pixel mask layers by making the adjustment layer a "child" layer to the mask. However, I'm not seeing the adjustment affect the mask. This leads me to two questions:


1. Can adjustments, filters, and adjustment layers be applied to pixel mask layers, as if they were a non-mask pixel layer?

2. If not, would you consider a feature request to have adjustments, filters, and adjustment layers (when dragged onto a pixel mask layer, thereby appearing as a child layer to the pixel mask) operate on pixel masks in this way?

3. Is there some other way I may be able to accomplish this workflow already? My one requirement is that it doesn't involve re-selecting and filling the selection on a pixel layer; while this is possible, it's far too error-prone in my opinion.





P.S. For clarity, I've attached a screenshot of what I mean by making an adjustment layer a "child layer" of a pixel mask layer. Unfortunately I'm not sure what the correct terminology is for this is.



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  • Staff

Hi Joe,


The Adjustment layers actually act as masks on there own so you don't need to apply an adjustment to a mask. If you hold ALT then click the black and white thumbnail in your screenshot you will be able to see your mask. You can select your adjustment layer in the layers tab and use the paintbrush tool to paint Black to remove areas of the mask or White to add areas to the mask. 



Please tag me using @ in your reply so I can be sure to respond ASAP.

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  • 11 months later...

I don't want to start new topic so i will continue here. I want to add adjustment layer to an adjustment layer mask. For example - I make an selective color adjustment layer, make my corrections and make a mask on it (using green channel from pixel mask). Then, i want to make levels or curves correction to that mask. It's easy in photoshop but i can't make it work in Affinity. In photoshop, i Alt+click on the adjustment layer mask, then hit ctrl+l (shortcut for levels) and then I can adjust levels for the mask, seeing how the mask changes (in black and white). How to do it in AP?


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  • 1 year later...

If you make ordinary layer and drag it over another layer to make a mask, you can still select that mask layer and target an adjustment layer filter to it. It works. However, it seems that if you use mask layer button in layers palette to create a mask it is not so readily adjustable.

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