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David Edge

Refine mask vs edit mask

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I'm working for a museum and cutting objects out to merge them on a single image with a scale. I've followed the instructions to select using the select brush; refine the selection; create a mask and then further refine the mask. I find refine mask unpredictable in what it selects and doesn't (even being careful with modifiers and border / smoothing / feather). I have stumbled on edit mask which actually does what I was expecting refine mask to do - ie reliably change the mask in accordance with where I put the brush.

 

Am I missing something, or is refine mask just buggy?

 

d.

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Hi David Edge,

The Edit Mask command lets you paint/edit over the mask directly as you'd expect, while Refine Mask processes what you have "painted" according to the selected options/modifiers and changes the mask accordingly. In other words you are just instructing the program where to change and what type of change you want - it's the algorithm that then analyses/adjusts the mask for you based on your input.

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1 hour ago, David Edge said:

 I find refine mask unpredictable in what it selects and doesn't (even being careful with modifiers and border / smoothing / feather). I have stumbled on edit mask which actually does what I was expecting refine mask to do - ie reliably change the mask in accordance with where I put the brush.

 

Refine mask. like any automatic process, does depend on the image.

 

If you are using Photo, You can use Quick Mask (Press Q) then you can paint on the mask (black or white paint) with the paintbrush.

qm.png.19cbf80903b0b17309c63c1ed5810148.png

 

You can also change the mask colour, from red to black, white or transparent.


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

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Oh  my goodness me, Toltec! You're right - that is so much easier - I can achieve in ten seconds what was ten minutes work.

 

So the selection brush is optimised for photographing contre-jour meerkats while quick mask is more suitable for nineteenth-century African models of a half-naked Queen Victoria.

 

Sorted!

 

d.

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3 hours ago, David Edge said:

So the selection brush is optimised for...

David

The algorithm is optimised for meerkats? I wondered why our family portraits were so disappointing.:o


Affinity Designer & Photo  :  Win 10

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1 hour ago, Roger C said:

David

The algorithm is optimised for meerkats? I wondered why our family portraits were so disappointing.:o

 

Works perfectly for our family.

kats.jpg.d989236b4f40cb46634838edeb15e1ec.jpg

 

Must be a bug in your version :D


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

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I think I'm still missing something here. I have a mask sitting nested into the image. This is because I'm producing one version of the object with a black fill and one with a white fill and the mask that works for one doesn't necessarily work for t'other so I need to edit it.

 

However while I can edit the mask with a brush, I can't get any view of the mask other than hard black an white. In Overlay mode I could see what I was doing, now I can't.

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Thanks MEB - so there's no way of refining a mask with a red overlay while retaining control? No way of setting the sliders in 'refine mask' that will stop it trying to outsmart me? Or no way of releasing a mask perhaps and displaying it as an overlay?

 

I admit it's partly my inexperience, but I can't be the first person ever to have wanted to mask a museum object in different ways for white background (records) and black background (publicity).

 

d.

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Hi David,
No, currently no (at least not directly). You can always convert the mask to a greyscale pixel layer, change its blend mode in the Layers panel and do the edits you need, then convert the pixel layer again back to a mask but it's not that practical: to convert an existing mask to a pixel layer, select the mask in the Layers panel, go to the Channels panel, right click the respective mask channel and select Create Greyscale Layer. With the pixel greyscale layer selected in the Layers panel change the blend mode to the one you find more appropriate (also try changing layer's transparency for better effect but don't forget to set it back again to 100% before rasterising the layer to mask again) and edit it (paint with black/white as you see fit). To convert the pixel greyscale layer to a mask again, select it in the Layers panel and go to menu Layer ▸ Rasterise To Mask.

Hopefully there will be improvements to masks later. You are not the first one requesting this type of funcionality.

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1 hour ago, David Edge said:

I admit it's partly my inexperience, but I can't be the first person ever to have wanted to mask a museum object in different ways for white background (records) and black background (publicity).

 

 

What exactly to you mean by "mask in different ways"  Generally speaking, you mask something once then apply any background you want. 

 

Anyway, for half naked queens, you might be much better off using the pen tool and making a clipping path. Far more control.

 

No good for Meerkats though .


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

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Thanks MEB; well two suggestions to add to the "things to get to grips with" list there. One final question then; it seems the best solution for me is to use the selector tool in Quick Mask mode and then refine with the paintbrush; is there an easy way to flip the paintbrush between black and white?

 

Toltec: If an object has been shot on black velvet and has dark bits these may merge into the version shown on solid black and you can get away with some imprecision in masking. If a version is made from the same mask with a white background then these bits scream out and need re-edited. And vice versa if shot on white; a mask that works when there's a white background looks bad on black. I'm realising though that by cycling round the quick mask (show as white / overlap / black) I can preview these so can make a single cutout.

 

So getting close

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4 minutes ago, David Edge said:

Thanks MEB; well two suggestions to add to the "things to get to grips with" list there. One final question then; it seems the best solution for me is to use the selector tool in Quick Mask mode and then refine with the paintbrush; is there an easy way to flip the paintbrush between black and white?

 

Toltec: If an object has been shot on black velvet and has dark bits these may merge into the version shown on solid black and you can get away with some imprecision in masking. If a version is made from the same mask with a white background then these bits scream out and need re-edited. And vice versa if shot on white; a mask that works when there's a white background looks bad on black. I'm realising though that by cycling round the quick mask (show as white / overlap / black) I can preview these so can make a single cutout.

 

So getting close

 

X swaps the colours

 

Ah !  I see.  Makes sense now. 

 

I think you should consider clipping paths then.


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

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