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5 hours ago, Arthur King said:

Thanks for advice, this inspires a lot. Still, for me there remains a task that I cannot figure out a smart workflow for. Old Bruce comments: “Super cool. Now if only I needed to use this…” I agree, need and love are not always very synchronized. I ask for patience when describing what I would love/need to achieve. It’s about creating patterns & textures. Here is a picture to take a load of my words:

maskeSkisse.jpg.ae2e6aae6c22031c0fccd9332abf4766.jpg

 

For me this is a nice way to seperate the colouring from the drawing: I can adjust the two aspects one at a time. Often I will want to edit and re-edit the alpha masks until the overall composition fits in with neighboring textures—they are for use in a game. The editing of a mask will include filtering the channel, scaling it, contrast-adjusting it, roughing or smoothing it any way I can think of. In musical terms: I think of these adjustments as getting the “timbre” of the texture right. I have just learned, and this will surely come in handy: In AF(finity Photo) it is easy to set up a sequence of modifying child-layers. But sadly this is not how I have made a habit of working with textures. Making adjustments to a grayscale image and then applying it as a mask is a possible way out, but is it speedy enough when struggling with creative impatience? I have my doubts. Any ideas for a workaround will be appreciated!

(Is there some kind of “spooky masking at a distance” that may be used? I’m sorry, I have seen so many instructional videos for different tools that I get a bit disoriented.)

As Affinity really limits editing masks, I would suggest to ease your life, waste some extra bytes and

  • use RGB layers instead of masks, 
  • use the method telemax explained in his post to use a RGB layer as "virtual" mask.

 

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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58 minutes ago, jdvoracek said:

Hi, not much help, but how are you working now? Photoshop? Sadly, my experience is Affinity Photo does not offer much straight-forward, intuitive alpha channel or mask manipulation beyond painting grayscale onto a mask layer. As in prior posts, you can do some operations albeit in rather obtuse and probably inefficient workflows. GL!

Yes, Photoshop - old version. Affinity Photo has a lot of interesting features, I guess it takes some time to get adjusted to a new environment.

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On 1/23/2022 at 10:58 AM, NotMyFault said:

You can apply any adjustment layer to a mask layer. Unfortunately the UI is quite ..hm.. tricky on how to achieve this.

There was even an official legacy tutorial explaining the process:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/242758748

https://player.vimeo.com/video/143990072

Am I missing something or does the method of https://player.vimeo.com/video/242758748 (setting the target to Alpha) only work for the adjustment types that have an alpha target option, so works for for Curves & Levels but not for most of the others?

The https://player.vimeo.com/video/143990072 method (using channels for alpha masking) seems to work for live Filter layers but does not seem applicable to adjustment layers.

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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3 hours ago, R C-R said:

Am I missing something or does the method of https://player.vimeo.com/video/242758748 (setting the target to Alpha) only work for the adjustment types that have an alpha target option, so works for for Curves & Levels but not for most of the others?

There are 3 adjustments (layer, curves, channel mixer) capable of selecting which channel gets impacted. This allows to target all color or the alpha channel individually, or even mix them.

Other adjustments impact alpha differently: a fill layer creates its own alpha, all others leave alpha untouched, except for the impact of alpha blending to semi-transparent pixels and blend mode erase.

Filters in principle affect all channels, but for many you can check „protect alpha“, but you can’t „select alpha only“.

Procedural texture filter is the big specialist able to mix and match channels however you like.

All said within some design limits, and lots of unfixed bugs specifically in case of nested or grouped layers affecting alpha channel.

 

3 hours ago, R C-R said:

The https://player.vimeo.com/video/143990072 method (using channels for alpha masking) seems to work for live Filter layers but does not seem applicable to adjustment layers.

Works for both. But using channels panel is destructive/ not really live. The tutorial is nice, except everything shown there could be simplified by using blend ranges. Spare channels are only useful in case you explicitly want a copy of a channel. I mostly need a live version, which is limited to the special 3 adjustment layers mentioned above.

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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15 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

Works for both. But using channels panel is destructive/ not really live.

I see now that it works for adjustment layers in (basically) the same way as for live filter layers -- there just has to be a layer so it can be selected in the Layers panel so the channel right-click 'load to alpha' function can use that layer as a target.

However, I am not quite sure what you mean about using the channels panel being destructive. It may not be live but to remove the alpha mask effect from the layer, can't you just create yet another spare channel after choosing "Select all" from the select menu & load that to the adjustment or live filter layer to remove the masking?

BTW, I was playing around with this trying to create a macro to create & name the spare channels. Creating the spare channels works fine but I could not find any way to get the macro to name them, so I ended up with a bunch of spares all with the same "Spare Channel" name. If not for that, it would be a simple one-click process. Bummer!

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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I have finally found a way to use all live filters, especially blur filters or distortion filters for feathering, and limit their impact to alpha channel.

This post might need approval by mods before becoming visible, or could be moved into a different section (resources) by mods 

 

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Layer Mask & Blur Filter vs. Live Blur Filter - I am new to masks, so this is a newbie question. 

I make a layer mask to hide the background behind a subject and show a different background I have placed in layers, I got this part down. Often the masking is too sharp, and it makes the subject look like a sticker stuck to the new background.  I discovered if I use the filter Blur > Gaussian Blur on the layer mask itself, it softens the mask and the subject is in focus, but the edges blend into the new background nicely. Great. 

However, and here is the question, why is it that when I do the very same thing with a live filter it blurs the entire subject (even when I just have the layer mask selected)? I am hoping to be able to soften / harden the layer mask later in the process if I don't like how much blur I used after looking at it for a while.  Help please. 

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1 hour ago, AutumnalSky said:

Layer Mask & Blur Filter vs. Live Blur Filter - I am new to masks, so this is a newbie question. 

I make a layer mask to hide the background behind a subject and show a different background I have placed in layers, I got this part down. Often the masking is too sharp, and it makes the subject look like a sticker stuck to the new background.  I discovered if I use the filter Blur > Gaussian Blur on the layer mask itself, it softens the mask and the subject is in focus, but the edges blend into the new background nicely. Great. 

However, and here is the question, why is it that when I do the very same thing with a live filter it blurs the entire subject (even when I just have the layer mask selected)? I am hoping to be able to soften / harden the layer mask later in the process if I don't like how much blur I used after looking at it for a while.  Help please. 

When you move the blur filter to the nested / child position of the mask, it affects only the mask, and not lower layers.

And if you follow the tutorial i posted just before your post, it shows another way.

Mac mini M1 A2348

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

iPad Air Gen 5 (2022) A2589

Special interest into procedural texture filter, edit alpha channel, RGB/16 and RGB/32 color formats, stacking, finding root causes for misbehaving files, finding creative solutions for unsolvable tasks, finding bugs in Apps.

 

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