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Non-destructive masking of two separate jpg image layers


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I have done multiple exposures of a scene, and I want to mask in certain areas of each frame over a background frame. I have loaded the background frame into Affinity Photo, and I have one of the other exposures as another layer above the background.

I have simply tried to right click on the top layer, and select "Mask to below", hoping that I can selectively mask certain portions onto the background layer. However, this simply does not work for me. The layer mask is created just fine, but when i select the Brush and begin masking in the regular way (white/black), there is simply no change to the image. I have checked all the opacities and settings of the layers and brushes, and it does not work. I have made sure that each layer is a pixel layer.

If I simply select the top layer and select "Mask layer", the  sure I can mask down to the background, but I am not able to bring the top layer back! It is therefore destructive, and it is impossible to do a decent mask job unless I can both mask down and bring back, in an alternating manner.

So, what am I doing wrong? I am using AP 1.6.7

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Hi @Andersmb,

Welcome to the forums.

When you "mask to below" it will use the shape of that layer to mask the layer underneath, which is not what we want. If you want to stack photos, the easiest way would be to either use the built-in stack feature ( File > Stack or File > HDR merge ), or bring in each photo on a separate layer, create a new mask for each layer ( Using the mask layer icon  image.png.96b180da6e90f0b0e8b15fa5a1f38eba.png , click on the mask itself and you can now paint with a monochrome brush to mask it.  

Have a look at this:

Thanks,

Gabe. 

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@GabrielM Thanks for your reply.

I did try to follow this video, but the manual blending that the video demonstrates does not work for me. I don't want to do an exposure blend. I just did a fun little project in my living room where I took a background image of the living room, and then I moved around and posed in different locations. I want to mask in all poses of myself onto my background image, so I have to manually mask in my person from each image. The monochrome brush masking with a mask layer did not work for me: yes, I could mask in the background image, but I could not "undo" and bring the top image back in. I tried with white brush, and I tried with black brush. The effect was the same: I just removed the top layer bringing in the background. It would be much easier for me to have a completely opaque (black) top layer, and then mask in my person down onto the background.

Hopefully I have explained that well :)

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2 minutes ago, Andersmb said:

I want to mask in all poses of myself onto my background image, so I have to manually mask in my person from each image.

Assuming all the shots of you posed in different parts of the room were taken from the same or nearly the same camera position, one way to get what you want is to erase everything in each of those shots except for yourself. If the camera position is about the same for each shot, you should not even have to be too careful about leaving a bit of the room showing around your immediate area.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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8 minutes ago, GabrielM said:

When you click on the mask button, you can hold down ALT and it will create a black matt. You can then mask "in" the object with white. 

For some reason, when I now opened AP, it worked. I promise, it did not work yesterday! I probably should have restarted the program... But I now pressed "x" (not "alt"), and that switched from a black to a white brush. It turned out that it was "that simple" after all. Thanks for taking your time trying to resolve the issue!

4 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Assuming all the shots of you posed in different parts of the room were taken from the same or nearly the same camera position, one way to get what you want is to erase everything in each of those shots except for yourself. If the camera position is about the same for each shot, you should not even have to be too careful about leaving a bit of the room showing around your immediate area.

I used a tripod, but I should have used a delayed shutter as I noticed some small movements in the shots. But in principle you are right (if I just did my job well, and the lighting did not change significantly).

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8 minutes ago, Andersmb said:

I used a tripod, but I should have used a delayed shutter as I noticed some small movements in the shots.

Just curious, but if you did not use a shutter delay, how did you manage to pose yourself in each shot? (I have this mental image of you pressing the shutter button & then racing at faster than light speeds to your posed position, but unless maybe you are The Flash I don't think that is really how you did it! xD)

BTW, I should have mentioned above that the main reason I suggested erasing instead of masking is the file should be a lot smaller in the erased version.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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1 minute ago, R C-R said:

Just curious, but if you did not use a shutter delay, how did you manage to pose yourself in each shot? (I have this mental image of you pressing the shutter button & then racing at faster than light speeds to your posed position, but unless maybe you are The Flash I don't think that is really how you did it! xD)

BTW, I should have mentioned above that the main reason I suggested erasing instead of masking is the file should be a lot smaller in the erased version.

I may have had some assistance....

 

(no, I'm secretly the Flash, but don't tell anyone)

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Your secret is safe with me! :ph34r:

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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7 hours ago, carlajiji said:

When i click on the mask button, i coudn't create a black matt, why?

Are you trying to create a mask or a matte? If a mask, are you holding down the option key on the keyboard when you click?

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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