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Tupaia

Mask layer adjustments

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Hello!

I'd like to make Adjustments like Levels, Brightness/Contrast etc. on a Mask Layer, to reduce edge fringes. It is obviously possible to put Adjustments under the Mask, but they seem to have no effect. Is it me, or is this a restriction or bug?

Thanks a lot!

AP 1.6.5.123

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Hi Tupaia

Some adjustments allow you to select the alpha channel which will make small adjustments to the mask, however most adjustments require the other channels to be there and not just alpha information that a mask is just made up of

Cheers


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Hi Chris_K!

Thanks, I see. What I'm asking is possible in Photoshop, as you might know. Looks like Mask layers are a different species in AP.

However, alpha information is basically just a greysale image, so I see no good reason why making Mask adjustments should be more complicated than necessary.

Best regards

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1 hour ago, MadMak said:

Plus, In Photoshop you can use Brush tool in overlay mode to paint only greyish pixels in your mask, leaving everything else untouched. This is not possible in AP.

Yup, that's a useful feature indeed.


Andrew
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Win10 x64 AMD Threadripper 1950x, 64GB, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB, dual GTX 1080ti
Dual Monitor Dell Ultra HD 4k P2715Q 27-Inch

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I have been telling, from the very beginning, when Affinity Photo was still in beta, that masks are simply greyscale images and, so, everything that is possible to do with a greyscale image should also be possible to do with masks (painting, smearing, dodging, burning, applying filters, etc)

I was told that, internally, in Affinity Photo, masks are not really greyscale images.
But, even if they are not, the average user (and even the professionals) assume that masks are simply greyscale images, because that is how they are displayed and that is how all applications that deal with masks present them.

The main thing preventing me to work almost 100% of the time in Affinity Photo, instead of using Photoshop is exactly the way Affinity Photo deals with alpha channels and additional (spare) channels. It is so much more complicated and limited than with Photoshop. Photoshop deals with additional channels (and that includes alpha channels) in a such straightforward way that is a real pain assuming that I can do the same with Affinity Photo... and I can't :S

I even created a few videos showing this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6H_8gjX-eI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIN9HYB5Mwc

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Unfortunately I took two weeks to reach the same conclusion as everyone above.  When I first saw the mask feature I was excited and started to use them in AP the same way as in photoshop, what I did not grasp until days of frustration later is that masks in AP are nothing like masks in Photoshop.  This is absolutely fine, I really have no issue with this, simply because AP is a 'Page design' product and not a photo editing tool.  I just wish that there was some instructions as to exactly why there are masks in AP and a little paragraph in the help files by some person of eloquence to mention this.  Having played with them for quite some time I see no use for them, However I have been told that they are there for those who transfer images and designs from A design and A photo into publisher with masks attached in order to maintain a consistent workflow.

 


Microsoft - Like entering your home and opening the stainless steel kitchen door, with a Popup: 'Do you really want to open this door'? Then looking for the dishwasher and finding it stored in the living room where you have to download a water supply from the app store, then you have to buy microsoft compliant soap, remove the carpet only to be told that it is glued to the floor.. Don't forget to make multiple copies of your front door key and post them to all who demand access to all the doors inside your home including the windows and outside shed.

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26 minutes ago, Chris26 said:

AP is a 'Page design' product and not a photo editing tool

Are you referring to Affinity Publisher? It’s a good idea (especially in an Affinity Photo thread!) to use abbreviations which distinguish clearly between the different apps in the suite. Knowing that APub was coming eventually, and wishing to avoid any confusion in the future, I long ago got into the habit of abbreviating Affinity Photo as ‘APh’ rather than just ‘AP’.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.2.471 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.2.153 • Designer for iPad 1.7.2.6 • iOS 12.4.1 (iPad Air 2)

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Ah, well that's an embarrassment, I should have paid more attention to the forum I was in, whoops, yep, I am referring to Apub.


Microsoft - Like entering your home and opening the stainless steel kitchen door, with a Popup: 'Do you really want to open this door'? Then looking for the dishwasher and finding it stored in the living room where you have to download a water supply from the app store, then you have to buy microsoft compliant soap, remove the carpet only to be told that it is glued to the floor.. Don't forget to make multiple copies of your front door key and post them to all who demand access to all the doors inside your home including the windows and outside shed.

Apple - Like entering your home and opening the oak framed Kitchen door and finding the dishwasher right in front you ready to be switched on, soap supplied, and water that comes through a water softener.  Ah the front door key is yours and it only needs to open the front door.

 

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5 hours ago, shojtsy said:

Here is a technique to reproduce a very similar experience you get in Photoshop for editing masks

 

I tried it and I'm not getting the result expected, I might be doing something wrong.

Mind to share a file?


Andrew
-
Win10 x64 AMD Threadripper 1950x, 64GB, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB, dual GTX 1080ti
Dual Monitor Dell Ultra HD 4k P2715Q 27-Inch

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Agreed, masks are still quite quirky. I have to admit that as much as I love the software, I was quite surprised back when Photo went from Beta to Release without addressing these.

The Dodge/Burn tools seem to do nothing (or rather, happily operates on the blank RGB data, leaving Alpha alone), the brush tool ignores blend modes, adding adjustments with a mask selected doesn't add them to the mask automatically and requires dragging them into the right place manually and selecting Alpha from the drop-down manually (both things take extra clicks and are almost impossible to discover for a new user/Photoshop convert without research), while some filters work because they affect both RGB and Alpha (eg. Motion Blur), others simply seemingly do nothing since there is no RGB data to operate on instead of treating Alpha like RGB like in Photoshop, layers/adjustments nested into Mask layers sometimes seem to not be displayed in the layers panel (might be a display limit for nesting depth), and even though there can be multiple masks affecting one layer, there is no way to combine them in Pathfinder-type operations since the layers panel only offers the regular layer blend modes that are useless in a mask context. The Photo team also has unfortunately copied Photoshop's nonsensical 1990ies limitation that features like Color Range selection are destructive commands outputting a selection and HSL qualifiers are limited to the HSL dialog box instead of working like non-destructive adjustment layers that can be used as mask layers for any type of layer or adjustment (or in case of the latter at least allowing them to be used to generate selections).

But while I hope we'll see some workflow, feature and usability improvements in these areas in the future, for now, the most essential features are there at least. And while they're far from intuitive, they are at least usable and have the potential to be really powerful. Already, we can do things that are impossible in Photoshop, such as applying non-destructive adjustments to masks, using multiple masks on a single layer and so on.

By the way, in addition to any Channel Mixer workarounds, Grayscale layers can be converted to masks by selecting Layer > Rasterize to Mask, and the reverse can be done by selecting a Mask layer, right-clicking the "Mask Alpha" channel in the Channels studio panel and selecting "Create Grayscale Layer".

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