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Use Brush blending modes, Color Picker, and the Undo Brush with Masks

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Masks are a huge part of my image editing workflows. One of the only things still keeping me partially tethered to Photoshop is how that program manages masks with other tools --- particularly its brush blending modes, color picker, and history brush.

Brush Blending modes and Masks -- Blending modes like Lighten and Darken are invaluable when doing meticulous mask editing, or when painting with a mask. Lighten would allow you to paint in slightly less opaque portions of the mask without altering already existing opaque portions, while the Darken blending mode would provide the opposite functionality.

The Color Picker and Masks -- When you have a mask selected, the color picker could choose a gray/black/white directly from the mask for you to paint/fill/etc with, which makes intuitive sense and is extremely useful for being precise with edits, even with a gradient of grays in the mask.

The Undo Brush and Masks -- Another great way to increase the options for editing Masks would be to allow the Undo Brush to work with them. Currently (as of Beta 1.7) nothing happens when you attempt to use the Undo brush on a mask.

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Brush Blending modes and Masks -- True, blend modes seems not affected to masks, adjustmensts, filters... 

 

The Color Picker and Masks -- This is quite confusing  & complicated. You can set b/w for ANY masks, adjustmensts, filters and each of them will now take this as the both colors for each of them. If you now select eg. a shape the fore/back will maybe change to ist other colors and re-switch to b/w if you select one the mask...-layer. But only with the Move-tool, not with brush, cause you cannot brush a shape, if you than switch between brush and move-tool and the layers... you will lost the both colors... As said ist quite confusing & frustating. Colors does make sense on this layers, just B/W. You alos not need grey, cause via the number-keys you can set a "opacity" which is the same as different greys for "masking". However it would really make sense, to have a DEFAULT/OPTION that ALLWAYS the color switch to B/W when selecting any of this layers. 

BTW: Its also misbehavior that gradients, not "remember" last values when switch to another tool and recall, you get always this quite useles white/grey.

 

For the last point, i do not know, never use this, but if you want a "blank mask", the fastest way to set to "complete visible" is using the area-eraser. Just one click and the mask... is completly fresh. 

 

So i agree to your suggestions and i would add: Forget the flow-settings of the brush by "masking-strokes", thats too confusing to have opacity and ("invisible" flow-settings = not in the toolbar) when mask-brsuhing.

I would also suggest to give a faster/smarter brush change like describe here (for masking i in 90% want a smooth round brush, which is only seldom the current one) and than i want in 80% back to may last one... so see here for more: 

 


OSX 10.13.5  / iMac Retina 27" / AMD Radeon R9 M380

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I'm not sure what you mean about it being confusing and complicated for the color picker to choose only the colors from the mask and not the layer or merged image when you have the mask selected. That's exactly how Photoshop, GIMP, and Krita can do it, and it works fine. Maybe I should rephrase it as: when a mask is selected, the Color Picker (the tool that lets you click on the canvas and pick a color for your primary or secondary color) should swap to a grayscale color space by default and choose just from what's available in the mask below your cursor), then switch back to the document's color space and your previous primary/secondary colors when you select a normal layer again.
Being able to hold Alt and grab a color directly from the mask takes all the guesswork out of choosing the right color by hand for the exact masking level you need. It can be done in seconds instead of the pure guesswork you need the way it's done in Affinity now.

My last suggestion wasn't about completely 'clearing' or "refreshing" a mask --- a Fill with Shift+F5 currently works just fine for that. The tool I referenced, the "Undo Brush", lets you paint any layer back to a previous state in the document History. For example, if a layer had only two brush strokes at one History State and you've since used the brush several more times on that layer, you can paint over that layer with the Undo Brush and revert all, or just a portion, of it back to being just two strokes. I'm suggesting that functionality of the Undo Brush be available to masks as well as normal layers when using the Undo Brush, as it currently does not work with masks at all.

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In case I'm explaining the masks and color picker issue poorly, here's an illustrated example of what I mean.

affinity-masks.png

This would ideally just be a temporary state for the Color Picker tool solely when you have a mask active, and it would revert back to any Primary/Secondary colors you had previously chosen when you click on any normal layer again. This is how Photoshop and several other programs handle masks. Affinity handles masks in much the same way, except when it comes to the Color Picker.

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To further clarify, here is how Photoshop handles masks. The original primary/secondary colors are restored once you click off the mask. This is something that Affinity Photo would greatly benefit from, as the current function of the Color Picker when you have a mask active makes it useless for masks.

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OK, see the point, resp.my false interpretation of "color picker". I absolutely agree colors make no sense during  "masking" and thats exactly what i say: The picker AND this 2 current colors (  BTW. whats the name of this back/fore-chooser???) should temporarily switch to just greyscale as soon a mask, filter, adjustment... is selected. 


OSX 10.13.5  / iMac Retina 27" / AMD Radeon R9 M380

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