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Unable to use mask to reveal layer below...


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I have this happen from time to time, and never realize how I get out of it.

I have 2 layers of the image. I want to add a mask to the top one, then reveal some of the bottom layer. But when I add a mask to the upper layer, no brush appears, and the color selection (black vs white) has a NOT sign by it. See below:

Mask.png.606ceb7bc49202a546b66cd6890aa4a9.png

 

As you likely suspect or know, I cannot use the mask layer. 

Usually when it does work, the mask is to the right of the top image rather than below, if I remember correctly. I thought maybe I needed to rasterize, so since the screenshot above, I deleted the existing mask, and rasterized both layers. The mask now shows on the same line as the top layer, but still cannot use.

What am I doing wrong or missing?

 

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Hi 56_kruiser,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
I'm not sure i understood what you mean by "when I add a mask to the upper layer, no brush appears, and the color selection (black vs white) has a NOT sign by it".

You seem to have the layers structured correctly so please with the Paint Brush Tool selected, check if Protect Alpha is ticked in the context toolbar. Untick it if that's the case. Also make sure that neither the Opacity nor the Flow of the brush are set to 0% in the context toolbar as well. Now painting with black on the mask will hide the parts you are painting on showing the content of the layer below. Painting with white on the mask does the opposite, revealing the parts you have previously hidden (painted with black), thus covering the content of the layer below again.

When painting on masks black hides the area you paint on, white reveals it, and greyscale tones allow for semi-transparency.

Let me know if you still can't paint/use the mask.

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The 'Not' is actually Transparency. Click on that to turn the active colour transparent. Which you don't want to do!

You do not need to rasterise anything. You can mask Image layers without rasterising them first.

Paint on the Mask layer with black paint to reveal the image below, like my birds example below. Just select the paint brush tool and paint.

maskit.jpg.04e06347ebff791a7bc1cb7221b0e41e.jpg

Paint with black on the flamingo's mask layer to reveal big bird below.

birds.jpg.76693117a8c949d7bbb3fa27aca58425.jpg

As @MEBsays, make sure the brush Opacity and Flow is 100% and make sure Protect Alpha (Context Toolbar) is not ticked.

pa.jpg.2c9e92212b06873f84c6933e9e8ad78f.jpg

 

 

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

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There are so many things wrong with your understanding of all this.

1) When you put a pixel layer on top of another pixel layer (and assuming that the Blend Mode is "normal" - the default value) then the top pixel layer will completely obscure the bottom layer. Anything you do to the bottom layer will NOT be visible, because the top layer is obscuring it.

2) When you put an Adjustment Layer on top of a layer, or on top of a stack of layers, it applies itself to whatever is visible from below. If you have a pixel layer with a mask, and another pixel layer beneath it, an Adjustment Layer at the top of the stack will apply itself to whatever portions of the 2 layers are visible.

3) If you want to limit an Adjustment Layer to just 1 layer, you have to drag it "into" that layer, so that it becomes a Child of the layer. This limits its effect to that layer, and ignores the other layers.

So...

When you duplicate the picture and apply a mask to the top layer, you have revealed the duplicate below. In other words, the net total is still the original picture.

If you put a Layers adjustment on top of all that, you are applying the Layers adjustment to whatever trickles up to meet it - in this case, you are applying the Levels Adjustment to the equivalent of the original image.

To do what you are trying to do, duplicate the original photo, add a Levels adjustment, and then drag that Levels adjustment over the top layer so that it becomes a child of that layer. Then, any changes will only be seen on the layer which "contains" the adjustment.

If you add a mask to the layer with the adjustment, you can hide part of that layer to reveal the UN-adjusted layer underneath. (see my screenshot)

1617662397_screenshot.thumb.jpg.f80bde647de7283a75badd752bfc8577.jpg

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See also About layers!

Quote

What are layers?

You can think of layers as being like sheets of paper that are stacked one on top of the other. Transparent areas of a layer reveal the layer below, while opaque parts of a layer obscure the layers below.

All layer management is carried out from the Layers panel.

Here are some important points regarding layers:

  • Once editing and designing has begun, all documents will have at least one layer.
  • The order of your layers is important. A layer at the top of the panel is at the front of your document and vice versa.
  • Any selected layer(s) are highlighted, so that you can always see what layer you are working on.
  • Any layer can be hidden, to exclude its content from displaying in your project.

...

Types of layer

There are several types of layers that can be created:

  • Pixel layer—containing raster images where pixel-based editing takes place.
  • Mask layer—special layer that allows you to define what content is hidden to reveal layers beneath.
  • Adjustment layer—special layer that can be used to correct or enhance the layers beneath.
  • Fill layer—special layer that contains an adjustable solid or gradient color.
  • Snapshot layer—special layer that contains a predefined project snapshot as a single, flattened pixel layer.
  • Vector layer—vector content, such as curves, shapes, text and placed images, occupy their own unique layer.

...

 

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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In the video situation the background copy AND the mask are redundant items. You don't need them at all.
The adjustments and live filters have their own masks built in.
Just paint directly on the adjustment layer (nested if to effect just the one layer as stated above).
(side note: you might want the paint brush instead of the pixel brush.)

2033089652_paintonadjustment.gif.4d7b6ddbff28b479d2d19a7b61774c62.gif

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1 hour ago, smadell said:

There are so many things wrong with your understanding of all this.

1) When you put a pixel layer on top of another pixel layer (and assuming that the Blend Mode is "normal" - the default value) then the top pixel layer will completely obscure the bottom layer. Anything you do to the bottom layer will NOT be visible, because the top layer is obscuring it.

That's well understood. That is why I want to do a mask on the top layer, then use the brush  to reveal what's below to the extent I want.

1 hour ago, smadell said:

2) When you put an Adjustment Layer on top of a layer, or on top of a stack of layers, it applies itself to whatever is visible from below. If you have a pixel layer with a mask, and another pixel layer beneath it, an Adjustment Layer at the top of the stack will apply itself to whatever portions of the 2 layers are visible.

That makes sense. Although I had expected the adjustment to apply only to the layer below it. But I had experienced the adjustment being a child, but did not understand the difference or implication.

1 hour ago, smadell said:

3) If you want to limit an Adjustment Layer to just 1 layer, you have to drag it "into" that layer, so that it becomes a Child of the layer. This limits its effect to that layer, and ignores the other layers.

I appreciate the time you are taking to explain this. 

1 hour ago, smadell said:

So...

When you duplicate the picture and apply a mask to the top layer, you have revealed the duplicate below. In other words, the net total is still the original picture.

If you put a Layers adjustment on top of all that, you are applying the Layers adjustment to whatever trickles up to meet it - in this case, you are applying the Levels Adjustment to the equivalent of the original image.

To do what you are trying to do, duplicate the original photo, add a Levels adjustment, and then drag that Levels adjustment over the top layer so that it becomes a child of that layer. Then, any changes will only be seen on the layer which "contains" the adjustment.

If you add a mask to the layer with the adjustment, you can hide part of that layer to reveal the UN-adjusted layer underneath. (see my screenshot)

1617662397_screenshot.thumb.jpg.f80bde647de7283a75badd752bfc8577.jpg

 

Thanks. This will help me a lot. Things work better when you know how they in fact work :)

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2 hours ago, v_kyr said:

See also About layers!

 

 

Thanks. I'll read through that. 

 

 

2 hours ago, JimmyJack said:

In the video situation the background copy AND the mask are redundant items. You don't them at all.
The adjustments and live filters have their own masks built in.
Just paint directly on the adjustment layer (nested if to effect just the one layer as stated above).
(side note: you might want the paint brush instead of the pixel brush.)

2033089652_paintonadjustment.gif.4d7b6ddbff28b479d2d19a7b61774c62.gif

Oh, Interesting! Thanks for that.

On another note. Above...is that an animation, a video? I was looking for a way to embed the video I had but did not see a tool to do that, so resorted to a link.

 

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16 minutes ago, 56_kruiser said:

Oh, Interesting! Thanks for that.

On another note. Above...is that an animation, a video? I was looking for a way to embed the video I had but did not see a tool to do that, so resorted to a link.

 

No problem :)

It's an animated GIF.

It seems like we can embed Vimeo videos but not Youtube. (not sure if that's new or always been the case. I kinda remember it accepting both once upon a time :S)

 

 

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4 hours ago, JimmyJack said:

(side note: you might want the paint brush instead of the pixel brush.)

From the OP's video, it looks like at 0:44 or so for some reason the Smudge Brush Tool has been selected, & remains the selected tool from then on. O.o

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 15.7

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1 hour ago, JimmyJack said:

It seems like we can embed Vimeo videos but not Youtube. (not sure if that's new or always been the case. I kinda remember it accepting both once upon a time :S)

It used to be that way, but they fixed it. Has it gone wrong again? :/

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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Regarding the smudge tool...maybe I accidentally clicked it. Given my not understanding how the adjustment layers worked, I had times when the brush I was wanting to appear to burn away top layer from next, who knows what all I had clicked on. But it seems if it was clicked, we should see that happen in the video.

I want to tell everyone thanks! This thread's info has helped me a lot.

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