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If you use the pen tool to draw a curve and then press the "Mask" button, the enclosed area becomes the part that is kept. But what if you want the enclosed area to be the part that is hidden? Currently the only method I can think of is to draw another curve equal to your canvas shape and then perform a subtract operation. Is there a better way?  Thanks in advance.

Edited by EBC
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Hi EBC :)

9 hours ago, EBC said:

Currently the only method I can think of is to draw another curve equal to your canvas shape and then perform a subtract operation. Is there a better way?

If you wish to keep your mask in a vector form then this is the best way I know of doing this, unfortunately vector masks can't be inverted as they would have no boundaries to 'invert' to (unless the canvas was used).

Another method of doing this (although it will result in a pixel, not vector mask) is to convert your drawn curve to a selection, invert this selection, then create a mask. I've created a quick video below showing this!

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  • 5 months later...
On 5/8/2019 at 6:52 PM, Dan C said:

Hi EBC :)

unfortunately vector masks can't be inverted as they would have no boundaries to 'invert'

There's no reason not to allow an inverted vector mask, this is common in the world of video/FX editing and saves a lot of time f-ing around. It's much easier to draw around the shape you want to mask then track that vector shape with the image or footage. Even in a still-image program like Photo you may want to crop an object so it's partly off-screen, maybe for just one variant in a number of images - in which case move the vector mask with the image and it's cropped too without having to worry about creating a boundary for inversion that could end up not being big enough when you move things around. A simple "invert mask" checkbox would be handy.

And whilst I'm at it...how do you "feather" a mask (i.e. give it a soft boundary?)

Windows 7 & 10 64-bit, Dual Xeon workstation(s) 64gb RAM, and single i7 laptop 32gb RAM

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Thanks for your suggestion AndyQ.

On 10/16/2019 at 6:47 PM, AndyQ said:

how do you "feather" a mask (i.e. give it a soft boundary?)

With a selection active you can go to Select>Feather... or alternatively Select>Refine Edges and use the Feature options in this dialog. I hope this helps :) 

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8 hours ago, Dan C said:

With a selection active you can go to Select>Feather... or alternatively Select>Refine Edges and use the Feature options in this dialog. I hope this helps :) 

Hi Dan C. That makes a selection that's soft edged correct? that you could then turn into a mask?  I'm looking for a parametric feathering - e.g. using either a vector mask or bitmap mask, having a "mask setting"  for feathering/soft edge selection that can be changed. If this doesn't exist I reckon it's a pretty important feature request (and pretty commonly available elsewhere).

Windows 7 & 10 64-bit, Dual Xeon workstation(s) 64gb RAM, and single i7 laptop 32gb RAM

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On 10/18/2019 at 7:39 PM, AndyQ said:

That makes a selection that's soft edged correct? that you could then turn into a mask?

That's correct :)

On 10/18/2019 at 7:39 PM, AndyQ said:

I'm looking for a parametric feathering - e.g. using either a vector mask or bitmap mask, having a "mask setting"  for feathering/soft edge selection that can be changed.

Unfortunately there's no such option in Designer currently, apologies!

On 10/18/2019 at 7:39 PM, AndyQ said:

If this doesn't exist I reckon it's a pretty important feature request

I recommend posting this in the following forum - https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/forum/53-feedback-for-affinity-designer-on-desktop/

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