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Moving a masked image within a vector mask

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There must be an obvious answer to this but half an hour of trying everything has left me stumped.

 

I have a page with several circles containing photos. The circles are vector ellipses masking underlying images. I now need to alter which bits of the images are shown through the mask (something that is easy to do in Sketch - just select the image layer and click/drag) but try what I might I cannot do it in AD. I can see how to move the mask relative to the image, but that breaks my layout - getting the circles all back exactly in place would be a pain if not impossible. What am I doing wrong?

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Although clunky, I have found a work-around that has got the job done:

 

In layers, drag the mask up above the image to "un" mask it.

Reduce the masks opacity to see the image beneath.

On the artboard, select and move the image to the desired spot.

In layers, drag the mask back to the image thumbnail to re-mask it.

Set the opacity back to 100%.

 

That got it done, but it would be nice to be able to drag the image around directly.

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Hi Guys,

 

the ,right' way to do this in Designer is the following:

1) create circles

2) select "insert inside the selection" (menu bar, one of the little cakes on the right)

3) either place image or just drag it from finder onto the circle you'd like to place it into

4) the image is now inside the circle

5) click the circle once to edit the vector

6) double-click the circle to select the image - it can then be edited in size and moved around

 

5) onwards: Alternatively you can just select the image in the layers palette

a) open layers palette

B) find your circle

c) click on the little arrow next to the circle (the arrow signals "underlying" objects) to see the layers contents

d) click on the image

e) edit image

 

Quick Edit:

Just tried it in Affinity Photo, works exactly the same way.

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Thanks for the explanation, this seems to work well!

One question: when doing it this way, editing the vector after inserting the image seems to work on both--resizing the circle stretches the image etc. Am I missing some obvious way to only edit the vector itself, i.e. the "viewport" trough which the image is shown?

 

When masking by dragging the vector onto the icon of the image in the layer list, the vector can be edited--only in this case, apparently the image can't be moved around?

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klumme is right. Doing it that way allows the image to be moved around, but does not allow the vector to be resized independently of the image.

 

When I am tweaking a design for a customer, moving the image within the mask, or resizing the vector that contains the image, are things I do a lot. It seems we can do one or the other but not both (but see my work-around above if using a mask). Unless, as klumme says, we are missing something else.

 

 It's a small point really, I am very impressed so far with AD (only had it 3 days). I have been using Sketch to create my designs for customer approval and exporting slices, but I have just been investigating the export options of AD and so far they seem superior, especially exporting png and jpeg images. Plus the bigger feature set and active forum support means I will try using AD for my next assignment.

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I find this limitation quite severe. I use vector masking in almost every single design to crop images. Having to unmask an image to move them independently is kind of a deal breaker for me. You should be able to click on the image and move that around and then click on the mask and move that around. Then you can still click on the layer (the composite of the two) and move them both around. Illustrator uses the "mask" and "content" buttons to allow you to move each one individually. 

 

I'd suggest you put this on the Feature List immediately. This feature will be requested by almost every designer out there. Especially since you can use vector masks to mask parts of your design (not just images) and then without the ability to edit/move them independently, it's going to become a real pain to edit large designs.

 

Please fix this thanks. 


favicon-16.png BRANDbrilliance • Graphics • Websites • Printing • E-marketing

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Another Tip you can use is to try to see how Apple Pages has done it, which is quite similar to the way that Illustrator and Indesign does it. There you can also edit each component (mask and contents) independantly. Even Sketch allows you to use move the vector mask and content image independently from each other, by placing them in a mask group -- similar to Illustrator's Clip Group and InDesign's default Frame behaviour. You can then also edit each individual point (or add more points) in the vector mask. This is pretty much a deal-breaker to switching at the moment (although I've purchased my copy already). 


favicon-16.png BRANDbrilliance • Graphics • Websites • Printing • E-marketing

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Hi brandbrilliance,

The issue here is not so much the implementation but finding the time to do it. Affinity Photo is taking most of the attention currently and we also need to ensure it will work flawlessly with Designer when released, so new features/improvements are being a little delayed while we fine tune functionality/feature parity between the two.

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Maybe I'm not understanding the issue properly, but I don't find editing masked objects an issue.  If I select the object in the layer panel any moves and resizing do affect both the object and mask.  But if the mask is selected any moves and resizing affect the mask only.  

 

So my workflow when editing a masked object is to move and resize the object first (the mask is also changed).  Then select the mask and do any moves and resizing of the mask last (the object is not changed).  I don't have to unmask the object.


iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) with macOS Sierra

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In Affinity Designer, you cannot move the contents around once you've applied the vector mask. You have to unmask the contents (eg image) first, then move it into the new position and then re-apply the mask. In all the other drawing applications you can move the vector mask (or even edit it), the inside contents (eg image) independently and also move them as an masked group, depending on which mode you're in or object you select.


favicon-16.png BRANDbrilliance • Graphics • Websites • Printing • E-marketing

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Ok, now leave the mask alone and move the baby inside around or resize the baby while it's already masked to find the best place crop the face - can't do that. In Illustrator, InDesign, Sketch and even Photoshop you can move vector mask, inside contents (image/other vectors) and the grouped masked-content (both mask+image) all independently.

 

Often you place the mask first - in my case I have lots of pre-set templates where the mask is already in the correct position -- so I can't move it around, otherwise it goes out of alignment. Now I have to drop in a new image, resize and move it around to find the perfect crop position for that template.

 

Here is how it works in Illustrator (video)

  • Starts with a Vector Masked Image
  • I can select the inside and then enlarge that and move it around, WITHOUT moving the actual mask around by moving/adjusting the contents (the image) to suit the vector mask
  • I show like with Affinity that you can move both together as well
  • Then I can also adjust the vector mask after masking, by adding roundings, moving control points to further enhance the crop

Illustrator Crop Video


favicon-16.png BRANDbrilliance • Graphics • Websites • Printing • E-marketing

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METHOD 1 - PASTE INSIDE

I have found a workaround for now. To adjust the rectangle while the object is PASTED inside, you can still (1) adjust the rectangle's corners OR (2) you can convert the rectangle to curves and adjust the rectangles control points individually. This is a pretty cumbersome way as you have to select both control points to adjust a rectangle.

 

Also, If you adjust the rectangle in Affinity when the image is inside, e.g. height/width of the rectangle, the inside image distorts (as I think Affinity is actually using a FILL inside the object, so it distorts).  In any other program, you can simply select the rectangle and then scale/size the rectangle and the inside remains the correct aspect ratio. Also, in Illustrator (and Sketch), I can go back to the rectangle, adjust it's size, and THEN add corners.

 
 

To avoid the distortion, in Affinity, you can choose option (2) to convert the rectangle to curves (as this preserve the aspect ratio of the contents), but then you have to individually adjust each control point or to add corners, you have to use the corner tool and enter the same corner values as the object is no longer a rectangle shape where you can adjust the rectangle with corner percentages.

 

The only other way is to remove the image from inside the vector (drag the image inside out of the obect) and then re-paste is once you have made the control points / corner adjustments.

 

Affinity Paste Inside Method - Adjust Mask without Distortion

 

METHOD 2 - MASK METHOD

If you use the vector MASK method, which is actually how it should be done, you can still adjust the mask, but now you can't adjust the contents anymore, unless you UNMASK it first and then re-size the image and then RE-APPLY the mask. In this case you can't see the applied mask while you make adjustments to the content - so it's MASK/UNMASK until you get the crop right.


favicon-16.png BRANDbrilliance • Graphics • Websites • Printing • E-marketing

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Using the past inside method, you can convert the shape to curves, then select the node tool and then select all nodes of your shape by hitting Command + A, then you can grab a single node and move your entire shape without affecting the image.  The shape and the image can be adjusted independently.  If you want to resize the shape, you need to select the node tool and all the nodes and then you can use the transform tool in lower right to change the size of the shape.  You can make sure the aspect stays the same by clicking on the aspect icon on the right that looks like an 8.  It would be nice if you could use the mouse scroll to change the shape size like you can with a font size.

Resize Shape.mov

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Affinity has already committed to fixing this behaviour. They just don't have the time while working on Photo. The current workaround to Convert to Curves is not acceptable as a professional tool. You should be able to mask and work with Mask, Contents and BOTH independantly as I can in any other design program. I'll rather wait until they fix this.


favicon-16.png BRANDbrilliance • Graphics • Websites • Printing • E-marketing

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Dear Affinity Designer development team,

 

I'm taking the time out of my day to write because I believe in small smart teams like you trying to make good tools.

 

I know this is an old topic, but I just want to say this feature is essential to me as a working designer.

 

I downloaded the trial, fired up, and this is literally the first thing I tried. Finding it not working as expected, I googled "affinity designer move mask layer" and found this thread.

 

Believe me, I'd love nothing more than to dump Creative Cloud, but I cannot use Affinity Designer until basics like this are ready. Integration with your other tools is of secondary importance.

 

I encourage you to spend more time getting to know your users and prioritizing their needs.

 

Thank you!

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versfader,  

 

You sound a little harsh on here because believe me, Affinity has spend A LOT of time getting to know their users and their needs.  

 

This feature is available in the latest builds of Affinity.  It is called Lock Children.  You can now resize your shape independently, resize the image that is being masked, move your mask while keeping the Children Locked and move the children without moving the mask.

 

I encourage you to spend more time getting to know the forums and the software for the benefit of your needs.  

 

P.S.  This is officially your first step to dumping Creative Cloud.  Welcome to Affinity.

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Singuy. Perhaps you can enlighten us all where this option is, because I evaluated the newly released version and I cannot find this on a layer right-click, or in the Layers Menu? Is this perhaps on a particular beta build that we may not have access to yet? Not everyone is comfortable with using beta software, especially since Affinity's performance has taken a big "glitch/flicker" hit since they introduced artboards in the final software.


favicon-16.png BRANDbrilliance • Graphics • Websites • Printing • E-marketing

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Hi brandbrilliance,

This is already available in the Mac App Store version (1.4).

The Lock Children option is only displayed in the context toolbar for the Move Tool when you have a masked/clipped layer selected (nested layers).

Here an quick example: open an image and draw a rectangle. Drag the image over the rectangle in the Layers panel to clip it (make sure the image overlaps the rectangle in the canvas). If you now select the rectangle (the parent in the Layers panel) you should see the Lock Children option in the context toolbar. Check it and you should be able to change the rectangle position without affecting the image (position).

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 Drag the image over the rectangle in the Layers panel to clip it (make sure the image overlaps the rectangle in the canvas).

Actually, you have to drag the rectangle over the image and not the other way around in order to create the mask.  Easy mistake to make and it always messes me up as well.

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