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Photo: passthrough layer group and adjustment layers


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Hi plumburum :) Grouping adjustment layers to pixel layers will effectively clip the adjustment layer to that group, much akin to nesting the adjustment layer inside a pixel layer.

This is by design and is the intended function of grouping adjustment layers.

If you only have adjustments and filters in a group an not other layer type then this will affect the image outside of the group. These types of groups are typically shown by having a folder icon for the thumbnail like the group above the one you have highlighted in your original image.

23 hours ago, plumburum said:

how is passthrough group different from normal one?

The below is taken from our Help file:

Quote

Any layer can have a blend mode assigned. The default blend mode is 'Normal'—no special compositing is applied. For a layer group, the default is 'Passthrough' (i.e. the group itself has no special blend properties of its own).

I hope this helps!

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Ok, thank you. I have checked described logic and yes — group effect depends on whether there is pixel layer inside. Now I know the reason why everything works not as I expected, but I still don't understand motivation.

Here is situation: I'm retouching eyes - one pixel layer to fix vessels, one adjustment layer to make iris brighter, another adjustment layer to make sclera brighter. Ok, it's too much visible layers, I group all those layers into group and ooops - it all stopped working.

If I wanted adjustment layers inside group to affect pixel layers from same group only, I would set "Normal" blending mode to group.

But I want to just visually group layers without affecting their behaviour, and it seems it's impossible. What should I do — create two groups "Eyes pixel" and "Eyes adjustments"? What if there are several types mixed (pixel - adj - pixel)?

So question is — why passthrough groups behaves like normal one when there is pixel layer inside? Why it is called feature and not a bug?

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I also have to note that I just checked how Photoshop behaves and it behaves as expected - adding pixel layer to group with adjustment layers doesn't prevent adjustment layers from affecting underlying layers when group mode is "Passthrough", you have to set "Normal" mode for that.

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  • 6 months later...
On 6/16/2019 at 6:22 PM, Dan C said:

This is by design and is the intended function of grouping adjustment layers.

It might have been the intended function of the people who designed it however it does not do what the user intended. I'd even argue that users don't even think about grouping adjustment layers. They want to group a set of layers, no matter the type. Basically "these belong together, let's group them". I totally understand there might be use cases for restricting the adjustment layers to the group when there's a pixel layer inside. But to make this the default (and only!) option? It just confuses people. Maybe Adobe got it right in this case and should the design be re-evaluated?

On 6/16/2019 at 6:22 PM, Dan C said:

If you only have adjustments and filters in a group an not other layer type then this will affect the image outside of the group. These types of groups are typically shown by having a folder icon for the thumbnail like the group above the one you have highlighted in your original image.

This means I suddenly have to care about what kind of layer I put inside a group. From a UX perspective this puts a mental strain on the user. The thing is, nothing in the user interface suggests that it's restricted when you put a pixel layer inside. No option or text. It's really unintuitive. Users wonder why adding some layers work and some don't.

Example 1:

- Dodge and Burn group

-> Dodge (curves adj layer)

-> Burn (curves adj layer)

- Background layer

This works as expected.

 

Example 2:

- Dodge and Burn group

-> helper layer (hsl adj layer)

-> Dodge (curves adj layer)

-> Burn (curves adj layer)

- Background layer

This works as expected.

 

Example 3:

- Dodge and Burn group

-> helper layer (pixel layer with blend mode)*

-> Dodge (curves adj layer)

-> Burn (curves adj layer)

- Background layer

Suddenly this doesn't work anymore. The adjustment layers are being restricted to the group which makes no sense here. The pixel layer is above the adjustment layers so why would I want to restrict them? The helper layer is only for dodging and burning so I really would like it to be inside the same group. Otherwise toggling everything related to dodging and burning on/off with 1 click is impossible.

* There's still a bug here. When adding the pixel layer to the group it doesn't update the image. The effects of the adjustment layers are still shown until you turn the group off/on for instance.

 

Personally I feel UX issues like this aren't really taken seriously. Unless it's a bug or feature request the response seems to be "it works as intended, so just get used to it". Even when it's really unintuitive and you have to read the forum or manual to figure it out. At least that is how it comes across to me. I'm a software developer myself and no matter how good your intentions are, you are not the user. When I see the same questions being asked over and over that means there's an issue there.

I own the whole Affinity suite and I'm rooting for the company however all those UX issues add up and tend to get very frustrating.

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  • 6 months later...

I have to agree with the request for more flexibility in grouping. I use groups to tidy up layers and to divide them based on the distinct effects they achieve or the distinct areas they modify. I also use groups as a way to toggle between effect mockups applied to one underlying image, instead of having multiple copies of the same image in multiple AP project files, one for each slightly different effect. 

On 6/16/2019 at 6:22 PM, Dan C said:

Grouping adjustment layers to pixel layers will effectively clip the adjustment layer to that group, much akin to nesting the adjustment layer inside a pixel layer...

This is also the case for grouping adjustment layers with vector layers used entirely as adjustments, e.g., rectangles with opacity gradients.

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I have to agree with the OP and @otijhuis. This "by design" was a terrible idea.

Photoshop had it right, whereby an adjustment layer affected everything below it. If you wanted the adjustment layer to only affect certain layers, you could "clip" it to a certain layer or group.

In Affinity Photo, we are basically being forced to clip them things below them in the SAME GROUP, or to have everything ungrouped.

Completely 

On 12/20/2019 at 4:42 AM, otijhuis said:

Personally I feel UX issues like this aren't really taken seriously. Unless it's a bug or feature request the response seems to be "it works as intended, so just get used to it". Even when it's really unintuitive and you have to read the forum or manual to figure it out. At least that is how it comes across to me. I'm a software developer myself and no matter how good your intentions are, you are not the user. When I see the same questions being asked over and over that means there's an issue there.

Exactly. @Dan C this needs to be solved - at least on the backlog.

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  • 7 months later...

+1 for the above. The actual grouping feature is horrible. I thought to use affinity now for some jobs as my old mac pro didn´t get the photoshop versions i need after a fresh install. so openend affinity and tried to figure things out i need for work. The grouping of adjustement layers is indispensable when you think about working with around 100 layers you have to group adjustement layers otherwise you keep scrolling for ever. I think Affinity could be used professionally there are only a few but very important things which needs to be approved. so better let us pay for upgrades and therefore change some things for good.

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"By design" often appears to be Affinityspeak for "an unforeseen consequence of the design" rather than "a deliberate design decision".

There is a trick/workaround that makes Passthrough behave as it does in Photoshop: put a white Fill layer (or vector Rectangle covering the entire canvas) with blend mode Multiply as the bottom object inside the group.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 4 months later...
On 3/1/2021 at 10:57 PM, ,,, said:

"By design" often appears to be Affinityspeak for "an unforeseen consequence of the design" rather than "a deliberate design decision".

There is a trick/workaround that makes Passthrough behave as it does in Photoshop: put a white Fill layer (or vector Rectangle covering the entire canvas) with blend mode Multiply as the bottom object inside the group.

Thanks for this workaround!
To me, this workaround also makes it is blatantly clear this is a bug and not a feature...

PLEASE FIX!

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