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Affinity Photo

Two questions:

1.) Is there a reason shapes can't be drawn directly into the layer mask layer? Like if I wanted both a square and a circle acting as a layer mask for just one layer - it would be nice to have that square and circle simultaneously as shape elements on a mask layer so that they could be moved around / scaled etc.

2.) If I use a shape as a layer mask, I can't seem to invert the mask? See the attached image: I want the circle to act as a mask that allows me to see through the gun, but even if I make the circle black first, it doesn't seem to work. 

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Hi nrx :)

1) Unfortunately Affinitys engine simply doesn't support this, you can use 2 different objects as vector masks against one layer, however this will simply clip the contents twice, once to the first shape and again to the second - meaning the only visible parts will be where the 2 mask objects overlap.
You can always Add/Merge 2 objects together before making this a vector mask, however you won't be able to edit each 'shape' individually without using the Node tool.

2) Vector masks don't function in the same way that Pixel masks do, meaning their fill is irrelevant and they cannot be 'inverted'. I'd recommend using the blend mode erase for this, as you can then use this to 'see through' your design.

I hope this helps!

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1.  If you can duplicate the layer you can mask/clip a round shape to one layer and a square shape to the other.  You will then be able to move & scale each shape individually


Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be worried about.

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