Join Steve Caplin for an in-depth discussion in this video Making a layer mask, part of Affinity Photo Essential Training.
- Here we are back to our balcony scene again and there is the selection that we made earlier in this chapter. To get rid of these windows so we can see through them well as we saw, we could just press the delete key. But the trouble with doing this is pressing the delete key is an irrevocable step. Once it's gone we can get it back immediately by just choosing Undo, but in an hour's time or tomorrow or next month, we won't be able to get that back.
Here's a better method, we can go to the Layer menu and choose to make a New Mask Layer. And let's Deselect. Now with a mask, everywhere that's black on the mask is hidden, everywhere that's white on the mask is visible. It works very much like Quick Mask that we looked at earlier. You can see an obvious problem here, the windows are visible, the rest of the building is hidden and we want precisely the opposite.
And the reason it's like this is because it's the windows that were selected when we made the mask. Let's select the mask and we can swap over black to white, white to black by going to the Layer menu and choosing Invert. And there it is again. So it looks as if the windows are deleted but in fact they're just hidden. We can bring them back either by holding the Shift key and clicking on the mask thumbnail and that temporarily disables it, we can press Shift to bring it back again.
Or if we zoom in, you'll see that we can use the Brush tool to paint directly on the mask. Let's switch to our Colour panel and in here we can see if we're painting in white we reveal the layer. We paint in black, and the X key swaps between them, then we hide the layer again.
So if we wanted to we could go into here and take out these flowers simply by painting over them. By painting in black, remember we're not deleting the flowers we're simply hiding them. That's a rather straight edge there so let's make the brush smaller and paint that out. Now let's switch to white, with the X key, and wiggle up and down here to make this edge of the plant look somewhat more realistic.
So working with a Layer Mask rather than by deleting parts of a layer gives you the flexibility and the ability to bring it back later when you need to. That flexibility allows you to edit as much as you like without ever losing those valuable pixels.
- Using Affinity Photo's raw controls
- Applying lens correction
- Removing chromatic aberration and fringing
- Reducing noise and sharpening photos
- Making and modifying selections in Affinity Photo
- Creating layer masks
- Making global adjustments
- Adjusting shadows and highlights
- Enhancing color
- Converting to black and white
- Applying standard and live filters
- Creating photomontages in Affinity Photo
- Working with image stacks
- Distorting images
- Exporting photos from Affinity Photo
Skill Level Beginner
1. Using the Raw Controls
2. Using Selection Tools
3. Advanced Selection Tools
4. Using Adjustments
5. Working with Filters
6. Creating Photomontages
7. Distortion and Special Effects
Distorting with Mesh Warp2m 18s
8. Text and Graphics
9. Exporting Images
Using the Export Persona2m 37s
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