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Activity Forums Adobe Photoshop mask mode/layer behavior is annoying.

  • mask mode/layer behavior is annoying.

     Jeff Hinkle updated 4 years, 5 months ago 3 Members · 5 Posts
  • Alan Stephens

    October 29, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    I work on a layer mask and build my mask to remove the background andI will have the mask selected in the layer thumbnails. Frequently I need to switch to Quickmask to fill in or fine tune my mask selection before I cut. After I switch back to the selection mode from the quick mask, PS automatically selects the image instead of staying on the layer mask. Which means it cuts out of the image instead of the mask. You can’t see the difference except you have to pay attention to which is selected in the layer thumbnail. When I cut the image it is permanent so you can get it back if I took to much out. Can I make it stay on the layer mask until I make it change.

    PS 20.0.0 CC

    Alan Stephens

    Mac Book Pro 2.8, quad i7, 16 GB Ram, AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2048 MB, OS Mojave 10.14
    Thunderbolt 1 Promise raid drive

  • Jeff Hinkle

    October 29, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    No need to go into Quickmask mode when using a Layer Mask. As long as the Layer Mask is selected in the Layers palette, it’ll stay selected until you choose something else. If you want to view just the mask, Opt/Alt-click the Layer Mask thumbnail in the Layers palette. If you want to view the mask and the layer simultaneously just hit the backslash \ key and it’ll appear as a rubylith overlay.

    You mention accidentally cutting your image instead of your mask. You’re not deleting portions of your Layer Mask, are you?


    It is easier to destroy than to create.
    More fun, too.

  • Kalleheikki Kannisto

    October 30, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve used PS for 25 years and I’ve never used quick mask. I find it a useless feature. It is much better to make both the RGB channels and the mask channel visible through the channels palette, select and work directly on the mask channel with the paintbrush and other tools while viewing both the image and the mask. Looks exactly the same, but that way you work directly on the mask instead of switching between a live selection and a temporary mask.

    Also, why cut anything when you can keep the layer mask and retain editability ad infinitum?

    Kalleheikki Kannisto
    Senior Graphic Designer

  • Alan Stephens

    October 31, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    OK, this may be very helpful using the back slash key. I’ll have to get used to it. I’m cutting the white back ground from a stainless steel machine with lots of pipes and wires and such. The machine and the background are often similar in range. I’m using the wand to select what I can of the white background then I would use quick mask to clean up the selection before applying. Using the back slash key I’ll clean it up after cutting the selection. The only problem is it doesn’t let me see the detail behind the rubylith like I see in quick mask. Example the white tube disappears behind the ruby using the slash so I have to paint it back in then. recut what I don’t want.

    Alan Stephens

    Mac Book Pro 2.8, quad i7, 16 GB Ram, AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2048 MB, OS Mojave 10.14
    Thunderbolt 1 Promise raid drive

  • Jeff Hinkle

    October 31, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Like Kalleheikki said, view both mask and image simultaneously by turning on both visibility eyeballs in the Channel palette (same function as backslash) and just paint straight in the mask layer. If the rubylith is obscuring your image too much, just double-click the mask layer in the Channels palette and set the opacity down. You can change the color of the rubylith there as well.

    I’m thinking your procedure might be flawed. Make your selection in your image first, then click the “Add layer mask” button in the Layers palette. That will give you your base mask in the shape of your selection. If it’s opposite what you want, just Invert. Then paint in the mask with black (to hide) or white (to reveal) anything you missed with your selection. And with that image, I’d make my selection with the pen tool for cleaner edges.


    It is easier to destroy than to create.
    More fun, too.

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