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  • Question about layer masks.

    I read the tutorials and I understand how to create layer masks. But, where I'm unclear when it comes to LM is how they relate to the other layers and masks. For instance, I have an image that needs to be color corrected, noise reduced and sharpened, therefore, it will probably have adjustment layers and masks (for selective NI and USM). I'm not even sure how my workflow should progress. Where I'm confused when it comes to masks is when I duplicate a masked layer it takes the mask w/ it(it's imbedded in the layer), any new edits I make on this duplicate layer will be applied on top of the mask, correct? Or will it? The duplicated mask wont hide the new edits will it?

    For example, I run NI w/ a mask so that the filter won't soften the edges (esp the eyes). Now when I duplicate this layer to sharpen the eyes will the mask hide this edit or is it applied on top of it??? Or I could invert this duplicated mask and apply USM to that, right?

    I hope my question maks sense

  • #2
    frankly, i'm a bit fuzzy on this too. paint shop pro says you can separate the mask to a new layer without taking the original with it, but i've had little luck with how they say to do it. and it also seems to me that masks dont mask everything from other layers on top of the mask layer. things like curves seem to alter the underlying image, but not the mask and not according to the opacity of the mask. it just seems to bypass the mask completely. what i thought would happen is that the mask would filter a curves adjustment layer if the curves was on top, but it doesnt seem to.

    Craig

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    • #3
      Well what I want to do is edit an image, w/ NI for example, and use a LM to hide the edit in various places.

      Next I'll want to duplicate that edited layer to apply USM. But it's got the mask already embedded in it from the previous edit. It just so happens that the area I want to sharpen are the same areas I masked out in the mask. Will this mask effect my sharpening? I'm thinking that I can just invert it then apply sharpening?? But I ant to carry the previous edit (NI) over into this new layer. I guess what I don't get is how I can use several layer masks stacked on top of each other??? believe it or not I've only ever used 1 mask total on an image.

      Originally posted by Kraellin
      and it also seems to me that masks dont mask everything from other layers on top of the mask layer. things like curves seem to alter the underlying image, but not the mask and not according to the opacity of the mask.Craig
      So are you saying that the masks DON'T effect the new layers on top of it?
      But what if it's a duplicated layer that's been masked on???

      Should I apply NI and USM last-after color correction?

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      • #4
        So are you saying that the masks DON'T effect the new layers on top of it?
        But what if it's a duplicated layer that's been masked on???
        no, not completely. what i'm saying is that i dont recall EXACTLY what gets affected by what when it comes to masks. i just used curves as an example because i seem to recall that was the case, but i'm only going by memory here and it could have been something else. but i do know that i've had unexpected results when putting a layer over a masked layer and that it didnt seem consistent from item to item being over a masked layer. thus, my confusion.

        Well what I want to do is edit an image, w/ NI for example, and use a LM to hide the edit in various places.
        yeah, that shld work. but, what are you going to mask with? i mean, what parameters are you going to use to create the mask? luminosity, opacity, from another image, hand drawn, what?
        Next I'll want to duplicate that edited layer to apply USM. But it's got the mask already embedded in it from the previous edit.
        ok, well, you can either leave the mask on in the new layer, or turn it off. yup, you can turn it off, delete it if you want. but, i believe the usm will recognize the mask if you leave it on and treat the image below as such. but, the real test is to just try it. you can always undo.

        you could also save your original layer's mask to the alpha channel and just apply that same mask whenever you wanted it.

        the bottom line here is most things will be affected by your mask, or shld be. but, my confusion is that i seem to recall one or two things that werent. i know that can occur in selections and now that i think of it, maybe that's what i'm thinking of instead of masks. some tools just dont seem to see the selection when it's active.

        ok, i'm about as helpful as mud here. so, here's the only real help i can truly give you on this....try it and see for yourself

        Craig

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        • #5
          Hi inskip,

          Originally posted by inskip
          ....where I'm unclear when it comes to LM is how they relate to the other layers and masks. For instance, I have an image that needs to be color corrected, noise reduced and sharpened, therefore, it will probably have adjustment layers and masks (for selective NI and USM). I'm not even sure how my workflow should progress.
          Any Layer Mask added to a Layer for a specific correction, be it for noise, colour etc., should be applied to that Layer only .... unless the different problems to be corrected cover exactly the same area in your image

          Originally posted by inskip
          Where I'm confused when it comes to masks is when I duplicate a masked layer it takes the mask w/ it(it's imbedded in the layer)....
          ... Meaning... after applying (let's say) a colour correction to a Layer, you want to proceed with the next correction keeping what you have done so far? .... Well, you can:

          1) Merge visible (here you can download an action I wrote for merging visible which will create a new merged Layer containing all the changes made on all 'visible' Layers so far, on top of everything else ... without deleting any of the steps previously taken .... this way, you can always go back and retrace your steps ....)

          2)... or simply right click on the mask and choose 'Apply Mask' from the menu ... Your mask will disappear but the corrections applied with the mask will be maintained.

          Yes, the mask is usually embedded in the Layer, but only as long as you want it ... again by right clicking on the mask you can choose 'Delete Layer Mask' from the Menu ... or, (careful that your Mask only is activated), you can simply drag it to the 'bin' at the bottom of your Layer's Palette.

          Important: if you delete the Mask after the correction, all the corrections/changes made will be applied to the whole Layer!!!

          Originally posted by inskip
          any new edits I make on this duplicate layer will be applied on top of the mask, correct? Or will it? The duplicated mask wont hide the new edits will it?

          For example, I run NI w/ a mask so that the filter won't soften the edges (esp the eyes). Now when I duplicate this layer to sharpen the eyes will the mask hide this edit or is it applied on top of it??? Or I could invert this duplicated mask and apply USM to that, right?

          I hope my question maks sense
          The duplicated Mask will definitely hide/limit all your new edits/corrections which will be only visible where your duplicated mask is painted white .... so... repeating myself here, unless the new edits/correction are to be applied in exactly the same area, don't duplicate a Masked layer .... just merge visible or 'Apply' the mask before proceeding to your next step on a corrected Mask-free Layer ...

          Hope this helps ... and just 'yell' if you have more questions ...

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