Technique question: Paste mask?

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2020-12-16 13:53:06

I'm trying to do something here that I think should be possible (?), but the fact that it's not working at all as intended suggests I might be wrong.

With a controlled application of effects, I have created a black-and-white area that defines the shape of a thing I'm ultimately trying to create. If I can apply that shape as a mask to a layer containing a texture, I'd have the completed object, or at least a good base for other actions.

The application help says that I can select the mask of the layer and use paint tools to paint in regions of white and black on the mask to show and hide portions of the masked layer. Well, I already have a layer with the exact black and white pattern I want to apply to the mask, so I should be able to paste it in.


Nope, no matter how I try to copy the black-and-white pixel region, no matter how I select the mask, and no matter how I try to paste the intended mask into the layer mask, it immediately pastes in as a new layer instead.

Now, I was able to make this work. I had to export the black-and-white pixel region, select the mask, and replace it with the file I just exported. But this just reinforces my confusion; wasn't that what I was trying to do with cut and paste? There's a way to do this with simple cut and paste, without having to write out temporary files, right?

User avatar

2020-12-18 16:04:07

You are totally right that this workflow should be easier. Right now, the method you used (export, then replace the mask) is more or less the correct one. For less experienced users, it's difficult to keep track of which part of a layer – i.e. the layer or the mask – is selected, so we're wary of changing the behavior of such a basic function as copy/paste because it might cause confusion if copy/paste "stops working" when a mask layer is inadvertently selected. But we'll definitely keep this in mind for the future – maybe we could at least make drag and drop work.

Another option you could use is to apply the Image Fill effect to the mask and then drag and drop the mask layer into the image well of that effect. You could then flatten the mask's effects to easily use the painting tools on it.