Blend modes don't work for shapes inside masked groups

Is something not working like it should? Let us know.
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2020-09-26 21:16:29

I can create a colored shape, set the blend mode for the shape to Color, and it'll overlay that color transparently on the image behind it.

But when I make a copy of that shape, stick it inside a group, and give the group a mask, the Color mode no longer works, and the shape is opaque.

In this image, the transparent green rectangle across JFK's forehead is a shape set to Color. The opaque green circle on his mouth is a copy of that shape, inside a group, with a circular mask.

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2020-09-28 09:18:25

Hey there, this actually isn't a bug and you'll find it probably works the same way in all other image editors, too. However, the UI is possibly a little misleading.

The Pass Through blending mode is the default for groups and, when selected, it allows all the blending settings of the layers within the group to interact with the layers outside the group. So, when you group some layers, the group doesn't really act like a separate image, it's more like a 'virtual' group.

When you change the blending settings of a group, say, by changing the opacity of the group layer or by applying a mask, the contents of the group must be combined into what is essentially one image. In that case, the Pass Through blending mode is actually no longer applied and the Normal mode is used, i.e. the layers within the group are blended, and then Normal mode is used to blend the group with the rest of the image.

When I said the UI is a little misleading, I meant that, when the Pass Through mode stops being used, we could show the Normal blending mode being used. However, right now, removing a mask or pushing the opacity back up to 100 returns the Pass Through mode, so it's not really a clear-cut case of using one over the other.

In your case, the simplest solution would probably be to change the blending mode of the group to Color.