Apply the same Selection as a Layer Mask to Multiple Layers

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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I have a 3D texturing workflow that requires me to render out a bunch of lighting textures and compile them. Say I rendered out an arm and then I render out the leg, but I need them to be on the same texture sheet. Each render is 6 Layers. I mask out the arms and Match name merge each of the 6 arm layers to the matching 6 Leg layers.

Clipping masks cannot do this.
Layer Group masks cannot do this.

Here is a 15sec .gif explaining the layer merge matching.  https://gfycat.com/FickleAltruisticBaleenwhale

Being able to select the arm I need to mask and then apply a layer mask to all selected layers at the same time would be a huge quality of life improvement. Right now I create a selection, hit the mask layer button then it removed my selection, so I need to CTRL click select the layer mask to create a selection, the select the next layer, the hit layer mask again. Do this 6 times. Then all over again for the next render batch.

An action would be too much effort for each unique selection.

The best possible quality of life improvement is to apply the same selection as a layer mask to multiple selected layers.

Thank you.
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Anuxinamoon

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Posted 2 years ago

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Max Johnson, Champion

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We had this same issue at work in our 3d pipeline. We solved it by chaining actions together...

Action 1: "Clone Mask To Next Layer"
Before recording, make a layer mask and have your layer selected...
Record this (pc commands, not sure on Mac)
- Ctrl-click layer mask on *currently selected layer*
- Alt-[ (this selects the next layer down, so no specific name required)
- Click the "Add Layer Mask" button in the layers panel
Stop recording.

Next make one or more actions that are literally just recordings of you pressing "Play" on the "Clone Mask To Next Layer" action however many times you need... so "Clone Mask to Next 6 Layers". You can make several like this for sets that have 3 or 10 layers...

Boom. Done.
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Max Johnson, Champion

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Bonus if you have the EXACT same number and distribution of layers for each render... you can prep the files without the masks, then make an action that does all the masking and run a batch on ALL of the files at once while you get a coffee.
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Anuxinamoon

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Yeah this is a great workaround, actions can improve this, but a one button press would be better. Seeing as you can do so much with multiple layers already, it seems like the next logical step.