Photoshop: Decoupling Layer Masks From Parent Layers

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
It really is about time that layer masks are decoupled from layers. PhotoLine, Krita, Affinity Photo...  All of these allow the user to add as many layer masks to a layer as required.

For example, in PhotoLine each layer mask may be a group of layers, a smart object (called 'placeholders' in PL), a cloned instance, or a combination of any layer type you'd prefer. Adjustment layers can also be added to layer masks, and layer masks may have layer masks themselves as well!

Only one bitmap and vector mask per layer is needlessly limiting the workflow in Photoshop, and Photoshop has fallen behind other image editors in this respect. And awkward Clipping Masks are not the answer!
Photo of Rayek Elfin

Rayek Elfin

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Alex Furer

Alex Furer

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I totally agree! Off course we can create a group and add a mask to that, and create another group and add a mask etc. But it's awkward and messy.
Photo of grauenwölfe


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Also 100% in favor of this. Working with Masks (and Paths) in general has become increasingly frustrating, difficult and cumbersome. It's probably time to see the entire Masks/Paths + Layers relationships and interactions reworked from scratch.
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eartho, Champion

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Without a doubt. There are so many Ps features which are still stuck in the 90's and could desperately use a re-think.