Photoshop: Painting on a mask with white isn't working

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  • Problem
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • (Edited)
Using Layer Mask in PS CS6, the white selection using the paint brush stoped working while the black selection still works. The trouble started after using the ALT key and clicking the Mask icon. In other words, I can't toggle back and forth.
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Real Rioux

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  • frustrated

Posted 6 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Are you saying you can't paint over black areas with a white brush? I suspect you have a blend mode like "Darken" selected in the brush options bar.

Try resetting the tool settings for the brush: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Andrew Kafoa

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I have the same problem, but it's not just with the brush, it's the same with the paint pot: can't paint white (or any other colour) with either but can paint black.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Did you try resetting your tool settings using my instruction link above?
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M. Simmons

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Thank you! The 'Blend Mode' for my **PEN** (not the layer itself) was accidentally switched to 'hard light.'  It's on the pen tool bar, not the usual "Layers" section.
Because I never change the pen's blend mode, it's almost invisible to me and I completely overlooked it. (facepalm)
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bruce.korb

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Hint to Adobe: when folks stumble into this symptom, it seems there are multiple causes. It can be the blending mode of multiple different things and/or the image can wind up marked as "immutable" in some mysterious way.

SO A SUGGESTION:

If a user is trying to change an image, be it a mask or regular image, but their efforts are effecting no changes at all, *PUT UP A HINT* about what the cause might be.

Good error and warning messages are *CRUCIALLY* important.
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Cristen Gillespie

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> If a user is trying to change an image, be it a mask or regular image, but their efforts are effecting no changes at all, *PUT UP A HINT* about what the cause might be.>

Just a question. How does the computer know that you don't want to be in Hard Light mode and that what you want to accomplish isn't working? It would be pretty annoying if it decided that what we were doing wasn't what we intended to do and popped up a message, so how does it know—is it even possible to know? I know it will record the brush strokes no matter the blend mode, but to think to itself that we can't use this or that blend mode because we're already pure white or pure black. . . Shades of Hal, in my mind.  And would it be less intrusive than our writing out a checklist, if need be, and running through it when the unexpected happens?
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bruce.korb

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Photoshop knows if the "brush strokes" are changing pixels or not. If there are no changes being made, PS also knows if it is because of immutability or blending mode or what have you. PS includes the technology for bringing up a little pop up cloud saying, "this image is immutable" or "your blend mode is preventing any change". If that is the user's intent, no problem. If the user wanted to make changes, the little pop up hint will allay huge amounts of frustration.
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bruce.korb

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Two years later and no obvious cause and no obvious fix.  I probably pressed a control key that changed a mode that is not made plain. Thus it is my fault that my fingers stumbled. It is a *SOFTWARE* problem that the fix is so non-obvious.  Please, please, please, Adobe: add a "things aren't working" menu that can help diagnose these issues. Meanwhile, I need to be able to use my paint brush. And, yes, it is in "Normal" mode -- not "darken" or anything else. Also, I right-clicked and reset the tool and even a reset all tools.  My brush does not function.
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bruce.korb

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Absolutely all changes to the image are locked. Clever.
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Frank Ernst

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I have exactly the same problem. Bruce, did you find a solution?
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Bruce

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I restarted afresh. The image became read-only somehow. I re-did the work more quickly, but it was a couple of wasted hours.
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Alexia Dubé

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Hi! This just happened to me and turns out the layer was in Normal mode, the mask itself was in multiply. I don't know how it happened but I put it back in normal and it's working again. Hope this helps!
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Bruce

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If the layer was not in "normal" mode, you had a different problem. Adobe needs to make immutable images *CLEARLY* marked as "immutable", if that is needed for some reason. They also need to make "reset all tools to normal" be a well-known menu item so that I can reset whatever obscure thing it is that is causing tools to misbehave.

Adobe: are you listening?