Photoshop: Ability to use several masks on a layer

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
I know there's a way to do this by putting your layer in a group with its own additional mask, but come on guys, there's no point to have to add a group if there's only one layer in it.
Besides, it's pretty limited because the only way the two masks (the one from the layer and the one from the group) can interact together is like if you merged them with the one on top being on multiply mode.
If we had a whole space to work with layer masks for each individual layer, we could have several of them, set them on screen so that they add up, add adjustment layers on them, and all of this in a non destructive way. It would be great.
I am a graphic art student and I think I can speak for the whole class when I say that, because many of my fellows already agreed on that.
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Anthony Norman O'nyme

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Posted 5 years ago

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Mark Sterne

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Awesome idea. Would love to see that.

Would save my mess of multiple nested groups with different masks to achieve the same thing.

If they limited this to say 3 raster masks max, it wouldn't be a massive change to the layer interface. I guess you would only see the additional masks as you add them (like adding a vector mask).

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Anthony Norman O'nyme

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Yeah, talking about the interface, I'd rather see this change as layers acting a bit like folders, with masks in them maybe. So they don't have to limit it to 3 masks like you said. Moreover, it would be pretty handy to have adjustment layers on masks.
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Justin Cruiz

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I waned to actually bring this idea up. But you've already written it.
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Jim Ainsley

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This is something I want too.

To me, masks are the heart and soul of Photoshop, as important as layers. Everything I do involves layers and masks, virtually every layer I make has at least one mask (very often two, and occasionally more). So I feel it's high time that Adobe reformed how masks work, to allow multiple masks per layer. Currently you can only have one raster mask per layer.

Of course, we all know you can get around this by using nested layer groups, each group with its own mask. Sure, this method works, but it feels kind of disorganised and unprofessional. When you're looking through your layers and you see a bunch of layer groups, your mind is subconsciously thinking: "Which of these groups are actual GROUPS and which are just mask containers?"

Photoshop should allow each layer (or group) to have a stack of multiple masks which you can drag to re-order. This stack of masks could be 'expanded' and 'collapsed/hidden' like you do with layer styles.