Photoshop: Working with Vector Masks (CS6 Beta)

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  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • (Edited)
How do you disable a vector mask? This feature seems to have been eliminated in the Photoshop CS6 beta. I also don't see the ability to transform layer content independently of the mask.
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Sarah Whinnem

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  • frustrated

Posted 6 years ago

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Tim Wright, Sr Computer Scientist

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Sarah,

To disable the mask on a shape layer, shift-click on the shape path thumbnail in the properties panel (with the shape layer selected).

As far as transforming the fill content, you can change the scale of gradient and pattern content by double clicking the shape thumbnail in the layers palette, or by using the scale sliders in the fill/stroke popup menus in the shape tool options bar. If you need to transform content beyond a simple scale/translate, either Layer->Rasterize the fill content (and use free transform), or convert the layer into a smart object.
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Sarah Whinnem

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This used to work in CS5, but no longer works in the CS6 beta. Seems like a glaring omission.
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Octop

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Agreed. Let's get separate masks back in, so we can move them as we need!
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Octop

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Guys, I love CS6.
Looks great, works great.

But why have the vector masks been "improved"?

This seriously impacts my workflow, as I can't just alt-drag the mask to another layer to copy it to it, which is something I do about 50 times a day.

Can't we at least have a toggle to allow Vector masks to be separate like in CS5 and not have those useless little icons in the corner of the layer thumbnail?
People don't just edit them, they copy them, they merge them and replace them on the fly. I'd love to start using CS6 for work, but it's just not possible this way.

Unless there's some magical new way to copy vector masks from one layer to another? Or will I, along with thousands of other Photoshop users have to keep using CS5 forever?
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Mike Abbott

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Ctrl/Cmd + Alt/Optn to drag copy the mask to a new layer
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift to drag move the mask to a new layer

Hope that helps ;)
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Octop

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So not to be a stickler, but why did Adobe decide to take an interaction that several generations of users have gotten used to over a decade and just suddenly replace it with a different key combination and less useful icons instead of vector mask previews?
What exactly is the incentive to having those tiny little vector icons over the corner of the layer in the layer palette?
I still find this counter intuitive, as I can't look at the masks and identify the vector on-the-fly. Now each time I want to identify the mask layer, I have to click on it first.
Not to mention (and this is particularly important) I can't temporarily disable a vector mask and/or unlink it so that I can edit the rasterized content and then resume editing.
I've worked with photoshop for over a dozen years now. I am all for UI workflow improvements, but this makes a lot less excited for CS6. Can't we at least have a toggle for the 'new system' for the people who don't care about such things, or will we all 'have to get used to' this new complication? I definitely consider myself a power user as I clock in over 40 hours a week.
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Sarah Whinnem

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I ended up getting a response to this via a Photoshop team member on Twitter (they are WAY more helpful over there). Evidently this is still possible, you just have to go to the new Properties palette and shift-click on the mask there, not in the Layers palette.

Overall, I agree with Octop here. This all seems to have been changed 'just because'. It also seems counter-intuitive to display and be able to enable/disable raster masks one way and vector masks another way. Not a fan of how this is currently working.
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Mike Abbott

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While I think there are many good things about CS6, I do have to add my name to those who think the changes to vectior shapes / masks are a significant change for the worst.

I've spent a good few hours exploring the changes to vector handling over the last few days, and the list of issues, complexities - and general 'bad behaviour' I've come across is a long one. It caused me to write a post on the CS6 beta forum titled:

"Shape layers and Vector masks: Adobe what were you thinking?"

You can read it here:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/43196...

A (considered) response from Adobe would be welcome -
but frankly I don't expect one.
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Jeanne Rubbo, Employee

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A (considered) response from Adobe would be welcome -
but frankly I don't expect one.


Hopefully you will find my response to your beta forum post welcome and considered. :)
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Mike Abbott

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Jeanne,
Thanks for the response - it is appreciated :)

I've responded to the points raised in my other post:
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/986633...
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Dave Jennings

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I dont like to open old wounds but I'm wearing the "I'm with Mike" T-shirt for this one. Besides, I cant seem to get the Shift click option working on CS6. Was that just for beta and been removed for the full version?