The UI for masking is messy and confusing.Answered
In the tool shelf on the left you have the following masking options along with the refine option -
The local tool I assume links to the local adjustment tab on the right, the faces tool links to the portrait tab and the mask is the general masking tool that doesn't link to any particular tab. If this is the thinking why is there not a sky masking tool that links to the sky tab like we have with faces/portrait?
That's an inconsistency but it gets messy when it comes to why the local mask tool exists at all. If you click this tool it only gives you two mask options, adjustment brush and adjustable gradient. However if you click the mask tool it gives you the exact same two options but confusingly calls them different things. In addition to these two duplicated options it also provides AI quick mask and the line mask tool.
So the same masking tools are in two locations but not only that they have different names even when they do the same thing. This just creates confusion when you may think they perform different functions and also introduces duplication.
Also why even have the local mask tool option at all, it seems redundant when you can do the same with the primary mask option plus more. So you could never click the local mask button and not miss a thing.
This could all be solved by simply putting all the masking options in once single place under the main masking tool -
*Masking brush / adjustment brush
*Masking bug / adjustable gradient
*AI Quick Mask
This would put all the masking options in one place, remove the duplication and would simplify the tool shelf as both the faces and local tools could be removed.
First, this is the USER support group. 'We' don't have anything, you're not talking to On1 here, just other users.
Local adjustment is a separate module and has it's own masking tools. They are not the same tools renamed, they are actually separate tools.
Local adjustments have their place and are applied differently than other adjustments. I would suggest you get some practice in before complaining about established methods.0
Having several years of practice I agree that masking options are messy. I recently submitted a PhotoRAW project suggestion about tidying things up but there have been no updates since May so it has not appeared yet.
While I believe that originally Local Adjustments had own masking that needed their own tools this changed a few years ago. Now the same tools work just as well on a Local Adjustment as on a Filter. Switch to Filter masking on a local adjustment and the extras like Quick Mask and Line Mask work perfectly. From a creative point of view there may be just as much reason to want to use Line Mask on a Local Adjustment as on a Filter.
Come 2023 and there will be even more commonality - Super Select AI can create Local Adjustments and Filters in exactly the same way, just a matter of which item one chooses from the right click drop down menu.
The only real difference I can see between the masking environments is that filters are created with a white reveal mask with assumption that they are painted out and local adjustments with a black conceal mask with assumption that they will be painted in. More often than not I want to paint in a filter so I have to invert the mask and choose paint in if necessary.
Then there is the fact that for gradients there are presets and shapes which seem to serve much the same purpose but sometimes one needs to choose a preset and sometimes a shape because the mask one wants is only in one. The naming of presets is based on the premise that one is masking out so linear top masks out the top of the filter. So many times I have seen comments and Youtube videos where people have said that the names doesn't make sense, just the thumbnails would be far less confusing. And not all options are covered, there is only one reflected gradient that masks out the centre of the image, so can't combine with a luminosity/range mask etc to just apply to centre since inverting applies to whole mask meaning luminosity/range mask gets inverted as well.
If the same masking tool bar was initiated for both filters and local adjustments, and the preset/shapes situation tidied up that would be a good first step. Keyboard short cuts and left hand tool bar options could be retained for those who have an established way of working based on these but new users would be faced with a more logical approach to masking that is based on how things are now implemented.
(To be really controversal I wonder if we would still need a separate Local Adjustment tab if a new Local Filter was introduced that has all the same sliders. This would give more options than current Tone Enhancer and could be added to the filter stack when it is needed. At the moment Local Adjustments are under all the filters and going back to change or add a Local Adjustment after several filters have been applied can lead to laggy brushing. Since Local Adjustments are stacked they must work on RGB image not the RAW data so that they can take account of any earlier Local Adjustments.)0
[C]an't combine with a luminosity/range mask etc to just apply to centre since inverting applies to whole mask meaning luminosity/range mask gets inverted as well.
Apply the Luminosity mask and Invert it then apply the Reflected Gradient and Invert once more. The Luminosity mask gets inverted back to what you want and the gradient gets just the one inversion also giving you what you want. Not the most elegant solution but it should work.0
Brian, your solution doesn't work in practice. Adding the standard reflected gradient to an inverted luminosity mask wipes out centre of the luminosity mask, so when inverted back again this just becomes a white mask without the luminosity values returning. Even stranger that although the centre turns white the outer edges retain their luminosity values and go back to being positive again.
Adding two separate gradients does produce the effect, so yes it can be done but strange that with presets and shapes one can quickly get top, bottom, left and right linear gradients, and inner and outer radial gradients, which do work as expected when added on top of luminosity mask, but the only reflected gradient one can access with one click masks the outside edges. For me this is the less useful version of a reflected gradient since I normally want to mask effect into centre of image.0
You're right, I forgot the gradient wipes out the luminosity mask. It is odd that there isn't an inverted version of this as well.0
Rick, what do you mean when you say "They are not the same tools renamed, they are actually separate tools".?
As far as I can see they do exactly the same thing but are confusingly called different things depending on where you access them? Please could you explain what one does that the other doesn’t as I just don’t see it? The only difference I can spot with the duplicate brush tools for example, is that one starts of in paint in mode while the other in paint out which sometimes you may need to switch anyway and is easily done.
When accessed via the “Local” button?
When accessed via the “Mask” button?
>>Local adjustments have their place and are applied differently than other adjustments
We’re talking purely about the masking tools here right as that’s what the post is about? Why would using masks in local adjustments be applied differently than other adjustments? I may want to use the AI mask or the line mask when I do my local adjustments along with/instead of with the brush and bug which I can all do via the mask button.
Let me put it another way, if the local button was removed tomorrow what would this prevent me from doing that I can do today? If the answer is nothing then that answers the question.
>>I would suggest you get some practice in before complaining about established methods.
Putting aside how patronising that line is, this isn’t about practice, this about someone who’s new to the software, 2022 is my first copy of On1, and found the masking UI quite confusing at first and even now I’m trying to understand the design choices that have been made here.
David Tillett’s post puts it much better than myself and I really hope On1 take a look at his proposal if it means it tidies things up on the mask front.0
I'd like to offer a suggestion if I may. Scott Davenport just finished a series of training videos covering all the different masking tools in Photo RAW on his YouTube Channel. You should watch them and see if that doesn't clear up some of your confusion. He even previews the new tool coming in 2023.1
Brian, thanks for posting that link. Just watched the first couple of videos and looks very interesting, i'm going to watch the whole playlist.
It was interesting to hear Scott have to explain that the adjustable gradient and the masking bug work the same way and there's probably some confusion as to why there's two different tool groups, basically echoing what we've been saying here. Also that he's not really sure why there's two different groups. So it seems both experienced and newbie users like myself are thinking the same thing about the masking UI.
Hopefully a more refined masking interface will surface for the next update.0
There is a new masking tool in 2023, as you will see in Scott’s last video on the masking tools. I think the reason there are two tools is because of history. As new features were added, new tools were added to support them. They just happen to be duplicates.0
Brian, I think this brings us back to Reck's original point, and that of my still to be published PhotoRAW Project submission, that there is a lot of history in the masking UI and it has not really kept up with all the changes and could do with a spring-clean.
It is not that the masking features are wrong in themselves and once one gets to them they are not difficult to understand, it is the UI access that is a problem, particularly for new users who haven't gone through the history.
If On1 would just make the Effects and Local Adjustments toolbars the same and add a centre gradient shape it could make things slightly less confusing and right a strange omission. That there are duplicate sidebar tools would then be a quirk since either would work for Effects and Local Adjustments and actual usage would be the same.0
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