Affinity Photo Mask Not Working? [How to Fix It]

One of the most frustrating parts of working with any software is when it doesn’t work the way it is supposed to. Affinity Photo is one of the best software for editing graphics and images. Still, it has its hiccups. So, if a layer mask isn’t working what can you do to fix it?

To get a layer mask to work in Affinity Photo there are several things that must be done:

  1. Select the correct layer
  2. Create a mask and make sure to work in the masking layer
  3. Choose the correct brush tool
  4. ‘Paint’ or ‘erase’ the areas of the image in the mask layer you wish to see removed or kept

Using a mask is a great way to make non-destructive edits to an image. Below you’ll find out exactly how to use a clipping mask in Affinity Photo, and why it may not be working.

Using A Mask in Affinity Photo

Layer masking It is a tool that allows a specific portion of the layer to be viewed while hiding th rest of the layer. This essentially allows you to ‘delete’ sections fot eh layer in a nondestructive way.

Creating a layers mask in Affinity Photo is a fairly simple task. This can be done in one of three ways:

  1. Select your chosen layer. Then click ‘New Empty Mask Layer’ from the Layers menu at the top of the screen to create a mask that hides the entire layer.
  2. Make a selection within your chosen layer. Then click ‘Mask Layer’ from the Layers menu to hide all areas outside of the selection.
  3. Right click your selected layer and click ‘Mask to Below’ to turn the selected layer into a mask for the layer below it.

It’s important to make sure you click onto the layer you plan to work in before creating a mask. Once the mask is created it is clipped to the selected layer.

Types of Masks

One of the exciting things about working with masks in Affinity Photo is that there are several types of masks that can be created.

  • Pixel mask: this is a rasterized mask that acts somewhat like an erase tool. These can be modified, created, and discarded at any time without create destructive edits to the design.
  • Vector mask: this is mask created from vector graphics. It creates a mask over another layer that crops to the outline of the vector graphic.
  • Luminosity mask: this is a tone-based mask used for selecting bright, mid-tones, and darks while leaving the other parts of the image untouched.

Each one of these masks are incredibly powerful tools that can take your graphic design to the next level. However, if you happen to use the wrong one, you’re not going to see the results you were looking for. 

Why Is My Mask Not Working?

Using the wrong type of layer mask is one of the most popular reasons for a mask not to work. However, that’s not the only case in which a clipped mask may not be working. Here are several other reasons your mask could be giving you issues:

  • The image needs to be rasterized
  • Another layer is selected
  • The mask layer isn’t selected
  • Your brush is set to the wrong color
  • You are using the wrong tool to paint with

Even though layer masking is generally easy to apply, there are various elements that must work together to make sure that it is functioning properly.

Troubleshooting Clipping Mask in Affinity Photo

If your laying mask isn’t working, following these troubleshooting steps should help fix the problem and get you back on track.

  • Make sure you’ve selected the correct layer. This is the most common mistake when it comes to workings with masks in Affinity Photo.
  • Double check that you are working in the mask. The mask should be the only layer selected. If the photo is selected as well, the mask won’t work. You can do this by clicking on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel.
  • Set your brush to black, white, or gray. Using any other colors won’t have an effect of the mask. Keep in mind that using gray will only partially hide/show the layer.

If these troubleshooting steps don’t help, the next solutions is to contact Affinity’s customer support.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article helped you with using layer masks in Affinity Photo. Masking is a great tool for making non-destructive edits to specified areas of an image. If you’re still not sure on what to do, Affinity has a great support team that can surely answer your questions.