Vector masks are drawn point by point, and allow you to isolate any shape or area within a layer. The points are connected by dashed line segments, which can be either straight or curved, which make vector masks an excellent toll for very quickly selecting an area, or very carefully following an edge within the image with high precision. When you click to create a point, you can drag while holding the mouse button to change the point from the default Straight point to a curved point.

Viewer controls

The far majority of your work with vector masks will be handled on the viewer, using the viewer controls. paths and controls points will be white by default, and turn blue when selected. Vector masks can be scaled indefinitely without losing fidelity

  • Dashed path: The dashed line indicates the path of the mask, which designates its shape. The path is divided into segments, with control handles on each end of each segment.
  • Control points: The larger handles at each end of a path segment are control points. Moving a control point will alter the shape of the path. The shape of the handle indicates the type of control point.
    • Square points: Indicate a straight control point, where the path on each side will exit the point in a direct line toward the next control point.
    • Round points: Indicate a curved control point, where bezier handles will be available to adjust the direction and shape of the connected path segments. Curved control points could be of the mirrored, asymmetric, or disconnected varieties.
  • Bezier handles: All types of curved control points will have Bezier handles which control the shape of the curve. These handles appear as a solid line, with a round handle on the end. The angle of the handle controls the angle of the path exiting the control point. The length of the handle controls the distance from the control point to the apex of the curve.
    • Straight: Straight points have no Bezier handles, as there are no curves in the path.
    • Mirrored curves: The angle and length of the two Bezier handles are linked, so you always get a smooth curve through the point. Adjusting one handle automatically adjusts the other. If you click and drag when creating a new control point, it is converted to a mirrored curve when you drag.
    • Asymmetric curves: The angle of the two Bezier handles is linked, so adjusting one handle automatically adjusts the other to a mirror angle. However, the length of the handles can be adjusted independently. The result is still a smooth curve through the point, but you can create more complex compound curves than with the mirrored option.
    • Disconnected curves: The two Bezier handles are separate, and both the angle and the length of each handle can be adjusted independently.

Sidebar controls

  • Invert: Toggles between having the area inside of the mask retained (the default), or removed.
  • Path: These options relate to the path’s status of being open or closed. A path must be closed before it will take effect.
    • Path open/closed: The path’s current status is displayed on this button. Toggling the button changes to the other state. For a closed path, toggling to the open state will remove the path segment between the first and last points created. For an open path, toggling to the closed state will add a path segment between the first and last points on the path.
    • Slice path: If you wish to open the path at any point other than between the first and last points created, click this button, then click on the path segment that you want to open.
  • Point: These buttons assign the currently selected point(s) to a specific path shape.
    • Straight: Straight points have no Bezier handles, as there are no curves in the path.
    • Mirrored curves: The angle and length of the two Bezier handles are linked, so you always get a smooth curve through the point. Adjusting one handle automatically adjusts the other. If you click and drag when creating a new control point, it is converted to a mirrored curve when you drag.
    • Asymmetric curves: The angle of the two Bezier handles is linked, so adjusting one handle automatically adjusts the other to a mirror angle. However, the length of the handles can be adjusted independently. The result is still a smooth curve through the point, but you can create more complex compound curves than with the mirrored option.
    • Disconnected curves: The two Bezier handles are separate, and both the angle and the length of each handle can be adjusted independently.
  • Softness: Adjusts the width of the soft edge applied to the the mask. 0.00% creates a hard edge, while 100.00% provides maximum feathering
  • Opacity: Controls how opaque the visible area of the mask is. Areas outside the mask remain completely transparent.
Last modified: Jul 03, 2019

Need more help with this?
Don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Was this helpful?

Yes No
You indicated this topic was not helpful to you ...
Could you please leave a comment telling us why? Thank you!
Thanks for your feedback.