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Is it possible to add a mask via selection to a smart object?

Participant ,
May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

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Simple scenario - I want to take one image as a smart object, add a (clipping) mask to it, and then go to another layer, make a selection, and then go back to the smart object layer to delete/paint on the mask to reveal only the parts I want.

When I try this it says the smart object is not directly editable.

If I do just a black clipping mask I can paint directly - so somehow, going to the other layer and making a selection and trying to bring that selection over to the smart object layer - just won't work.

Hope this makes sense - CS5 BTW.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

You can certainly do this. The key is to make sure that the MASK is selected, and not the smart object. Notice in the screen capture below, the mask has a "double" outline, indicating it is selected. If the double outline is on the smart object, you'll get the error you mentioned.

2018-05-18_13-59-18.png

Here you can see I've painted on the mask, to hide part of the smart object. It's just like any other layer mask, as long as you've selected the mask and not the layer.

Mike

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LEGEND ,
May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

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You were trying to edit the Smart object  content not the mask.  You need to target the layer mask to work on it. To edit the object you need to open the smart object layer's object and update the object.  The Pixels rendered for a smart object layer content by Photoshop are not changeable using Photoshop tools.  Only the layers composite view can be changed with smart filters, the associated Smart Object Layer's transform and Adjustment layers. The layer's pixels rendered by Photoshop for the layer content are not changed.

You could put the Smart Object layer into a new Layer group and add a mask to the group In effect you would have two layer mask being applied to the smart Object layer.

JJMack

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Community Expert ,
May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

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You can certainly do this. The key is to make sure that the MASK is selected, and not the smart object. Notice in the screen capture below, the mask has a "double" outline, indicating it is selected. If the double outline is on the smart object, you'll get the error you mentioned.

2018-05-18_13-59-18.png

Here you can see I've painted on the mask, to hide part of the smart object. It's just like any other layer mask, as long as you've selected the mask and not the layer.

Mike

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Participant ,
May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

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Thanks Mike - this is exactly what was happening - just a simple mistake on my part by not selecting the mask itself when returning to the SO layer after making a selection on another one.

JJ - your info was helpful too - thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 04, 2022 Oct 04, 2022

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How about applying a luminance mask (from a selection) to the mask that is created when I make a SMART FILTER on a layer

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Community Expert ,
May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

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Great answer! was about to do the same drawing !!! thank you for doing it!!

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