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Layer Mask Suddenly Not Working

Community Beginner ,
Oct 25, 2012

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Hello!

I have been using PS 6 for several months now, with no problems; I totally love it!  I tend to do a lot of heavily composited photos, so I use layer masks a lot.  All of a sudden this afternoon, they aren't working.  I am 100% sure I am selecting the mask itself and not the layer (paint colors change to only black and white with the slider).  My opacity and flow are both at 100.  I am using just a standardsoft-edged paint brush.  I paint on back, and nothing changes. 

What's weird is if I invert the layer mask and paint white on, that will show up.  But if I switch over to black again, it won't make anything disappear.

I'm so perplexed by this; I've never had an issue like this before!

Thank you for your help!

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Layer Mask Suddenly Not Working

Community Beginner ,
Oct 25, 2012

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Hello!

I have been using PS 6 for several months now, with no problems; I totally love it!  I tend to do a lot of heavily composited photos, so I use layer masks a lot.  All of a sudden this afternoon, they aren't working.  I am 100% sure I am selecting the mask itself and not the layer (paint colors change to only black and white with the slider).  My opacity and flow are both at 100.  I am using just a standardsoft-edged paint brush.  I paint on back, and nothing changes. 

What's weird is if I invert the layer mask and paint white on, that will show up.  But if I switch over to black again, it won't make anything disappear.

I'm so perplexed by this; I've never had an issue like this before!

Thank you for your help!

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Problem or error

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70.3K

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Oct 25, 2012 0
Guru ,
Oct 25, 2012

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Hi Sarah,

Do you see the black appear on the layer mask in the Layer Panel?

Have you checked that your brush mode is set to Normal?

normaaaaal.jpg

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Oct 25, 2012 10
Community Beginner ,
Oct 25, 2012

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The brush is set to normal, yes.  And if I paint black onto the white mask, the black does not show up in the layer panel.  But if I invert the mask and paint white on, the white WILL show up.

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Oct 25, 2012 0
Guru ,
Oct 25, 2012

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Sarah,

Well, that is odd.

The brush is loaded with black. The brush Mode is Normal. And Opacity and Flow are set to 100%.

And it is a regular, standard brush?

Can you post a screen grab showing Document, Tool Option bar, and Layer Panel? (like what I posted?)

thanks.

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Oct 25, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 25, 2012

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This is SO weird.   I was setting things up to do a screen capture for you and it just as suddenly started working again.  I didn't change a thing, haven't closed or opened it; nothing.  So I have absolutely no idea.  But I'm going to just go with it as long as it decides to work

Thank you for your help!

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Oct 25, 2012 0
Guru ,
Oct 25, 2012

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The Photoshop gods work in mysterious ways. Glad you got things back to normal again.

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Oct 25, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2017

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i have the same problem 😕 can you please help me? i don't know what to do. i'm using photoshop cs6 64bit

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Apr 08, 2017 0
Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2017

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why you didn't screen shoooot omg

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Apr 08, 2017 1
New Here ,
Dec 09, 2015

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Thank you very much! It worked for me!

R. Watanabe

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Dec 09, 2015 0
New Here ,
Dec 28, 2016

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Thank you SO MUCH! Thought I was going crazy!

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Dec 28, 2016 0
New Here ,
Feb 19, 2020

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CAN someone share the screenshot please? I am having the same issue

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Feb 19, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Apr 08, 2017

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sir can you help me? i can provide screen shots

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Apr 08, 2017 0
New Here ,
Jul 28, 2017

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I Checked every thing but when i turn off photoshop cc and restart my mac  .. the brush starts working ...

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Jul 28, 2017 0
New Here ,
Sep 19, 2015

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I realize this was posted back in 2012 however I as well am using PS 6 and I am having this same exact issue. When I use the black paint tool for the selected layer mask nothing shows up. Even when I try and paint like normal with the paint brush on the actual layer nothing shows up. The white brush does act like the black brush should, however if you go over the area you just marked it erases it.

Little extra info:

I am working on Cinemographs and specifically been working with keyboard shortcuts like Shift + Option + Command + E to make a stamp layer of a video layer. At first this worked as well along with the Layer mask. However after my second video edit this command no longer worked, and would give me a ding every time I pressed it. Then at that point the layer mask also would not work.

I am using a mac.

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Sep 19, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 19, 2015

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Justin, if were were able to do this in the past, and not now, you might want to reset your preferences, as something might have become corrupted. Also make sure you're using the brush tool and not the eraser tool, and that your brush blend mode is set to normal.

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Sep 19, 2015 1
New Here ,
Dec 10, 2017

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ISSUE RESOLVED! Well, for me...

I just had this same issue and figured it out. The mask color somehow got messed up.

Right click on the layer mask and click "Mask Options..."

This will open up the Layer Mask Display Options menu. The color should be WHITE and opacity 50%. (Or maybe 100%? I don't see a difference between the two.) If it is not white, bingo, that's your problem. Double-click on the color to change it to white.

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Dec 10, 2017 1
New Here ,
Apr 29, 2020

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This worked for me too. I thought I was crazy and couldn't find an answer anywhere! Thank you!!!

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Apr 29, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 30, 2020

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I realize I'm replying to a very old thread, but this happened to me this morning using the latest version of Photoshop CC.  I wonder if this was related:  I brought two photos into PS from LR using the Open As Layers in Photoshop feature.  With black selected, nothing worked on the mask.  So, I closed the file, and brought the two images in separately, then pasted one in as a layer onto the other.  The mask then worked fine.

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Jul 30, 2020 0
New Here ,
Aug 22, 2020

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Hi!

I just have my same problem solved on Ps 2020. I don't know why but by default, my photoshop set my brush mode to Exclusion (Located on the top tool bar). Just scroll up and change it to Normal and everything works great from there. Hope that helps!

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Aug 22, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 16, 2020

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I ended up on this thread because I was having the same issue but my brush was set to multiply after I checked it several times confirming that it was set to normal. Absolutely wild bug but I'm glad I stumbled on to this thread and found out others were having this problem with 2020. 🙂

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Sep 16, 2020 0