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Selection/Mask Strategy and Retention?

Hoping John will weigh in with some good suggestions on this on this question!

The pieces I've been working on lately have become more complex and my need to generate and retain selections, to use as stencils or masks for painting or applying effects, warps and operations, has become more critical.

The new GenStrategy option in v5.5 is fantastic (thank you!) and I find myself generating all kinds of new selections to use when working. I extensively use the "traditional" or classic options built-in to SA as well in conjunction with the new selection options.

I really would like some way to "retain and store" these selections as they are generated so they can be utilized throughout the development and refinement of a piece. Is there some way or place or strategy that I'm missing where I can "park" a selection or selections as they are generated? I am almost always in Paint Synthesizer Classic for the bulk of the work I do. I'll drop into warp, adjust and image ops too. Often I'll rotate the canvas and it is frustrating to have the selection disappear (the selection resets to full off). For example, I'd like to be able to retain a selection(s) and apply it to the piece after it is rotated to a new orientation.

I vaguely recall a discussion from the distant past about a way to put the selection in a layer to use it later. I think it was a kind of work-around or kludge though I could be mis-remembering this. Overall it would be nice to see a more comprehensive approach to selection operations (a stack like the layer stack for instance where you could blend layers, reorder them and so forth) though I doubt it's high on the list of must-haves right now.

Appreciate your ideas/suggestions.



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  • You could put the selections in different layers to store them.  You can use the Fixed image IpOp effect to route an image to the selection buffer, or from the selection buffer into a layer.


    You could also save them as images, and then load them into a Content Context, and access them that way if you don't want a bunch of different layers hanging around taking up memory.

    I have been thinking recently that we should have a way to directly route the output of a context to the selection.  So that might end up in V6 in some form. 

    Selections are single channel BW images, so dumping them into a layer is wasteful in terms of memory.  So some other mechanism to deal with multiple ones would be useful.

  • If you are only working with generative selections, then you could record the generative selection process in a PASeq or History Sequence, and then save the associated PASeq preset that generates the selection in a Favorites folder.

    So then you would just run the preset whenever you needed to regenerate the selection it makes.

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