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In Gimp 2.10.32, I have a layer mask going on....

enter image description here

How can I click and drag my left side layer image around, but have the right side mask stay locked in place?

3 Answers 3

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You can't, if it's the layer mask. But you can put your layer in a group, and set the mask on the group, and then move the layer:

enter image description here

But in Gimp 2.10, there is an even simpler way, instead of using a mask just set the "cookie-cutter" layer to Erase mode (and keep it in the group with the layers it should apply to):

enter image description here

If you want to do the opposite (and keep the inside of the cookie-cutter), set the cookie-cutter layer below the layer to cut, and in the cut layer attributes, set Composite Mode: Clip to backdrop, while keeping everything in a group because the "backdrop" is then the group's backdrop, and not the whole image backdrop.

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These last two methods have the nice benefit that you can edit the text directly and have the result in real time, without having to redo all the transfer to a mask.

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  • ahh, the reserve part is what I was looking for...trying that out now....
    – klewis
    Apr 4, 2023 at 0:30
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    You can also change the composite mode by right clicking on the layer, it's towards the top of the menu.
    – xenoid
    Apr 4, 2023 at 0:33
  • how can we convert an existing mask in the layer, to its own layer? I love the cut out I did so far....can you add that step to your solution above? Many thanks!
    – klewis
    Apr 4, 2023 at 0:34
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    Bucket fill the layer (not the mask!) with its current mask, thenLayer > Mask > Apply mask apply the mask. But you can also keep you current layer+mask in the methods above.
    – xenoid
    Apr 4, 2023 at 0:37
  • This was so cool - Now I have another good reason for layer groups. Many thanks!
    – klewis
    Apr 4, 2023 at 0:42
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(Answer added for completeness)

In fact you can... almost, by taking things in a different order:

  • Move the layer to where you want (yes, this also moves the mask)
  • Select the mask in the layers list
  • Layer > Transform > Offset will shift the mask contents so that you can bring the cut where you want (note that this wraps the mask around, so it's usable only if you have sizeable margins in the mask).
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I'm new to GIMP, but I found the following works:

Create a new Layer Group, then create a new layer and fill it with any solid colour (so that it's the same size as your canvas). Place this new layer into your Layer Group, then place the layer you want to mask into that same Layer Group.

Next, set the solid colour layer to invisible, then add a Layer Mask to the Layer Group. Any mask you create will be applied to whatever's in that Layer Group, as well as being able to move your image layer without the Layer Mask moving with it.

I know it's late to the party, but I hope this helps!

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