Let's say I paint a mask in GIMP and I want to convert that to a selection for applying filters, etc. What are the steps for doing this?

Using this sample image from Pixabay we'll create a mask for the purpose of adding more blur to the background.

Here's the original image:

Original image - pink flowers in the foreground and cityscape in the background

Next I paint some white around the flowers on a new layer:

White painted around the flowers on a new layer

Then I add a layer below this one of solid black and merge the layers into a mask:

Black and white mask

What is the next step for getting a selection from this mask layer so that I can apply a filter to only this area? Thanks.

[Note: This is a workflow I use regularly in Photoshop, but still have no idea how to do it in GIMP and would like to know how.]

1 Answer 1


If the mask layer is visible, open the Channels list, right click on any of the RGB layers and click Channel To Selection.

But instead of painting a layer to get the selection from it, you can directly paint the selection using the quick mask.


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