Mask Extension Handles

Greetings all, welcome to today's nube question.

Is it possible to turn off the extension handles of freehand mask points?   They seem to be in the way far more than I find them helpful, so ideally there is some setting which would prevent them from appearing.

If not, how do I get rid of an extension handle once they do appear?

If that's not possible either, what am I doing to make them appear?  They seem to appear randomly when I click on freehand mask points.  The manual references clicking and dragging, am I doing that without realizing it, and thus inadvertently creating an extension handle?

Other than this inconvenience quibble, I must say I am finding masking to be extremely useful.  I've even been animating masks in some cases, just to impress upon you what a power nube I'm becoming.  :-)

Thanks for any advice, appreciated.


  • edited November 2017

    I get that sometimes too, where what I thought was a sharp point suddenly has handles.  Changing the style is pretty easy, though. Right click on any mask point and you'll get several options.  "Make Linear" takes the handles away, creating a sharp transition at the point, which sounds like what you want. If you select several points and right click on any of them, the choice you make from that menu will apply to all selected points.

    All of the point options are all detailed here, under the "Freehand Shape" header:

  • When you press and release the mouse button on a curve line, a new path point is created, without handles.

    However, when you press, drag and then release the mouse button, a new path point is created with handles.

    The masking controls were overhauled in the latest version but this behavior is unchanged.

    We should probably change it to be triggered only when a modifier key is also held down as it's very easy to do by mistake, especially on a high DPI display.


  • Thanks guys, this all makes sense now.  I was inadvertently dragging in my rush to get on to the next point I think.  Will be more deliberate. 

    I did see the right click option in the manual but couldn't get it to work.  But now it's working fine, so that's a good enough solution for me.

    Appreciate the tips!


  • Hoping it will change. It's on the wishlist, because you either have to go really slowly so as to not accidentally drag and create a curved point, or you spend the same amount of time (or more) right clicking and making the odd one Linear. Frustrating  either way.

  • @Palacono Have you tried this again in HF6? We wondered if we should modify the behaviour but it seemed okay now with the performance improvements to masks. It should now be much harder to create a bezier mask point when you don't intend to (even when adding points very quickly).

    We decided not to change the way the feature is working and wait on customer feedback. Of course these changes are not in Express yet, they will be when Express is updated to version 6.0.

  • Speaking only for myself, I suspect the problem is probably solved now that I have the correct understanding of how the feature works.  If you required a modifier key to sprout the curve extension handles, somebody would be confused about that too, and others would complain about the extra step etc.

    The bottom line for me is that masking is incredibly useful.

  • @CedricBonnier Tried it again with Pro 6. I can't tell if it's better, although it may well be; it still does it pretty regularly.

    I made several masks around a person's body, head, arms etc., just as if I was in Mocha. Various speeds, including very slow, and still got about one point in 7(ish) as a Bezier (divided the total number of points by those that 'turned'). Even points that I know I was really slow on and paused for half a second or more to negotiate a fiddly bit, still became Beziers; including the closing point on one occasion, which I'm not sure how you'd drag things in such a way as for that to even be a Bezier point if you tried. :)

    While the improvement may be fine for most people, that unknowable 'lucky dip' of the Bezier point is still frustrating for me. Flipping between this and mocha makes it all the more noticeable.

    If you've thought it over before, then you've probably planned how you'd fix it. If not, then how about:
    1) Hold down CTRL to never get a Bezier point.
    2) Hold down ALT to always get a Bezier point (Locked curve?) - with the handles more than 0.01 pixels from the point itself ; as having to drag them away just so you can get access to the point itself, simply to be able to RMB >Make Linear is really, really annoying.
    3) Hold down nothing for current method.

    Probably one for the wishlist and think I already have, but while you're in there: lasso or box selection of multiple mask points for dragging about would be immensely helpful too; rather than single point selection with CTRL+LMB. See mocha and improve on it. :)

    I thought the semi-transparent selection box you can drag around things might be applied to mask points in this version, but sadly not.

  • Palacono wrote, ..."with the handles more than 0.01 pixels from the point itself ; as having to drag them away just so you can get access to the point itself, simply to be able to RMB >Make Linear is really, really annoying. "

    Yea, that's pretty much why I started the thread, the handles kept getting in the way. 

    Perhaps an option in preferences could turn the handles on/off?  1) never show handles, 2) always show handles, 3) the way it is now.


  • In playing with mask points some more, I now see the usefulness of extension handles and the ability to turn them on/off via right click.

    Imho, we shouldn't be able to turn on extension handles by dragging.  That's the problem I think.  The whole point of reaching for a mask point is to drag it somewhere, so the extension handles are going to be triggered unintentionally routinely.  Once they're triggered you have to move them around so you can right click on the mask point to get rid of the extension handles.  Palacono is right, it gets pretty annoying after awhile.

    I suggest the dragging method of creating extension  handles be axed, or at least be turn off-able in preferences.  We still could right click the mask point to create an extension handle as needed.

  • @PhilTanny the only reason handles would be there in the first place is if you created a Bezier mask point. If I choose to do that I'd want them visible all the time. If I don't they won't be there. DannyDev's suggestion that they would/could improve it by making type selection dependent on a key is a welcome light at the end of the tunnel (that's not an oncoming express train). :)

  • You'd want the extension handles visible at all times?  If yes, maybe that would work if the handles weren't right on the top of the mask point.  If they were off to the side of the mask point then we could use them or ignore them as needed.

    I thought you identified the problem.  The handles appear inadvertently too often, and when they do, they're right in the way, on top of the mask point.  You have to move them even to turn them off.

  • @PhilTanny clarification: visible when in selection mode, not 'just working as a mask' mode.

Sign In or Register to comment.