Behind a mask - a fervent wish
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 5:44:14 AM
I placed a simple heart in the middle of a postcard, set it as a template, and tried to replace it with another image. The image showed up as a square, which I expected, but I wanted to make absolutely sure. For it to work, the heart would have to be an actual shape, not just height and width.

To those in tech: Are masks at all a possibility, or should I stop wishing for them?
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 5:57:37 AM
Placeholder-shaped cutting masks would be pure awesomeness. Finally, you could offer custom photo templates behind non-rectangular frames/overlays. Also great on dark apparel printing: imagine a heart frame on a dark shirt, where the customer can put their image behind, without the picture exceeding the heart borders.
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 5:59:29 AM
Hi Colorwash, Unfortunately I am unable to say if this is possible or not but I am happy to pass this along to our team for review. Thank you for the suggestion Smile
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:01:39 AM
Thanks, Padie. Maybe they'll think about it for a springtime project.
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:02:32 AM
PetsDreamlands wrote:
Placeholder-shaped cutting masks would be pure awesomeness. Finally, you could offer custom photo templates behind non-rectangular frames/overlays. Also great on dark apparel printing: imagine a heart frame on a dark shirt, where the customer can put their image behind, without the picture exceeding the heart borders.
'

I make my own and add them as an image. Pretty easy to do.
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:09:44 AM
igiftcenter wrote:
PetsDreamlands wrote:
Placeholder-shaped cutting masks would be pure awesomeness. Finally, you could offer custom photo templates behind non-rectangular frames/overlays. Also great on dark apparel printing: imagine a heart frame on a dark shirt, where the customer can put their image behind, without the picture exceeding the heart borders.
'

I make my own and add them as an image. Pretty easy to do.

You can, of course, use cutouts, which I guess is what PetsDreamlands is referring to as overlays. I'm constantly resorting to them, but they can't hold a candle to masking. With masking, you can do some of the most wonderful layering of images and never have to worry about image "spillage."
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:11:08 AM
igiftcenter wrote:
PetsDreamlands wrote:
Placeholder-shaped cutting masks would be pure awesomeness. Finally, you could offer custom photo templates behind non-rectangular frames/overlays. Also great on dark apparel printing: imagine a heart frame on a dark shirt, where the customer can put their image behind, without the picture exceeding the heart borders.
'

I make my own and add them as an image. Pretty easy to do.

I'm talking about templates, where the customers can replace the placeholder image behind that heart frame. When they replace your transparent heart-shaped placeholder with a common JPG photo, their photo will exceed the shape/borders of the heart frame. And you can't put a black overlay around the heart shape on dark apparel to hide the image behind, that would be printed and looks ugly even on black shirts.
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:12:13 AM
Colorwash wrote:

You can, of course, use cutouts, which I guess is what PetsDreamlands is referring to as overlays. I'm constantly resorting to them, but they can't hold a candle to masking. With masking, you can do some of the most wonderful layering of images and never have to worry about image "spillage."

Exactly that.
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 9:02:50 AM
Colorwash wrote:
I placed a simple heart in the middle of a postcard, set it as a template, and tried to replace it with another image. The image showed up as a square, which I expected, but I wanted to make absolutely sure. For it to work, the heart would have to be an actual shape, not just height and width.

To those in tech: Are masks at all a possibility, or should I stop wishing for them?


We used have this ability wayyyyy back in the day. We had a "merch" tool that was the precursor to QC. It had masked such as grunge frames, shapes, etc. I may have a few products hidden somewhere. Let me see if I can find an image:

EDIT:


It gave some interesting results.

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 11:23:49 AM
Our own masks would work if they hadn't removed the bolder colors from classic printing of t-shirts. (When did that happen?)

Now DARK AND Bold colors are only available with the Vivid Underbase printing. (if you find a classic printing with a dark green, blue, red, etc. - please let me know. the 1/2 dozen I reviewed just had pastels and maybe a medium gray)

The main reason I began sublimation was to remove the harsh stiff underlayment ... arghhhh
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 12:10:12 PM
♥Tabz Jones♥ wrote:
Colorwash wrote:
I placed a simple heart in the middle of a postcard, set it as a template, and tried to replace it with another image. The image showed up as a square, which I expected, but I wanted to make absolutely sure. For it to work, the heart would have to be an actual shape, not just height and width.

To those in tech: Are masks at all a possibility, or should I stop wishing for them?


We used have this ability wayyyyy back in the day. We had a "merch" tool that was the precursor to QC. It had masked such as grunge frames, shapes, etc. I may have a few products hidden somewhere. Let me see if I can find an image:

EDIT:


It gave some interesting results.


Shoot. I clicked on the product so I could see how it was put together, but clicking throws an error. Is it hidden?

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 8:13:14 PM
Colorwash wrote:
♥Tabz Jones♥ wrote:
Colorwash wrote:
I placed a simple heart in the middle of a postcard, set it as a template, and tried to replace it with another image. The image showed up as a square, which I expected, but I wanted to make absolutely sure. For it to work, the heart would have to be an actual shape, not just height and width.

To those in tech: Are masks at all a possibility, or should I stop wishing for them?


We used have this ability wayyyyy back in the day. We had a "merch" tool that was the precursor to QC. It had masked such as grunge frames, shapes, etc. I may have a few products hidden somewhere. Let me see if I can find an image:

EDIT:


It gave some interesting results.


Shoot. I clicked on the product so I could see how it was put together, but clicking throws an error. Is it hidden?



It was, I apologize. It's set to direct only now. I did try to transfer it to another shirt. It only works on light colors, no underlay. Even with "make whites transparent" selected.


Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 4:35:58 AM
Assuming something didn't change when you made it direct-only, then it turns out what you created was an overlay, which is like the kind of face mask someone might wear to a costume party. Unfortunately, and because the same word is used, the type of mask used in image editors like Photoshop is confusing. It's like a piece of magic when first seen. There are two types, but the easier one to imagine is the black-and-white mask...

Say your create a totally white graphic. Then in the middle of it, you create a black circle. You place this graphic over two photo layers. Designating this graphic as a mask, what happens is that the white part (the circle) "sees" what's beneath it, which is the photo in the first layer. The black circle doesn't see the first photo at all. It drills right through it, seeing the second photo in the bottom layer instead.

If we had masking in Zazzle, we could use it to create photo shapes other than rectangular ones. We could create circular photos or, say, a baby in a star or cloud or whatever.

Masking, by the way, isn't easy to understand when it's first seen, and so my above explanation may read like instructions written in Martian. When I first encountered the concept, I certainly thought it was Martian.
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 5:37:12 AM
Colorwash wrote:
Assuming something didn't change when you made it direct-only, then it turns out what you created was an overlay, which is like the kind of face mask someone might wear to a costume party. Unfortunately, and because the same word is used, the type of mask used in image editors like Photoshop is confusing. It's like a piece of magic when first seen. There are two types, but the easier one to imagine is the black-and-white mask...

Say your create a totally white graphic. Then in the middle of it, you create a black circle. You place this graphic over two photo layers. Designating this graphic as a mask, what happens is that the white part (the circle) "sees" what's beneath it, which is the photo in the first layer. The black circle doesn't see the first photo at all. It drills right through it, seeing the second photo in the bottom layer instead.

If we had masking in Zazzle, we could use it to create photo shapes other than rectangular ones. We could create circular photos or, say, a baby in a star or cloud or whatever.

Masking, by the way, isn't easy to understand when it's first seen, and so my above explanation may read like instructions written in Martian. When I first encountered the concept, I certainly thought it was Martian.


I get it. Unfortunately, I think basic framing is as close as it can get, for now. I can imagine that coding for true masking would be a nightmare on a site this size with the customization variables already in use. I know I wouldn't want to attempt it. Smile
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 5:39:48 AM
Maybe the programmers will see it as a challenge and tinker with it off and on. Heck, if we just had some basic shapes--heart, circle, hexagon--it would be a fine addition.
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 7:38:15 AM
Colorwash wrote:
Maybe the programmers will see it as a challenge and tinker with it off and on. Heck, if we just had some basic shapes--heart, circle, hexagon--it would be a fine addition.

What we're talking about is more a free object cutting than masking. This is already possible in CSS & HTML and the SVG format also supports bitmap cutting - tried it with Corel Draw, cutting a bitmap in an irregular shape and exporting to SVG and it worked.

The developers at Z will most certainly use specific tools to program the designer, they hardly created it from scratch, so it depends on what these tools are able to handle. It's surely doable, but yes, it's hard work, nonetheless. And don't forget the fact, that the more complex the designer becomes, the less customers and less knowledged designers will be able to master it, so limiting the functionality may be a choice done on purpose. Same applies to games nowadays, they have become less complex to accommodate the new generation of players who prefer more bling and less depth.
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 8:49:06 AM
Making it simpler is why I suggested just using several shapes. I know a lot of designers would welcome a tool where they could choose a heart to shape a photo. Doubtless a circle too. The designers and the customers don't even have to know it's done via masking.
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