Optix 2022 Mask Export Limitations

Regarding exporting masks from Photoshop into Optix 2022.

I understand that while I am in Photoshop I can create a layer mask on a given layer and then launch the plug-in to optics and that will carry along the mask that I have created in Photoshop and transfer it to optix; however, this forces me only be able to work within the Optix Plug-in, with only what I have selected as anything not selected is lost to optix; essentially its replaced by a 100% black background. In other words, When I export from Photoshop to Optix using a layer mask, it doesn’t bring over both the layer and the mask; it only brings over what has been selected. Ideally, I would like to disable the layer mask; have my back ground reappear and then manipulate this creatively from within the Optix Plug-in - But my background is gone replaced by black.

Is there a work-around for this? Like, can i choose a given layer with a layer mask from within photoshop and be able to somehow export that layer mask as an alpha channel into optix? while preserving the entire layer information?

I don’t appear to have the same flexibility if I am going the other direction, from Photoshop, into Optix.

Perhaps I am completely confused about this?

Thanks for any clarification - Roman

@RomanAnthony Check out the Optics and Photoshop: Exchange Masks & Alpha Channels video. After watching, if your questions are not answered, please ask here.


Thank You Marco for linking that video.

The key piece of information that was missing was that if the alpha mask is generated in the Photoshop host then in order to retain the background after the export to Optix; the layer mask needs to be disabled; and also the info about using S_channel Switcher set to R, G, B and Alpha Value 1.0 to bring back the background…i don’t believe that information was within the written documentation unless i missed it.

I am glad it was explained and it works so now I see that this is very powerful.

Thanks again,


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A couple of points about Optics/Photoshop alpha support:

  • When an image with a layer mask is brought into Optics from Photoshop, the entire background is still there. By default, the Optics Viewer is set to Preview Over Black. The Viewer Preview icon controls this.
  • Imported alpha can be copied to another Optics layer by dragging and dropping.
  • Some filters affect alpha, for instance, S_LensFlare. The flare is also added to the alpha channel brought into Optics. By default, the affected alpha will be exported back to Photoshop.
  • You can export the combined masks of any Optics layer by enabling the Export Masks icon on a layer. This will override the the export of the imported alpha/affected filter alpha.