Select layer content

Hi Is there a way to select a layer content, which will enable to paint shades, highlight and shadows, without going out of the lines of that layer? Other software, that is an option.

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If you mean to literally select all content from a particular layer, you can ctrl + click the layer thumbnail, or activate the layer and then go to Select menu → Select Opaque.

Alternatively, you can activate “Preserve Alpha” on the brush toolbar, or look into clipping masks: Clipping Masks and Alpha Inheritance — Krita Manual 5.0.0 documentation

If you mean to activate a layer by clicking its content, you can hold the r key and click the layer content you desire to activate the corresponding layer.


There are several ways. Besides actually selecting them as tom already said, you could use the alpha icon in the layer window. If it is about shading you most likely already have a layer for that specific color. Put it into a group. Add another layer over it, within the group. Right of the layer are several icons. If you click the small alpha icon this layer will only draw on non transparent pixels under it within the group. You have to do it for every layer you want within the base color. Most simple way to do it (in my opinion)

Another way would be to use alpha masks (hope they are called like this in english) Again put everything in one group. Copy the color layer and fill it white. Then right click the white layer and convert it into a alpha mask. If you did this, nothing within the group can draw over the masked area without the alpha from above. You can still draw on the alpha layer with white if you wanna extrend it. You draw in grey scale on such mask layers. The darker the tone, the more transparent it will be. White is opaque, black is totally invisible. I prefer to simply use the alpha icon anyway. But this is good if you wanna draw within an area but without a background for it as you don’t actually need the base color layer for the mask to work.

Thanks Miooky, for your reply. I am sure your methods, are very good. There are stuff in your response, that I do not know what they mean or do. I will do my research, on the items that you speak of. Since I made my post, I have discovered the clipping mask. I find this is a good method, for color change and shading. The only problem, is you cannot make a selection in clipping mask mode.
Stay safe.