Dear gimp users,

I've been trying to accomplish some things with layer masks that I don't
believe are currently possible. Please correct me if they are. I've been
thinking about how to solve the problem and thought I'd ask the opinion of the
community before posting a feature request to bugzilla.

I want to apply the same layer mask to a number of stock photos. In this case
the mask is text but it could be anything. I want to get the best image for the
mask and this means not only trying different photos but also aligning those
photos for best composition.

As far as choosing from a selection of images goes, the easiest thing in my
mind would be to create one layer mask and then paste it to other layers. Then
I'd switch visibility between them to see which I prefer. Unfortunately,
selecting the mask, hitting copy and then selecting a new layer and hitting
paste doesn't work; the mask gets added as a floating selection with its 
position changed and when I anchor it, it is merged directly into the selected 
layer instead of being applied as a mask.

The other problem comes when I try to reposition the layer being masked. The
idea is to apply the mask and then establish the best position for the image
beneath it by using the move tool. Unfortunately, moving the layer also moves
the mask and I don't seem to be able to move one independently of the other.

In summary, masks seem to be dependant on their layers and can't easily be
moved either within or between layers. I'd like it if layer masks were
independent of one another to make such flexibility possible. Is this a
desirable change? Are there side effects of this that cause problems? Is it
already possible?


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