I understand you want Painter to work like Photoshop and it doesn’t hurt to ask for changes. In the meantime, however, there are ways to do all the things you mention.
If the Layer is transparent, by default, its new Layer Mask is white. I don’t have any trouble at all using the Paint Bucket tool to fill a Layer Mask.
here i was incorrectly making an assumption. what i was looking at was Layers->Create Mask from Transparency. I had assumed there would be a method of taking the selection and turning it into the layer mask (as it is possible in photoshop).
If a Layer is entirely transparent and the Create Layer Mask from Transparency command is used, the Layer Mask will be entirely black. If there’s only a selection (i.e. marching ants) with no color inside or outside the selection, the resulting Layer Mask will still be entirely black. The Create Layer Mask from Transparency command is usually used when there’s some color on the Layer and some transparent area.
There are a couple of ways to create a Layer Mask based on a selection, though they may not be the same as Photoshop’s method.
Here’s the easiest way I know of unless you already have an Alpha Channel based on that selection in which case you could duplicate that Alpha Channel to the Layer Mask:
1. Created a new Layer.
2. Make a selection.
3. Create a Layer Mask.
4. Click the Layer Mask thumbnail.
5. Invert the selection (or leave the selection as is to mask the inside of the selection rather than the surrounding area.)
6. Click inside the selection using the Paint Bucket tool.
please do start to believe that I do know at least some aspects of painter reasonably well… i have been using it since version 3 (and do at least know somewhat about masks, alphas etc). the lack of these features still bugs me. there should be a Create Mask from Selection option, I don’t want to have to fill either the mask or the layer first. it shoudl also be possible to pick up a layers transparency directly using shortcuts and the layers/channels palettes as you can do in photoshop, not via contextual menus. these are basic masking functions (and masking needs improvement in painter in so very many ways).
It really doesn’t matter what I believe. The point is to share information that will help people use Painter easily and efficiently. If my responses seem a bit basic it’s because first, I don’t know how much else people know when they ask questions. Second, other people who may not know Painter as well as you do also read these threads.
For quick ways to invoke menu commands:
Use Edit > Preferences > Customize Keys to set up your own keyboard shortcuts for things like Layer > Create Layer Mask from Transparency or other commands.
Create a Custom Palette and add main menu and palette menu commands as a buttons.