Figma is a popular design tool widely used by designers for its collaborative features and versatility. One of the essential techniques in Figma is using masks to control the visibility of certain elements within a design. Inverting masks in Figma can significantly enhance your design capabilities, allowing for more creative and dynamic visuals. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about inverting masks in Figma, from basic concepts to advanced techniques.

What is a Mask in Figma?

A mask in Figma is a shape or object that hides or reveals parts of other objects. Masks are used to control the visibility of elements, creating complex designs without altering the actual components.

How Masks Work

Masks work by placing an object (the mask) over other elements. Only the areas covered by the mask are visible, while the rest are hidden. This allows designers to create intricate patterns and effects efficiently.

Types of Masks

  • Vector Masks: Created using vector shapes.
  • Raster Masks: Created using raster images.
  • Boolean Masks: Combine multiple shapes to create complex masks.

Inverting Masks in Figma

Inverting a mask means reversing the visible and hidden areas. This technique can be particularly useful for creating unique design elements and effects.

Steps to Invert a Mask

  1. Create a Mask: Draw the shape you want to use as a mask.
  2. Apply the Mask: Place the mask over the objects you want to mask.
  3. Invert the Mask: Use Figma’s tools to invert the mask, revealing previously hidden areas.

Detailed Steps to Invert a Mask in Figma

Step 1: Create Your Design Elements

Start by creating the elements you want to work with. These can be shapes, images, or any other objects in your design.

Step 2: Draw the Mask Shape

Draw the shape you want to use as a mask. This shape will determine the visible and hidden areas of your design elements.

Step 3: Apply the Mask

Select both the mask shape and the elements you want to mask. Use the right-click menu to select “Use as Mask.”

Step 4: Invert the Mask

To invert the mask, you need to use a boolean operation. Select the mask shape and the masked elements, then apply a “Subtract” operation. This will invert the visibility, showing the previously hidden parts and hiding the previously visible parts.

Advanced Techniques for Inverting Masks

Using Multiple Masks

You can combine multiple masks to create even more complex designs. This involves layering several masks and adjusting their interactions.

Combining Masks with Effects

Apply effects like gradients, shadows, and blurs to your masks for more dynamic visuals. This can be particularly effective for creating depth and focus in your designs.

Mask Animations

Create animations with inverted masks for interactive and engaging designs. This technique can be used in prototypes to demonstrate user interactions and transitions.

Tips for Effective Mask Inversion

  • Keep it Simple: Start with simple shapes and gradually build complexity.
  • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to try different shapes and combinations.
  • Use Layers: Organize your masks and elements in layers for easier management.
  • Practice: Regular practice will improve your proficiency with mask inversion.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Overcomplicating the Design

Start simple and add complexity as needed. Overcomplicating the design can lead to confusion and errors.

Not Using Layers

Layers help keep your design organized. Not using them can make managing masks difficult.

Forgetting to Group Elements

Grouping elements can simplify the masking process. Forgetting to group can lead to misaligned masks and elements.

FAQs about Inverting Masks in Figma

What is the primary use of inverting masks in Figma?

Inverting masks is used to create unique design effects by reversing the visibility of certain elements. This technique can add depth and interest to your designs.

Can I animate inverted masks in Figma?

Yes, you can animate inverted masks in Figma. This is particularly useful for creating interactive prototypes and demonstrating user interactions.

Is it possible to use multiple masks on a single element?

Yes, you can layer multiple masks on a single element to create complex designs. This involves combining different mask shapes and adjusting their interactions.

How do I fix alignment issues with masks?

Ensure that your elements and masks are properly aligned before applying the mask. Using layers and groups can help maintain alignment.

Can I use images as masks in Figma?

Yes, you can use images as masks in Figma. This allows for creative effects, such as using a textured image to mask other elements.


Inverting masks in Figma is a powerful technique that can enhance your design capabilities. By understanding the basics and experimenting with advanced techniques, you can create unique and engaging visuals. Remember to keep your designs organized, practice regularly, and don’t hesitate to explore new possibilities with mask inversion. Happy designing!

This page was last edited on 7 July 2024, at 4:35 pm