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Old 06-16-2005, 12:51 PM
AtlanaAnna AtlanaAnna is offline
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NeatImage is a piece of software Flora recommended in her tutorial and provided a link for a free download. She said the free version did everything she needed. It can be a plug-in but I'm using it as a stand-alone piece of software. I have a friend that prefers to use PaintShop Pro over Photoshop. He gave me my Photoshop 7. I'm not very familiar with anything in Paintshop. I've learned a little about layers and I've actually already tweaked it a little with Levels and tried to tweak it a little with Curves. I'm not real comfortable working with Curves. So I know a little about layers but I know nothing about masks yet. I've subscribed to a website called, 'VTC or Virtual Training Company' and it gives me unlimited access to their online video tutorials. That has been a very helpful resource. The next part of Flora's tutorial is dealing with brushes and masks and it's over my head.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:57 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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ok, i have to laugh a bit at myself here. i have neat image it's one of those programs i downloaded in a download frenzy but hadnt looked at much yet. i'm afraid i get like a kid in a candy shop at times when it comes to downloading things.

'curves' is relatively easy. basically, you're dealing with brightness and can adjust the brightness of the different, existing values in an image, all in one operation. to simplify this, you can make the darks lighter or darker, while at the same time making the lights darker or lighter. it's really pretty much that simple. i'm attaching two images to show how this is done, or one way to do it, in paint shop pro.

the stuff in green is stuff i've added to the image. 'input' and 'output' simply mean 'before' and 'after' your adjustments. the two scales of dark to light along the edges of the graph are the ranges of the existing (the top bar) brightness, and the 'after' or 'preview' view.

you make your adjustments in the middle along the dotted line. the first image i've posted is without any changes. the second image shows how i've make the darks, darker and the lights, lighter. you simply left click on the dotted line to add a new point and move that point around the graph to make your adjustments. thus, if you click on the dotted line near the lower left and move it down, your darks will get darker. you can also use the numerical counters on the right side to make alterations, but i prefer just clicking on the graph and adjusting that way. you can add additional points by clicking again on the graph and dragging that point around. this allows you to change almost any value of brightness along the range to almost anything else you want. you can also move the points side to side. and, you can move the same points again by simply clicking exactly on an existing point and dragging it somewhere else.

this can also be done in what is called an 'adjustment layer', which is basically the same tool applied AS its own layer. for now, i'd just use the first method.

as for masks, the theory of masks is pretty simple. the implementation, however, is sometimes a bit confused. the theory is, in a given layer or image, you are adding another layer, the mask layer. in paint shop pro the mask is always in grayscale! always. this mask can be edited to allow the other image within the same layer to show through or not show through. think of the mask as a piece of changing glass. it can be fully opaque or fully translucent or any range of that in between. this 'glass' sits over your other image/layer and hides, partially hides, or doesnt hide the normal image. now, the true beauty of this is that your 'glass' can be all different shades of gray. one part of the glass can be this shade and other parts can be other shades, thus allowing you to mask different areas of your image in different opacities. and the only other part is that you never see the mask itself as part of the image (unless you turn on 'view mask'). and that's it; that's all it is.

you're on the right track. some of the things you're encountering now can be tricky and there's a lot to learn in photoshop. i highly suggest spending time with each tool and getting to know it before moving on. compounding confusion on confusion can lead to frustration, broken furniture, and injured pets

do feel free to ask around here. the folks here are extremely helpful and there's lots of tutorials both here and other places.

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