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Next Problem-Making the Window

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Old 04-01-2003, 09:41 PM
ELFritzen ELFritzen is offline
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Next Problem-Making the Window

I'm sure this problem has more to do with my limited experience with working with layers than anything else. I can complete the steps in making the window which start on p 186. I don't really understand exactly what is happening at Step 15 and beyond. I can complete the frame and the miter layer which shows the four corners of the frame. When I create a new layer, grouped with the Miter layer and fill it with yellow, the corners of the frame turn yellow. Is this right?
Then after you make a new layer above the yellow fill layer, which layer do you use to select the black part of the frame? The Miter layer, which only has a small black part, or do you return to the frame layer? Finally, I assume you copy and paste the selection into the top layer after filling it with yellow? It seems I'm only selecting a small portion of the black frame, not a total frame. Thanks again for your help, understanding and patience.
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Old 04-02-2003, 04:48 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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First, I think you are doing well when you stop to take a look and make your own evaluations of what is happening in the image.

Keep in mind as you work along that this book is intended to be a book for advanced users. hat is not to say it is impossible for those who aren't advanced, but that the techniques move quickly in progression from more basic separations to highly advanced component construction. The exercises build on one-another in a cumulative fashion...if you haven't grasped the idea of layers, then the exercise you are on will probably be a little confusing.

Layers are just a way to treat image elements as separate image components. What you are doing in the exercise is building all the individual parts of the window...at the point you are at, you are starting to apply some shading effects to build dimension, and these effects are applied in different layers so you can more readily adjust them as desired before you commit them by combining laters at the end of the process.

Those steps around step 15 are changing the corner of the frame to an angled mytre. A similar set of steps is used to make the mintons look like they are joined to the window frame. The color overlay is used to paint the gray and make the frame yellow.

I guess the point of this exercise is to show several things, more than just creating a window. You have to consider levels of detail that are important to the realistic application of created objects in your images and you have to have an idea of the complexity involved in creating something from scratch. Regretfully, I find that the idea of creating objects is sometimes over-simplified.

The idea of layers and how to use them is examined throughout the book. You may have to repeat exercises several times before you really 'get' what is going on, depending on your level of expertise. It may require simply stopping and looking at a result as you go through steps and saying to yourself, 'OK, what did that accomplish?' Usually, if I left something unexplained, it is because the idea of it is explained in an earlier example. For example, the steps moving on from 15 duplicate layers that are later used for effects...a similar procedure was used in creating texture and shadows in the previous exercises.

I am not sure if that competely answered your question. Please ask again (in a different way) if not, and I'll try again.
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Old 04-02-2003, 05:01 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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<< I assume you copy and paste the selection into the top layer after filling it with yellow?>>

Generally you don't want to assume that you have to take major steps to correct any of the step-by-step.

The steps in the book are given in a way so that you should end up on the right layer and in the right place if you follow EXACTLY what it says. I would not leave out something so large as moving a layer of changing which layer is active...usually the problems I have inserted are those of phrasing rather than function. For example, I said selection in that previous step you mentioned when I meant layer -- just using the terminology as it would have applied from Photoshop. In other words, I said it, but goofed. Here, if you start mixing up the layers (which I don't say to do), you just won't get the right results.

When you make the new layer in step 16, it will be above the currently active layer. When you make the selection, you will want to use all layers with the magic wand (as stated) so the selection will appear in the new layer you have created taking into account the black on the mytre and the frame below. When you fill, just that area of the new layer will fill in, painting over the black, and creating the sash. You then duplicate the sash to apply separate effects for bevel and shadows.

OK?

Last edited by Richard_Lynch; 04-03-2003 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 04-02-2003, 08:33 PM
ELFritzen ELFritzen is offline
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Hi Richard,

Thanks for your reply and your patience. I do have a decent understanding of layers, how they work and interact with each other. My problems occur when I expect a certain result based on my understanding of layers, and something surprising happens. I then try to figure if what does happen makes sense, and then I learn from that and move on. As an example, in creating the frame on page 187, step 16 says: "Make a new layer, check Group with Previous, and fill the layer with yellow." I originally thought this would turn the whole layer yellow and that I would only see a yellow image. I was surprised to see only the areas which had an image from the layer below turn yellow. In my case, I had grouped the new layer with the "Miter" layer, so only the frame corners turned yellow. Upon looking in some of my other PE reference books, I now understand that this is exactly what is supposed to happen when the layer is grouped. If I merge the miter layer with the frames layer, and then group the color fill layer with the frames layer, the whole frame now appears yellow. Again, this is what is supposed to happen. In either case, the only way I can select a black part of the frame with the magic want tool, is to turn off the visibility of the color fill layer. I can then complete the rest of the steps which gets my image looking like Figure 7.33, although in my layers, the yellow fill layer is invisible. So I don't really understand the role of this grouped yellow fill layer in the grand scheme of things. All the other steps I understand and they make sense. I know there are many ways in PE to obtain the same result in the end, and I just want to make sure I'm not missing something. Again, I appreciate your understanding. I really do find this book and the exercises fascinating.
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Old 04-03-2003, 05:35 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Ed,

You suggested that you weren't very familiar with Layers in the first note, so I did make the assumption that it was the problem (you'll forgive the assumption, I hope). I took a look at the book, which I didn't do at the time I made my last answer. Looking at the text in the book, a key bit of information is missing from step 14. The layer you are creating to fill should be set to Color mode. If it isn't, you lose the whole effect of the beveling. because the layer is in color mode, the black part of the frame will show up anyway (if you color black with yellow, it stays black).

So while I knew I wouldn't have missed something so major as moving layers or needing to change the order of their addition, I'll have to add another item to the errata for step 14.

Sorry 'bout that...try the color mode and you'll see a much better result.
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Old 04-03-2003, 08:14 PM
ELFritzen ELFritzen is offline
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Thanks Richard,

Now it all makes sense. There are so many variables and options in layers, I'm amazed you can keep them all straight. One of these days I'll get the hang of it. Now I'm off to tackle muntins!!

Thanks again!
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Old 04-04-2003, 04:55 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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<<There are so many variables and options in layers, I'm amazed you can keep them all straight.>>

There are a ton of variables, period. That's why I think it is important to limit the number of tools you use to those few most powerful so you can focus on what they do -- and get the job done, right.

One other thing which you mentioned but I want to reinforce: I did accomplish that task one way, and there are other ways to do the same thing -- sometimes MANY other ways. You don't need to know them all, but you need to understand the key concepts that make them work. This is important to using Elements, certainly, but also to working with digital images effectively and transferring that knowledge to other applications.
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