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Hidden Power Actions II

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Old 02-17-2004, 07:44 PM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Location: Western NY
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Susan is mostly right (and is usually entirely right) but for the small point that the Hidden Power tools from the book add a means of saving selections for Elements 1 users. She is right in that out-of-the-box Elements 1 can't save selections. i put it back in.

Layer masking is a great thing, but I had my suspicions that Adobe will be eliminating them for PE3...we'll see. There were actually more features eliminated (by my count) than added between PE1 and PE2.

Quick mask gives you a means of editing selections visually in a way you can't using just selection lines (those dotted blinking things). You can actually see the strength of the mask in comparison to what it is acting on. Layer masks are quite a bit more direct, masking (simply means: cut out) those areas of the image where the mask is black, and working immediately on what you see in the image. The advantage to masking over just deleting is, it is easier to change your mind. Masked areas can be restored by UNMASKING (turning masked areas white in the mask).

As to how to use them...masking is useful for many things, usually having to do with combining image content (e.g., placing one layer over the other and allowing yourself to view through to the back layer). I'd suggest it is less 'mood' that drives how I use them as utility. Where sometimes either can be used, one or the other will be better suited to some applications and techniques.

Please let me know if you have further questions (or if this isn't what you were looking for or whatever...).

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Old 02-18-2004, 12:43 PM
WendyW WendyW is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: United Kingdom
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Its interesting that you think Elements 3 will eliminate Layer Masking ... if they do, I for one, will stay with Elements 2 and your tools!

When it does come out I will wait and see what others have to say before I decided .. come to think of it unless they do a major upgrade then I can't think of any reason to buy the next version.

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Old 02-18-2004, 04:32 PM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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As it isn't a surface feature of the program it MAY be removed. I believe Curves will go the same way -- either removed because Adobe wants no access to the feature in Elements, or perhaps promoted to a standard feature. I was, as I say, surprised to see them actually eliminate access to features between 1 and 2. They may do some other things (just projection, mind you) like 'add' actions to Elements which will at the same time restrict access to Photoshop features. That is, by making an action tool for Elements and encoding differently it could potentially keep users from working with previous functionality.

Careful what you wish for in version 3!
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