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Hidden Power Support Support and discussion area for Richard Lynch's book and software series

saturation masking

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  #1  
Old 07-08-2003, 09:09 PM
MLP MLP is offline
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saturation masking

I have recently plunged back in the book.
I started on the section on saturation masking. Reading and re reading it seems the goal is to mask the blue bottles and vase so that the remaining colors can be changed. Going thru all the steps the mask that results masks the other colors but not the blue bottles which is opposite to the stated goal.

I figured I made a mistake somewhere but I get the same result using the saturation mask tool. So what am I doing wrong?

Michael
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2003, 10:34 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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You can use the same mask to accomplish either goal: isolate a particular color to keep it from change, or isolate the color to change it. This should all be described in what follows the exercise.

In short: once the isolation is made, you can apply changes to the isolated area, or everything else.

Make sense?
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:57 PM
Reimar Reimar is offline
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Partial mask

I'm having a lot of trouble with saturation masking also. My problem is that it doesn't really isolate the blue bottles. A look at the mask, or control clicking the mask, will reveal that while the blue bottles are selected, so is a large part of the rest of the picture. This is by far not as effective a separation as the tone mask.
For example, I often want to treat the sky differently from the foreground (levels, sharpening...). The blue of the sky seemed like a good way to get separation. Still, much of the green foreground is also partially selected.
Even when I get a clean separation using tone mask (and painting a bit with white and black to complete the masking job), changes to levels in different directions for the sky and foreground produce good results, except for the transition point. I have tried to blur the mask (1-2 pixels gausssian) to smooth the transition, which helps. Is there a better way to isolate bright sky verses dark foreground without artifacts at the border?
Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2003, 01:36 PM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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There is a marked difference between selecting by tone and selecting by color. Selecting by tone focuses on lightness/darkness and selecting by color focuses on a color or color range.

If you become adept with the use of the tools as I describe them, there is really very little you can't select and isolate. The means of selection will include the neutral toned areas in the selection made in this way...and you won't get a neat selection around the bottles. The point is not to work with SHAPE, which would again be a different type of selection.

If you follow the instructions in the book, and you get to the end, what happens? You should be able to change the color of the bottles without changing anything else (or change everything else without changing the bottles). That is the only goal.
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Old 07-20-2003, 08:36 PM
pmarchant pmarchant is offline
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I think some of the confusion arises because the mask looks wrong, even though it isn't. The expectation is for the mask to be just the bottles. If you use the mask it does work as expected. This is because the magnitude of the effect is affected by the transparency of the mask -- the more transparent the mask is, the less the effect.

When using your own images, the success or not depends highly on the image and the colour you're trying to separate. Richard's bottle image shows this quite nicely -- the blue bottles are easy, but the red flowers aren't because of the red window frame.

Remember, Saturation masking is a tool in your [image manipulation] armoury -- it may not be the right tool to do what you want, or has to be used in conjuction with other tools. Selecting the right tool(s) comes with experience (and I admit I'm still learning).

Paul.
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Old 08-02-2003, 11:35 AM
MLP MLP is offline
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saturation masking

I appreciate the responses.
But I still don't quite get it. Richard I did read on and see how you can do the blue bottles or the background. But as one of the other posts notes this there is blue in varing degrees in the rest of the picture. I don't see how you can use this type of masking to isolate colors in a complex picture.
Wouldn't it be easier to do a correction globally, use a mask layer and paint in the correction you want or as you did with snap shots and the 'history brush'?

Michael
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Old 08-02-2003, 12:34 PM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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I have not seen the images in question, but I was under the impression that they were not complex and that this method would select the bottles without other elements.

As Richard suggests later on, other methods or combinations of various methods may be needed - depending on the task.


Stephen Marsh.
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  #8  
Old 08-02-2003, 07:08 PM
pmarchant pmarchant is offline
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Don't forget you can just work on a part of the image. Either use the lasso to roughly cut out what you're interested in to another layer and build the mask from this cutout layer, or generate the mask and then delete the unwanted parts of the mask.

Paul.
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  #9  
Old 08-02-2003, 09:47 PM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Quote:
I don't see how you can use this type of masking to isolate colors in a complex picture.
Well, the bottle image IS a complex picture. The blues you will isolate are not necessarily distinct in the image, and the vase and plaque in the background contain blue as well. The technique is meant to mimick color range behavior (that you don't have in Elements), NOT to selectively isolate shape -- unless the shape is wholly color based.

This an example of the type of change you might make to an image. As the blues here will potentially require work to get the best result in print, isolating them for correction is a valid procedure. all you want is the color. If you want something else (e.g., the shape of the bottle), don't use saturation techniques. Color can aide in selecting shape in some cases...but it is not an absolute.

Once the blue area is isolated, you can limit that further with selection or OTHER TECHNIQUES, as Paul suggests. You can possibly use the History Brush technique, as you suggest. The saturation technique was integral to the CMYK separation and other complicated separations (e.g., adding in a spot color, and extracting the color areas where it might be most effective). Of course I can't cover every angle in 300 pages...

Stephen, the bottles will not be isolated as shape, but you can adjust the color...which is the point of the exercise. I think you'd enjoy the book and techniques.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2003, 08:37 AM
MLP MLP is offline
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Richard

Thanks I think I understand the purpose of this kind of masking now. For example in the bottle picture if the blues(or reds or whatever color) had to be adjusted for a particular printing they could be isolated. Is this right?
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