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Shadow detail

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  #1  
Old 02-26-2004, 10:11 PM
jbruceb jbruceb is offline
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Shadow detail

Richard, it would be great if you were to come up with an action similar to the one in the new Photoshop CS that brings out the detail in shadows and highlights. I haven't seen that one, but I have been playing with ASF's (Kodak) Digital SHO Pro plug-in eval. software, and it is awesome. Could not be simpler to use, but it costs $100. Probably worth it if you have a lot of underexposed images or wide dynamic range shots. Fred Miranda has a similar (and cheaper) plug -in for shadows only, but it is tricky to use and doesn't do anywhere near the job that the ASF software does.
I'd gladly pay $25 for something similar to the ASF solution.
Cheers,
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:41 PM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
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I don't know how it compares with the PSCS tool - 'cos I don't have it! - but Richard's Highlight/shadow mask tool in HPA3, used in conjunction with a levels adjustment layer does a pretty fine job for me - for more finely targeted shadow/midtone/highlight adjustments then the books blend mask adjustment works even better for a bit more effort.

Susan S.
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Old 02-27-2004, 03:36 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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I believe Susan is probably right. Whatever it is, I would be certain that even $25 is far too much. I'm sure it won't be as complicated as healing (which has some 80 steps). I've a busy weekend coming up, but I'll have a look and see what i can get together -- if it doesn't already exist in the book/tools.
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Old 02-27-2004, 10:13 AM
jbruceb jbruceb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan S.
I don't know how it compares with the PSCS tool - 'cos I don't have it! - but Richard's Highlight/shadow mask tool in HPA3, used in conjunction with a levels adjustment layer does a pretty fine job for me - for more finely targeted shadow/midtone/highlight adjustments then the books blend mask adjustment works even better for a bit more effort.

Susan S.
Thanks Susan, the problem with the Highlight/Shadow masks is that if I mask the highlights to be able to level adjust the shadow, the midtones get affected also. This is what I want to avoid.
The Blend mask takes longer, and I find that I have trouble remembering the steps. I guess that I'll just have to study harder!
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Old 02-27-2004, 01:12 PM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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I get suspicious of claims that things just fix photos, and while I see the images on the website, if you copy those and try and replicate using their tools, you really don't get very far. The common thing that happens is results are reverse engineered to 'look good'. I am not saying it doesn't work at all, I am just saying there is reason to be suspicious of the result they represent. I know some people who admit to doing this in books as well. I am a little purist when it comes to that.

I am pretty sure I see what is going on, and for the most part you can replicate with Blend Mask by targeting tone (don't try to remember the steps, use the tool). The only reason I might shy away from doing something similar as a tool is that keeping everything interactive will be a little tricky -- though I might solve that using layer opacities. That is, set up all the results, leave them at 50%, and allow you to increase or decrease color, highlight, shadow, and perhaps one other effect. I was going to do extract next, but this isn't the first request (recently) for something of this sort.
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Old 02-27-2004, 05:23 PM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
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re doing the extract tool next: (caveat - I have no idea whether this breaches the license of the demo version- if it does I'll be happy to comply) At least on the Mac if you have the PS6 demo the extract tool plug in from there works quite happily in elements if you dump it into the PE2 plug in folder - but you do have to run PE2 in OS9 or classic. I'm told that the same thing is true for the PS7 demo extract plug in and 0SX but haven't tried it myself. Personlly I don't find extract very useful, but it may just be that I haven't bothered to learn how to use it properly....
Sadly the downloadable version of the CS RAW plug in isn't so cooperative!
Susan S.
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Old 02-28-2004, 06:15 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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hmmm. That is an interesting suggestion, Susan -- one which I would probably not do well to promote via tutorial, though I think the mention is interesting and the possibilities it unearths. there are other considerations than the legal, however (and I think as long as I didn't provide a download for the plugin directly, the suggestion would probably be legal, however frowned upon).

As with my examination of the 'healing' process, there are other and perhaps better ways to solve some of the problems behind automating changes. My healing tool is not identical to Adobe's, and I don't expect that the extract will be either. To me, part of the interest in added tools is not just that they work, but that the user sees the solid functioning behind the 'magic' of image editing. Nice to have the tools, sure...better to understand what they are doing so they can be applied correctly. I think extract (and large parts of Photoshop for that matter) separate the user too much from the idea behind the process--failing the user. It is this same separation that makes CMYK and color management frightening, a mystery, and both to many users. My direction for building profiles would be to put a profile editor directly in the user's hands so they knew what was happening rather than suspecting voodoo. The goal for examining extract would be to help users see sensible ways to manipulate image data, rather than just having it done for them, which teaches nothing.

I would have to agree that extract isn't really the most useful of tools but for quick results...however, some of the ideas behind what it does may prove useful in application of editing images. I have a tutorial on the tool, none-the-less, here: http://ps6.com/Tutorials/select.html . I think it explains my perspective on the tool, and what it MIGHT be used for other than by what it is named.


dpnew, please contact me via email.

Last edited by Richard_Lynch; 02-28-2004 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 02-28-2004, 06:53 AM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
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Richard - your Extract tutorial (which I had glanced at before but not read properly) seems to confirm my assessment - that to get a decent result with extract you need to go to nearly as much trouble as if manually selecting an object - which for a lot of stuff is what I seem to end up doing anyway - although I am getting a bit better in seeing the possiblities of using the different channels for mask creation. I guess that comes with practice...and choosing subjects with better colour or tone separation from their background!
FWIW I am very much in sympathy with your approach - single button fixes often seem to work for a fairly narrow range of subject - it seems more useful to have a range of strategies which one can apply as necessary to solve different problems, along with an understanding of how the options work to allow the most efficient solution for each situation.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2004, 07:18 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Quote:
seems to confirm my assessment - that to get a decent result with extract you need to go to nearly as much trouble as if manually selecting an object
That would be what i was suggesting (without saying it), yes.
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  #10  
Old 02-29-2004, 02:20 AM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_Lynch
To me, part of the interest in added tools is not just that they work, but that the user sees the solid functioning behind the 'magic' of image editing. Nice to have the tools, sure...better to understand what they are doing so they can be applied correctly.
I couldn't agree more! Which is the principal reason why I have enjoyed your book so much and have recommended it to friends.

Bob
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