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


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Old 04-04-2004, 08:54 PM
miked miked is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3

I have read most of the Hidden Power book. I have found it to be an excellent book, full of information that I never had any idea about. I can follow the examples quite well. However, I have trouble translating this into the ability to make complex image corrections on my own. I can make simple corrections (simple to me now, but way beyond what I ever knew before), but I can't get how to create the complicated procedures that I see in the book and that I read about others using.

For example, I used photomerge to stitch together some shots of a lakefront. There is a definite diagonal line between each image. I tried many ways to remove the lines, but nothing seems to work. I hope that by making a correction like this I will be on my way to learning some of the correction methods available in PSE. I thought that masking the sky and water, and then blurring / resharpening would be the way to go, but whatever I try doesn't work.

I would sure appreciate a guided PSE / Hidden Power Tools tour to fix the attached picture. By the way, the whole panorama has 8 images. I didn't want to make the file size too large.

Thanks for any help that anyone can give this beginner.

Mike DeBoer
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Old 04-05-2004, 04:56 AM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 139
It would be much easier if photomerge preserved the separate layers, but sadly it doesn't.... this one actually wasn't too bad to fix as the join (at least in the posted version) only showed up badly in non-detailed areas of sea and sky. (And I'm afraid I didn't really use much in the way of hidden powers tools to do it!)

To get rid of the join in the sky I copied a nice large rectangle from the area to the left of it, pasted it, moved it over the join and gaussian blurred heavily to blend it in (the join only shows in the darker areas, so it was quite easy to find a large enough patch)

For the water I used the clone tool at 60 per cent opacity with a soft edge brush to hide the sharp edges - I could probably do a neater job of this..

Some of my photomerges have had sharper joins and I have resorted to more heroic efforts. Duplicate the background layer and then use a grouped empty lower below it to act as a mask - use gradients or hand painting to mask in one side of the join - the hard bit is getting exactly along the edge and getting the feather right. Lots of trial and error... Then I used a levels adjustment layer grouped to the duplicate background and by fiddling with the middle slider to darken and lighten and playing with the opacity of the mask layer I managed to even out the tone.
Needless to say it is a lot easier to start with images that have matching tone and colour at the edges - but even with a camera which I can set to lock exposure, focus and white balance, by using a panorama setting, it's still possible to get the seams showing up in the sky using photomerge. I've not had any success in attempting to match the expsoure of shots before photomerging.
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:31 AM
miked miked is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3


Thank you for this expanation. It is exactly what I was looking for!

Mike DeBoer
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Old 04-19-2004, 04:50 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,105
Susan, as always, is right on. First, you probably don't need any hidden tools to take care of this. In fact, the real hidden point of the Hidden Power book is that like in the Wizard of Oz, you had the power to do it all along...The book describes some basic procedures and techniques that will hopefully help you understand the fundamental manipulation of images: at its very basic, you are replacing one pixel with another as you move through an image. You may replace only part of a pixel (e.g., the red component) or the whole can replace one at a time or in groups...You can use sophisticated modeling to control the parts of the image and pixels you replace (masking and selection).

Before you can do anything, you have to recognize the problem. It is like if I show you (3+4)?8= and don't tell you what the "?" is, you can't complete the problem. No book or program can force any user to recognize what is wrong. However, when you have the techniques and recognize the problem, working toward a solution becomes possible.

The next step is to realize that you will often need a creative solution to the problem. This means mixing various basic techniques to arrive at a solution. In this case you might try to use the rubber stamp, or patching, the Mend tool, restarting the process, or even redoing the image without the help of the Photomerge tool. The latter sounds actually to be the best option to me. I like manual processes, though, because of the flexibility, and it may not be the best for everyone to start over (though in stitching images, you may need to adjust for exposure compensations to make the parts fit). What no book can really teach you is your own personal process. It takes time -- and having a good grasp of the basics, which hopefully Hidden Power has provided along with a means of speeding up how you implement those basics.

I do think, all that said -- and working with this image as is -- that Susan is right in suggesting patching.
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