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Where is QuickMask? Actions?

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  #11  
Old 01-20-2005, 06:41 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Just to say, my original point was to describe a method that was similar to Quick Mask. I was considering the creation of a new tool, and was wondering if what I defined was all that was necessary in synthesis. What I was essentially driving at in my response is that either the method you describe or the one I do does not have a distinct advantage...I am pretty good with the program and distinction between techniques ;-) -- however, thanks for taking the time to discuss them. As with most things in Photoshop and Elements, they are different techniques to essentially the same end: I didn't mean to get at all so picky...but since you did (all for the sake of elaborating on what would be important in a new tool):

Quote:
First, my method preserves the original foreground and background color settings. Your's doesn't.
Actually your method doesn't preserve foreground and background, the user will have to change to white or black (or gray) to apply color to the mask. This would have to be built into the tool. If they do not, they get a partial masking. Your 'second' point points this out. Certainly the colors switch back if you activate a color layer. If it is really important, I could build this adjustment into the action to restore the colors when switching in and out of the mode when using the solidity method.

I am not sure of the advantage of the 'second' point -- unless you are suggesting that the switch to default color is an aid in returning to your 'quick mask' mode. This feeds my next point...

Quote:
Quick mask can use the "x" key to switch the brush color back and forth to refine the mask, you would need to use the "n" and "e" keys instead.
...use N and E with the advantage that you can set different brushes for application and removal. As I often use a large brush for application and a small one for touchup, this could be slated as an advantage.

Used in conjunction with layer masking (which your method cannot do, as it *is* layer masking) you can switch back and forth between application and touchup using the same tool by clicking the thumbnails in the layer palette. Standard Layer Mask is included with the Hidden Power tool set, and can be linked into the function of Quick Mask tools if I build them. That would give the user the ability to work with solidity and masking at the same time.

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There could be a potential problem with your method here as I suspect more users will try to change the brush color than will change the tool opacity.
I tend to have more faith in users/readers than that. If they know that using a tool is based on solidity, then users have to adjust to using solidity in the application. Most users will be as uncomfortable with using solidity as they are with layer masking if there is any doubt or lack of experience.

I have not tested, but in practice, conversion of your fill layer method to a selection when coming in and out of the tool will require several more steps than simply loading the layer solidity. Additional steps take time, and slow the function of tools. Of course, this becomes the same thing if the solidity method i describe is combined with layer mask. i am wondering if it is necessary.

What i guess i am really looking for is what DISTINCTLY separates Quick Mask as a tool -- as if I am going to make a tool to mimick the functionality, I want to make it as close as I can to user expectation. The only thing I ever really used QM for is adjusting an existing selection, or previewing it. Each of these things I can do in Elements using methods i have already built -- and the solidity method that i describe.


So, all that said, I would need some feedback:

are both methods necessary? does solidity with layer masking give you all you need? What is the workflow you really use with Quick Mask?

answers here will help in building the tool.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2005, 03:45 AM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Hi Richard,

I didn't mean to sound picky either. I do have a tendency to go on a bit and include too much detail. I'll try to watch that and be more succinct in future posts.

I hope I didn't come across as pushing my method over yours. I tried to make it clear that that was not my intent. I only wanted to be helpful. Honest! Anyway, let me clear up an issue with the foreground/background swatches that I think will be worthwhile to address and I will consider this closed. I agee with you that enough has been said. Fair enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_Lynch
Actually your method doesn't preserve foreground and background, the user will have to change to white or black (or gray) to apply color to the mask. This would have to be built into the tool. If they do not, they get a partial masking.
I think there was a misunderstanding on both sides on this.

By preserving foreground and background, what I meant was that the foreground/background settings while the normal layer was active were independent of the settings present when the adjustment layer was active. If my swatches were blue and green before I made the adjustment layer active, they were still blue and green after I made the image layer active again -- no matter what I did to the swatches while the adjustment layer was active.

The other problem was that I wasn't entirely correct with what I said about needing to set the foreground/background to black and white when activating the adjustment layer. I did some experimentation and found that Elements keeps at least 3 separate sets of foreground/background settings and saves them across sessions. I found it kept the settings for the image layer, the fill adjustment layer, and Quick Mask --it may keep even more but I didn't test anything else. And, it's not associated with the image file so what you get is either the default setting, if not previously used, or the last setting you used for that type of entity. So, I really didn't have to do anything. Of course, if the last setting you used contained gray for a partial selection you would probably want to change that but you have exactly the same situation with QM.

There, I'm finished. You'll not hear another word from me on this.

In regards to the feedback you requested, I'm afraid I'm pretty much like you in regards to using quick mask. I hardly use it any more so I'll skip the workflow aspect. Interestingly enough though, I've been reading Katrin Eismann's new book "Photoshop Masking & compositing" and Katrin expresses a very high opinion of QM and says she uses it all the time. You need feedback from someone like her. Know any frequent QM users?

As far as the other question, I think you don't need to implement both methods. Either layer masking or solidity can handle the job. Using both is a bit of overkill, in my opinion. Keep it simple.

Good luck with the new tool.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2005, 08:02 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Thanks for the reply...no need to keep quiet. One thing that is good in a discussion group: discussion.

As it would take very little additional time, I am thinking I'll do both and explain that users can install either or both...I like to get the best of both worlds. Or perhaps it is enough to do the solidity version with a mask...Opinions?

Anyone interested in testing? contact me.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2005, 09:59 PM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_Lynch
As it would take very little additional time, I am thinking I'll do both and explain that users can install either or both...I like to get the best of both worlds. Or perhaps it is enough to do the solidity version with a mask...Opinions?
I think the either or both option is reasonable and will work. People have different ways of thinking and working and that would let them use what is best suited for them.

By the "solidity version with a mask" do you mean the solidity techniqe as you've described with a layer mask embedded? I tried playing with that to see what that would be like and it was easier to non-destructively refine the solidity areas (worked really well with partial selections) but it wasn't a simple one click conversion to a selection. I found that ctrl-click on the image thumbnail or layer in the layer palette gave me a selection based on solidity only while ctrl-clicking on the mask thumbnail gave me a selection based on the mask only. To get a selection based on both, I had to hide the other layers and do a stamp visable (ctrl-shift-alt-E) with a new layer and then ctrl-click on that. Did I interpret what you meant correctly or did I go down the wrong path?

I did notice one thing that I should have recognized earlier. With the solidity method, you will need to change the layer opacity back to 100% before ctrl-clicking to get a selection. Otherwise, you'll get a partial selection. That step was missing in your original description. I didn't catch that until I actually tried creating a mask from a selection made using the solidity method and didn't get what I expected. Once I thought about it, it was obvious. Guess I'm getting old.

Last edited by BobJones; 01-23-2005 at 10:13 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2005, 10:02 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Quote:
By the "solidity version with a mask" do you mean the solidity techniqe as you've described with a layer mask embedded?
Yes.
Quote:
I tried playing with that to see what that would be like and it was easier to non-destructively refine the solidity areas (worked really well with partial selections) but it wasn't a simple one click conversion to a selection.
I will take care of that in the design of the tool. The conversion will happen automatically when you use the tool to get out of the mask mode.
Quote:
Did I interpret what you meant correctly or did I go down the wrong path?
You've got it, but think of it this way:
one click to get into Quick Mask mode; one click to get out of Quick Mask mode. I can create actions for the setup and the conversion.
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2005, 05:08 PM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Thanks, I think I've got it now.
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