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Frustration vs payoff

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Old 10-30-2010, 06:38 AM
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Nasturtium Nasturtium is offline
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Frustration vs payoff

I've found that the amount of frustration endured in learning a software program is roughly equal to it's value. A big part of learning digital editing (for me anyway) is experimentation. Which is also true for photography. With photography my 'keep' rate runs roughly 10% and with edits around 40%. I guess nobody bats a 1000.

I was showing one of my friends a few things on the computer and she kept saying, 'this is SO frustrating!' - Well, yes it is. If you aren't the kind of person who enjoys experimentation then trying to learn Photoshop probably isn't a good idea.

And why is it that those for pay sites that teach Photoshop advertise how many hours of training they offer? Like the more time spent the better? Personally I would rather know how efficiently I could learn. Isn't there an effective 'quick' start teaching program out there?

Which method has allowed you to understand and master photo editing software the best?
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:52 AM
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

HI!


What helped me the most and what made me an easy learner at the beginning (not anymore :- ) is that I was a lab technician before. I've done a lot of masking, painting, internegatives etc... during or before the printing process, so for me masking, contrast masks, high pass, curves, Dodge and Burn were things that I always been accustomed to. You may imagine that layers, pen tool, were on the contrary, the worst to grasp. I like to understand how filters works and, for example, I spent a valuable amount of time, and frustration as well, to understand properly the blending modes and the "blend if" function.
The frustration is gigantic, because mostly we don't understand (at least me) the inner truth beyond the PS stuff.
My aim at the moment ( Ma marotte, in French) is to understand the Displacement map filter and the way it's interacting with the color channels (green and red) as explained roughly in Katrin Eisman "compositing", I tried to reproduce the experiments and still don't get the clue. Frustration again. There's nothing more annoying than following a tutorial and achieving a great result with the image provided and fail completely with another image or another resolution and never understanding why (like in the FS technique with apply image: Why "offset at 128 and scale at 2" for 8 bits images. We all know it works but why, nobody seems to bother). Sometimes I feel like a puppet.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:45 AM
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

yes, the pen tool is a great example of this.

I guess there are people who want to know 'how' and people who want to know 'why'. I'm one of the latter. Which made this long and geeky retweet by Katrin Eismann this kinda interesting.

I haven't tackled displacement maps because I'm still stuck on #11 of Photoshop top 40.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:24 AM
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

The problem with displacement maps it's that you only get tutorial with, "dothat" "dothis", with that amount of vertical and horizontal scale and nobody's explain you why these figures. Why? because making a tutorial explaining the aim of a displacement map in an image is quite easy but how...And nobody want people to close the tab of your tutorial page at the first maths formula. Or maybe they just don't know how it works and everybody is happy with that. I'm not.

thanks for the links anyway...cheers.

PS: The only valuable tut I've found on the net is this one
http://photoshopcontest.com/tutorial...ent-water.html
It was so hard to find that I would keep it for myself...
I would be very pleased if other people had some piece of info on this.

Last edited by 4personnen; 10-31-2010 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:40 AM
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

I want to add:
Learning and discovering never ends...
yesterday I was working on a"commercial" image and I was scrutinising the channels - as I always do- and then I discovered that the red channel was beautiful by itself, a great soft-but-sharp black and white...I decided to copy it and paste it on the top of my layers stack and then changed the blending mode to soft light and reduce the opacity...From now, the portrait is "glowing" and crisp at the same time...I was very proud of myself...It just took me 2 minutes and if I was not happy I could simply delete the layer. I noted that on my notebook...Always have a notebook at hand :-)

Last edited by 4personnen; 10-31-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:39 PM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4personnen View Post
I want to add:
Learning and discovering never ends...
yesterday I was working on a"commercial" image and I was scrutinising the channels - as I always do- and then I discovered that the red channel was beautiful by itself, a great soft-but-sharp black and white...I decided to copy it and paste it on the top of my layers stack and then changed the blending mode to soft light and reduce the opacity...From now, the portrait is "glowing" and crisp at the same time...I was very proud of myself...It just took me 2 minutes and if I was not happy I could simply delete the layer. I noted that on my notebook...Always have a notebook at hand :-)
Were you trying this on a color image or a b&w image....... I tried it on both and under the edit menu the "cut" was grayed out... how did you cut and paste
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:55 PM
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4personnen 4personnen is offline
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

on a color image...just selected the channel... ctrl+A, ctrl+C then go to layers ->ctrl +N, ctrl+V (win) - people seems to skip the ctrl+a stuff.


PS: Never "cut" something! You can still leave it there with the "eye" icon turned off...

Last edited by 4personnen; 10-31-2010 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:54 AM
lokki lokki is offline
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

An alternative to copying the Red channel to the layer stack is to copy it to a new Alpha channel (just drag it to the bottom of the layers panel, on top of the 'New Layer' icon). Then create a new layer in your regular stack, choose the Alpha 1 channel from your Select menu, and fill with white on the new layer.

This gives you the channel as a transparency on your layer, which you can further refine and apply layer effects to (after setting the layer blend mode to Soft Light, apply a layer effect like Outer Glow and change the effects' color to something sampled from within the image, and lower the opacity of the effect).
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:24 AM
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

I'll try this one, thanks
any hints for displacement maps?.
PS: There was a retouchpro live the other day with an Abobe Engineer. I should have register just to ask, I just forgot :-)
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:50 PM
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Re: Frustration vs payoff

Best way to learn is by using...

To learn photo editing software, get the one that is the most intuitive,
Corel's "Paint Shop Pro Photo". Just happens to be the best price point too.

Wordless knowing is always better than chatter.
Of course, with PhotoShop, chatter is king.
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