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Photo Compositing Collage, montage, masking, selections, combining, etc.

Layer Masks or History Brush ?

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2002, 03:34 PM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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Layer Masks or History Brush ?

A tip for retouching is using layer masks. For smoothing of skin, ect..ect.. Instead of using the history brush,use layer masks. Where you can control the amount of editing on the image.By painting on the layer mask with black and/or white. You can even use the opacity as well. You can go back to the layers to edit them. Unlike a snapshot(you lose your states after you close out the file). And can not save history states.
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Old 03-05-2002, 07:31 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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That's a great tip John. Thanks. I will try that from now on. It sure makes sense. I think we get used to using certain tools for certain tasks and don't think to try them for something new. It makes perfect sense and once I got used to layer masks I have been using them all the time but not for that specific task. Good one.
DJ
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Old 03-05-2002, 11:44 PM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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Here try this. Take the background layer. Make a copy of it.(right click your mouse> click duplicate copy. Do that three times. Take the first duplicate copy you made(first one) And apply a gaussian blur(your choice setting) To the first duplicate layer. Then change the layer to darken mode.
Note: if you want to see the effect of the blur on the first duplicate layer, you have to click the eyeball (make the eyeball not show) on the second and third duplicate layers.





Apply an adjustment curve to the first duplicate layer,go layer> adjustment layer>curves,and lighten the curve, just a little bit. At the midtone point........ BTW, I don't use levels anymore. But it can be done in levels using the midtone slider. On the second duplicate layer.
Note: Click on the eyeball(make the eyeball appear) on the second duplicate layer.




Apply a gaussian blur twice the amount you applied to the first duplicate layer. Then change the layer(second duplicate layer) to lighten mode. Again, apply a curve(or levels) adjustment layer to the second duplicate layer. And darken the second duplicate layer,a little bit. At the midtone point of the curve or midtone slider. The third duplicate copy just add a layer mask.
Note: Click on the eyeball(make the eyeball appear) on the third duplicate layer)




Go layer>add layer mask> you can go either way, hide all or reveal all(one will be either a black or a white layer mask). And paint on that layer mask(paint black if it's a white layer mask. Paint white,if it's a black layer mask).You can paint adjusting the opacity of the color (black or white) on the layer as well. Or even gray.

This is where layer masks "have the power" over the history brush. Forget the history brush, it's History!







Using the history brush. You can save your snapshots.

To do this you have to save them as a seperate file(New Document). Just make sure you don't resize your original.

Last edited by john_opitz; 03-23-2002 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 03-06-2002, 09:31 AM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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I'm definately going to use that method. It makes sense and it's reversible. You can't beat that. Thanks again John. Hey that would have made a nice tutorial for this site.
DJ
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Old 03-22-2002, 02:53 AM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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The work around for saving snapshots for using the history brush is saving then as a seperate file. New document. The only thing is if you resize the working file(your original) you can't use that new document unless you resize it to the original.
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Old 03-22-2002, 10:04 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Thanks for the tips John. I'm also a big fan of layer masks, and I can see where your tips would make things a little easier.

Ed
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Old 03-22-2002, 05:34 PM
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winwintoo winwintoo is offline
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I'm truly befuddled....

Please be gentle with me - I followed John's instructions for the layer mask (above) and ended up with many layers and then couldn't figure out what to do with them.

I've been banging my head against my computer trying to figure out what you use a mask for after you've gone to all the trouble to make it?? I guess another way to state the question is: "what problem in photo retouching does a mask solve??"

Your descriptions are always so eloquent, but I can't seem to put it to any use. What am I missing??

I'm sure I'm not the only newby that is confused.

Thanks for all your help. Don't get me wrong I've learned more in 3 weeks from this web site than I did in 6 months trying to learn from a book!

Margaret
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Old 03-22-2002, 06:35 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Thanks John,

I had already started using Layer Masks, but only in a very limited way....

Now I'm going to "practice" with your tip..
I know it will make my life a lot easier...

Flora
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Old 03-22-2002, 09:49 PM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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Hello winwintoo,

< "what problem in photo retouching does a mask solve??" >

Let's say(in my case. What I learned about the power of layer masks). An Art Director comes back to me and says: " John, I want less blurring or maybe a little more blurring on the picture, I don't know." I would say:, " no problem bay-bee. I'll do it both ways for you"! But deep down, I'm saying: "make up your mind,.....you bonehead". So I just go to the layer mask in question and add or subtract from it by painting white or black or anything in between(gray).

I'm going to edit the instructions to my post so you can see the effect on every layer, when applying the blur. I know in the beginning it can be hard to understand with all the layers.
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Old 03-22-2002, 11:03 PM
john_opitz john_opitz is offline
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You have to excuse me for using the term "bonehead" in "Art Director". I don't mean this. Sometimes this happens at the studio as well as in my posts. I sometimes come down with Tourette's Disorder working with some people in the photography field, when the pressure is on. Again. I don't mean this.
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