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bestremera 02-13-2012 05:14 AM

mask window frames
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Did a multi exposure fusion process but left with a problem.

The window frames are painted white. Because no light actually hit them in even the brightest exposures, they end of looking like they're painted gray. I've because of the way the frame areas intersect I'm trying trying to make a selection of the entire wall, with frames, then SUBTRACT, the windows so I'm just left with the frames.
That seems much faster because the wall area, with window frames is an easier selection and then removing the window area from the selection 'seemed' like a simple thing.
But when I select the window area with the 'remove from selection' using the PEN tool, I end up with a selection of the windows only.
How should I approach this problem so I can lighten the frames (I want to use a levels adjustment layer attached to the frame only to lighten them up.
Any suggestions on how to do this?

See image attached.

Thanks, Bob

Repairman 02-13-2012 06:12 AM

Re: mask window frames
It will just take a few minutes to isolate the frames using the pen or lasoo tool. You can feather the selection to match the focus levels of the image (the attachement is too low rez to judge) and use the adjustment layer to suit. Personally I like Variations but Shadow/Hilite, Exposure or Selective colour will get the job done. At times I would even consider making a dupe file, converting to CMYK, adjusting the black and then repasting the amended feature back into the RGB file. Soooo many ways!

Chain 02-13-2012 07:18 AM

Re: mask window frames
3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by bestremera (Post 304600)
But when I select the window area with the 'remove from selection' using the PEN tool, I end up with a selection of the windows only.

Are you confusing paths and selections? I have to guess a bit at exactly what step is confusing you...

If your original "selection" is a path, then using the pen in subtract mode will remove/hide the areas you draw. You can also use the "exclude overlapping" options – I find it quicker in most cases. Note: You can change the mode of the path after constructing it by selecting it with the little black arrow (path selection tool). See 1st. screenshot.

If you already have a regular selection (with the "marching ants" outline) you can select the path you want to subtract (using the path selection tool), right-click > make selection > subtract from selection. See 2nd. screenshot.
However, this selection should already have been turned into a mask by this point?

I'm not familiar with the way you work, but personally I would select the frames using the selection tools or the pen tool and turn that into a regular layer mask (then it is easy to refine the edge).

Edit: Quick Mask is also a good option a lot of the time :)

mistermonday 02-13-2012 08:01 AM

Re: mask window frames
Bob, I think your "gray" problem extends beyond the mirrors. Much of the image looks like it has experienced some tonal inversion, most likely a result of the tonemapper you used. Your more efficient course might be to try a different merge and tonemapping s/w or find a way to reduce the effect in the s/w you are using.
Regards, Murray

des151 02-13-2012 08:13 AM

Re: mask window frames
1 Attachment(s)
I added an exposure adjustment layer and adj. the layer to taste. Add a black mask and paint with white brush to expose your adj. layer. Click once at the end of the window frame hold the shift while clicking again on the other side of the frame. This will give you a straight brush stroke on the mask. Adj. the opacity to taste.

bestremera 02-13-2012 10:10 AM

Re: mask window frames
Chain, love the screen grabs.
I had done a previous, much simpler version and made a selection of the frames (making a path with the pen tool), then 'loading as selection' then applied a Levels adjustment layer and moved the midtones to the left - not so that it was pure white but enough so that it appeared 'more' white. But I'm finding it confounding to make a frame selection on some of these because I find myself getting 'trapped' and unsure how to make a selection that ends where it starts. That' why I'm just trying to figure out how to make a selection of the entire window wall, including the frames and then somehow make a selection of the windows, then 'remove' them from the selection so what I'm left with is just the frames. That's less 'selecting' than trying to isolate the frames because there are so many parts. I made the large selection, then went in with the 'subtract from selection' clicked. Then I selected all the window areas hoping that I would be left with only the frames. But instead, my selection was ONLY of the windows. ???

Chain 02-13-2012 11:24 AM

Re: mask window frames
I prefer Curves over levels. It can do everything that levels can but gives you way more control as you're not limited to just the black/white/50% points. :)

Anyway, try something simple first if you have problems figuring out the tools.
Ps: You can think of the simple shapes we make below as "your wall" and "your windows".

Subtracting from shape using pen tool:
Use the pen tool and create a large polygon (make sure it is set to "exclude overlapping areas" - shown the first screenshot above). Draw a large shape, then some smaller shapes inside it.
When done fill it or use it as a mask on a layer and you will see that you have made a "hole" in your outer path.
Note: Unless any of your paths actually cross each other I would never use the add/subtract modes as they are actually dependent on what path is "on top" (basically in what order they were added). As you can guess this can complicate things ;)

Subtracting from selection using selection tools:
Use a selection tool (let's pick polygonal lasso tool) then make a shape (doubleclick to close the selection). Now, hold down the Alt-key and you will see a little minus sign on your cursor. While holding down that key, start making another selection inside the first one (you can let go of the alt-key after you have started).
When done fill it or use it as a mask on a layer and you will see that you have made a "hole" in your original selection.

Subtracting selections from existing mask:
Sometimes it becomes a bit too complex to make everything as one huge selection. That's fine, just turn it into a mask. First make a selection of your outer shape again, then add a Curves (or some other adjustment) layer; the selection will be converted to a mask. Do somthing with the adjustment (like brighten/darken) so you can see what it affects (right now, only your shape).
Now make a second selection where you would like to "remove" the adjustments. Now, while making sure the mask is (still) selected in the layers palette, fill your selection with black, or simply hit cmd/ctrl-i to invert.

bestremera 02-13-2012 11:57 AM

Re: mask window frames
Thanks Chain, I'll try your tutorial when I get home.

bestremera 02-13-2012 05:30 PM

Re: mask window frames
Chain, I got where I wanted to be. All I needed to do was use my pen tool and just make multiple selections of the frames. The key was, as you suggested, turning off the 'exclude overlapping areas'. And it didn't take much time. Thanks so much.

Chain 02-14-2012 09:29 AM

Re: mask window frames


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