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D&B Curves vs. 50 % Fill Gray Layer ???

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:44 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: D&B Curves vs. 50 % Fill Gray Layer ???

Hi John,

Your TMI is always useful and interesting Not to worry....

I was using the term skin tones in the generic broad-brush sense it's often used, referring to skin "color + 'tone proper' ".

What you're saying about Overlay vs Exposure makes sense. Each adjustment has a sweet spot range where it works and beyond that it falls apart. Exposure tends to fall apart at 2-4 stops from my experience in both Lightroom and Photoshop. Specifically, in Lightroom you can see a clear difference between:
  • setting the Exposure adjustment brush to -2 and adjusting it to -2.5 (works better) and
  • setting to 0 or -0.5 and pushing it to -2.5 after painting the adjustment (doesn't work as well)
So I keep my Exposure layers at +/- 1 stop and that works fine, I can push them a little farther but not much. Keeps the skin colors (hues) intact nicely compared to Overlay layers.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:16 AM
Luke Kaven Luke Kaven is offline
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Re: D&B Curves vs. 50 % Fill Gray Layer ???

Originally Posted by cricket1961 View Post
It is true that brushing on a softlight grey filled layer can have its detriments on non-organic objects. Especially where gradients are concerned.
Sometimes I wish there were 16-bit masks for reasons just like this.

Photoshop needs a complete redesign from the ground up.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:03 AM
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oneredpanther oneredpanther is offline
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Re: D&B Curves vs. 50 % Fill Gray Layer ???

For me the entire argument comes down to efficiency.

Using two curve layers is a pain in the ass for pixel-level work because you have switch layers all the time (minimum two key presses) whereas on the 50% grey softlight I can just tap the X key to go from dodge to burn instantly.

The difference between alternately pressing Alt-] and Alt-[ as opposed to just tapping X is huge when it's something I do thousands of times per retouch.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:33 AM
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John Wheeler John Wheeler is offline
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Re: D&B Curves vs. 50 % Fill Gray Layer ???

Hi oneredpanther

I agree with your comments. What I ideally would like is on one non-destructive layer (not an image copy) the functionality of the D&B tools including targeting highlights, midtones, and shadows with the checkbox option of preserve tonality. I do not know how to do that though (yet )

You mentioned:
Sometimes I wish there were 16-bit masks for reasons just like this.
I don't know all the issues with masks on this topic yet in 16 bit mode the masks do support 16 bit values and they function correctly. I remember hearing that same statement many years ago and decided to just check it out on my copy of CS5. Seemed to work for me. Do you have any more details about not having 16 bit support in masks? (or anyone else?)
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