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Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

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  #21  
Old 04-08-2008, 05:05 PM
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AFrazier AFrazier is offline
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayday View Post
Gradients are not something I personaly find very good for skin tones
I have to agree with you. That's why I stopped using them. They were too much work.

To really make the gradient map good for skin tones, you have to separate the skin from the rest of the photo onto its own layer. The problem with the gradient map is that it shades the whole image, dark to light (or reverse), from the darkest pixel to the lightest. Since your blacks and whites aren't always in the skin tone, the colors you use don't always end up being the colors you get. Point of fact, your "skin tone" ends up being whatever you put in the middle of the gradient scale, making every colorization you do "peach."
You can get closer results if the gradient map is working purely on skin pixels, and not on the skin, the tree, the woman's black dress, etc., which throws everything off.

So again, I have to agree with you. With curves, all you need is three pixels and three color samples. Make a new layer, adjust the curves with the droppers, fine tune the levels or opacity, and mask.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2008, 06:16 PM
CaptainHook CaptainHook is offline
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

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Originally Posted by AFrazier View Post
Okay, good ... so it wasn't just ME! Saving is, in fact, an issue.
No, saving isn't an issue.
Saving a gradient will create a *.grd file with all presets currently in the
preset window so you can load your gradients on another computer with PS,
or if you have to re-install, etc.

Creating a 'new' gradient will put it into the current presets.
So you would want to press new to put it into current presets,
then save if you wanted a backup etc.

Hope this helps.
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  #23  
Old 04-08-2008, 09:43 PM
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFrazier View Post
.........
You can get closer results if the gradient map is working purely on skin pixels, and not on the skin, the tree, the woman's black dress, etc., which throws everything off.

So again, I have to agree with you. With curves, all you need is three pixels and three color samples. Make a new layer, adjust the curves with the droppers, fine tune the levels or opacity, and mask.
Now that's strange. On my machine the Gradient Map layer can be masked too.
Lucky me!

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Skin-gradients-byRo.jpg (68.8 KB, 208 views)

Last edited by byRo; 04-08-2008 at 09:55 PM. Reason: added skin gradient examples
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  #24  
Old 04-08-2008, 10:49 PM
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

Yes Rô, the gradient map can be masked an used just like any other adjustment layer.

As it should on any other machine, it is standard on all versions of Photoshop. Ever since the good old days when you held down a special key and saved a gradient map to a location and loaded that map into curves. Then the next version they created it as a correction tool anyone can fine.

Adjustment layer can be used on flesh tones to great extent. It is all in how you apply them.

Just stuff to look forward for the future online posts here, my blog, and at PMA.

Chris
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2008, 08:19 AM
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHook View Post
No, saving isn't an issue.
Saving a gradient will create a *.grd file with all presets currently in the
preset window so you can load your gradients on another computer with Photoshop,
or if you have to re-install, etc.

Creating a 'new' gradient will put it into the current presets.
So you would want to press new to put it into current presets,
then save if you wanted a backup etc.

Hope this helps.
I've tried it both ways. I tried making new ones, and I tried saving modified ones. I know what you mean about .grd files. I've accessed them, loaded them, etc. But what I save and what I pull back up for reuse on new projects is never the same. It will load the file, but produce black and white gradients. It's quite maddening.
I'll have to experiment when I have some time to play with them. Like I said before, I just didn't have the patience to do all that work just to have it get lost a second time (or rather, have it get found, but be worthless).
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  #26  
Old 04-09-2008, 08:25 AM
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

Quote:
Originally Posted by byRo View Post
Now that's strange. On my machine the Gradient Map layer can be masked too.
Lucky me!

I wasn't saying that you couldn't mask a gradient map layer. The problem is that the adjustment is wholesale on the gradient map.
The curves adjustment with the eyedroppers is more specific to the pixels you select. So you can mask either, but you can make a better adjustment with the curves. With the gradient, you won't get as nice (or as true) of a color adjustment unless you separate (not merely mask) the pixels you want to change from the rest of the image so that they represent the full range of darks and lights the image offers the gradient. In curves, you pick the dark, mid, and light point yourself, so there is no need to do any such thing ... only to mask out what you don't want showing (since the curves adjustment will also effect the whole image, just in a different way).
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  #27  
Old 04-09-2008, 11:32 AM
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

AFrazier

You can do this with the transparency sliders in the gradient map editor.

Chris
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  #28  
Old 04-09-2008, 04:56 PM
CaptainHook CaptainHook is offline
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

I use gradient maps on skin quite often.

Chris ~ PMA = ?
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  #29  
Old 04-09-2008, 07:27 PM
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

CaptainHook

Here is a link as to where the articles will appear. First one actually turns out to be for July.

http://www.pmai.org/index.cfm/ci_id/32910/la_id/1.htm

Chris
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  #30  
Old 04-09-2008, 07:31 PM
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Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

To expand a little on my comment about the transparent sliders in the gradient Maps editor.

You really can't apply a gradient map to adjust skin tones at 100%. It is usually quite a bit less, say @40% or so. When used with the transparency sliders set to where you want only a minimum of the GM to hit and using Hue as your blend mode you can get some great results. I will post something tonight if I can showing this.

Chris
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