Originally Posted by mcdronkz
Why do you have to fill the D&B layer with a 50% grey first? It seems like painting on a transparent layer works just as well. Just wondering.
Very good question and using a fully transparent layer does work quite well yet it does have some differences than using a gray layer approach.
Originally Posted by edgework
It does. Grey has no effect any of the "light" modes, as well as Hard Mix. But it makes it easy to see what you've actually put into the layer, if that ever interests you.
In addition to the difference mentioned by edgework, there are two functional differences as well.
- The impact on Layer Stack transparency is different. If you use a gray layer, the resulting transparency is 0% (100% opacity). If you use a fully transparent Layer, the resulting transparency is just the transparency presented from the layers below (to see this you have to have some transparency in the lower layer and no background layer)
- If you paint with a brush/pencil in a mode other than normal, the result you achieve will be different using a gray layer than when using a fully transparent layer.
This is neither good nor bad. It just depends on the result you desire in your Layer Stack. You just need to be aware of the differences and the impact to your image. If this does not make sense I could post some examples.
Originally Posted by Der_W
John, great idea to use the contrast modes to combine the different effects :-)!
Looking at the actual formulas of the blend modes, it looks like you picked the right ones to do the job :-)!
Thanks Der_W. My brain works more visually than with equations/formulas so I just matched up the transfer curves of the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop (not the article) with matching transfer curves of blend modes. It was a real good match for the case when the Protect Tones was not checked.