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Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

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  #1  
Old 09-08-2013, 02:17 PM
baryon baryon is offline
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Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

I have recently been experimenting with frequency separation, using the Apply Image method to create a "blurred" layer and a high frequency one.

I absolutely love the amount of control you get when cloning directly on the high frequency layer: it's not something you can normally do with the clone stamp or the healing brush. I understand why it's a better method.

Before I used frequency separation, I always had a "clone" layer, an empty layer on which I did all my cloning and healing, with the tools set to "Current & Below". This was great because I could selectively erase parts of that layer and start over, at any time. It's truly non-destructive.

Now, my problem: how do you do that with frequency separation? As I understand, you must clone directly on the high frequency layer for it to work. So what if, after 3 hours, you decide that you shouldn't have removed that blemish, or you made a mistake somewhere, but you don't want to start from scratch? You can't selectively revert certain areas of the high frequency layer to its original state.

Is there a way to do this? Say, make a blank layer on top of the high frequency layer, and have the clone tool only clone from the high freq layer onto the new blank layer? I can't get this to work because of the Linear Light blending mode. Is there some method to achieve this?

Otherwise, frequency separation is actually quite destructive, since you can't go back (unless you Undo of course, but that's not what non-destructivism is about). Sure, you can take your original layer, frequency separate that, and then copy bits of the original high freq layer onto your modified one to revert those areas… but that's very fiddly and leaves you with way more layers than seems necessary.

Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:49 PM
edgework edgework is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

Dupe the high frequency layer before retouching and turn it off. If you want to change your mind about a certain area, make a soft selection around that area, copy from the unretouched layer and paste into the retouched layer. A bit of a work around, and, if you've done a lot of retouching, you might risk losing pixels you want to keep, but if you're careful, it addresses your issue and retains all the benefits of retouching the Hi Freq layer.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:38 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

Actually you can make it a non destructive workflow. Duplicate the HF layer, change its blend mode to Normal and clip the duplicate to the HF layer below. Now add a layer mask to ithe Duplicate HF and also add a layer mask to it. Do all of your work on that duplicate HF layer. If you need to go back and undo anything, just paint with a black brush on the layer mask. This technique is fully non destructive and your only penalty is adding an additional layer to the image.
Cheers, Murray
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:32 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the option of using the history brush. Make sure you have enough history states set in preferences. Set your history state to the point before you start to work on the HF layer. Using the history brush not only allows you to revert any part or all of the HF layer, but also allows you control over the edge-quality and opacity of your reversions. This seems so obvious that I suspect I must be missing something.
If there are issues re the history log getting too big, there is also the option of making snapshots.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:06 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the option of using the history brush. Make sure you have enough history states set in preferences. Set your history state to the point before you start to work on the HF layer. Using the history brush not only allows you to revert any part or all of the HF layer, but also allows you control over the edge-quality and opacity of your reversions. This seems so obvious that I suspect I must be missing something.
If there are issues re the history log getting too big, there is also the option of making snapshots.
History states are great but they carry with them a huge overhead in memory, disk space, and Photoshop's processing speed. In static mode they are equivalent to adding flattened layers which you can do by just adding those layers. In dynamic mode they are meant for short tern use (20-50 steps). When you are working on a large file, if you don't run out of memory, PS grinds to a snail's pace. With image files that are now 24-36 megapixels per layer and during retouch can be 25+ layers high can have take 10hrs+ worth of hundreds or thousands of brush strokes, history states are not very practical practical.
Cheers, Murray
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:44 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

I always have my history set to 100 states, I work entirely with hi-res images and working file sizes in the region of 200 to 800Mb. Occasionally I go over 1 gig, but usually for temporary 16bit operations. Photoshop seems to be quite happy with that.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:10 AM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

If that is part of your workflow and you want to bring something back. It's very simple, just brush back from the original art work.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:13 AM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

As long as you have the original artwork there no need to worry about "destructive" anything you can always bring back. If you don't want to destroy pixels you just might consider not retouching too much and just dodge and burn (your favorite way).
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:26 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

FWIW, any time you alter the values of an image, there's 'destruction' (data loss). IF the idea of non destructive editing is you can 'go back' to a previous state, well Save As is non destructive...
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:44 AM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: Frequency separation: Really non-destructive?

yes, andrew your right so let me correct what I said if you don't want to destroy pixels as much you just might consider not retouching as much and just dodge and burn.
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