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layer masks in PSE

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Old 04-06-2010, 03:19 PM
Richard_Lynch's Avatar
Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,105
Re: layer masks in PSE

I guess in some sense that is 'support', but not in a really useful way. In version 6.0 which I just tested in, I could not use a brush tool. I could not paste to the new layer. There were very few things I could do at all. Of course I did not spend a lot of time so perhaps there are additional tricks to toss in the bag that get around those issues as well. Apply a limited set of filters, yes...but that's not what I'd need for image editing. Clipping group masks are acceptable as far as I am concerned...not terribly easy to edit.

However, I will modify my future responses to 'seriously minimalist layer support' as I was not aware of that trick (though it makes me assume there is another way to achieve it without the keyboard).

Did you find that one or learn it elsewhere?
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:09 AM
Oxford Oxford is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6
Re: layer masks in PSE

I found this quite by accident.
I am by no means an expert at photoshop elements,
but i can offer a few tips i've learned thus far.

1. In pse3 and 4 you can run actions from the effects palette. (never had pse5)

2. In pse6, 7 and 8 when you attempt to invoke an action this way, elements
wants to convert to 8 bits. One way around this is to use scripts, which just
so happens are supported in pse6-8. (a good way to get a layer mask)
An easy way to run a script is to open it from the open dialog. Also for scripts
that you might use more often, such as a layer mask, you can name the script to
to show up under the automation tools menu. This is the same as cs3 and cs4.

3. While i can automate almost everything with actions or scripts, the initial
process of the using the move tool and alt(option) key to make a layer via copy,
is proving to be more difficult to automate.

4. As for pasting, pse3 and 4 work pretty much the same as 8 bits. In pse6-8
instead of pasting you have to paste into selection.

5. An easy way to make a blank layer is shift-ctrl-alt-e, select all, then cut.

6. The biggest drawback is not having adjustment layers (not yet anyway).

7. Yes, the paint tools do not seem to work(so far), but you can either make your
selections on an 8 bit copy and transfer them over or for some selectons, such as
masking, you can use the quick selection tool and then fill with black or white.
To paint on an actual image one could fill or stroke selections and paths.

8. You can also make new channels and have vector masks.

I'll admit the times i have edited a 16 bit image from start to finish are rare
indeed. but there have been a couple of times when having layers in 16 bit
have proved useful. I could certainly make due with an 8 bit workflow, but it
is fun to see what photoshop elements can do.

I hope some of this proves useful.

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Old 04-07-2010, 04:24 AM
Michel B Michel B is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: France, Paris
Posts: 153
Re: layer masks in PSE

Very smart indeed, Oxford!
Those new tips enabled me to set up a workflow to create 16 bits saturation or color masks based on difference mode.
- one 50% grey layer in luminosity mode to select color (Richard's way)
- one filled with selected color in difference mode
- stamp visible, desat and levels
- optional: stamp visible and adjust with filter/threshold or better gradient map...
The result is as clean as what I can get with the hsb/hsl or smartcurves plug-in which also work in 16 bits.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:23 PM
Oxford Oxford is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6
Re: layer masks in PSE

Here is a video showing that indeed photoshop elements does support 16 bit editing. Including adjustment layers, smart objects, smart filters, text and shapes.

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