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USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer?

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  #1  
Old 01-29-2009, 09:52 PM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer?

Hi all,

I'm new here and it looks like a helpful community. I'm also pretty new to Photoshop, so please bear with me.

Lately, I've grown tired of healing dust spots only to reveal ones that I'd missed, when sharpening at the end of the job.

First I tried fooling with the history palette. Set it up with the linear history option. USM as my first adjustment, revealing all the dust in gritty detail. Then lots of cloning to remove the dust, and then trying (unsuccessfully) to simply delete the USM state, leaving all my healing work intact.

No dice. Doesn't seem to work for me. I can apparently delete the USM state from the list, but its effects still remain.

Next I played with layers, but could only get to a point where I applied USM to a copy of the bgnd layer to bring the dust into sharp view, then toggled it on and off and cloned away without seeing the effects of my work "as it happens". I know some people do this, but I figure there must be a better way.

Is there any way to create a USM layer that lets me see where the dust is, and allows me to see the effect of the healing brush as I'm using it...on another layer? I really don't want to commit to a USM setting till the image is done.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:38 PM
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Hello and welcome.

The problem is that you are sampling all layers while healing. So the heal also picks up the sharpening.

You have to put the sharpener over the heal layer, then change the heal brush to current and below. This will omit the above sharpener but the sharpened spot will remain until you hide the sharpened layer. So periodically you might want to check your heals to make sure your getting it right.

Unfortunately the spot healing brush only allows you to either heal from current layer or all layers. So you must turn off the sharpen every time you spot heal.

Hope it helps,
-Keven
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File Type: jpg heal-C&B.jpg (30.9 KB, 12 views)
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:37 AM
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
The problem is that you are sampling all layers while healing.
Thanks for the input. I was actually sampling from the current (bgnd) layer and toggling the upper (USM)layer visibility on and off to locate spots and then to verify healing changes.

I just find this a bit like flying in the dark and was hoping to find a single "A-HA!" kind of solution. I suppose I could just clean up the dirt WYSIWYG on the USM layer, but then I'm stuck with that initial degree of sharpening.

In the end, it looks like I've simply got to keep on spotting my images at 300% to catch all the dirt.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:17 AM
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Im a little confused...can you post an example (crop or other) or a screen shoot of your layers pallet.

Is this spotting due to dirty sensor? if so, shoot a shot at white background before hand at f/32 and that will give you a "map" of the junk on the sensor. If you having that much problems... its time for a good cleaning.

if your looking for a diffrent way to find them, if there dark or black, threshold could be a usefull tool. Lots of diff ways

-Keven
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:33 AM
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
Is this spotting due to dirty sensor?
Apologies, I'm using "spotting" as a term held over from my days of retouching negs and prints by hand, which today is cloning, or healing, or whatever.

I scan a lot of stuff. Using a pair of Epson flatbeds and Nikon 5000 & 9000 film scanners. ICE handles most of the dust on the color negs and transparencies, but I've been getting more prints lately and dust removal is starting to take up a lot of time.

Filtering during scanning or later with PS has, IMO, considerable drawbacks, so I'm looking for ways to more easily "spot the spots", kill 'em and move on to the next print.

It's kind of a volume scenario where adjusting color, exposure, curves and USM are all done on the first layer. If creating another layer was going to be helpful, I'd allow the time, but it doesn't look like that's the case.

Sorry I left you scratching your head. And thanks again for your trouble.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:41 AM
Joel23 Joel23 is offline
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Hi,
not an A-HA! solution, but it works pretty good for me: copy background layer, run a high-pass mask on it, set the pixel amount until you can see the spots quite good. Set blend mode to color dodge.
You might want to set the opacity to 70% or less and also maybe screw down the "fill" value - all together just enough to have the spots still good visible and get them invisibility by the next step.
Work with the spothealing brush tool on the background layer, but make sure "sample all layers" is disabled.

See the attached image - for demonstrating reasons the spots are quite obvious already - from the left to the right:
1. original, 2. high-pass, 3. color dodge and opacity set, 4. result with layer still active.

Note the white area was burned by the high-pass layer which makes it impossible to spot and work on the dust anymore - on images like this, delete the layer and start over with a new high-pass layer for higlighted areas, likes skies etc.
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File Type: jpg Untitled-2.jpg (60.6 KB, 34 views)
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:23 PM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel23 View Post
not an A-HA! solution, but it works pretty good for me
Thanks. Tried your technique this morning, and it's certainly a trick I'll be experiment with at greater length when working on my own personal images.

SB

Last edited by Southbay; 01-30-2009 at 02:01 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2009, 01:59 PM
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Southbay,
Here is another method of dusting scans or dirty originals that I picked up recently from an article in Mastering Digital Photo Processing; author Ctein.. I like the technique and it is quite fast as well as easy.
- Merge up your layers and add a Dust & Scratches filter. Set the threshold high enough to pretty much filter out the specks but not the grain;
- Make that layer your history state;
- Revert to the previous state and use the history brush on that layer in either lighten or darken mode. Use lighten on dark spots, darken on light spots.

This works well on spots that are comprised of one lightness, typical of scans or actual dust.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:10 PM
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

After seeing an example, I was able to play around and found something that will help you out possibly a lot.

Create a new layer
Fill with white. (Edit>>>fill>>white)
Change the blening mode to Diffrence

This will make whites black and blacks white. You can more easily see the black spots and when you heal from current layer, the spots will dissipear when the black is removed. You still have to zoom in to see the small spots, but as long as there black, they should easily be seen.

Hope it helps,
-Keven
Attached Images
File Type: jpg spots-KA.jpg (11.1 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg spots-KA-screenshot.jpg (45.5 KB, 17 views)

Last edited by igot2pman; 01-30-2009 at 07:21 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2009, 11:41 PM
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Southbay Southbay is offline
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Re: USM layer to highlight dust, then delete layer

Wow, thanks guys!

Just spent the afternoon playing around with the last couple of suggestions from tommyO and igot2pman, and I'm a pretty happy camper. I've come away with three very useful ways of locating artifacts. Best of all, they're nice and direct - not at all time consuming.

I guess I don't have to tell you how many nicks and scratches show up on prints that have been kicking around in shoeboxes for decades. It's nice to have new tricks up my sleeve.

Again...appreciated!
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