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The Stepwedge and why to use it

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  #1  
Old 07-27-2003, 10:18 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Post The Stepwedge and why to use it

Ever wonder why a stepwedge is our logo? That's because it's one of the most useful tools in image editing (Photoshop 7, but any editor will work) [details]
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Old 07-28-2003, 01:36 PM
gina gina is offline
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Thank you very much!
I used the stepwedge before but I never thought about using it in Photoshop.
You opened my eyes for this enormous help!

Thanks again


Gina

ps : do you enlarge your canvas and put it on every layer or what?
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Old 07-28-2003, 02:13 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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This is an excellent tutorial. I've seen this before, but I don't remember it as having so many illustrations. Did you edit it, or am I getting (more) old?

Ed
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:50 PM
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Brand new, from scratch. Took me about 20 minutes total with the new tutorial publishing system.
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Old 09-08-2003, 02:07 AM
drhiii drhiii is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Doug Nelson
Brand new, from scratch. Took me about 20 minutes total with the new tutorial publishing system.

Hello... a newbie to Photoshop and have a question... have created the Stepwedge strip and have to say this is a very smart idea. Below is a quote from the tutorial. Question is... how do you "drag a copy onto the border of any image"? Am a bit lost on that one. Any help would be much appreciated.

drhiii

Finally, use Image > Adjustments > Posterize set to 21 steps. This will provide a stepwedge with even steps of 5% difference from each neighbor. Save this after flattening as a PSD or TIF file, and drag a copy onto the border of any image you're working on.
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Old 09-08-2003, 03:50 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Hi Doug, I have a couple of small additions to your excellent tutorial - on the mechanics of constructing the gradient.

i) As we all know, grads often band. This is why the gradient tool has a 'dither' option to add subtle minor noise to the gradation, which is a very good thing for print reproduction, but not for small web files or for calibration step wedges as being discussed here. So uncheck the dither option when making a grad for posterizing.

ii) Different working spaces use different gamma/dot gain - which affects the gradation. This is why the posterized gradation does not have even width patches from highlights to shadows. There are two options to fix this issue when making a calibration grad, but perhaps not for a regular gradation:

* Set the SMOOTHNESS option to zero (0) for this calibration gradient (in the gradient editor).

or

* After constructing the gradation, run the Equalize command over the gradation (if using 100% smoothness).

One may choose to select most of the gradient for posterizing into steps, but still wish to leave a full width section as a gradation strip over or under the steps.

Please feel free to incorporate these tips into your tutorial.

Regards,

Stephen Marsh.
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Old 09-08-2003, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by drhiii
Question is... how do you "drag a copy onto the border of any image"? Am a bit lost on that one. Any help would be much appreciated.
With both documents open (your working document and the stepwedge document) click and hold on the stepwedge layer icon and drag it over onto your working document. It will be added as a new layer.
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Old 09-08-2003, 02:33 PM
drhiii drhiii is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Doug Nelson
With both documents open (your working document and the stepwedge document) click and hold on the stepwedge layer icon and drag it over onto your working document. It will be added as a new layer.


Got it. Understand. Simple. Too simple as I tried many other ways... tx for the time to help...

drhiii
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Old 11-19-2003, 06:06 PM
Phil Phil Phil Phil is offline
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Using the stepwedge

Hi Doug,

I'm new to the forums, and relatively new to PS, so any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

I have read your tutorial on stepwedges, built one, and pasted it into my image as a layer. Now, and this will give you an idea of how unenlightened I am, I can't figure out how to use it. How do I get it to reflect the operations (eg Levels, Curves, etc.) that I am performing on my image?

I am intrigued by the use of the stepwedge, to give me an understanding of the impact the various tools will have on my images, but I've spent a couple hours on this and come to a dead end.

(The only work I do in PS is to improve photos that I have taken myself.)

Regards, Phil
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:14 PM
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If the stepwedge is on the layer of your photo (or below) it can't help but reflect any global adjustments you make. Or you can just leave it on the layer above your image and just make sure all adjustment layers are above it.

Don't think of it like a meter or something else you need to watch constantly. Just as a kind of guide to let you know exactly what you're doing, especially if you're doing something inadvertently destructive.

And in typing this it came to me that maybe you're not using adjustment layers? If you're using the stepwedge on a separate layer and then making non-layered adjustments, you're right in that it would be rather useless (again, unless you merged it to the image layer).

But I do recommend adjustment layers if even remotely possible.
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