Your approach is most refreshing.
You stated ..."more to follow" ie: Adjustment layers, Layer Masks, Practical applications, Cloning onto a separate layer.
The one thing I find is that must tuts tell a person how a tools works but they forget to tell you how one can use them in real life.
Keep them coming!!!!
In post #8, Danny you tell how to layer another image on to a base image.
How does one deal with the fact that two images may be different sizes. For example, I shot a moonrise a few weeks ago that I let the moon blow out.
I shot in that setting a correctly exposed shot that gives me my moon for the first shot. I goofed and shot the replacement moon at a different focal length.
I want to put the second moon in the hole I selected on the first shot.
Thanks, BTW this is a great thread...
You can layer the "correct" moon shot on top of the "blown out" moon shot, then (assuming the moon is bigger in the "correct" shot) transform the top layer so that the moon is the right size (use Edit -> Transform (Ctrl-T)).
If that doesn't make sense then post the two images and I'll do some screen shots to show you what I mean...
Let's try Layer Masks 101 - Part I. (Note: If you haven't done the "Layer Basics" tutorial [see post #4 above], do that before this installment.)
1. Open any image.
2. Image > Duplicate
3. Close the original. Don't want to mess it up.
3a. If the Layers Palette isn't visible, Window > Layers (or F7)
4. Open a (different) second image. Don't worry about size or resolution. It makes no difference for this exercise.
5. Select > All (Ctrl + A)
6. Edit > Copy (Ctrl + C)
7. Click on the duplicate of first image to make it active
8. Edit > Paste (Ctrl + V), creating Layer 1
9. Layer > Add Layer Mask > Hide All.
Things to notice:
a. You can no longer see the content of Layer 1. Why? Because you "Hid it" with a "Hide All" layer mask. Something to memorize: "Black conceals."
b. See the black thumbnail next to the image thumbnail? That's a visual indication the hide all layer mask was created.
c. Very important: Next to Layer 1's eyeball icon is a square with a circle. This indicates "the layer mask is active." More on that in a minute.
10. It's important to know how to Delete layer masks, too. Click on the layer mask thumbnail (not the icon) in Layer 1, and drag it onto the Trash icon. Click "Discard" in reply to a confirmation message. Notice the layer mask icon next to the eyeball has changed to a paint brush icon = "the layer (itself) is active."
11. Here's the shortcut for adding a hide all layer mask. While holding down the Alt key, click the "layer mask button" at the bottom of the Layers Palette.
12. Hold down the Alt key and drag the just created hide all layer mask into the trash. Notice: No annoying confirmation message.
13. Add a "reveal all" layer mask the easy way: Click the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette. If you prefer using the Layer menu, that's OK too. Note the color of the thumbnail: White. (Remember: "White reveals.")
14. Click on Layer 1's image thumbnail. Notice the icon next to the eyeball switches to the paintbrush.
15. Click on Layer 1's layer mask image thumbnail. Notice the icon next to the eyeball switches to the layer mask icon. Clicking the respective thumbnail to switch between "layer mode" and "layer mask mode."
* We've got a two layer image, Layer 1 has a reveal all (white) layer mask and the Background.
* There are two types of layer masks: Hide All (Black thumbnail) and Reveal All (White thumbnail)
* Layer masks can be added either through menu commands or clicking (or alt + clicking) the layer mask button at the bottom of the Layers Palette
* The fastest way to delete a layer mask is to Alt + drag its thumbnail to the Layers Palette trash.
* Click the respective thumbnail to switch between "layer mode" and "layer mask mode."
* "Black conceals; white reveals."
- - - - - - - - - -
Okay, now for some practical application...
1. Alt drag the Layer 1 layer mask into the trash.
2. Press the D key to set the default foreground/background colors.
3. If the Tools Palette isn't visible, Window > Tools
4. Click on the Eyedropper tool
5. Click any color in the image, populating the foreground color swatch.
6. Press the X key to exchange the foreground and background color swatches.
7. Click a different section of the layer to get a second color.
8. Add a Hide All layer mask via the Layer menu or alt + clicking the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette. Black (hide all) "Hides all of the layer."
9. Notice your carefully chosen foreground and background colors have changed to white and black. More on that in a moment.
10. Press B or click the Brush tool.
11. Place the cursor of the image and right-click. This will bring up the Brushes palette.
12. Choose a hard-edged brush and set the diameter to about 50 pixels.
13. Set brush Opacity=100; Flow=100.
14. Paint a few strokes anywhere. Notice where you paint white, the layer is "revealed." Where black remains, the layer is "concealed."
15. To quickly illustrate the opposite effect, Ctrl + I to "invert" the layer mask. White reveals; black conceals.
16. Ctrl + I again; back the way you were.
17. Press X to exchange the foreground and background colors. Now black should be the foreground color at this point.
18. Paint black over a white area.
19. Press X again; paint white over the area you just painted. Notice how white and black "negate" each other, that is, if you're in "reveal" mode and paint too much white, switch to black and paint over any errors.
So, the layer mask enables you to selectively reveal/conceal portions if a layer. What is revealed/concealed is a function of what's painted on the layer mask. The extremes are black (full conceal) and white (full reveal).
"What about shades of gray?" I'm glad you asked.
1. Drag the Layer 1 layer mask into the trash.
2. For Layer 1, create a new Reveal All layer mask
3. Paint mixing refresher: If you start out with black paint, you add white to get gray; add black to white to get gray.
4. If the Brush tool isn't active, click it on the Brushes palette.
5. Click ON the airbrush setting, Flow=30%, Opacity= 30%.
6. Start painting. What happens? Nothing. When you paint white on a white layer mask, you'll get no change!
7. Press X to change the foreground color to black.
8. Start airbrushing. (The longer you hold down the mouse or digital pen, the more 'paint' will build up.) Note, with the airbrush active, you can gradually reveal (or conceal) the active layer vs. the brute force of no airbrush and Opacity = 100%, Flow = 100%. Experiment with different brushes, brush sizes, Flow and Opacity settings.
9. Now, click on the image thumbnail. The paint brush icon appears next to the eyeball AND the carefully selected, custom foreground/background colors populate the forground/background color swatches.
10. Set Flow=100, Opacity=100.
11. Start painting. Aaaaarrrrrrgghhhh! You're painting on the layer, not the layer mask.
12. Ctrl + Z (to undo)
13. Click on the layer mask thumbnail. B/W again populate the foreground/background color swatches. You're back into layer mask mode.
If you start painting and you notice "colors" appearing on the layer, it means you're in "layer mode," not "layer mask mode."
1. Delete the Layer 1 layer mask.
2. Create a new layer (top of the layer stack).
3. Edit > Fill > Foreground color
4. Create a new reveal all layer mask.
5. Choose the Rectangular selection tool and select an area in the center, as though you're creating the center of a picture frame.
6. Select > Feather > 15 (OK)
7. Edit > Fill > Black
What happens? You've created a colored frame. Congrats.
Part V - Extra credit (assumes Layer 1 is color, not BW)
1. Delete the top layer
2. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation
3. Saturation slider: Drag all the way to the left, desaturating the image, and click OK.
4. Notice the Hue/Sat Adjustment Layer. Looks kinda like a layer mask, doesn't it?
Wonder what will happen if you paint black on that layer?
Ask questions, plu-eeze. Let me know how it's going.
Cheers until next time.
Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-13-2004 at 05:43 PM.
Layer Masks (continued)
Here's a couple more tidbits related to layer masks:
* (repeat) Click the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette to add a [i]reveal all[/] (white) layer mask
* (repeat) Alt + Click the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette to add a [i]hide all[/] (black) layer mask
* If you goof and create the wrong type of layer mask, Ctrl + I on the layer mask thumbnail to "invert it" (switch black to white or vice versa)
* Want to see what your image looks like without a layer mask? Shift + Click on the layer mask thumbnail.
* If you want to directly edit/modify a layer mask (or adjustment layer's mask), Alt + Click on the thumbnail. In this mode you can paint, apply filters, clone, etc.
* If you Alt + Click on a mask, you can paste the contents of the clipboard into it via Edit > Paste or Ctrl + V. Here's an example: Select > All, Edit > Copy the Background. Create a Levels adjustment layer. Alt + Click on the adjustment layer's mask. Edit > Paste. The mask is now populated with a grayscale version of the background. As you adjust the Level adjustment layer controls, the portions affected are determined by the characteristics of the mask.
* If you create a selection by any means, e.g., Quick Mask, Lasso, Rectangular Marquee, Select > Color Range, etc., the next mask created (layer or adjustment layer) will be defined by the selection. Try it.
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE 1 - Controlled depth of field blur
1. Open an image that has a distinct foreground and (fairly sharp) background. Scenery, portrait, whatever you have handy.
2. Duplicate the background twice.
3. Top layer: Double-click on layer name and rename "Foreground."
4. Top layer: Add a layer mask and click eyeball to turn it off.
5. Middle Layer: Add a layer mask.
6. Middle Layer: Blur > Gaussian Blur ... and blur it a quite a bit, more than you think you'll need.
7. Top layer: Click eyeball to make it visible.
8. With foreground color set to black, start airbrushing the layer mask of "Foreground." Overdo it? Press X to switch to white and airbrush to undo.
9. When finished you adjust the Opacity of "Blur" (lower it to increase the sharpness universally) or airbrush black on its layer mask to selectively increase sharpness by gradually revealing the Background layer.
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE 2 - EASY EYE COLOR CHANGE
1. Open a closeup of someones face whose eye color you want to change.
2. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
3. Click the checkbox labeled "colorize" which will give the image an overall tint.
4. Tweak the Hue slider until you get the eye color in the ballpark.
5. Ctrl + I to invert the mask.
6. Airbrush white in the eyes to reveal the new color.
7. Tweak the H/S controls and opacity setting until you get it right.
Okay... enough. I'm off to my men's bible study class. Have fun with this next installment. As always please feel free to ask questions.
Until next time.
P.S. A special thanks to Robert whose inspiration was just what I needed.
Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-13-2004 at 10:27 PM.
I hope We can get you to start this up again. I learned so much from this thread.
I find, as Zip stated, I learn so much more by doing and not just some royalty guru's CD with a book but with my own pix; thats how I learn concepts.
Once the concept is established, the rest is engineering. With your help as illustrated above; the concept is a whole lot easier.
Please consider relighting the candle under this thread.
Last edited by Robt; 08-20-2004 at 06:33 AM.
I'm glad this has been useful to you. Consider the candle relighted. I've been up to my eyeballs of late and will dust this off (again) as soon as I can.
In the mean time are there any topics of interest or questions in this area you'd like me (or any RetouchPRO members) to take a shot at?
Thank you again for the shot of inspiration.
THX, I can't wait, although the kids are either back in school or will be in a week. So that means I might have a chance to think and I'm raring to go.
Adjustment Layers 101, Cloning onto a Separate Layer
OK... Finally got some time to continue.
This discussion of Adjustment Layers is going to be pretty much a quick overview. "How" to use adjustment layers, especially Curves and Color Balance, can be a book in and of themselves. Once you get the general hang of them, there are gazillions of Internet tutorials on them. Just Google curves Photoshop tutorial (or your adjustment layer of choice) and you will be reading for a month.
Full disclosure: In the mostly-photo-art work that I enjoy doing, I use Levels, Hue/Saturation and Channel Mixer frequently and seldom any of the others.
EXERCISE 1 - Demo using Image > Adjustments > Levels
1. Open any image.
2. Image > Duplicate
3. Close the original
3a. Layer > Flatten if the image has multiple layers
4. Image > Adjustments > Levels
5. Drag the Left slider towards the center until the value in the Left box is 115
6. Drag the Right slider towards the center until the value in the Right box is 140. (If you don't like my settings, pick your own. For the purpose of this exercise they can be anything you like, just as long as the changes are extreme.)
7. Click OK to apply the settings.
8. Save this modified image (name it whatever you like).
9. Close this image
EXERCISE 2 - The setup
1. Open the image you just saved.
2. You know the settings applied in steps 5, 6 above? Forget them. Let's try some different settings. Oh wait. You can't because you can't undo them. They're permanently applied. What to do?
EXERCISE 3 - A better way
1. Open any image.
2. Image > Duplicate
3. Close the original
4. Layer > Add Adjustment Layer > Levels. Looks like the same dialog as Image > Adjustment > Levels, right? That's because it is.
5. Tweak the sliders... anything you like.
6. OK to close the Adjustment Layer dialog. Note the new Levels adjustment layer (name: Levels 1) in the layer stack.
7. Notice also the Levels 1 layer has two icons, one that looks like a Levels dialog and the other that looks like it represents mask (which it is).
8. Double-click on the left icon. This will open the Levels dialog again.
9. Make some changes and click OK.
10. Note: You were able to ADJUST the settings. You can't do that when Levels has been applied through the Image > Adjustments menu.
11. Save your test image.
12. Close it.
Exercise 4 - Another bonus
1. Open your just closed test image again.
2. Look! There's your adjustment layer -- ready to be ADJUSTED again if necessary.
3. Drag the adjustment layer into the trash
4. What do ya got? The original, unmodified Background. Adjustment Layers to not permanently modify pixels...until you merge layers.
5. Click on the Adjustment Layer so it highlights.
6. Layer > Merge down
7. Result: The Levels adjustments are applied to Background just as though you had applied Image > Adjustments > Levels. If you save the file now, there's no undoing (or further adjustments) permitted.
8. File > Close this file (DO NOT save changes to it. We need it in tack for the next exercise.)
Exercise 5 - Build next test image
1. Open up the file you just closed. It should consist of a Levels adjustment layer and a Background. If it doesn't, create a Levels adjustment layer above the Background and set the sliders wherever you want.
2. Open a second, different image. Anything will do.
3. Select > All
4. Edit > Copy
5. Close the second image (no longer needed)
6. Edit > Paste, creating a new layer. Be sure this is the top layer in the layer stack. If it's not, move it so it is.
7. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool in the Tools palette
8. Click at the bottom center and drag to the top left, which will select the left side of the top layer.
9. Edit > Cut, chopping off the left half.
10. Select > None
Exercise 6 - Location, location, location
1. Double-click on the Levels adjustment layer.
2. Make some radical setting changes and change the blend mode from Normal to Screen.
3. Click OK to close the dialog. Notice these changes only affected the Background.
4. Drag the Levels layer so it's the top layer. What happens? Now it's affecting both layers, not just Background.
5. What if you want the adjustment layer to only affect the top layer? No problem. With the adjustment layer highlighted, Layer > Group with previous.
6. Ta-da! Note how the adjustment layer is now "indented" and only affects the layer directly below it.
7. Click the adjustment layer's eyeball a couple times to turn it off/on. See what I mean?
8. Oh, wait... you wanted the adjustment layer to affect all layers below it? No problem. Layer > Ungroup. Back to the way it was (un-indented).
Exercise 7 - Mix and match
1. We're going to Group our adjustment layer again, but this time instead of doing it via the menu command, do this: If the adjustment layer isn't selected (highlighted), click on it. Then while holding down the Alt key, put the cursor over the dividing between the adjustment layer and the layer below it in the Layers palette. When it turns from a pointing finger icon into this black circle looking thing, CLICK. Layer grouped.
2. Click again to ungroup.
3. Click again to group.
4. Time to add a new adjustment layer. This time click the
TIDBITS AND REMINDERS
A faster way to add an adjustment layer.
* The Layers palette needs to be visible
* Note the control at the bottom that looks like a half-black circle (diagonal semi-circle). Just click it and choose the AL of choice from the menu
A faster way to add a grouped adjustment layer.
* Hold down the Alt key before clicking the Add Adjustment Layer control at the bottom of the Layers Palette.
Things to note:
* For most of the choices in the Image > Adjustments menu there are corresponding entries in the Layer > Add Adjustment Layer menu
* You can apply different blend modes and Opacity settings on Adjustment Layers, just like regular layers
* Adjustment layers work like Layer Masks in that you can paint black with a hard edged brush on a white mask to suppress the effect with a hard edged transistion, white with a hard edged brush on a black mask to reveal the effect with a hard edged transistion and airbrush black or white to simulate gray to get a gradual transition. Paint the opposite color to undo.
* Adjustment layers work like Layer Masks II: If you don't like the result, just delete the layer. No harm done to the layer(s) below.
* You can get some interesting results if you apply a black to white or white to black Gradient on an Adjustment Layer.
* Grouped Adjustment Layers only affect the layer(s) with which they are grouped.
* Ungrouped Adjustment Layers affect all layers below them.
Favorite adjustment layer trick #1: Print color compensation
* When printing in grayscale (black and white) if not adjusted my printer prints just slightly dark green in the shadows and midtones. I use a Color Balance adjustment layer with the Green/Magenta slider nudged just a little toward Magenta to correct that.
Favorite adjustment layer trick #2: Color to Black and White
* Speaking of black and white, one way to achieve this look is to apply a Hue/Saturation AL and drag the Saturation slider to the far left (-100).
* A more flexible alternative is to add a Channel Mixer AL, click on the Monochrome option and start messing with the sliders. Rule of thumb: The sum of the R, G and B settings should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 100.
Favorite adjustment layer trick #3: Selective appliction
* Use the method to airbrush black (or white) onto a mask for selective application. This is especially useful when you want to, say, lighten only a portion of an image. Add the Curves or Levels AL and correct the "Too dark" area. Then Ctrl + I (to invert the mask). Finish up by airbrushing white in the "too dark" area to reveal the effect of the AL.
BENEFITS OF ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
* Flexibility. Turn on, off, selectively apply via mask, adjust opacity, try different blend modes.
* Can be grouped to affect only certain layers.
* Not permanent with file close.
* They don't change pixels on affected layers UNTIL you merge the layers.
END OF ADJUSTMENT LAYER SECTION
CLONING ONTO A SEPARATE LAYER
Ever have one of those days where you spent a couple hours using the Clone Stamp Tool and then REALLY mess things up to the point you could not undo what you'd done requiring you to start all over again? Yes, me too.
Here's what I do now. Before starting the clone process, create a new layer. After selecting the Clone Stamp Tool from the Tools palette, turn on the "use all layers" option. With the top layer active, I start cloning away. The result: The clone marks are applied to the top layer. They have no effect on the source layer(s). Make a mistake? No problem. Erase it and start over. No need to trash all your work.
In some cases it might make sense to create several clone layers if you need to isolate sections of your work.
I believe I read that the Photoshop CS Healing Brush and/or Patch Tool now has the "use all layers" option. If so, the above method would work the same way.
= = = = = = = =
OK... that's it for the time being. Questions, comments, etc. welcome on this last installment.
Thank you Robert for your patience.
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