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  • Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

    Gradient maps have many different uses and I think its probably one of the most versatile tools in photoshop.

    Heres a few of they ways I use them.

    You can use them to change and shift colour dramatically with precise control over the colours that you want to use.
    You can use them for effects such as solarization and tints.
    Default black to white can be used for desaturate on saturation blend mode
    at a low opacity.
    It can also be used for luminosity as discussed in my last thread.

    I'd be very interested in hearing any other techniques and uses people have for this great tool

  • #2
    Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

    With Elements, gradients can be used in luminosity mode to replace curves. I have a set of gradients to create very flexible masks to target highlights, midtones and shadows. I often prefer a gradient to a threshold to feather a mask. I recently tried a gradient to replace solar curves, which have been discussed in recent threads...
    They are probably the best tool to colorize a black and white photo.

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    • #3
      Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

      i have limited experience with Gmaps but i have used it to simulate the split toning technique without having to duplicate the image into another layer..that may not sound like a big deal but when you are starting with images that are over 1 gig in size it makes production move along quicker...

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      • #4
        Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

        When Chris mentioned Gradient maps could be used for masking i was quite interested. I was able to create a very nice hair mask quickly that needed only a little bit of refinement with the dodge and burn tools. Otherwise i use them to target tonal ranges.

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        • #5
          Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

          Originally posted by mschwartz View Post
          When Chris mentioned Gradient maps could be used for masking i was quite interested. I was able to create a very nice hair mask quickly that needed only a little bit of refinement with the dodge and burn tools. Otherwise i use them to target tonal ranges.
          Chris is known to have ways to use tools that are outside of their intended purposes. I gave it a try as well, and I was able to create a fairly complex mask that includes tree branches, leaves, and a chain link fence in a much shorter time than using channels. Although I still get slightly better result with calculations. I just need to spend more time with the tool. Very cool.

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          • #6
            Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

            How did you guys use it to get the masks? I have just started playing with gradient maps and would really like to hear how you made intricate masks with it.

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            • #7
              Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

              I use them for colourizing / toning skin because you can make hue and saturation vary with the base luminosity.
              Set up a mask for the skin then just go clicking through a bunch of your skin gradients until you find one that pleases.

              (Well, not exactly "just", coz you've got to create them first )

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              • #8
                Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                1. Choose black to white gradient
                2. Apply gradient from top to bottom of a layer
                3. Apply a Posterize adjustment layer

                ...instant B->W step wedge.

                Might come in handy for monitor or printer calibration.

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                • #9
                  Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                  Originally posted by jessibelle15 View Post
                  How did you guys use it to get the masks? I have just started playing with gradient maps and would really like to hear how you made intricate masks with it.
                  I'm not sure if there's a correct way to apply it in masking, or you just mess with the settings until you find what's best for you. What I did here was very straight forward and it literally took less than 10 seconds. I simply applied the B+W gradient, opened up the slider and bumped up the H/S. It takes some D+B to clean up from here. This image contains tree branches and leaves against the sky up top that also get masked out very nicely, but I can't show the whole picture here. I bet there are more tweaking involved to create more complex masks, but it's amazing to be able to achieve an overall start-up mask this quick. It'd be great if someone with more experience could shed some light into this area.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                    I will guys. I'm just really really busy right now. There are a lot of people pm'ing me also that I am finding it hard to get back to.
                    This is actually going to be the first part of a quarterly article online that I am writing for PMA. That post though doesn't happen until June.

                    Chris

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                    • #11
                      Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                      Putting black at both ends and white in the middle can create a mid-tone mask that can be fine tuned by sliding the two midpoints as well as the white point.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                        One of my favorites Edgework.

                        You might just save me the time from doing this!

                        Chris

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                        • #13
                          Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                          Originally posted by cricket1961 View Post
                          One of my favorites Edgework.

                          You might just save me the time from doing this!

                          Chris
                          I'm really glad to see Gradient maps finally getting some exposure (and picking up some new applications for them in the process). They're one of the most powerful tools no one knows about (besides the posters here, of course). I actually got canned once for using them to match clothing colors. The results were fine but no one knew what I was doing and got annoyed when I suggested that they ought to learn.

                          Professional doesn't mean smart.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                            I actually got canned once for using them to match clothing colors. The results were fine but no one knew what I was doing and got annoyed when I suggested that they ought to learn.

                            It's great for matching colours like that as you can pick colours by pantone or whatever breakdown you want. I've used it in the same way as you before at work
                            Last edited by mayday; 04-08-2008, 09:54 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Gradient maps different uses and techniques?

                              I was wonder how you were able to match colors so precisely. I believe I am missing a step or two because I can apply different types of gradients but a B+W or skin tone gradient will not be a very precise color correction.

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