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Hidden Power Actions II

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  • Hidden Power Actions II

    Don't know why I never posted this here!

    There is a free Hidden Power actions package available from Hiddenelement.com that runs actions. Get it here:

    http://hiddenelements.com/freetools.html

    I'll be updating it soon to run more than 500 loaded actions, but it will allow you to manage an infinite number of actions without closing out of Elements. This package comes with some actions pre-installed and several free tools, including:

    true layer masks
    quick mask
    Selective Color adjustment layers
    Channel Mixer adjustment layers
    Action Playback speed control

    I've got some people working on additional actions for Elements. Look forward to those soon.

  • #2
    http://www.hiddenelements.com/freetools.html

    Will be above piecework with the version of Elements that comes bundled with the Epson 2400 scanner? Looking at the "about Photoshop elements" screen in the program, I don't see any version number listed.

    Thank you --Barry Kales

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    • #3
      That would be PhotoShop Elements version 1 and yes, it does work with it.

      Bob

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      • #4
        Bob's right. Works with Elements 1 and 2 on Mac and PC.

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        • #5
          Thanks

          -- Barry

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          • #6
            instructions on how to use the tools?

            I don't know how to use several of the tools on the free tools download. Is there an explanation of what the tools do and how to use them anywhere? I've been searching for days...

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            • #7
              Hi,

              I don't know how to use several of the tools on the free tools download.

              No, there isn't--but you're free to ask away. I could probably help you with all the tools or point you to articles explaining them. So, I suggest you post your specific questions.

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              • #8
                dpnew is right, part of the idea of the forum is to discuss the tools. The freebees came with little instruction (there is an overview in the readme files for each), but the intended use was left open for discussion.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Richard_Lynch
                  dpnew is right, part of the idea of the forum is to discuss the tools. The freebees came with little instruction (there is an overview in the readme files for each), but the intended use was left open for discussion.
                  Umm...I could start with the layer mask and quick mask. What is the point of using them? How do they work? I'm trying to find a way to save selections so I don't have to re-select. I've heard vaguely that masks are just so awesome, but I don't understand how they work etc...also what does rubylith and selection mean?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gaylerene
                    Umm...I could start with the layer mask and quick mask. What is the point of using them? How do they work? I'm trying to find a way to save selections so I don't have to re-select. I've heard vaguely that masks are just so awesome, but I don't understand how they work etc...also what does rubylith and selection mean?
                    If you have PE2 you can already save selections - it's one of the options in the selections menu... (it's the one feature missing from PE1 that is really worth upgrading for imho)
                    Quick mask is just like the selection brush tool - to select paint on the image in quick mask mode. The major advantage of quick mask mode over the selection brush toool is that it seems (at least on my machine) to work a little snappier, with faster brush response.

                    Layer masks are useful, although Richard's book gives work arounds using clipping groups that give exactly the same result - and explicit instructions if i recall correctly, for saving the selection this way. I use either depending on my mood! If you add a layer mask to a layer using HPA3 (it won't work on a background layer) and click on the layer mask icon in the layer palette, then by painting on the layer mask in black it will hide the layer, and by leaving it white it will reveal the layer. Shades of grey in between will partially hide.
                    Susan S.

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                    • #11
                      Susan is mostly right (and is usually entirely right) but for the small point that the Hidden Power tools from the book add a means of saving selections for Elements 1 users. She is right in that out-of-the-box Elements 1 can't save selections. i put it back in.

                      Layer masking is a great thing, but I had my suspicions that Adobe will be eliminating them for PE3...we'll see. There were actually more features eliminated (by my count) than added between PE1 and PE2.

                      Quick mask gives you a means of editing selections visually in a way you can't using just selection lines (those dotted blinking things). You can actually see the strength of the mask in comparison to what it is acting on. Layer masks are quite a bit more direct, masking (simply means: cut out) those areas of the image where the mask is black, and working immediately on what you see in the image. The advantage to masking over just deleting is, it is easier to change your mind. Masked areas can be restored by UNMASKING (turning masked areas white in the mask).

                      As to how to use them...masking is useful for many things, usually having to do with combining image content (e.g., placing one layer over the other and allowing yourself to view through to the back layer). I'd suggest it is less 'mood' that drives how I use them as utility. Where sometimes either can be used, one or the other will be better suited to some applications and techniques.

                      Please let me know if you have further questions (or if this isn't what you were looking for or whatever...).

                      Thanks!

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                      • #12
                        Richard,

                        Its interesting that you think Elements 3 will eliminate Layer Masking ... if they do, I for one, will stay with Elements 2 and your tools!

                        When it does come out I will wait and see what others have to say before I decided .. come to think of it unless they do a major upgrade then I can't think of any reason to buy the next version.

                        Wendy

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                        • #13
                          As it isn't a surface feature of the program it MAY be removed. I believe Curves will go the same way -- either removed because Adobe wants no access to the feature in Elements, or perhaps promoted to a standard feature. I was, as I say, surprised to see them actually eliminate access to features between 1 and 2. They may do some other things (just projection, mind you) like 'add' actions to Elements which will at the same time restrict access to Photoshop features. That is, by making an action tool for Elements and encoding differently it could potentially keep users from working with previous functionality.

                          Careful what you wish for in version 3!

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