Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

  

Archive 2013 · Modifying a luminosity mask?
  
 
EverLearning
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


I have been experimenting with luminosity masks and having some success, but I am perplexed by one thing; how to control what part of the picture is ultimately selected.

I run my action to make a selection; say 'very white selection'. This selects the upper end of the exposure. But let's say I only want it to make this selection to the sky but not other parts of the picture. When I look at the luminosity mask, I see black, white and varying shades of grey. So even though parts of the picture do not show up in the 'marching ants', they are grey in the mask and are thus modified somewhat when I do a levels layer off the selection. I want to eliminate this and only adjust the sky (to keep this example simple).

I have tried subtracting from the selection using the lasso tool and I have tried going to the levels layer mask and painting black what I do not want affected by the levels adjustment. Both SEEM to work until I save in photoshop and have the updates added to a LR TIFF file. Then it becomes apparent that the whole image was affected. My LR is 4.2.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. Any ideas?

Thanks!



Apr 13, 2013 at 02:16 AM
James_N
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Are you saving a flattened TIFF back to Lightroom?


Apr 13, 2013 at 02:39 AM
mshi
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Let's say you run your action that automatically creates those luminosity masks for you, from brightest bright highlights, brighter bright highlights, bright highlights... brighter mid tones, mid tones, darker midtones, ...all the way to darkest dark shadows for your image. If you want Photoshop automatically takes care of math between those masks without you painting on them, you can always perform additions and/or subtractions math between different luminosity masks by holding down either CTRL+SHIFT or CTRL-ALT keys together. Of course, you can always hand paint on your masks.

To keep compatibility between LR and PS, make sure you set the Maximize File Compatibility to Always under File Handling in Preferences when you invoke CTRL+K, which means Photoshop automatically creates a stamp on the top of your layer heap for you.



Apr 13, 2013 at 03:08 AM
EverLearning
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


James_N, yes I am saving a flattened TIFF back to LR.

Mshi, I suspect I didn't explain the problem clear enough. I am using the action that selects the brightest highlights. Perhaps the picture has water and sky. The sky has very bright spots and there are highlights on the water. I want to keep the highlight spots on the water but reduce the brightest highlights in the sky. When I run my 'very white selection' (the brightest highlights), it selects parts of the sky and parts of the water. My question is, how do prevent the levels adjustment from affecting the water? this is why I had tried subtracting the selection and painting the levels layer mask.



Apr 13, 2013 at 03:46 AM
mshi
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


EverLearning wrote:
My question is, how do prevent the levels adjustment from affecting the water? this is why I had tried subtracting the selection and painting the levels layer mask.


Yes, you need to work on the mask itself. You can ATL click the mask and then manually paint on the mask with black paint on the water part if you don't want to use layer mask math operations between two layer masks.



Apr 13, 2013 at 03:56 AM
James_N
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


EverLearning wrote:
James_N, yes I am saving a flattened TIFF back to LR.


Then I don't see why the adjustment isn't showing up in Lightroom the same way that it did in Photoshop.

EverLearning wrote:
Mshi, I suspect I didn't explain the problem clear enough. I am using the action that selects the brightest highlights. Perhaps the picture has water and sky. The sky has very bright spots and there are highlights on the water. I want to keep the highlight spots on the water but reduce the brightest highlights in the sky. When I run my 'very white selection' (the brightest highlights), it selects parts of the sky and parts of the water. My question is, how do prevent the levels adjustment from affecting the water? this is why I had tried subtracting the
...Show more

Use an intersection instead. An intersection uses the original luminosity mask to create a luminosity mask of itself; or in other words, you are using the first luminosity mask to create a more refined luminosity mask. After your run the action, save the selection i.e. create an alpha channel. If you look in the Channels palette you will now see a mask thumbnail representing the saved selection. If you CTRL + ALT + SHIFT click on that thumbnail it will shrink the original selection; do it multiple times and eventually only the brightest area you want is selected.

That said, painting on the mask with black should or subtracting from the original selection with the Lasso tool should work.



Apr 13, 2013 at 04:13 AM
EverLearning
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


James_N, "I don't see why...". Me neither!!! And the subtracting and painting definitely works in PS; I can toggle back and forth using ctrl-z and confirm that only the sky has been affected. But when I toggle back and forth between the cr2 and the tiff in LR there is no question it has affected the whole picture.

I did not know about the CTRL + ALT + SHIFT click trick. It is very cool and I can already see situations I would use it in. But it doesn't solve this problem. It reduces the areas of the picture in the sky and water that will be modified, but it still modifies the water.

I am flattening the layers before saving. Am I missing a step with the channel before saving? Is it somehow a compatibility problem between PS 5.1 and LR 4.2?



Apr 13, 2013 at 04:27 AM
James_N
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Since you're flattening the TIFF the adjustments are "baked into" the file so I see no reason why it isn't showing up correctly in Lightroom. Do you have the Blend Mode for the Brush tool or the adjustment layer set to something other than Normal? What opacity is the layer set to?

Try a different selection method; use the Lasso tool to make a rough selection of the sky; then go to Select > Color Range and change the default "Select" drop down box from Sampled Colors to Highlights and see what happens. You should be able to now adjust the brightest portions of the sky without affecting any other parts of the image (water).



Apr 13, 2013 at 04:54 AM
mshi
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


By definition, to create a series of luminosity masks needs holding down CTRL + ALT + SHIFT keys. And Photoshop can do more with them by combining/subtracting any two masks at a time. In essence, Photoshop allows you to create even more fine-tuned luminosity masks on the fly. But, for your given scenario, using Color Range tool can give you much easier mask at much faster rate.


Apr 13, 2013 at 02:00 PM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


In PS, I use levels to crank on my mask ... pushing those grays to black and those whites stay white.

I'll also create my mask from channels, where I can get increased separation by choosing say the blue channel. This can include inversion at times, but I find channel masks (thanks to mshi's recommendation @ Channel Chops) very valuable at getting a head start on such separations ... then dialing them in to where I want them.

The marching ants only show where the 50% line is (iirc), so yes you do have areas beyond the marching ants that are affected, i.e. they lie to you. This is why I crank my mask using levels. I can take it to a black & white state (or nearly so as I choose), then feather the mask for the rate of transition I desire, or leave it hard edged. Might need some brush work to fill in certain areas, but it does pretty good job at getting you the separation that the 50% marching ants doesn't show you extending into the gray areas. Just convert your unwanted gray areas to black, and you're in pretty good shape.

BTW ... Channel Chops came highly recommended to me and I second it wholeheartedly if you're gonna work with masks.
















Edited on Apr 13, 2013 at 04:03 PM · View previous versions



Apr 13, 2013 at 02:54 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



mshi
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


There are many ways to obtain layer mask (aka transparency.)

Any selection can become a mask.

Any channel can become a mask.

Any path can become a mask.

You can also manually paint in masks.

Luminosity levels can become masks.

Color ranges can become a mask.

Saturation levels can also become a mask.

You can manipulate mask at pixel level via math operations.

Finally, you can create masks combining all of the above.

When working on a mask you can use all the tools/filters/adjustments to perfect it: Blur, smudge, noise, contrast, etc. To make a great mask you need to have contrast/color contrast. Anything you can do to increase that contrast, will help you in the process of making that mask. You can use the Apply image function to blend (pixel math operations) two channels together. You can use the channel mixer for a combination between local and color contrast. You can use B&W adjustment layer. You can use Calculations command. You can use any filter to increase the local contrast and define edges in a very detailed way. You can use any built-in tools, such as Brightness/Contrast, Levels and Curves to increase overall contrast. You can use Selective Color to increase color contrast. When you paint on mask with brush, the large arsenal of Photoshop's powerful Brush Engine and very flexible brush blend modes is at your pentip. Don't just use Normal blend mode because some other blend modes can give you much finer control on brightness/contrast transitions. The list can go on and on. Your imagination and creativity are the only guide you need. That's why I said you don't need any third-party plugins because Photoshop is really flexible and powerful enough to allow you to anything you can imagine.

When you work professionally on an image, you should spend at least 80% of retouch time on mask to obtain what I call retouched-but-unretouched look. If you have CS5 and beyond, you don't really need any plugins for masking. If you feel better with plugins and need to spend time and money there, I recommend Mask Pro.




Apr 13, 2013 at 03:15 PM
RustyBug
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Yup ... this ^.

mshi, here's a recent effort of mine.
I have to say the progression of learning masks has been quite rewarding for me. More to learn, but thanks again for the nudge in that direction, and the recommendation @ Channel Chops.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1196029/6#lastmessage
I gave myself a B+ for the "retouched-but-unretouched" look. Dare I ask how you'd grade my effort ... please do.



Apr 13, 2013 at 03:45 PM
bjornssh
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Tony Kuyper has written a series of tutorials about the creation and use of luminosity masks. He also sells an action set that creates luminosity masks.

See: http://goodlight.us/writing/tutorials.html

Steve



Apr 13, 2013 at 04:14 PM
EverLearning
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Mshi, when talking about masks, you guys are olympians and I am just taking my first baby steps! I can see I have much to learn about masks (and never enough time).

I went on a one day workshop/seven day photo trip through the Great Bear Rainforest last fall. The pro photographer provided luminosity mask actions as part of the package. Since I didn't build the actions, I wasn't aware of the role CTRL + ALT + SHIFT click has in modifying the masks. That is indeed quite powerful.

I'm not sure if it was inspiration or luck, but it looks like I figured out the problem. I was reprocessing an older picture; one with an older process engine (2010, I believe). I made a virtual copy, clicked on the exclamation mark and updated to the current process, 2012. then I tried the same steps: brought it into PS, ran my action, used the CTRL + ALT + SHIFT click technique to reduce the mask, created a levels layer, ALT clicked on the levels mask and painted everything but the sky black, clicked on the levels icon on the layer and adjusted the midpoint to taste, clicked CTRL z a few times to confirm the change was as expected, flattened the layers, discarded the channel and saved the image. Went to LR and compared the CR2 to the edited TIFF. Only the sky had changed, which was the desired outcome.

I have no idea why the 2012 vs 2010 engine should have made this difference. Just as an FMI, does anybody know why?



Apr 13, 2013 at 04:29 PM
EverLearning
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


I stand corrected. In LR, if I use L to make everything but the picture black I can still see differences between the CR2 and the TIFF beyond the desired sky changes. It just that those differences are VERY subtle. But they are there.

Now I am even more confused.



Apr 13, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Ho1972
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Here is an action I wrote based on the work of Kuyper and Malan.

It generates the standard L mask 3 steps plus a midtone mask for a total of 9 masks or channels. Free for the taking, no tech support provided.

Note that this is not an advanced action, it's simple stuff anyone can to in PS. It's just a little quicker with automation.



Apr 13, 2013 at 05:49 PM
EverLearning
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Thanks Ho1972. It is kind of you to share.

I already have 12 actions for different selections. I have never noticed this problem before, but then I have never reprocessed old pictures with the older engine. Something squirrelly is going on there, but it would appear that there is more to the problem than just the engine itself. Perhaps it has something to do with pictures that were imported with the older engine (first time I have tried luminosity masks on them).



Apr 13, 2013 at 05:55 PM
redcrown
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


Another tip when working with Luminosity masks and you only want to apply the adjustment to one broad area, like a sky...

Do "double masking" with Layer Groups. Put your Levels adjustment layer with luminosity mask in a group. Add a mask to the group and paint black on it to block areas.



Apr 13, 2013 at 07:02 PM
mshi
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


RustyBug wrote:
Yup ... this ^.

mshi, here's a recent effort of mine.
I have to say the progression of learning masks has been quite rewarding for me. More to learn, but thanks again for the nudge in that direction, and the recommendation @ Channel Chops.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1196029/6#lastmessage
I gave myself a B+ for the "retouched-but-unretouched" look. Dare I ask how you'd grade my effort ... please do.


There is no such an orthodox way to any retouching efforts. Each image calls for some different treatments according to each different person. In a sense, it's a process of a series of small judgement made. It can be some slight color change here and there, local saturation tweeks, brightness enhancement, local contrast increases, and some dodging and burning here and there. All of those are done in small baby steps. To get a better feel of how great retouching is what it is, you need to constantly study the great retouching work done by the best in your favorite genre. If one just looks at mostly mediocre stuff, it's garbage in and garbage out for his process.



Apr 14, 2013 at 06:41 PM
BluesWest
Online
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Modifying a luminosity mask?


No reason to go to all the trouble of making and modifying luminosity masks. Simply use the Shadows/Highlights adjustment layer. Convert the layer to a Smart Object and and you can tweak the settings to your heart's content.

John



Apr 14, 2013 at 07:17 PM





FM Forums | Post-processing & Printing | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Reset password