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help with a luminosity mask problem
  
 
EverLearning
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · help with a luminosity mask problem


I am stumped. It has been a while since I tried doing a luminosity mask, and I have clearly forgotten or overlooked something. I have spent hours experimenting, but to no avail.

I load an image from LR4 into CS5. It is now a 16 bit RGB TIFF file. I click on Actions, then on 'Super Dark Selection', then the Play Selection button. I now have an image showing the marching ants and I have five channels in the Channels palette; the four standard RGB ones and the 'Super Dark Selection' channel. It is at this point I have tried a few different things; with no success.

One attempt:
The four RGB channels are selected and the 'Indicates Channel Visibility' eye is present. I click on Layers, then on the 'Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer' button, then on Curves. I get the Curves Adjustment palette, but the image no longer has marching ants and the change applies to the whole image.

Another attempt:
I select the Super Dark Selection channel by doing ctrl + 6 (which is what is next to the LM mask channel). I now see a negative of the image on my screen and only that channel has the 'Indicates Channel Visibility' eye next to it. I then click on Layers, then on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button, then on Curves. I get the Curves Adjustment palette, but the image no longer has marching ants AND the whole images is a translucent red (like I turned off Green channel except it is red rather than magenta). The change applies to the whole image.

Note that when I move my mouse over the "Add a Mask" button at the bottom of the Layers palette, I get a black circle with a line through it, indicating that option is not available to me.

So I think the problem is I can't convert from the active luminosity selection to a luminosity mask. If that is indeed the problem, I don't know what is causing the problem.

What the heck am I doing wrong?! I find this particularly frustrating as I used LM masks on a few images several months ago with no problems (same LR, same PS, same actions).

Your help is GREATLY appreciated!



Nov 14, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · help with a luminosity mask problem


A selection IS a mask. A mask IS a selection. Two ways of saying the same thing. When you activate your selection and then go to make your curves adjustment layer, it's normal and correct that you "lose" you visible marching ants. Your selection is now part of the curves adjustment layer. You just go ahead now and do your curves move and it will have the mask built in now. You'll be able to see the mask in your layer palette just to the right of the curves icon - you'll see a box that has a tiny thumbnail of your mask channel. Option-click on that thumbnail and it will open just the mask channel for you.


Nov 14, 2013 at 02:15 AM
EverLearning
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · help with a luminosity mask problem


Peter, thank you for your reply.

I am hardly qualified when it comes to masks to disagree with you. I do know one thing though, and that is that right now when I try to do this (apply a curve adjustment layer or an exposure adjustment layer to the active selection), it is affecting the whole image and not what I have selected through the mask. Any ideas as to why this is happening?



Nov 14, 2013 at 04:03 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · help with a luminosity mask problem


If you have the selection active when you choose the Curves Adjustment Layer from your menu, it should automatically become part of the Adjustment layer as the marching ants go away.

It's also possible to apply the mask AFTER making your adjustment in your Adjustment Layer. You would make your adjustment layer, do your adjustment, which would affect the entire image, then hit the OK button. Then, you would, while being clicked on the mask portion of the adjustment layer, load the selection you wanted and then Fill it with Black. Or you might have to invert that selection to do what you want. But the thing to take home is that there are always more than one way to accomplish your goal, and if one is not working for whatever reason (and usually it's so simple it makes you feel like an idiot) there's a back door way of getting it done.



Nov 14, 2013 at 05:04 AM
 

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EverLearning
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · help with a luminosity mask problem


Peter, I appreciate there is more than one way to do something. I really would like to figure out why this isn't working though. Given that I am using the same version of PS and the same actions that worked several months ago, the logical conclusion would be that I am doing something wrong. Chances are that whatever I am doing wrong with this luminosity mask process I will encounter when trying to figure out some other type of mask.

If anybody has any ideas as to why this isn't working, I would really like to hear from you!



Nov 15, 2013 at 02:20 PM
newhaven
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · help with a luminosity mask problem


When I run the Shadow Darks action, the marching ants are not displayed. To show the marching ants, Ctrl-click on the Shadow Darks channel thumbnail in the channels panel. Go back to the layers panel and create an adjustment layer. You should see the Shadow Darks mask thumbnail next to the adjustment layer. The marching ants will no longer be displayed. The adjustment will only affect the masked area.


Nov 15, 2013 at 03:21 PM
EverLearning
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · help with a luminosity mask problem


I figured it out. There were two key points. First, “The marching ants appear on the image to define the selection (Figure 2). Since Photoshop only puts marching ants around pixels that are at least 50% selected, and since this selection is based on the brightness of the image, the marching ants only appear around pixels that are equivalent to 50% gray or brighter.” Areas not within the marching ants can still be affected by a layer adjustment such as exposure; only less so. Second, the image I was trying to do a LM on had fairly limited tonal range except for a few very small spots.

So even though I was putting a LM in place, exposure adjustments were still having some degree of effect on almost the whole picture. I was able to create a layer mask to conceal everything but the part of the photo I wanted the LM to effect. then I did my LM adjustment, deleted the layer mask and all was good!

Can anybody tell me what the pros and cons are of using a Curves adjustment layer vs an Exposure adjustment layer to adjust the brightness of the selected area?



Nov 16, 2013 at 05:43 AM
EverLearning
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · help with a luminosity mask problem


I'm hoping somebody has some thoughts on the last question at the bottom of this thread currently, that is:

"Can anybody tell me what the pros and cons are of using a Curves adjustment layer vs an Exposure adjustment layer to adjust the brightness of the selected area?"

thanks!



Nov 17, 2013 at 02:18 PM





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