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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing
Thread started 09 Jan 2018 (Tuesday) 05:07
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Photoshop help, please

 
MatthewK
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Jan 09, 2018 05:07 |  #1

Hey everyone, I need an assist with Photoshop CC. I've searched online, watched videos, trial & error'd in PS itself, and I can't seem to find the answer. More than likely I'm not using the correct search terms, so my results aren't landing. I'm usually very savvy with software (I do IT for a living), but PS is giving me fits. So, I'm hoping to get some expert advice from POTN photogs before I pull my hair out.

Simple, really: pretend that you're editing a headshot portrait, and you want to do three things: 1) remove fly-away hairs, 2) whiten teeth, 3) & 4) remove bags from under eyes (one layer for each). How do you do each one as it's own layer?

What I'm doing: first thing I do is create a Background copy, and work from there. From there, I have it in my mind that you create a layer for each of the (4) edits above, so you'd end up with 6 total layers (bg, bg-copy, hair, teeth, eye 1, eye 2). Yet, that isn't going so smoothly...

What I'm encountering: I create another layer from the background, call it "hair", proceed to remove the fly-aways. This is where I hit a roadblock: if I create another layer to edit the next item, no changes are made to the image. I can click/scribble/adjust, but nothing is seen. Why is that? It's frustrating because the only way to move on to the next edit is to merge everything and launch a new layer, but that defeats the whole purpose of "layering".

So the question is: how do I properly make individual, editable "layers" (is this even the right term?), so that each one contains it's own edit, and I can go back to whatever layer and tweak if need be?

Such a basic Photoshop function, if I can just get this sorted I'll be in a really good place. Thanks in advance for any assistance!


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BigAl007
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Jan 09, 2018 06:31 |  #2

Layer -> New Layer will get you a new layer, with the blend mode set to Normal that you can work on. But you have to remember that at this point it has only transparent pixels. If you select the paintbrush tool for example, and paint on the layer in Normal mode it will just be painted over the top of the things on the layer below. If you do this and you see nothing, and the blend mode is Normal, then I would check that for some odd reason the layer opacity hasn't been reduced to 0, since then you won't be able to see it.

All of the layers information is available in the Layers tool pallet, which is visible by default in the default workspace. It is where you see each layer listed, and you can change blend mode and opacity, as well as applying a layer mask.

What you have to also remember is that many of the tools in Ps are also layer aware, and you have to ensure that you are using the correct settings in the tool as well. For example the paint brush tool can paint using any of the possible blend modes. So if for example you were painting with the colour set to white, while the paintbrush blend mode was set to darken, you would see nothing on screen. Same goes in reverse if you paint in black with it set to lighten. Using a paintbrush set to white, in lighten mode is one technique I would use for teeth whitening for example. For the clone stamp tool you need to ensure that it is sampling form the correct layer too. If it is set to This Layer only for example, and you have only transparent pixels then it can't actually sample anything to clone. I get caught out by the paintbrush blend mode all the time.

Oh and there is absolutely no point in duplicating the base layer. You should never be working on the original copy of the image, and it is easy enough to copy the original image back into the new version you are working on as a layer. If you simply duplicate the original layer it will double the size of your file when you save it, since both of those layers are full of pixels.

I would only create each new layer as I need it, not at the start of the process, otherwise you might find yourself working on the wrong layer. You might even need multiple layers to do each of the things you are trying to do. For example you might need to apply a hue saturation or luminance adjustment. You would where possible do that with an HSL layer, and then just mask it to the area that it needed, rather than as a filter directly to the pixels on the layer. Doing it this way you can always go back and make adjustments later if ti is not quite right. You can group layers together though, so that you can end up with say four groups, rather than a dozen individual layers.

Sorry not got access to Ps right now, so can't check more specifically.

Alan


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MatthewK
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Jan 09, 2018 06:49 as a reply to BigAl007's post |  #3

Awesome information, thank you so much. I can't wait to try this stuff out when I get home and start jamming in PS.


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FarmerTed1971
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Post has been edited 7 days ago by FarmerTed1971.
Jan 09, 2018 07:15 |  #4

Yes, duplicating the entire layer 6 times will make for a very large file. You need to learn layer masking.

Think of layers in the sense of sheets of paper. Get out six sheets of paper and lay them over each other. They are opaque right? So you cannot see through them. That’s what you get when you are duplicating the base layer six times... six layers at full opacity. You are not able to see your work on the layer below the top one because it’s completely filled with pixels.


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MatthewK
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Jan 09, 2018 07:28 |  #5

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #18536956 (external link)
Yes, duplicating the entire layer 6 times will make for a very large file. You need to learn layer masking.

Think of layers in the sense of sheets of paper. Get out six sheets of paper and lay them over each other. They are opaque right? So you cannot see through them. That’s what you get when you are duplicating the base layer six times... six layers at full opacity. You are not able to see your work on the layer below the top one because it’s completely filled with pixels.

That completely makes sense.. ok, so lets say I'm needing to Spot Healing Brush fly-away hair, and then Patch Tool eye bags. What would be the most efficient way to accomplish this that would allow me to go back and make changes to each individual edit? Since these changes are to different parts of the photo, I can see not needing a layer for each.

On the topic of going back to tweak an edit, how do I group the changes together and get back to them later? In Lightroom, for example, when using the Brush Masking tool you can go back anytime by clicking on the specific "dot" for that edit, and tweak the changes. In PS, there's just a huge sequential list of changes in the history list, and if I jump back, it'll blow away all of the other changes I made.


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FarmerTed1971
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Jan 09, 2018 08:33 |  #6

If they are in different areas of the photo you can make numerous layer masks.


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - 18-55 - 35 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

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FarmerTed1971
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Jan 09, 2018 08:34 |  #7

And History is not layer specific... meaning I don’t think there is a way to go back a few steps... just with a particular layer. I’m no PS master though so I could quite possibly be completely incorrect.


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DagoImaging
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Jan 09, 2018 08:38 |  #8

I made a quick video to show what you are asking.
It is not perfect and I wasn't real selective in the whitening just for demo purposes.

Hope this helps.

https://youtu.be/zbhEM​-b9IfA (external link)


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DagoImaging
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Jan 09, 2018 08:45 |  #9

MatthewK wrote in post #18536962 (external link)
That completely makes sense.. ok, so lets say I'm needing to Spot Healing Brush fly-away hair, and then Patch Tool eye bags. What would be the most efficient way to accomplish this that would allow me to go back and make changes to each individual edit? Since these changes are to different parts of the photo, I can see not needing a layer for each.

On the topic of going back to tweak an edit, how do I group the changes together and get back to them later? In Lightroom, for example, when using the Brush Masking tool you can go back anytime by clicking on the specific "dot" for that edit, and tweak the changes. In PS, there's just a huge sequential list of changes in the history list, and if I jump back, it'll blow away all of the other changes I made.

If you work in layers like I show in the video, you can add to the layer or delete the layer and do it again if needed.


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kirkt
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Post has been last edited 6 days ago by kirkt. 3 edits done in total.
Jan 09, 2018 09:56 |  #10

MatthewK wrote in post #18536962 (external link)
That completely makes sense.. ok, so lets say I'm needing to Spot Healing Brush fly-away hair, and then Patch Tool eye bags. What would be the most efficient way to accomplish this that would allow me to go back and make changes to each individual edit? Since these changes are to different parts of the photo, I can see not needing a layer for each.

On the topic of going back to tweak an edit, how do I group the changes together and get back to them later? In Lightroom, for example, when using the Brush Masking tool you can go back anytime by clicking on the specific "dot" for that edit, and tweak the changes. In PS, there's just a huge sequential list of changes in the history list, and if I jump back, it'll blow away all of the other changes I made.

You can place a new, empty, transparent layer above the background (base image) layer and work on that new layer to accomplish each goal you have named - one layer for each task.

1) Create a new layer (call it "Stray Hair") and use the Spot Healing tool to remove the strays. To make the changes appear on the new, transparent empty layer, you need to make sure that you check the "Sample all layers" checkbox in the Spot Healing Tool's toolbar (see screenshot). This will create repaired (spot healed) areas on the new layer that will overlay the original base image. If the healing bleeds a little too much into an adjacent area, you can use a layer mask on this new layer and paint with black on the mask to conceal the healing that has bled into unwanted areas.

2) Create a new layer above Stray Hair, call it "Whiten Teeth." There are numerous ways to whiten teeth, but let's go with a slight dodge in exposure - fill the layer with 50% gray and set the blend mode of the layer to Soft Light. When you paint on the layer with white, it will brighten the underlying pixels. You can control the amount of the effect with the flow setting on the brush, or by reducing the opacity of the layer. Create a new layer above this one, call it "Desaturate Teeth" and add a Hue Saturation adjustment layer. Now you can remove some yellow from the teeth if necessary by reducing the saturation. Paint the effect in on the teeth by painting on the corresponding layer mask.

3) and 4) Create a new layer and call it "Remove Bags Left" (and another above it called "Remove Bags Right"). On each layer, you can use the Patch tool to do whatever you need it to do - just remember to check the "Sample All Layers" checkbox in the toolbar.

Now you have a layer stack with each task on its own layer. You can use each layer mask to fine tune the area of the effect and you can use the opacity control of each layer to modulate the amount of the effect. You can select all of these layers and Group them into a folder in the layer stack to consolidate them so that they do not take up so much room on the Layers panel.

See attached layer stack for an example - I used a layer called "Lighten Eyes" instead of teeth, and clipped a dummy Hue/Sat layer to it to show you the structure.

kirk

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BigAl007
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Post has been edited 6 days ago by BigAl007.
Jan 09, 2018 10:00 |  #11

Well one of the reasons to use Layer -> Create new layer is that the new layer is transparent, so more like laying down a new acetate sheet, and then drawing on that. In that situation you won't need to mask anything. The clone stamp, and other tools that do cloning type operations can be set to use the image data from any number of layers. Including this, not very useful in a blank layer, this and below, so all the layers below added together, this one's pretty useful. You can even specify all layers IIRC which means it will allow you to clone using data from higher layers too.

Ideally you should only have the minimum number of pixels on each layer that actually have data in them. Rather than have the all filled with image, and masked out. It again makes for much smaller files, since empty pixels can be compressed to effectively nothing. if you leave image data in there and mask you have to still store that image data.

Alan

There you go, Kirk posted it while I was typing, along with examples, which I couldn't mange at the moment.


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ThreeHounds
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Post has been edited 6 days ago by ThreeHounds.
Jan 09, 2018 10:11 |  #12

If you do need to make multiple copies of the base layer, and you use layer masks on the duplicates, you can delete the masked (black) areas of those image layers leaving only the revealed (white) areas. It can substantially reduce your file size.

Edit: Sorry, walked away for a few moments and saw Alan snuck in the same info...


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MatthewK
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Post has been edited 6 days ago by MatthewK.
Jan 09, 2018 16:05 |  #13

First off, thank you guys so much for the help, it's above and beyond anything I ever imagined! You all make it look so easy...

I'm fiddling around in PS now. Created a layer and whitened the teeth, hit the fly-away hair in another layer, but now I'm trying to patch-tool the bags, and get the usual error: "cannot patch tool, selected area is empty." So, that tells me that it's sampling a new empty layer, and not the base layer that has the bags I want to remove? This is what's throwing me for a loop because just before that I was able to select and work on the hair and teeth (lasso tool, linked HSL), but now suddenly a new layer is empty?

Annnnnd, I found the issue: there is no Sample All Layers for the Patch Tool in my version of PS. I'm searching for a reason/answer now, but this is the type of thing that's been driving me up the wall.

EDIT: ok, so you have to use Content Aware mode in order to sample all layers. Of course, obvious miss on my part. But now I know what's up, and that's 100x more than I knew yesterday when I asked you all for help. Thanks again for this outstanding school session! :love:


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I've also found that the order of things is hugely important. For the teeth, I had to

1) new layer
2) new HSL
3) link to layer
4) lasso select
5) adjust

Versus, doing the lasso select first, linking HSL, and then adjust.

I'm so close to figuring it out!

DagoImaging wrote in post #18537004 (external link)
I made a quick video to show what you are asking.
It is not perfect and I wasn't real selective in the whitening just for demo purposes.

Hope this helps.

https://youtu.be/zbhEM​-b9IfA (external link)

kirkt wrote in post #18537044 (external link)
You can place a new, empty, transparent layer above the background (base image) layer and work on that new layer to accomplish each goal you have named - one layer for each task.

1) Create a new layer (call it "Stray Hair") and use the Spot Healing tool to remove the strays. To make the changes appear on the new, transparent empty layer, you need to make sure that you check the "Sample all layers" checkbox in the Spot Healing Tool's toolbar (see screenshot). This will create repaired (spot healed) areas on the new layer that will overlay the original base image. If the healing bleeds a little too much into an adjacent area, you can use a layer mask on this new layer and paint with black on the mask to conceal the healing that has bled into unwanted areas.

2) Create a new layer above Stray Hair, call it "Whiten Teeth." There are numerous ways to whiten teeth, but let's go with a slight dodge in exposure - fill the layer with 50% gray and set the blend mode of the layer to Soft Light. When you paint on the layer with white, it will brighten the underlying pixels. You can control the amount of the effect with the flow setting on the brush, or by reducing the opacity of the layer. Create a new layer above this one, call it "Desaturate Teeth" and add a Hue Saturation adjustment layer. Now you can remove some yellow from the teeth if necessary by reducing the saturation. Paint the effect in on the teeth by painting on the corresponding layer mask.

3) and 4) Create a new layer and call it "Remove Bags Left" (and another above it called "Remove Bags Right"). On each layer, you can use the Patch tool to do whatever you need it to do - just remember to check the "Sample All Layers" checkbox in the toolbar.

Now you have a layer stack with each task on its own layer. You can use each layer mask to fine tune the area of the effect and you can use the opacity control of each layer to modulate the amount of the effect. You can select all of these layers and Group them into a folder in the layer stack to consolidate them so that they do not take up so much room on the Layers panel.

See attached layer stack for an example - I used a layer called "Lighten Eyes" instead of teeth, and clipped a dummy Hue/Sat layer to it to show you the structure.

kirk


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Peano
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Jan 09, 2018 17:38 |  #14

MatthewK wrote in post #18537324 (external link)
I've also found that the order of things is hugely important. For the teeth, I had to

1) new layer
2) new HSL
3) link to layer
4) lasso select
5) adjust

Versus, doing the lasso select first, linking HSL, and then adjust.

I'm so close to figuring it out!

Simpler way:


  1. Hue/Sat adjustment layer
  2. In Yellows, maximize Lightness slider
  3. Invert mask and paint with white

Painting doesn't have to be precise, because you're only altering yellows. This adjustment won't affect the red gums.

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MatthewK
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Jan 09, 2018 19:54 |  #15

Peano wrote in post #18537409 (external link)
Simpler way:

  1. Hue/Sat adjustment layer
  2. In Yellows, maximize Lightness slider
  3. Invert mask and paint with white

Painting doesn't have to be precise, because you're only altering yellows. This adjustment won't affect the red gums.

thumbnailHosted photo: posted by Peano in
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forum: RAW, Post Processing & Printing

I like this tip, much easier than how i was doing it! Thank you!


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