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Thread started 17 Oct 2010 (Sunday) 19:09
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Photoshop CS5 Levels Eyedroppers

 
realitysays
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Oct 17, 2010 19:09 |  #1

Hi Guys,

I normally use Curves or Levels eyedroppers to adjust my white balance on my photos.
I run CS5 on my macbook pro and my PC and i'm having trouble working on this problem that is occuring with the PC.

The Curves or levels eyedroppers literally do nothing on the PC. It is as if i am clicking/sampling a blank canvas.
Yet if i do the exact same thing on the macbook pro, it completely adjusts the white balance be it a little bit or a huge amount it is visibly different.

It does not work for black points or white points.
And yes, i know to hold alt to display them also, yet it still does nothing once clicked even if the blacks are 0,0,0 or the whites are 255,255,255.

Can anyone explain why this is happening on my PC?

Pc is running Vista Ultimate 32bit.

Many thanks!
Kory


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navydoc
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Oct 17, 2010 19:52 |  #2

I know this will seem so basic it's hardly worth mentioning but there have been a couple of times I've experienced a similar situation...only to discover that the checkbox to "show preview" was not checked. On another occasion, it dawned on me that the layer I had highlighted was not the layer I was trying to apply the correction to.

Just a couple of very obvious and basic suggestions, kinda like asking "Is it plugged in?" or "Did you check the fuse?"


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realitysays
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Oct 17, 2010 20:08 as a reply to  @ navydoc's post |  #3

Haha thanks for the suggestions Navydoc.

I know it seems like a really n00b question.

I've clicked the adjustment layer and the "eye" that previews changes made to the layer and there is no visible change at all.
Although when i get home in an hour or so i will double check what are the basics to check although i'm sure it will be the same outcome :(


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tonylong
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Oct 17, 2010 20:57 |  #4

Maybe if you take us step by step through what you are doing/trying to do, someone might spot something, where exactly you are doing what, is it possible that you are doing something that might be Mac specific, that type of thing...?


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realitysays
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Oct 17, 2010 21:43 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #5

Hi Tony,

I will explain it further.

1. Open the RAW image up in ACR. Do my adjustments then it opens in PS CS5.

2. Duplicate layer.

3. Open a Levels adjustment layer/Curves adjustment layer.

4. In CS5, i can't see any preview checkbox like there was in CS3. besides the eye that shows if the layer is visible in the layers palette and in the "Adjustments palette".

5. I usually use the white eye dropper or the black eye dropper to set the white balance.

6. Click on the white/black eye dropper, move the cursor over to the image, hold down alt and it will display the brightest point/blackest point of the image.

7. I'll use white as an example. The image will turn black except for the blown out spots for e.g. I click on the white spots which RGB values are 255,255,255 and absolutely nothing happens.

Yet if i replicate this on the mac, it adjusts the white balance. Is anyone else on a PC having this problem?

If i move the white/black point in (levels) and then try and do it, it will just move the sliders back to there normal position but there is no change to the white balance..

I hope this helps? Maybe i will re-install and then try. I did muck around with a few options, i hope re-installation will work!


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tonylong
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Oct 17, 2010 23:13 |  #6

OK, cool, I'm not a CS5 user, but just trying to get us all clued in to the issue -- I figure people will be checking this out and posting, thanks for the very detailed explanation, because it helps!


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Oct 18, 2010 04:59 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #7

Out of curiousity, have you tried to use the other method of: 'Image>adjustments>levels/curves' to see if that works?


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Lowner
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Oct 18, 2010 06:12 |  #8

reality says,

I only use PS v.7, but it sounds exactly the same. What you are being shown is what spots in the image are pure white. I cannot do white balance using this tool. Instead I use the colour balance tool, either tweaking the sliders until it looks right (my preferred method), or the eyedropper on a "neutral grey" shows it really is neutral.


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kirkt
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Oct 18, 2010 11:28 |  #9

Firstly,

You probably want to use the gray dropper in the levels adjustment dialog to do white balance, as the black and white droppers are used to set the black and white points for the image. Also, why do you make a duplicate of your image (the background) prior to creating a levels adjustment layer? Do you do sharpening or something on this duplicate of the background? If you are trying to use the white point tool to set your white balance and you are clicking on a spot that already has a RGB value of 255, 255, 255, then nothing should happen - that spot is technically neutral at pure clipped white, but in reality it contains no color information to assist in the adjustment even if that pixel, in the scene, has a color cast acting on it. You need to find a spot in the image that is about midtonish in terms of luminance and should be neutral in terms of its actual color content. In general, I would not use a blown white or plugged black to set WB as there may be no actual useful color information contained in those areas of the image. Use the gray dropper, find a midtonish area of the image that should be neutral and click on that area to set WB. Also, check your "auto options" under the levels adjustment fly-out menu in the upper right corner of the adjustment layers palette. There may be differences in how your Mac and PC auto options are configured that are yielding different results for the particular approach you are using.

Here is a fun exercise to try as well, especially if you are having a hard time finding a known neutral area in the image. Since you duplicate the background, use that duplicate layer as a dummy WB layer - here's how. With the duplicate layer selected, go to Filter>Blur>Average, to average the entire image into a single color. Then create a levels adjustment layer above this and click on the average layer with the gray dropper levels adjustment tool. This should balance the average layer to neutral. Then unclick the "eye" icon next to the average layer to hide it - now the WB levels adjustment affects the background (the original image). You have just essentially performed an auto WB on the image - YMMV. Compare the results to an "Auto Tone" or "Auto Color" operation to see which fits best for the image.

Another thing to consider - if you select the dropper tool in the toolbar (not the layer adjustment dropper, the actual color picker dropper positioned directly below the crop tool) check your "sample size" and "sample" settings - choose a 5x5 to 11x11 or so sample size to start with, so you are not sampling a single noisy pixel when making these adjustments.

Kirk


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realitysays
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Oct 19, 2010 05:28 as a reply to  @ kirkt's post |  #10

Thankyou for the very detailed explanation Kirk and others.
I will have a play.
I normally set the white point and the black point and then set the midtone (grey)'s using a form of finding a grey area using blend modes and the threshold layer i learnt through scott kelby.
For this particular photo, i didn't use a grey card though.

Thanks for the advice!


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ssim
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Oct 19, 2010 05:52 as a reply to  @ realitysays's post |  #11

Just for the sake of clarity here when you look at your adjustment layer is the layer mask white or black. If it is the latter you are hiding all effects done. It sounds like you know better but sometimes the simplest things get by even the most experienced users.


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