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Old Jun 18, 2004, 2:39 PM   #1
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With the dodge/burn tools you can easily set them to only effect the highlights or shadows. I'd love to do the same thing with the eraser tool. Here is what I'm doing and what I'm thinking of.

Say I create an adjustment layer with levels and increase the contrast.

Many places are great, but some of the hilights which were acceptable before are now basically blown. I'd like to erase those hilights back to the original non-adjusted background layer. What would be great is if I could say "only erase hilights" it would be much easier for me to erase just want I want.

I guess I could try to play some tricks with the magic wand (set the threshold very low and select the hilights?) And then erase only in the selection region? Just thought of that. Anyone else have an idea?

Eric
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Old Jun 18, 2004, 6:51 PM   #2
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Try this: hit CTRL-ALT-~ This command grabs the highlights (if you want the inverse, merely select INVERT) and makes them into a selection. You can then do whatever you want to the selected areas.
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Old Jun 18, 2004, 11:25 PM   #3
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Wow.... I've never, ever heard of that hotkey. I'm going to load up PS now...

Ok, is there any way to control what it defines as a hilight? It did a decent job, but grabbed too much.

Still better than nothing, though. I could always subtract away the selections where it's clearly not what I wanted.

Eric
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 12:30 AM   #4
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Unfortunately not. HOWEVER...there is a way, but it's complicated and time consuming.

Go to http://www.thelightsright.com/Digita.../Tutorials.htmand download the tutorial called Masking by the numbers(I think this will do what you are looking for)

This is Glen Mitchell's site and it's filled with lots of good tutorials and some decent downloads for actions. I have learned much from his tutorials.
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 12:51 AM   #5
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I probably do it the hard way. Use Select>Color range. Mess with the fuzziness until you have the right amount of the highlight selected. Other things in the image will likely get selected. Hold the Alt key while you click them with the magic wand with contiguous unchecked. Make sure to put a little feather in the selection.

If you want to get fancy you can load the selection and use the layer blending modes with a layer mask. A tutorial on that would be better than anything I could explain.

You can also use quick mask and paint in what you don't want selected.
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 6:23 AM   #6
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Eric

The answer is very simple - choose the Brush tool and a large fuzzy brush and paint in the blown bits with black. Alternatively, if there is only a small portion to adjust, Edit>Fill the layer with black (the adjustment disapears) the paint it back in with white.

If you have a photo where a gradual adjustment is needed, such as a landscape where the foreground is in shadow, use an adjustment layer to correct the foreground, then use a gradient fill from Black to Transparent from top to bottom.

HTH

Brian
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 8:58 AM   #7
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BrianP, unfortunately, that doesn't achieve what I want. I have two layers at different exposures (or contrasts or whatever.) I want to be able to erase the hilights off the top one so that the detail that is still there in the lower one shows through. Just "painting" over the lighter spots will not restore the lost details. I want the detail that is visible in the lower layer to be used with the better contrast/brightness/whatever in the upper layer.

If all I wanted to do was paint, I'd just use dodge/burn. That would do it very well, and has a hilight/shadow selection already built in.

ohenry & slipe

Thanks for those tips. I've read a little on blending modes for layers, but never really "understood" what each type does. I've seen their power but without that I don't really understand when to apply them.


I'll have a look at that tutorial. I need PS tutorials. :-)

Eric
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 2:58 AM   #8
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Eric

We may be talking at cross purposes, or I may not have made myself clear (as usual) but I use my method every day at work for doing exactly what you want.

Try this
1 Open any file
2 File>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast
3 Apply a large correction, click OK
4 Choose a very large brush set to black, mode normal, and paint anywhere on the Adjustment layer. Erasing just the highlights means zooming in and painting them separately.
Where you paint, the original contrast will show through (honest) . You can stack any number of masked layers on top of each other.

Brian.
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Old Jun 24, 2004, 1:19 PM   #9
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Ahh, I didn't see that you meant an adjustment layer. I rarely use them (usually use regular layers) so I missed that in your statement. I still have to mess with them more, but I'm still not perfectly clear on the interaction between a brush and an adjustment layer (as to using the eraser.)

But my point is still being missed (but we are getting closer.) dodge/burn has the ability to only effect a highlight or shadow. Let me say list it out, to see if that helps (you and me; makes me think very clearly)

I have a picture with a burnt out branch. Say it's 10 pixels wide and runs vertically.

1) I select the burn tool.

2) I set its radius to 17 (which is larger than the width of the branch)

3) I set "range" to "highlights" & exposure to say... 8%

4) I run the tool down the over exposed area and it darkens it. But since "highlights" is selected, it doesn't effect the parts of the picture on either side of the branch. It only darkens the pixles that are too bright (a highlight.) The pixels on either side of the branch which are not too light are not effected even though the dodge tool was moved over them.

If the same could be done with an eraser on a layer, that would be GREAT. Then I could set the radius of the eraser to something fairly large and in one pass erase the highlights (or shadow) to expose the layer behind it, without effecting the other properly exposed parts.

You see, my problem is that the feathers on a bird can catch the light and get over exposed. But other parts, visible through the feathers, are exposed properly. Trying to only erase or brush over just the over exposed feathers and miss the other parts is hard... and annoying when software could make it very easy (I think.)

Eric
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