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ACR White Balance Question


GeorgeB

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I believe there are 2 (at least) ways of automatically setting White Balance and it seems they give different results so I am wondering what the difference is.


If I select an neutral area of an image and I use the White Balance Tool (I) it automatically adjust the TEMPERATURE and TINT sliders. Often, this is part of my normal routine.


However, if I hold SHIFT (an eyedropper appears) and I click on the exact same area as I did with the WHITE BALANCE TOOL it drops a color point. If I RIGHT-CLICK on that point and select AUTO I get a completely different White Balance setting.


Any thoughts on this difference?
 

thebestcpu

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Hi GeorgeB

I am not positive yet I think the Auto color balance function is not associated with the dropped color point rather it looks at the whole image so naturally you could get something radically different.

John Wheeler

PS - yet I will explore this topic as I may have a bit to learn here.
 
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MrToM

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...so I am wondering what the difference is...
The difference is between what you think is right, and what the Adobe software developers think is right.


...If I select an neutral area of an image and I use the White Balance Tool (I) it automatically adjust the TEMPERATURE and TINT sliders...
Not strictly correct but I know what you mean. There is nothing automatic about this method, you choose what you think is 'neutral' and ACR adjusts the temperature and tint based on the values of the pixel you click on.


...However, if I hold SHIFT (an eyedropper appears) and I click on the exact same area as I did with the WHITE BALANCE TOOL it drops a color point. If I RIGHT-CLICK on that point and select AUTO I get a completely different White Balance setting...
Correct, the Adobe software developers idea of what 'neutral' is....automatically, and based on the whole image, not just one pixel.

The fact that you define a colour sampler beforehand is irrelevant, it has nothing to do with the result, you are just using the shortcut, 'shift', to go into 'sampler' mode but right clicking ANYWHERE and choosing 'Auto' will have the same effect.....its the same as choosing 'Auto' from the dropdown menu.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

GeorgeB

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Thanks, John...both ways produced interesting results but they were significantly different from each other.
 

MrToM

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No worries.

... So then, are both ways considered to be White Balance adjustments?
Indeed they are, in fact you can have as many 'adjustments' as you like....which one you go with is up to you....as is how you get it, manually by clicking a pixel with the White Balance Tool, or automatically by choosing 'Auto'...either via the dropdown, or right clicking on the image.

Whatever you do you will ultimately only have one adjustment, but you can adjust it as many times as you like prior to that, till you get one that suits your needs....and by whichever method gives that result.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

MrToM

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No worries.

You could also do the whole thing manually avoiding ACR completely if all you need is a quick white balance...

1. Create a 50% grey layer above the image. (Even though a 50% grey is impossible...go with it)
2. Set the blending mode to Difference.
3. Add a 'Threshold' layer adjustment.
4. Move the adjustment slider all the way to the left...
5. ...then back to the right until you start to see areas of black pixels.
6. Place a colour sampler at any black pixel.
7. Turn off all the layers except the original.
8. Select that layer and add a 'Curves' adjustment layer.
9. Choose the 'Set grey point' picker and click on the colour sampler.
10. Your image is now White balanced.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

GeorgeB

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OK...I am very impressed with that little trick. I pulled up an image that I shot last summer that I know was way too cool and it nailed it. Thank you so much!
 

GeorgeB

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MrToM - have you ever set this to an action? I have been attempting this but for some reason I can not get the action to grab the Color Sampler Tool.
 

MrToM

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...MrToM - have you ever set this to an action?...
I haven't no.


...I have been attempting this but for some reason I can not get the action to grab the Color Sampler Tool...
Yeah.....I don't think you can record that type of event as there is no way for PS to know where you are going to click....if it was the same place each time then it could possibly be done but of course there is no way of knowing where the 'black pixels' are going to be.


Actions only replicate events that are [exactly] repeatable and some tools, like pickers, brushes, marquees, etc just don't fall into that category.

You may though be able to have the action pause and await input from yourself...ie the clicking bit. I've not recorded this exact event before but have done so with awaiting for file selection, the action waits for external input, then continues once that event has fired, using the info from the event in the rest of the process.

It can get complex so it may be best to search for info on this elsewhere online....there is bound to be a good video tutorial somewhere on it.

From what I remember you go through the motions regardless and then select a point in the action at which to pause, via a simple checkbox in the action's list of events.....but whether or not this will work for this particular colour sampler event I couldn't say.

Have a search around for 'Pausing PS actions', or similar, and if that doesn't work then by all means get back to us and I'll see if I can do anything else for you.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

GeorgeB

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Well, I have it to a point...I just made 2 actions. I run the first action, make the adjustments, run the second action, make the adjustment. Better than nothing.

How do I add a .jpg image to this reply?
 
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GeorgeB

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OK...I will give yours a try. These are the 2 actions that I came up with:

Screen Shot 1.jpg
 
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MrToM

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...OK...I will give yours a try...
Its no different to the list in my previous post, except its recorded as an action and the 'pause' added afterwards.

On that note, a 'threshold' value of 20 may not work for all images so you may need to add another pause for adjusting this value too.
The action should stop at that point and allow you to adjust the 'threshold' before continuing.


...These are the 2 actions that I came up with:...
Whatever you attached isn't showing.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

GeorgeB

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OK...help. I can see the .jpg that I added to my post (above). Why do you think you can not? What did I do wrong?
 

MrToM

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...Why do you think you can not? What did I do wrong?...
i don't know, I don't have the ability to view that information but don't worry about it, its been dealt with and is now visible.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

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