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Create layers for 8 'colours' set using artistic cutout filter?


Craigside

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Hi. I have my image, in monochrome. I use the Artistic Filter>CutOut to set the levels at 8, which appears to alter the image to be made up of just 8 colours/tones (or am I mistaken about this?)

I now want to create a layer (New Via Cut) for each of 8 'colours/tones' in the image (after applying the Artistic Cutout filter). This should give me just 8 layers, 1 for each colour/tone?

I have tried using the Select/Colour Range tool, but I can't seem to get just 8 layers, i.e. one for each of '8 levels' as per the Cutout Filter?

Any advice much appreciated! Thanks.
 

ibclare

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Yes, 8 separations of color or B&W tonality. That's my understanding too Craig.

If I understand, you want each separation on it's own layer. Rather than using color range, try the magic wand or the quick select. You'll need to play with settings, eg: tolerance if you use the wand. You'll also have to use the alt/opt key (most likely) to deselect and reselect bits and pieces as you go. The quick select "learns" the pixel color/tone edges you want to use as you select and deselect. Seems clumsy but it works fairly well.

(You might also consider making your selections to layers first, but that would totally depend on the image and what you want to do. Seems you want to create the levels first so this comment is irrelevant!)

Here's an example using the quick select

7levels.PNG 7levels-2.PNG
In the second I have made a new layer of the lightest tones (I may have included 2 levels), then turned that off to show the separation.
I mad this cutout layer using new layer via cut, but if I suggest just use ctl/cmd + J, so you can blend the edges. Sometimes you'll get lost pixels in the cut process. And yes, I know, my selection is imperfect, lol.

Let me know if this answers your question or you have further.
 
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Craigside

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Thanks for your replies, I am a newbie to PS so am on a steep learning curve so much appreciated!

Yes I want to create the levels first in artistic>cutout, so I effectively should be left with 8 levels max.

When working with a photograph, irrespective of the original image it seems to be difficult if not impossible to select the full 'coverage' of each of the 8 'tones' in one action (unless I am doing something wrong). I have tried adjusting the wand tolerance (between 1 & 30) but seems to have no effect, the wand is selecting several 'similar' tones in an area.

Should I be able to select all the occurrences of a particular tone in one go using the wand and thereby create 1 layer for that tone?

As each of the 8 'tones' must have a 'value', is it not possible to select using this value thereby removing the need for manual selection/clicking etc? Imagine a complex image (eg a field of flowers) how difficult/time consuming it would be to manually select each spot that you 'think' is the same tone.

Or, is there not a way to display the range of tones in the image (like a palette) and allow selection from the palette?

Any help is much appreciated!
 

Craigside

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Hi

Further progress on this. I discovered that I can set Magic Wand to select a colour accurately by; set Eye Dropper Sample Size to 'Point Sample', this affects the Magic Wand. Then set Magic Wand tolerance to zero. Uncheck the Anti-Alias. The Magic Wand now selects just that tone in my image. However, I can't select the multiple occurrences of that same tone as it appears in my image.

I also tried using the Select>Colour Range, set Fuzzyness to 0, Localized Off, and then pick the colours from the Swatches on the right, however these swatches don't seem to match the tones in my image (which is B&W, with 8 levels via Cutout).

Any suggestions? Thanks...
 

ibclare

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When you say the magic wand can't select multiple occurrences, if I understand, the solution is to hold down the shift key as you click the magic wand and this will keep adding to the selection. Sounds like you're doing some good experimentation. Bravo!
 

Tom Mann

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If I understand what you want to do, just use the "magic wand" tool, BUT be sure to un-check the "contiguous" option. If you do this and have a reasonable setting for the range, one click will select every pixel in the image that has the same tonality (brightness). See attached for an example.

To put each of the 8 (or so) levels onto it's own layer, just hit cntrl-C, cntrl-V after you select each tonal range and you will get what you want. Obviously, to be able to clearly see what is on each layer, when you have completed the 8 select-cut-paste cycles, stick a layer with a neutral color between the original image and the stack of new layers that you just created. This entire procedure is very, very fast. It probably took me 30 seconds to work through the image I posted.
 

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Tom Mann

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BTW, for those not familiar with the artistic / cutout filter, it is a classic and has been used on many well known graphical designs, and still has lots of life / possibilities in it, especially when the tonalities are separated onto layers as the OP suggested.

For example, I started with this image ...
 

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Tom Mann

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... and the applied it a 2nd time (ie, to the preceding image), also with a gradient map, except this time, I brought one of the tonalities out on it's own layer and then applied some layer efx (eg, "drop shadow") to get this ...

It's a fun, very interesting filter.

HTH,

Tom M
 

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Craigside

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If I understand what you want to do, just use the "magic wand" tool, BUT be sure to un-check the "contiguous" option. If you do this and have a reasonable setting for the range, one click will select every pixel in the image that has the same tonality (brightness). See attached for an example.

To put each of the 8 (or so) levels onto it's own layer, just hit cntrl-C, cntrl-V after you select each tonal range and you will get what you want. Obviously, to be able to clearly see what is on each layer, when you have completed the 8 select-cut-paste cycles, stick a layer with a neutral color between the original image and the stack of new layers that you just created. This entire procedure is very, very fast. It probably took me 30 seconds to work through the image I posted.
Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes I found this works effectively in an image with wide differences between the tones in the image. I am finding when I have several shades of grey, they are either all selected or just some areas, depending on the Magic Wand tolerance. What I have found that seems to work better is to clear the swatches then create new ones from my image, then use the swatches to select the tones via Colour Range.

What I don't understand is when my B&W image is set to 8 'levels' in the Cutout filter, I find 20+ actual shades in the image (i.e. 20+ swatches) which results in 20+ layers to create a complete set of layers for the image? Should there not be just 8 shades as set by the Cutout filter? Thanks
 

Tom Mann

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I suspect that some essential element of what you are doing is not coming across in your description, so you *really* need to post the psd file for an image that is giving you trouble.

In the interim, I have a couple of questions:

1. You said, "...when I have several shades of grey, they are either all selected or just some areas, depending on the Magic Wand tolerance...".

Are you implying that you are starting not with a continuous tone image, but with an image that is already posterized / quantized down to just a fairly small number of gray levels?


2. You also said, "...when my B&W image is set to 8 'levels' in the Cutout filter, I find 20+ actual shades in the image...".

Attached below is (a) a starting contone B&W image and its histogram; (b) the result of applying the cutout filter (set to 8 levels) to it and its histogram.

If you count the narrow, difficult-to-see peaks in the histogram at 0 and 255, you see that there are exactly 8 major peaks, exactly as the cutout filter promised. There are also a huge number of small peaks that almost certainly come from pixels that are at the edges of the cutout swatches. Are these latter peaks the type of thing you are referring to when you talked about "20+ actual shades"?

Tom
 

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Craigside

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Hi Tom

Thank you for your reply! I am getting a better understanding so thank you for that, your assistance has been valuable.

Rob
 

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