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I created an action t make luminosity masks on the fly


English_Wolf

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I just did not like the way luminosity masks were made and the complexity and repetition of the steps involved. :frown:

So...

I looked at pre-made luminosity masks and found out they are all the same, marketed differently and frankly not worth the $$$. :evil:

I looked at different techniques and finally it clicked. :naughty:

Trouble is... I made the masking situation so easy that anyone can now make their own luminosity mask as they work, with ranges that can be from 2 levels to 256 (0~1 to 0~255 and anything in between 0/255 like 43~57).

Here is the link to it. The first two actions are worthless, and the one you want to look at is the Custom Zone selection. It ends rather abruptly at the moment (you are left with the mask on and in the channel tab).

Please download it, test it then comment on it.

http://www.rongnongno.info/Share/Zone system.atn

Note you will be either prompted to save the action or it will upload automatically onto PS. This should be backward compatible to previous versions of PS CS?.

I am planning to makes this work with the R, G and B channels as at the moment it uses only RGB.
 
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IamSam

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I've only just played with this a little, but I like the custom luminosity mask. I'm still working out the zone selection and how to use it.
 

Tom Mann

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To be honest, I gave up on hand crafting luminosity masks back around 2005 (or maybe earlier), when I first started using a plugin called Asiva Selection.

For example, if I wanted some weird luminosity mask that simultaneously targeted both the darkest and lightest tones, I would draw a curve like this in the luminosity channel in just a few seconds:
Asiva_Selection-curve_for _custom_lum_mask.jpg

As a more complicated example, if I want to select only the brightest tones (that also happen to be well saturated and warm), and do so in under 10 or 15 seconds, I could draw curves as shown in the attached screen shot, hit "OK", and it would produce a wonderful selection:

Selection_curves_Asiva_Selection_v2p2.jpg

It couldn't be easier to use.

Unfortunately, there are two problems with this recommendation:

a) The company seems to have gone out of business; and,
b) The plugin only runs under 32bit PS (under either 32 or 64 bit Windows)

The first is easy to overcome -- the program is still widely available from various software download websites.

The second problem disappears if you keep a 32 bit version of PS installed on your PS computer. Personally, I find that there are plenty of very useful, older 32 bit plugins around which have no 64 bit version. So, to continue to take advantage of these, I keep PS CC (2013) installed on my main PS machine.

HTH,

Tom
 

Tom Mann

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Also, are you aware that the old "Ozone" plugin was bought by Tiffen, and is now part of their DFX plugin suite. It uses the classic old 10 zone concept and allows one to adjust many different image parameters separately for each of the zones. See attached.

Tiffen_DFX_Ozone-screen_shot.jpg

If you don't want that many zones, you can use only a few by setting the "range" parameter wider.

Operation of it is very intuitive and it works very, very well (including under 64 bit PS CC 2014 on 16 bpc images on Win 8.1).

T
 

English_Wolf

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For one I create actions, not plug ins. I am not a programmer and I am not paid to do anything. I create these actions (and a few other since) for my own use and share then freely. As I mentioned, similar rigid action sets are sold by many photographers. Mine are simpler, free and fully customizable.

New version:
Actions: http://www.rongnongno.info/Share/RGG actions.atn
2 + 3 one helps visualize the actions and 2 to remove the created masks.
PDF: http://www.rongnongno.info/Share/Custom mid tone luminosity mask.pdf

You should also be aware that I started to learn PS this December so I am really happy that now I am dabbling into the advanced features and understand them. Yet there are so many other things I need to know that I am still a stinkin' beginner. Your promotion of plugins feels like a put down more than an encouragement to move further. It feels like 'Oh, someone else is doing this, why are you wasting your time and ours'. Well, personally I want to learn to fish not being fed fishes and depend on other folks to get them for me and pay for the service.

So, if you want to help, tell me if I am doing something wrong, did not quite understand something, not what someone else is doing.

I presently use PS exclusively as a photographer learning PP.

Tiffen plug in cost 150.00, no thank you. By the way I accidentally learned how to remove noise w/o losing details...
 
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Tom Mann

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For one I create actions, not plug ins. I am not a programmer and I am not paid to do anything. I create these actions (and a few other since) for my own use and share then freely. As I mentioned, similar rigid action sets are sold by many photographers. Mine are simpler, free and fully customizable.

New version:
Actions: http://www.rongnongno.info/Share/RGG actions.atn
2 + 3 one helps visualize the actions and 2 to remove the created masks.
PDF: http://www.rongnongno.info/Share/Custom mid tone luminosity mask.pdf

You should also be aware that I started to learn PS this December so I am really happy that now I am dabbling into the advanced features and understand them. Yet there are so many other things I need to know that I am still a stinkin' beginner. Your promotion of plugins feels like a put down more than an encouragement to move further. It feels like 'Oh, someone else is doing this, why are you wasting your time and ours'. Well, personally I want to learn to fish not being fed fishes and depend on other folks to get them for me and pay for the service.

So, if you want to help, tell me if I am doing something wrong, did not quite understand something, not what someone else is doing.

I presently use PS exclusively as a photographer learning PP.

Tiffen plug in cost 150.00, no thank you. By the way I accidentally learned how to remove noise w/o losing details...
I find that for a given image, one typically needs masks for only a small number of tonal ranges, but they need to be carefully and iteratively tweaked with respect to center, width and rate of fall-off. In addition, the selection process often dramatically profits from inclusion of similar parameters in the hue and saturation variables. In my experience, such complex iterative adjustments need rapid feedback, and this simply is not able to be done as well using actions as it can be done using plugins.

For example, with the "Asiva Select" plugin, I can watch the mask change in real time as I make the smallest change in the selection parameters/curves.

So, to respond to your comment asking to be told if you are doing something wrong, my suggestion would be to put your energies into developing actions for tasks that don't need instant feedback and involve complex combinations of parameters.

I'm sure some people will find your action(s) useful, and while I would like to have been more encouraging of your efforts, my main goal is to guide people who might be reading this thread in selecting the most appropriate tool for themselves based on my own use of luminosity masks in PS and very early image editing programs (eg, Micrografx Designer) since the 1990s.


Tom
 

English_Wolf

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my main goal is to guide people who might be reading this thread in selecting the most appropriate tool for themselves based on my own use of luminosity masks in PS and very early image editing programs
That is not acceptable.

The questions and requests are specific to one user, not to the majority of the board, same as folks asking for help creating lettering and stuff of this sort.

When one asks a question or guidance it makes no sense to answer for 'the greater good'. Sorry but your approach is wrong. I am not offering this tool I am asking what can be done to improve and if I misunderstood something, THAT is what I need, not "you should use this" or "I did that".

The first part of your answer:
you said:
I find that for a given image, one typically needs masks for only a small number of tonal ranges, but they need to be carefully and iteratively tweaked with respect to center, width and rate of fall-off. In addition, the selection process often dramatically profits from inclusion of similar parameters in the hue and saturation variables.
Is interesting. I clipped the end this quote as it diverts toward promoting the use of plugins and so forth.

Not everyone wants canned answers (plugins - however sophisticated they are) to problems solving while learning. Same as not everyone is willing to pays $$$ when PS can do everything IF you learn it properly. Creating luminosity masks is one of the most notoriously boring task there is and these masks using PS 'formula' are always similar.

You mention, rightly, that it still is relatively complex since one has to know what he/she is dealing with. I agree with you with some reserve. Anyone starting to dabble with luminosity masks is not a mere pixel pusher but an already relatively sophisticated user so the complexity issues go away. I post this in 'Beginner's forum' because this is what I am.

The way you type I am not even sure you tried what I created. This (mid-range) works only with, well, mid range. I am working on two more actions that will deal with customized light and dark ranges and one more, for fun, that will deal with two distinct zones at the same time*. These I will not post here for feedback since 'plugin-is-the-solution' seems to be the motto.

* Someone mentioned that here and I had to it too one time so... Why not?
 

Tom Mann

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We are going to have to agree to disagree on your 1st point: You seem to feel that responders should only respond to only an OP's exact request, whereas I feel that responders should try to help both the OP (with larger issues, if necessary), as well as help others who will read the thread.

You wanted specific feedback on your particular action-based implementation of a classic post-processing technique, whereas my opinion is that I am in a position to give you a much more valuable information (ie, that I think you made a poor choice about what processing technique you should target when learning how to write actions).

For example, if, in the future, you ever offer this action to the public and no one shows much interest in it, you wouldn't know if they didn't like your particular implementation vs you didn't know your competition, and were simply outclassed by them. Without knowing what others are doing in the area in which you are working, you could waste a lot of time.

I feel I would have been derelict in my duties to both you and others not to have pointed this out.

With respect to your comment that "plugin is the solution seems to be the motto here", that is not the case. I certainly use actions instead of plugins, albeit for other, more reptetitive tasks, and other folks may prefer your action-based approach even to this task, and may post their comments about this at some later time.

Tom
 

Tom Mann

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PS - For the record, I have absolutely no affiliation with any company that develops plugins. I buy them just like everyone else. The only possible difference is that when I am evaluating various solutions to a post processing problem, a very important factor for me is which solution will save me the most time and give me the best return on my investment. Sometimes it is a DIY technique, sometimes it is a free action, sometimes it is a plugin that costs a significant amount of money. Each has their place, but different people (eg, amateurs working on one image at a time, vs pros working events) may rank them differently.

Tom
 

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