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Author Topic: Photoshop layers question  (Read 1963 times)

bernie west

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Photoshop layers question
« on: May 02, 2018, 05:02:11 AM »

Hi all.  I'm pretty sure this can be done, I just can't remember how to do it.  I'm going to end up with 3 layers.

1. An image as the background layer.
2. A levels adjustment layer
3. A stamped new layer (ctrl+shift+n+e) of the bottom two layers.

I then blur the 3rd layer.  Change it's blend mode.  And then turn off the 2nd layer

What I would like to be able to do is readjust the levels layer and have it affect the 3rd layer.  I.e. I don't really want to stamp the third layer.  I'm guessing I would use smart layers/filters somehow, but I'm not very experienced in them.

Cheers.
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Garnick

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 07:27:47 AM »

Hi all.  I'm pretty sure this can be done, I just can't remember how to do it.  I'm going to end up with 3 layers.

1. An image as the background layer.
2. A levels adjustment layer
3. A stamped new layer (ctrl+shift+n+e) of the bottom two layers.

I then blur the 3rd layer.  Change it's blend mode.  And then turn off the 2nd layer

What I would like to be able to do is readjust the levels layer and have it affect the 3rd layer.  I.e. I don't really want to stamp the third layer.  I'm guessing I would use smart layers/filters somehow, but I'm not very experienced in them.

Cheers.


Hi Bernie,

I'd like to offer some suggestions, but first I need to understand what you are trying to accomplish.  First question - what does the the term "Stamped Layer" mean?  If you are referring to a flattened layer then you no longer have the levels layer, just the background layer.  Also, your keyboard shortcut (ctrl+shift+n+e) doesn't seem to make much sense.  The "e" at the end doesn't have any function, and the rest is simply creating a new "empty" layer.  As far as the levels layer is concerned, as with any adjustment layer, it will only affect the layer(s) below it.  Since your "stamped layer" is above, the levels layer would not affect it at all.  And one more thing.  If you have an empty layer above the levels layer you would not be able to blur it, since there are no pixels to blur.  This is rather confusing, but it's early and I'm easily confused at this time of day.

Please elaborate.

Gary   
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David Eckels

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 09:37:55 AM »

alt-ctrl-shift-e perhaps

nirpat89

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 09:43:43 AM »

You meant Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E, right?  That would create a merged layer on top of the visible layers below. 

There will be some blending modes that will allow to change the levels layer below, but many won't (including Normal.)  What mode are you using?

If you describe what exactly you are trying to achieve, perhaps there could be some other way. 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 09:57:02 AM by nirpat89 »
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 10:35:39 AM »

As I understand what you’re describing, you could, after blurring the merged layer and changing the blend mode, go back to the levels layer, duplicate it, and move this duplicated layer to the top.  Then each levels layer would be independently adjustable.

If you made the merged layer a smart object before blurring it, then you could use the Gaussian blur and have the blur be continuously adjustable too.

I too am curious about the effect you're trying to achieve.
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Jeffrey
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Peano

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 11:37:38 AM »

If I understand you correctly, you can open a new curves adjustment layer on top and clip it to the stamped/blurred layer.
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 12:05:08 PM »

Yes, curves or levels (or any adjustment layer, for that matter), and clipping is always an option.
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Jeffrey
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bernie west

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 10:48:13 PM »

If I understand you correctly, you can open a new curves adjustment layer on top and clip it to the stamped/blurred layer.


Actually, clipping was the thing I was trying to remember.  But I don't think that will do what I need.

Here's the details: I saw an image that was using the "Orton effect", and I remembered I used to do a facsimile of that effect in photoshop.  I usually just started with the background image, boost the midtones a bit with a levels layer, stamp a new layer (sorry, I forgot the 'alt' in there as well; as far as I can tell the 'n' might be unnecessary) and then blur the top layer and blend with "softlight".  But in an image I was working on yesterday I accidentally turned the levels layer off, and the image looked a lot better.  So effectively I'm blending a lightened image (the stamped new layer) with the original unchanged image.  The issue is, that after I stamp the layer, do the blurring and blending, I can't change the original levels anymore such that it will effect the stamped layer.  I could always just put another levels/curves layer above the stamped layer, but I assume that's not optimal for image quality, as the stamping of the new layer fixes those pixels.  I suppose if I'm using a tiff in 16bit (which I always am), it mightn't make much difference, but I was wondering if there was a direct way to alter the levels of the stamped layer in a non-destructive way (such that it was equivalent to altering the middle levels layer again before the top layer was stamped).  Hope that actually makes sense.. :)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 11:07:58 PM by bernie west »
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bernie west

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 10:57:05 PM »

The reality is that these days I use Lightroom and Nik for about 98% of my processing.  I rarely use photoshop any more, and it was only on seeing this Orton effect so strikingly done that I remembered "ah yes, I used to be able to do that in photoshop".  So off to photoshop I went, but I can't remember how to use the thing properly any more... ;)
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smahn

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 12:47:55 AM »

Here is I how I would do what you are proposing.

1. If all you have for layers is one (i.e. a background layer) duplicate it. If you have multiple layers make the stamp layer.
2. Convert dupe/stamp layer to Smart Object.
3. Set the blend Mode of your S.O. to Softlight
4. Run your Gaussian Blur on your S.O.
5. Make your levels layer above your S.O. and Clip it to the S.O.
6. Adjust the levels layer to taste.

As such, you can see the effect of the Softlight layer as you set your blur, and you can see the effect in total as you set your levels -- and the degree of Blur and Levels remain "live" and readjustable for fine tuning and tweaking.
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bernie west

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 01:38:14 AM »

Cheers smahn, I'll give that a go!
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 08:59:44 AM »

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Jeffrey
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bernie west

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 07:00:46 AM »

Thanks Jeffrey.  I like both the approaches suggested so far.  The latter give a more subtle effect, so that could be useful for certain types of images.  Cheers!
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pcgpcg

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2018, 09:31:18 AM »

This is a bit off topic, but this is the first I've heard of the Orton effect. After looking at the LULA link above, how is this processing different, in terms of end result,  from selectively applying negative clarity in Lightroom? I'm not a Photoshop user.
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2018, 10:06:51 AM »

Thanks Jeffrey.  I like both the approaches suggested so far.  The latter give a more subtle effect, so that could be useful for certain types of images.  Cheers!

You're welcome, Bernie.  And thank you for introducing me to the term "Orton effect."  I had not heard it before
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Jeffrey
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bernie west

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2018, 10:13:40 AM »

This is a bit off topic, but this is the first I've heard of the Orton effect. After looking at the LULA link above, how is this processing different, in terms of end result,  from selectively applying negative clarity in Lightroom? I'm not a Photoshop user.

It definitely gives a different result from the clarity slider alone.  I've been wondering if there would be a way to duplicate it in Lightroom.  I suspect not, though.
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pcgpcg

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2018, 11:19:02 AM »

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bernie west

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2018, 05:25:33 AM »

It's been around for a long time digitally.  I was using it probably ten years ago.  It was initially popular, but I suppose people moved on from it, and it is only now being rediscovered.
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Garnick

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2018, 09:14:29 AM »

It's been around for a long time digitally.  I was using it probably ten years ago.  It was initially popular, but I suppose people moved on from it, and it is only now being rediscovered.

Interesting that this thread has now touched on the Orton Effect.  Yes, it is quite true that this effect can be duplicated in a program such as Photoshop.  However, as with most of the "effects", as well as all other tools etc. used in PS are off-shoots from traditional photography.  The Orton effect was initially introduced as a different approach to exhibiting slides.  Two carefully exposed slides of the same scene and then sandwiched in a glass mount(Gepe) to create the final effect.  It's also an effect that I used back in the very early 70's when working on a commercial job in a Custom Lab in Toronto.  We were eventually dealing with 10 4x5 Ektachrome Dupes, all sandwiched together in one form or another to accomplish the final result.  There were solarized chromes as well as what would amount to the "Orton Effect" years later, involved in that job.  All of that to say that this "effect" has been used in many different ways for many years by various photogs etc.  Of course, as with any traditional photography tools, when taken to the "digital realm", the control of the final effect is far beyond what we had to work with in traditional photography. 

Gary         
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Photoshop layers question
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2018, 10:38:29 PM »

I saw an image that was using the "Orton effect", and I remembered I used to do a facsimile of that effect in photoshop
I have a video on a non-destructive modifiable method of Orton Effect, which additionally works best if you are using the raw files so I think the closest you can get to the original method using transparency film.

A Better Way to do the Orton Effect

edit: (sorry, link should work now).
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 10:04:31 AM by Wayne Fox »
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