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darken area of picture

Dec 21, 2011, 06:48
Post: #1
darken area of picture
The way I like to darken an image of a photo is that instead of using the burn tool, I create a new layer, set the opacity low (say 15) and then paint in the areas that I want to make darker. This gives me increased flexibility when I want to go back and fix what I did because I'm not altering the original layer.

Here's my problem though. One thing I like to do is to blur that layer using a gaussian blur to soften the edges of the area I am darkening. That works nicely but inevitably after applying the gaussian blur I want to come back and change something. That's a mess once the layer has already been blurred. So the work-around I've found is to save my darken layer and hide it from view (using the eye beside the layer) and then duplicate the layer and apply the gaussian blur. Then when I need to modify the area that I am darkening, I delete the visible blurred layer, change the invisible non-blurred version, then reduplicate and reblur. And that works but it is a pain.

What I think I want is some sort of "blurring" layer. Is there anything like that out there?

Lots of times I want to blur a mask a little and that gets to be a real pain. The steps I use to save my non-blurred version is to copy the mask to selection, then selection to path then change the path name to be Mask: (layer name). And then when I need to edit the non-blurred version, I delete the mask, change my path to a selection, then add mask from selection. then make my change, then reblur. Again it works but is a pain.

Can an expert tell me if there is an easier way of doing what I'm trying to do here?
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Dec 21, 2011, 10:56
Post: #2
RE: darken area of picture
A first solution is the feathered selection, use:
- select the area you want to change
- Select/Feather and choose the width of the fade
- alterations will be fully taken in account in the selection, but only progressively in the feathered area. This would be used a a full copy of the layer

Another solution is to copy paste in another layer:
- select a feather as above
- copy/paste as new layer
- your new layer now has fading transparency on the edges and will naturally belnd in the layer below

The most complete solution is to use a layer mask:
- duplicate layer
- Layer/Mask/add layer mask
- white areas in the mask make the layer fully opaque, black areas are transparent, and you can of course use all tones of grays for partial opacity. This let you adjust very finely how and where things blend

PS: You can save a selection directly without using a path (Select/Save to channel) (and restore with Channel/To Selection in the Channel list dialog). When you save to a path, it saves a line where the selection value is closer to 50% (127), but doesn't save any associated blurriness.

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Dec 21, 2011, 18:49
Post: #3
RE: darken area of picture
Thanks for the quick response. I'm going to give this a try.

I hadn't been using feathered selection and I can see where that would be helpful.

Also I hadn't know/understood about saving to channel. This is helpful. Thank you.

Unfortunately, it sounds like there isn't a way to add a layer which will apply a certain filter to an underlying layer.

Thanks for your help!
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Dec 21, 2011, 20:10
Post: #4
RE: darken area of picture
(Dec 21, 2011 18:49)snowguy Wrote:  Unfortunately, it sounds like there isn't a way to add a layer which will apply a certain filter to an underlying layer.
Yes, this is only in PS as far as I know.

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