Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

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Brian D3300 Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

I am hoping somebody can help me understand a layer so that I can replicate it all the time on my own. The portion is the background group that I highlighted. I want to be able to replicate this on every photo on my own. It is taking my background and smoothing it out as far as I can tell, not sure if anything else.  Also if there is a simple way to make the layer mask just as clean as in this example as well.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ams82hf6ct0ejq1/DSC_0763.tif?dl=0

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JT26 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,682
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included
1

Hi Brian,

Unfortunately theres no 'one size fits all' solution for this. I advise you to have a look at masking techniques on youtube and learn them.

This image posted above, isnt actually a great example of layers, much of the alterations are not editable and reversible. i.e. adjusting colours should be done with adjustment layers not just on the layer itself... defeats the object.

In terms of background. As there is only a blur layer added, there isnt as much of a need for an ultra precise mask... So this one is probably best done manually with quick mask too, refinement and some feathering at the end...

But, look on youtube as there are a tonne of ways to get the desired mask and its up to you to select the best one for each situation.

OP Brian D3300 Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

JT26 wrote:

Hi Brian,

Unfortunately theres no 'one size fits all' solution for this. I advise you to have a look at masking techniques on youtube and learn them.

This image posted above, isnt actually a great example of layers, much of the alterations are not editable and reversible. i.e. adjusting colours should be done with adjustment layers not just on the layer itself... defeats the object.

In terms of background. As there is only a blur layer added, there isnt as much of a need for an ultra precise mask... So this one is probably best done manually with quick mask too, refinement and some feathering at the end...

But, look on youtube as there are a tonne of ways to get the desired mask and its up to you to select the best one for each situation.

Hi JT26,

Thank you.   All I really care about is understanding how to go from the before to after on the background.  Is it a specific blur selection that I then choose slide the pixel radius?   I have tried Gaussian and it does not seem to be that one.   Maybe it is not as simple as that.   I will tkae a look on youtube.

The masking I am not that concerned with.

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Schrodingers_cat Senior Member • Posts: 2,677
Try this video

If you're looking into cleaning up something like a seamless background that has some wrinkles or messed up areas, this may be what you need .

OP Brian D3300 Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: Try this video

Yeah it is the paper that bothers me.  The clean look from the file is so much better after that layer.  Ok, I will watch the Phlearn video.

Much appreciated!

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Schrodingers_cat Senior Member • Posts: 2,677
Re: Try this video

Brian D3300 wrote:

Yeah it is the paper that bothers me. The clean look from the file is so much better after that layer. Ok, I will watch the Phlearn video.

Much appreciated!

If you get a REALLY trashed background, like with a hole or a piece missing, investigate Content Aware Fill. You roughly mask out your subject and exclude it from the area from which the Content aware Fill takes it's sample and it fills it right in.

It's also useful if you have a background paper that's not really wide enough. You can use Content Aware Fill to make the paper appear wider than it really was.

You may also get a response from Sabrine 81.  If you do, listen.  She knows what she's doing.

OP Brian D3300 Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: Try this video

Schrodingers_cat wrote:

Brian D3300 wrote:

Yeah it is the paper that bothers me. The clean look from the file is so much better after that layer. Ok, I will watch the Phlearn video.

Much appreciated!

If you get a REALLY trashed background, like with a hole or a piece missing, investigate Content Aware Fill. You roughly mask out your subject and exclude it from the area from which the Content aware Fill takes it's sample and it fills it right in.

It's also useful if you have a background paper that's not really wide enough. You can use Content Aware Fill to make the paper appear wider than it really was.

Thank you very much.  That is helpful!

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Schrodingers_cat Senior Member • Posts: 2,677
Re: Try this video

Looking at your flicker account, it doesn't seem to me like you need much help

OP Brian D3300 Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: Try this video

Schrodingers_cat wrote:

Looking at your flicker account, it doesn't seem to me like you need much help

Ah thanks!   Landscapes are much easier for me but I still want to get better.  Portraits on the other hand I feel like I am way more trial and error.

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JT26 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,682
Re: Try this video
JT26 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,682
This is what I would do.

Hi Brian,

I think I misunderstood your question at first. I thought it was more regarding the mask...

Smoothing out a background to replicate the Tiff file layers that you posted could be done like this:

Step 1 - Make a selection of the background. Use any masking method you want...

Step 2 - Make two new Layers via the Selection (Command + J on a Mac / Maybe control + J on PC?)

Step 3 - Gaussian blur the top layer to your desired amount

Step 4- 'Clip' the top background layer to the bottom background layer - this is basically making the top layer stick to the pixels of the below layer meaning the background cannot bleed into the subject. This part is only as good as your selection (in my case, not great)

To smooth out the background even more, you can manually select a brush on low/medium opacity and pain in the desired colours... To demonstrate I went for orange to stand out. This

Step 5 - To go to the before and after just uncheck the layer visibility of the top layer. When you are doing your final colour grades, dont do them on a hard layer i.e. one you cannot undo without deleting that layer. Instead make everything non detructive like below.

By the way. Great image and great model.

OP Brian D3300 Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: This is what I would do.

Thank you so much! I am going to work on replicating that process tonight. Very kind of you to take the time to help me out!

He is a Dance Instructor among other things.   For a job I had, sent you a pm on it.

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sabrina81
sabrina81 Senior Member • Posts: 5,547
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

Instead of cutting out the subject and blurring the remaining background, I would put a layer mask on the image and use surface blur, not Gaussian blur.

Also, on the layer labled "big flaws," you can reduce file size by cloning/healing on a blank layer rather than on a duplicate of the pixel layer.

OP Brian D3300 Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

sabrina81 wrote:

Instead of cutting out the subject and blurring the remaining background, I would put a layer mask on the image and use surface blur, not Gaussian blur.

Also, on the layer labled "big flaws," you can reduce file size by cloning/healing on a blank layer rather than on a duplicate of the pixel layer.

Awesome.  Thank you, Sabrina! I do not think I have ever tried the surface blur feature.

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JT26 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,682
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

Yes surface blur probably is better. If using a mask just need to unlink the mask from layer to leave a hard edge and stop any bleeding into the image from the blur. Agree?

sabrina81
sabrina81 Senior Member • Posts: 5,547
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

JT26 wrote:

If using a mask just need to unlink the mask from layer to leave a hard edge and stop any bleeding into the image from the blur. Agree?

No. That won't make any difference.

JT26 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,682
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

But if you leave it linked it'll blue the layer and the mask?

sabrina81
sabrina81 Senior Member • Posts: 5,547
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

JT26 wrote:

But if you leave it linked it'll blue the layer and the mask?

Yes, you're right. My apologies.

I was thinking about this: The key to preventing halos with surface blur isn't the mask, it's the threshold slider. If the background wrinkles or blemishes require a high enough threshold to cause halos, then surface blur isn't the way to go, because surface blur, like Gaussian blur, blurs everything behind the black mask.

JT26 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,682
Re: Help understanding photoshop layer so I can do on my own for my pictures? TIF included

Ah cool thanks for that, I know what you mean I think.  No need to apologise, photoshop is a hard thing to describe without visual aids 

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