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Awesome job, Michel. You really got us thinking and questioning, which equate to learning. :woohoo: :thanks:
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Just used the quick selection tool to select the area I wanted color, selection inverse and hit the B&W layer mask
presto background was black an white.
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Now that was interesting, Nolan.... This moved out of the clipping mask area didn't it? -L
I am loving it, for sure. Thanks Michel! And all the others who have contributed to my foggy reasoning. -L
Let me throw in one more example to expand on Michel's comments.
If you hijack an adjustment layer, you really have only three layers. Because the eyeball is turned off of the BG layer, think if it as not being there. When you use an adjustment layer to provide the mask, remember that White Reveals and Black Hides. And understand, we are hiding or revealing whatever is on the layer just above the adjustment layer -- the layer that is grouped with the adjustment layer (indented + the bent arrow)

LayerMask-How2.jpg
LayerMask-How2.jpg (97.23 KiB) Viewed 1257 times


Note that in one of these I used a Levels adjustment layer, in the other I used a Hue/Sat adjustment layer; it makes absolutely no difference. When the adjustment layer is created by Elements, the entire mask is white -- everything in the above layer is revealed and, thus, covering up whatever is in the layer below the adjustment layer.

Note that in one I put the color layer on top - you paint the mask in black where you want to hide what is in the color layer and reveal what is in the B&W layer below. On the other example I put the B&W layer on top - when you paint in black here, you are hiding what's on the B&W layer and revealing what is on the color layer below.

Here is one last image to show what the mask is doing.

LayerMask-How3.jpg
LayerMask-How3.jpg (85.68 KiB) Viewed 1257 times


You can do the exact same thing with two layers and an eraser. The problem is, any error is fatal. Erase the wrong thing, and miss catching it immediately to use Undo, you have to start all over. The black paint on the layer mask is acting exactly like erasing the pixels -- it is hiding them, blocking them from showing. If you screw up with the mask and paint something black that you want to show, simply switch your color to white and paint over the black. Voila - the image is restored.

There are at least two other easy ways I can think of to blend B&W with color -- I'm sticking with this one because I thought that was the subject/point of this excellent thread.

Rusty

PS - how many Elements Users does it take to change a light bulb? Five - one to change the bulb and four others to tell him/her there is another, easier way to do it :biggrin: That's the nice thing about Elements, lots of roads lead to the exact same place.
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That is correct farabee there is only two layers required,
the background (picture color) and the B&W layer filter adjustment.
Note this is in CS3 I have not tried it in Elements 5 or 6.
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Website, http://www.photographybynolan.com
Nikon D300/PSE6/CS4/LR2/Vista/Firefox
nolanc wrote: That is correct farabee there is only two layers required,
the background (picture color) and the B&W layer filter adjustment.
Note this is in CS3 I have not tried it in Elements 5 or 6.


Nolan,
If you have downloaded lately Graffi's B&W action, which hijacks the B&W adjustment layer of CS3, you can do the same... with PSE6 Windows. Adobe discovered the trick and blocked the possibility to modify the settings of the adjustment layer with the Mac version... No doubt this possibility will be disabled in PSE7!
I do agree that this adjustment layer is much, much more powerful than a simple desaturation.

Rusty,
Excellent demonstration! I hope this thread will be as useful to experienced users as to beginners.
Michel B
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This is the least amount of layers it can be done in PSE6 with for mac. As Michel pointed out, it can only be done with this few layers if the change you are making can be accomplished with that adjustment layer and you don't care about insurance. Besides always working on a duplicate, I also usually make a copy from the background so I can go back to that if I've filled up my history and change my mind. Maybe Michel will have us hijack a layer mask to cover a filter effect next time.
Picture 3.jpg
Picture 3.jpg (81.46 KiB) Viewed 1214 times
ljameso1 wrote: Maybe Michel will have us hijack a layer mask to cover a filter effect next time.
Picture 3.jpg

Linda,
As a matter of fact, that's what Rusty showed in his example. He has one more layer, a real layer on which you can apply a filter effect. The adjustment layer is just used on account of its mask. One or both of the layers can have a filter applied, and the mask tells which layer should show.
Photoshop provides masks not only to adjustment layers, but to normal layers (except background). Even though you can use the hijacking method to work around this missing feature, it's much more simple and comfortable to use add-ons to have real masks. Most commonly cited are Grant, Graffi, Hiddenelements. I am convinced most members here have already downloaded one.
It's interesting to note that the adjustment filters in Elements can do the same as the simple enhancement menu: levels, brightness/contrast, threshold, gradients maps... Other filters like artistic, stylize, have no equivalent in adjustment layers, mainly because they are based on mixing pixels of the same layer.
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+


Mes Galeries
Thanks Michel this was a great lesson. I look forward to the future ones. I tried to hijack the layer like Rusty explained but must have been doing something wrong. I kept getting the indented layer as the mask layer and only had 3 layers. Not sure what am doing wrong, but I am sure I'll get straightened out either later in this string or on another lesson.

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