On the onion skin issues, have you tried changing your GPU settings (advanced / basic etc) and tried unchecking Open CL to see if it will work with any particular setting?
Refine edge has been improved and I understand that Adobe are still working on further improvements. I find it works best with a small brush set to 100% hardness and 1% spacing with radius set to 0 and Smart Radius off. The key is to ensure you are only asking it to look at edges - that is where turning on and off "Show edge" comes in useful.
Did you know that for the time being, if you have a selection made, you can also use the old refine edge brush by going to the Select Menu and holding down the shift key whilst clicking on Select and Mask. This only works in the menu - not in the options bar.
I didn't, will try later and get back to you thanks.
I will also try the "old "refine mask as suggested.
What buzzes me, but maybe will be corrected as well, is that I am not able to perform a selection WITHIN select and mask, but only the refining of a previous selection done with any selection tool.
Oh by the way: in another forum someone mentioned that Onion Skin only works on a single backgroun layer, which it sounds unreasonable to me, but I didn't try that either.
You should be able to use all tools within Select and Mask. Try the GPU settings .
Also try clicking at the top right of the Select and Mask workspace and then click on "Reset Select and Mask"
Onion skin works on any layer (it would not be much use if it didn't . If there is a layer below the layer being masked, then transparency will show the layer below. If not it will show the gray and white grid.
Well, first of all thank you Dave for taking the time to answer my question.
I have followed your suggestions and at least after resetting select and mask and trying several option it appears that I am able to select directly within the S&M space. moreover I have tried to work with the old refine edge and it works, as well :-)
Unfortunately, although I apparently I have tried any possible configuration of the GPU, the Onion Skin option still refuses to work.
However, two things make me think that I might be close to solve the issue although unfortunately I haven't the faintest idea on how to do it:
First of all when I try onion skin on the top layer of a frequency separation scheme, I can se the blurred layer and when I try to select I get the correct image. Therefore a selection process IT IS going on but for some reasons is not shown as it is supposed to be.
Secondly, when I select Oniion skin option and a move the transparency layer, the miniature changes accordingly to what the option should do but the main image does not!
I can select and change the transaprency and it will work in the miniature but not on the actual image.
Hopefully this will lead someone to try to solve the problem.
Just so we can follow this and see what you are seeing.
Can you show 4 screenshots .
1. Your layers panel - and tell us which of the layers you are using select and mask on.
2. Select and mask with a selection made , in onion skin mode, with transparency set to 0%
3. Select and mask with the same selection made, in onion skin mode , with transparency set to 50%
4. Select and mask with the same selection made, in onion skin mode , with transparency set to 100%
One other thing - have you tried setting High Quality Preview on and off to see if it makes any difference?
Ok will do later, unfortunately due to time lag I am not able to work on my Mac for the next 10-12 hours.
However yes, I have tried the High Quality Preveiw with no apparent result.
Let me just say that I do appreciate Photoshop, it is an amazing piece of software and I a satisfied customer, this is a "needle in the haystack" search :-D
Thanks for posting those screenshots.
Are you sure onion skin is not working?
Onion skin shows the layer you are masking against the layers below. If there is no layer below , then it shows the masked layer against the transparency grid. (The transparency grid is always shown in the little icon at the top right regardless of the layers below) . Effectively it works the same as "On Layers" but with a variable transparency added through the slider.
Given that the layers below look the same (from your screenshot of the layers panel) it will appear that masking is doing nothing, even when there is a mask, as it is showing your masked layer against the same, or very similar, image below it.
As an experiment, can you temporarily add a different image between "Smooth 3" and "Selection layer" and check what that shows at different transparency levels?
I tried and as a matter of fact it worked as you said.
So I guess it was not clear to me on how to use efficiently the onion skin option :-)
Let me thank you for your knowledge and the time to dedicated to help me on this.
No problem - and nice image !