32 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2017 10:34 AM by darrent17412506

    Layers:  so simple yet so lost.

    darrent17412506 Level 1

      Just off phone with Adobe support and even they weren't able to help, maybe you can?

      I shoot portraits and retouch them.

      Goal:  To do a workflow that, in the end, allows me to go back to each and every individual layer/adjustment and either redo or delete.

      Confusion:  the correct way to create layers / adjustments and move forward, while being able to move back.

      Here's my workflow:

      Start with retouching subject's face:  I like to break apart each feature of the face I am working on (eyes/nose/hair/skin, etc) into separate layers so that if needed I can delete or readjust what I just did.

       

      1.  Duplicate background

      2.  Name it "Skin"...retouch skin to remove blemishes, use Patch tool

      3.  Next create next new layer by duplicating the "Skin" layer, now I'll retouch subject's hair using the cloning tool, naming this layer "Hair"

      Now comes my confusion:

      4.  Create next new layer to retouch eyes, duplicate "Hair" layer, name it "Eyes"...use clone tool to remove veins, but now want to remove all the redness...so I add a ew Adjustment Layer -  Saturation, decrease it, create a Mask on the Eyes layer, and paint in a less red eye.

      5.  NOW...I want to go and retouch my subject's Ear...WHERE DOES THAT NEW LAYER COME FROM (DUPLICATE) AND WHERE DOES IT SIT AMONGST ALL THE LAYERS?

      You see the "Eyes" layer has above it a Saturation adjustment, it sits atop all the other layers.  If I create a new layer from below the Eye layer the work I do on it is not visible, b/c its not on top.  So how do I continue to build my layers if the Ear Adjustment Layer is preventing me?

      If I make a Stamp Visible layer, can I continue to go to the first layers and make adjustments?

      In short what is the appropriate workflow for Layers and Adjustments?

      Thanks!

       

      Message was edited by: Darren Trentacosta

        • 1. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
          jane-e Adobe Community Professional

          Although you did not mention which software you are using, I am going to assume Photoshop, and move it there from the non-technical Lounge.

           

          Also, please post a screen shot of your Layers panel. Thanks!

          • 2. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
            darrent17412506 Level 1

            Thanks Jane...my mistake!

            Photoshop CC 2017 on a Mac using recent Sierra.

            See the issue for me comes in here...where can I add a new layer with all those adjustments at the top...and assume that a new layer may also have adjustments.

            Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 11.34.19 AM.png

            • 3. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
              jane-e Adobe Community Professional

              What is the purpose of the Gradient Map layer? If it's a mistake, delete it. Other than that, I don't see all the other layers you mentioned.

               

               

              When you make eyes, nose, etc., layers, do you select and then Cmd + J to copy just the selection to a new layer?

               

              When you make an Adustment layer, it will affect all the layers underneath until you create a clipping mask. There are a dozen ways to do this; one is to right-click.

               

              If you can't see a bottom layer, click the eyeballs to turn off visibility.

              • 4. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                darrent17412506 Level 1

                Jane, let me recreate a visual, and try your suggestions as well...thanks!

                • 5. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                  darrent17412506 Level 1

                  1.png

                   

                   

                   

                  2.png3.png

                   

                  Here we go...I have exaggerated the above for effect here so you can see it easily.

                   

                  If I were retouching, and wanted to make sure I can go back to any layer later on and readjust or delete, you can see here I can't.

                   

                  First photo shows multiple layers and an adjustment.

                   

                  2nd shows me pretending to "turn off" a layer (hide the green on glasses) but it remains there...so it says to me I'm stuck with the work I did on that layer, cant be deleted or removed.

                   

                  3rd layer, however, shows that the top layer, the liquify layer, can be "turned off" (went back to normal size), assuming b/c it sits at the top.

                   

                  How do I create a workflow of layers and adjustments that lets me edit or delete what I've done?

                  • 6. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                    kstohlmeyer1 Adobe Community Professional

                    Try starting with this tutorial to get an understanding of layer stacking orders and how adjustment layers interact with image layers:

                    Learning layer basics in Photoshop

                    • 7. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                      darrent17412506 Level 1

                      Thanks will do.  I was turning off / on the layers to illustrate deleting that layer.  I also understand that using Smart Objects is not for me b/c Im using brushes...

                      • 8. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        The only way to stack pixel elements as separate instances, is to mask them out individually. This is standard procedure

                         

                        You are familiar with layer masks?

                        • 9. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                          S_Gans Adobe Community Professional

                          Another thing to consider, beyond masking, is to use the tools on BLANK layers.

                           

                          One of the reasons you're seeing that you can't delete part of what you did on prior layers is that they're duplicates of each other, essentially. Like an Escher mirror painting, each layer contains all of the previous layer.

                           

                          Instead, if you're using, say... the  Healing Brush on eyes, do it on a blank layer - make sure that your Control Bar (top of the screen) says Sample All Layers, and then just paint on your blank layer. Maybe this example will help:

                          • 10. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                            davescm Adobe Community Professional

                            Hi Darren

                             

                            1. Retouch onto empty layers - you can brush and clone into an empty layer.

                            2. If you make any duplicate layers - use masks to ensure that the upper layers only show the parts that you want (where the mask is white the layer shows - where the mask is black the layer becomes transparent)

                            3. Also use masks on adjustment layers so that they only affect the parts of the image that you want them to.

                            4. Label your layers ( I see you already do that - but it becomes so important when you use multiple layers).

                             

                            Dave

                            • 11. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                              darrent17412506 Level 1

                              Hey Dave

                              Yes Im familiar with masking, so are you suggesting that as I create a new layer (using cloning tool, stamp etc) that I mask it?  Can you mask a clone stamp tool?

                              • 12. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                darrent17412506 Level 1

                                ahhhhh, going to try that now...love the puppy!...thanks!

                                • 13. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                  darrent17412506 Level 1

                                  Thanks David, going to try these suggestions now...D!!

                                  • 14. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                    davescm Adobe Community Professional

                                    Hi Darren

                                     

                                    If you are cloning - just create an empty layer and clone from the layers below into that empty layer. That way only the cloned parts are on that new layer not the entire image. You can set the source for the clone stamp tool in the options bar.

                                     

                                    For that - you don't need a mask.

                                     

                                    Dave

                                    • 15. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                      darrent17412506 Level 1

                                      Well, so far not so good.

                                       

                                      Off the bat, I made a new layer...and then I added a blank layer...and when I attempted to use the SPOT HEALING OR PATCH tools it shows no can do.

                                       

                                      The Clone stamp works fine.

                                       

                                      Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 4.31.20 PM.png

                                      • 16. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                        darrent17412506 Level 1

                                        Dave what about the use of other tools?...I mainly use Healing, Patch and Spot to clean skin...Clone works but these tools don't

                                        Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 4.31.20 PM.png

                                        • 17. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                          darrent17412506 Level 1

                                          What am I doing wrong here?...I clipped the adjustment layer to the below layer, but adding a blank layer doesn't allow me to use the liquify, healing, patch tools...?11.png

                                          • 18. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                            darrent17412506 Level 1

                                            As shown below, it seems the only way I can use all the tools I use (Liquify, Spot Healing, and Stamp) is by creating new Layers from the previous layer below it.  Above you can see I'm stuck two ways...one is that I can add a new Command J from Skin Tone below...b/c its not a top layer anymore, an adjustment layer, that is clipped to it is now on top.  And I not able to go back to the previous Layers (Skin, Liquify, Skin Tone) and make adjustments...as it doesn't allow me to do so...what to do?  I want to continue moving up the Layers ladder...adding more layers

                                             

                                            Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 4.58.56 PM.png

                                            • 19. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                              jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                              You are getting the Patch tool error because you are on Layer 1 and there is nothing on it.

                                               

                                              Some of the other tools you mentioned will allow you to Sample other layers.

                                               

                                              • 20. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                Hi Darren

                                                 

                                                Your layer thumbnails show the full content of the portrait, so each layer is hiding the contents of the layers below it in the stack.  That's a crazy workflow.  Most tools allow you 'Sample all Layers'  (the Patch tool is the exception) and that will let edits on other layers show through.  You can locate a layer by selecting the Move tool, and either turning on Auto Select (which is a PITA) or holding down the Cltr (Cmd) key while clicking on an area in the image to momentarily turn on Auto Select.

                                                 

                                                I would expect to see areas grouped, or made into Smart Objects for convenience.  Although I find Smart Objects less useful with this sort of edit because you usually need to make further edits in the context of the rest of the image, and double clicking an SO to open it in a new window, loses that context.  A trick I frequently use with SOs is to have a sort of dummy background layer at the bottom of the SO layer stack, which I can turn on while applying edits, and turn off before saving the SO to update the master document.

                                                 

                                                Where SOs are really useful is for applying filters.  I love that you can go back and fine tune a filter with no loss of image quality.  What makes that even more useful is that we now have Camera RAW as a filter, and that is an incredibly powerful tool for portrait work.

                                                 

                                                If all else fails, add a copy merged layer to the top of the stack.  Make your edits, and mask out the unwanted areas with a layer mask.  I do  that when feeling lazy, but what tends to happen is that projects go beyond what I expected, and I wish I'd used a proper workflow from the outset.

                                                • 21. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                  darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                  Thanks Trevor, going to experiment with this now.  BUT last night I think I have a moment of clarity, rare for me...:)

                                                   

                                                  All along what I've wanted is the ability to go back to the beginning and redo an edit on a Layer if I feel its to much or not enough (lets say using patch tool or clone stamp).  As you understood when you said:  "you usually need to make further edits in the context of the rest of the image"

                                                   

                                                  And then it hit me, I CAN'T UNDO WHAT I JUST DID...what I mean is that with an Adjustment Layer like Curves, I can go back and have a redo ...but with tools like Patch, Clone, Healing, Spot (cleaning skin)...its not possible for me to go back and put pimples back in that I've removed, or delete individual lashes /hair I've added.  The reason I want to break down a face for retouching into many separate Layers is that in the event I don't like the end result, I can remove that one layer only, while not impacting the other work I've done.

                                                   

                                                  So with that being said, is your suggestion above the better workflow to follow?

                                                   

                                                  I seems what I wanting to do is go back into the history panel and delete specific actions I've done.

                                                  • 22. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                    darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                    Trevor...

                                                    I'm trying to break down bit by bit your suggestions:

                                                    I guess what Im not fully understanding is workflow as it pertains to your suggestions, which were very insightful.

                                                    If starting fresh, and all I have is the initial locked background image, do I duplicate that image, then make it a SO?

                                                    And if I need to break a face down into many separate layers, do I continue to make new duplicate layers from the most recent layer worked on or do I go back to the background image and start there?

                                                    And assuming it's a SO, are you saying that instead of creating a new adjustment layer separate of the image, I should make adjustments within the SO?

                                                    I'm such visual person, reading a workflow has always been a bit of a challenge!

                                                    • 23. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                      edgrimley Level 3

                                                      The patch tool can be used on an empty layer, at least in CS6. Set it to Content Aware and Sample All Layers.

                                                      MaxthonSnap20170425081236.png

                                                      • 24. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                        darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                        Thanks, trying now!

                                                        • 25. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                          darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                          It appears that in CC 2017 that the Patch tool doesn't allow for Content Aware and Sample All Layers, only the Spot Tool can do that...ugh!

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 4.42.07 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-25 at 4.41.36 PM.png

                                                          • 26. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                            davescm Adobe Community Professional

                                                            Hi

                                                            The patch tool does include content aware & sample all layers - just change "Normal" to "Content Aware"

                                                             

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Dave

                                                            • 27. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                              You need to increase the value in the Structure field.  All the way to 7 works OK.

                                                              I probably wouldn't use the Patch tool on a single hair like that, but there are a few tricks you can use. 

                                                               

                                                              You can make the selection before selecting the Patch tool, so if you go into Quick Mask by hitting the Q key, you can paint over the hair with black.  Rather than do this freehand, click at one end, and hold down the Shift key while clicking along the hair to form a number od straight lines.  Then hit Q again to come out of Quick Mask, select the Patch tool and make the edit.

                                                              Another approach is to use the Patch tool like the Polygonal Lasso tool by holding down the Alt key and clicking to form a number of straight lines. This lets you get nice and tight around awkward objects.

                                                              • 28. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                                darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                                wow do I feel stupid!...thanks...:)

                                                                • 29. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                                  darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                                  Trevor, do you do Youtube videos?...you seem to have a lot of cleaver techniques I've never seen before.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                                    darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                                    Hi Trevor and Dave,

                                                                     

                                                                    I hope I followed your suggestions correctly, see below.  Both seem to not work.

                                                                     

                                                                    First Photo shows me using my own standard way...but without the use of a Blank Layer.

                                                                    Duplicate background, Commd J

                                                                    Grab Patch Tool

                                                                    Circle and drag to new area.

                                                                    You can see this seems the best way b/c the blending is pretty seamless...

                                                                    Problem is that its not a Blank Layer.

                                                                     

                                                                    2nd Photo is the suggestion using a Blank Layer, Content Aware, Structure and Color set to same as yours, and all Layers selected.

                                                                    For some reason its more blotchy...not evenly blended...is there a reason why?

                                                                     

                                                                    Lastly had no success in trying the Quick Mask mode to remove the hair...not sure if I understand where to go with the Patch tool after I make the Quick Mask.  I made my mask, then grabbed the Quick Mask tool and wasn't sure what to do, so I circled the mask, and dragged it but as you can see below, it did nothing.

                                                                     

                                                                    Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.14.36 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.12.51 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.31.02 AM.png

                                                                    • 31. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                                      Juan Muro

                                                                      Creo que no está usted realizando un flujo de trabajo apropiado para el retoque facial. Utilizando el proceso de "Separación de Frecuencias" podrá realizar una edición mucho más precisa sobre tonalidades y texturas de manera separada.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Layers:  so simple yet so lost.
                                                                        darrent17412506 Level 1

                                                                        Gracioso que sugiere que porque yo uso la separación de frecuencia, pero todavía tengo problemas de apilar el orden de las capas una vez que la separación de frecuencia completa. Cosas como liquify, balance de color, etc ...