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Using the Dodge and burn on a mask layer is handy when using to affect only shadows, midtones or highlights. Eg. Dodging a lighter sky through a dark tree.

Tx


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast i9 Custom + Philips 40in 4K & Benq 23in; Surface Pro 4 i5; iPad Pro 11"

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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Just create a luminosity mask for a painted overlay blend layer. Duplicate the image, use curves to bring the manipulation desired tonal range to white, and the manipulation undesired range to black, and rasterize to mask, giving you much more fine control and non-destructiveness than a generic  shadows mid tones highlights dodge/burn toggle.

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Hey Patriot,

Thanks for the input, but you dare putting a "Just" in front of your multiple steps process? :D:10_wink:
"rasterize to mask" will anyway produce a destructive result.

Would you mind providing us a quick screen record? There are some formulations I'm missing here.
Thanks in advance. 


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OK.  I guess I used "just" in terms of being a sequence of simple clicks, relative to more complicated and time consuming things like cloning, retouching, relighting and painting. 

I guess you do have a point in that Rasterize to mask is a destructive action, however, in spirit, but not tecnicality, this procedure is non destructive.  Rasterize to mask is destructive in the sense that the tonal range that is being selected to be masked is frozen, but the actual painting that is the dodge and burn is non destructive as it is on a separate overlay blend layer from the picture, that can be erased and repainted different colors or tones, and the opacity can be  raised and lowered.  Definitely more non destructive than dodging and burning directly onto the original image, or having to duplicate it. 

Also, doing a bilateral blur on the mask with a high radius and a threshold of about 20-30, to blur the fine details but preserve contrasty edges on the mask is helpful to preserve details if you are very aggressively lifting shadows or lowering highlights (lowering contrast) in the dodge/burn you are applying.  This is only worthwhile with extreme dodge . burning that for HDR/ lifting shadows or lowering highlights , however.

Anyway, here's a video I made using this technique for quick  manual deep shadows lifting / subtle hdr look, no audio.

 

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Hey Generic Patriot,

Thanks for the video.
Your process is interesting, but finally, it validates what I was afraid of.
In your explanation/video, you are considering your mask as good by default, and then, you apply your effect (dodge or whatever) to the result masked image.

What we are talking about is totally different: Applying dogding, burning, level, curve, etc. directly on the mask is all about refining it (the mask), and nothing else.
The HUGE benefit of working directly on the mask is that you see in live, how it behave on your creation as you edit it.
Let say your mask has slight grey areas. Those area will act as partially transparent on the masked image right? In your example, you can over paint whatever you want, in whatever blending mode, you'll still get those areas partially transparent. This is exactly not what we want. We want to be able to fix those areas, which can be defects on the mask. And to do so, you may want the doge / burn depending the need, specific areas of your mask to make it perfect.

Starting at 1min. on this video I've made years ago… (was still on Photoshit), you'll exactly see the benefit I'm talking about. I'm working right into my mask, and burn it.
This method provides insanely precise results when applicable. And I've endless count of case like this. At least, Photoshop logic was good on this… (the very only feature I'm missing)…


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On 7/13/2018 at 12:18 AM, Tazintosh said:

What we are talking about is totally different: Applying dogding, burning, level, curve, etc. directly on the mask is all about refining it (the mask), and nothing else.
The HUGE benefit of working directly on the mask is that you see in live, how it behave on your creation as you edit it.
Let say your mask has slight grey areas. Those area will act as partially transparent on the masked image right? In your example, you can over paint whatever you want, in whatever blending mode, you'll still get those areas partially transparent. This is exactly not what we want. We want to be able to fix those areas, which can be defects on the mask. And to do so, you may want the doge / burn depending the need, specific areas of your mask to make it perfect.

Would love this feature. 

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I would really appreciate this, the ability to dodge & burn directly on a mask would make the task of perfecting edges & intricate areas so much easier, it will be a huge time saver.

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You can brush onto a mask by making sure Edit All Layers is turned off and only the mask layer selected, but that doesn't seem to work with the dodge and burn tools?

If you use a pixel layer as a mask instead of a mask layer, you can also apply layer fx to it.

Currently it looks like adjustment layers cannot be added to mask layers, and filters don't seem to work on them either - it would be nice to get those things fixed.

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On 6/29/2019 at 2:55 PM, fde101 said:

You can brush onto a mask by making sure Edit All Layers is turned off and only the mask layer selected, but that doesn't seem to work with the dodge and burn tools?

If you use a pixel layer as a mask instead of a mask layer, you can also apply layer fx to it.

Currently it looks like adjustment layers cannot be added to mask layers, and filters don't seem to work on them either - it would be nice to get those things fixed.

Hi fde101,

Brushing on masks with brushes is fine until you get to the extremes between black & white, you then need to use a small brush and have a steady hand...it takes a long time to work like this. The ability to use dodge & burn directly on the mask would make defining the edges a lot easier.

When I need an intricate highly precise mask I usually start with a greyscale layer that has been adjusted as much as possible using curves etc as child layers to give the best definition, this works OK but when you need to further adjust that layer you need to drag it back out from being a mask, you can not currently adjust nested layers if the parent is also nested. (if there is a way to do this I would love to know it :)). Using a pixel layer as a mask works for some cases but there are times when you really need the alpha capabilities of a mask.

Some adjustment layers such as curves & levels can be used in a mask, you need to switch from master to alpha ...they are very useful for dealing with the dark or sometimes light fringing that you get when selecting & masking. These fringes are not as a result from Affinity's masking & selection tools or any sharpening artifacts, Photoshop also has the same issue. They are a result of digital cameras and the way they write to the file in high contrast situations. The most common scenario for seeing these fringes is when doing a complex sky replacement, they easily show up around tree branches etc. If the sky you are trying to replace is light in tone and you need a darker sky then you will see these fringes in the darker area of the replacement sky. They can be minimised by nesting a curves adjustment layer into the mask, then if needed you can paint out the effect in areas that do not need this adjustment, or you can invert the curves layer and paint in where needed. This works well but the mask needs dragging out to make further adjustments. 

I am hoping that when the team make the masking improvements they add the ability to use Dodge & Burn tools and also allow further adjustments on double nested layers without the need to keep dragging the mask in and out.

I have attached some screenshots showing the fringes, and the areas near the edge of the mask, also showing the effect that can be created using gaussian blur on a mask.

Masks.png

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2 hours ago, Murfee said:

Some adjustment layers such as curves & levels can be used in a mask, you need to switch from master to alpha

I don't believe that is the same thing.  The mask layer and the alpha channel of the layer being masked work together but are not actually identical; using the "alpha" option on an adjustment layer should be changing the alpha channel of the parent layer, not the mask.

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1 minute ago, fde101 said:

I don't believe that is the same thing.  The mask layer and the alpha channel of the layer being masked work together but are not actually identical; using the "alpha" option on an adjustment layer should be changing the alpha channel of the parent layer, not the mask.

If I have the mask above the parent layer so that I can make adjustments to the curves alpha it does seem to work on the mask directly, the curves layer has been offered to the mask thumbnail, this is constraining the effect to the mask as far as I am aware...of course I could be wrong:)

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3 minutes ago, Murfee said:

the curves layer has been offered to the mask thumbnail

Hmm, actually, from your screenshots, you have the mask layer out independently of the other layers - I don't think it ever occurred to me to use them that way, I'll need to experiment with that when I have some time later.  I agree, in that configuration the curves adjustment is almost certainly being applied to the mask.

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1 minute ago, fde101 said:

Hmm, actually, from your screenshots, you have the mask layer out independently of the other layers - I don't think it ever occurred to me to use them that way, I'll need to experiment with that when I have some time later.  I agree, in that configuration the curves adjustment is almost certainly being applied to the mask.

Have a play, when I have finished tweaking or painting on the curves layer I nest the mask into the parent layer, I drag it back out if I need to do more tweaking. I would love to be able to access these layers while the mask is still nested in the parent.

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On 6/29/2019 at 7:05 AM, Murfee said:

I would really appreciate this, the ability to dodge & burn directly on a mask would make the task of perfecting edges & intricate areas so much easier, it will be a huge time saver.

I support your request for the ability to be able to dodge and burn on a mask layer. It is definately a professionals level feature that Affinity Photo should have.

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On 7/9/2019 at 7:29 AM, stoosh said:

I support your request for the ability to be able to dodge and burn on a mask layer. It is definately a professionals level feature that Affinity Photo should have.

Yes, please! This was requested at least 3 years ago and still goes missing!!

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While it would certainly be nice to have a dedicated feature it can in fact be done easily: Create a new pixel layer, fill it with neutral grey and choose overlay as blend mode. Dodge & burn on this layer using a brush in either white or black color. Then use the blend range of that layer to restrict the dodge & burn effect to areas with a certain luminosity. This procedure is completely non-destructive and you can always come back to it later if you want to tweak it further.

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Came here for that very reason (refining matte when working on girls hairs).

First i was going to report this as a bug, but then it came to me that maybe it's just an absent feature, so yeah, that would really be useful. Dodge and burn on an opacity mask is part of my workflow when extracting hairs.... i'd even say that not having this feature breaks my workflow completely and i can't really find an alternative :-/ 

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I would love this feature, too.
This is my first day of trying out the trial of Affinity Photo and I was very impressed with the masking capabilities.
Then I tried to do what the OP was attempting - to dodge and burn the mask edges. I was impotently brushing for around 10 minutes with nothing happening before I googled and found this thread.

It really is a must-have option...

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Hmmm... Would be great too, if Dodge/Burn tool can working like Inpaint/Patch tools: use current and below layers, not only on rasterized layer. :) 

I found a temporary solution for this trick:

  • create a mask and select this layer
  • under Channels tab right click on Mask Alpha, and select Create Greyscale Layer
  • edit this new layer with Burn/Dodge tool, Paint Brush Tool, adjustments (or anything), and change layer mode to Darken or Lighten, you will see what modify on greyscale layer.
  • right click Greyscale pixel layer, and select Rasterize to Mask.

Not comfortable solution, but can use dodge and burn or other effects and adjustments too on this pixel layer for better masking.

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