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I've been tinkering with the idea of saturation masks for a while and I've just found a very simple way to create one. It is based on the principle that we want all tones to go black, including whites and greys, leaving fully saturated colours white and partially saturated colours in shades of grey.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Duplicate layer.
  2. HSL layer, check HSV, slide Saturation fully left, Blend Mode: Difference. (removes tones - blacks, whites and greys all go black).
  3. Another HSL layer, check HSV, slide Saturation fully left (turns saturated colours white).
  4. Layer/Merge Visible and Layer/Rasterise to Mask, then use mask as you like (or use the pixel layer otherwise).

Here's a video tutorial I've just uploaded to my InAffinity YouTube channel:

 

 


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast Photo with i7-3770 + 16Gb RAM + Philips 40in 4K; Surface Pro 4 i5

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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Thanks for sharing this! I’ve used this for a while now - the only issue is it underestimates saturation somewhat if the luminosity is not always 50 (HSL value). I found a way to make a layer where hue/saturation is preserved, but luminosity is set to 50. This resolves the issue. (Note: blending with a layer where luminosity is 50 with the “luminosity” blend mode does not work - nor do any similar approaches. The luminosity result is close to 50 but varies, and hue/saturation values are affected.)

 

Here’s how to map saturation values exactly to luminosity values:

 

1. Create a HSL adjustment layer, and set saturation to -100. (Don’t turn on HSV!)

2. Merge visible. The result is a B&W layer that contains only luminosity values. (Note: desaturation, setting color to grey, etc. using pixel/fill layers/curves does not get this quite right!)

3. Invert the B&W luminosity layer, and set blend mode to “vivid light”.

4. Merge visible. The result is a layer containing only hue and saturation values. Luminosity is constant (always 50 by HSL). 

 

Now that you have separated luminosity and hue/saturation into their own layers, apply the instructions you shared above to the hue/saturation layer:

 

5. Create a HSL adjustment layer, and set saturation to -100. (Turn on HSV!) Set blend mode to “difference”.

6. Create another HSL adjustment layer, and set saturation to -100. (Turn on HSV!) Set blend mode to “normal”.

7. Merge visible. The result is a B&W layer containing only saturation values, mapped to luminosity values. This is your saturation mask.

 

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Version 1.7 beta hasn't got HSV! I've asked for it to be restored.


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast Photo with i7-3770 + 16Gb RAM + Philips 40in 4K; Surface Pro 4 i5

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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I have just tried the @Fotoloco version on two different images (below). After item #5 (create HSL Adjustment Layer ...) The image goes black and stays black for the rest of the procedure. This would imply uniform zero saturation? I note that in sat_mask_new.afphoto, the visibility of all the layers except the final one are turned off. I tried that with no effect.

TewkesburyHalfTimbering47.png.d71ac986db9a92f6f221d1b6955a5789.png  1733706958_WestWindowHDR.png.c27181783b2937e39117436f65b219c7.png

John

 


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and Designer 1.6.5.123, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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21 hours ago, John Rostron said:

I have just tried the @Fotoloco version on two different images (below). After item #5 (create HSL Adjustment Layer ...) The image goes black and stays black for the rest of the procedure. This would imply uniform zero saturation? I note that in sat_mask_new.afphoto, the visibility of all the layers except the final one are turned off. I tried that with no effect.

...

John

 

@John Rostron Here's your church interior with the @Fotoloco method (done on 1.7), and then with my HSV method (done on 1.6) to get mask, ending with curves applied to original image using fotoloco-dmstraker mask.

I'm a bit puzzled as to how it actually works - something to do with the algorithm of Vivid light with an inverted desaturated blend layer...

Vivid Light is:

For each of RGB:

If Blend >= 0.5:
    Result = 1 – (1 – Base) / (2 * (Blend – 0.5))         [Colour Burn]
Else (Blend < 0.5):
    Result = Base / (1 – 2 * Blend)                                    [Colour Dodge]

Regards

Dave

fotoloco method on rostron church image.afphoto

fotoloco-straker method on rostron church image.afphoto


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast Photo with i7-3770 + 16Gb RAM + Philips 40in 4K; Surface Pro 4 i5

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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I notice in the attached .afphoto files that the various masks are embedded (grouped?) into the layers. This is something that I am trying to learn. I attach here firstly my Layers panel and the History panel:

Layers.png.df6b6f8def5dba2f15ec0b98546f4ca0.png  History.png.82bc1d82ff7da8f1217003e29082126f.png

Here is the Original image  (at 15%)

Original.png.f692e4cbb91207cd3bd97712f3d4e951.png

And after step Three (Invert):

1982448885_AfterStepThreeInvert.png.4011e4f39a5b76234bacc64ec5629419.png

After step Four:

1791510559_AfterStepFour.png.5f0a4912954478c3ace4ebe8a5497840.png

And after step Five:

793700037_FinalMergedVisible.png.e76d20c34aae532640b4a3063c552fcd.png

Can you explain why I do not get the same result?

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and Designer 1.6.5.123, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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No photo attached, @John Rostron.

Which process are you seeking to emulate (@fotoloco, my original or a combined version?).

If you are using the @fotoloco version, the third step from the bottom should be HSL, not HSV, then the two HSLs above should be HSV.

Groups are very handy for several reasons, including:

  • Keeping things tidy and understandable
  • Adding extra blend mode at group level
    • Spot the Overlay blend in my ' fotoloco-straker method on rostron church image.afphoto', in 'Colours' subgroup or 'Fotoloco method' group that makes it react with Tones subgroup below to show original image.
  • Constraining actions such as Erase blend mode.

Think of them like a non-destructive 'merge visible'. They often act this way.


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast Photo with i7-3770 + 16Gb RAM + Philips 40in 4K; Surface Pro 4 i5

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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47 minutes ago, dmstraker said:

No photo attached, @John Rostron.

The photos I was referring to here were the ones in the links at the end of the previous message from @dmstraker

47 minutes ago, dmstraker said:

Which process are you seeking to emulate (@fotoloco, my original or a combined version?).

I was following the one posted by @Fotoloco fairly precisely as far as I can tell. I was very careful to only tick the HSV box when instructed to do so. I did this three times, once on the window (Gloucester Cathedral Great West Window), then on the half-timbered building (in Tewkesbury), then again on the window for these images. Each time I got the same result. I was using version 1.6 for all of these.

I will try and emulate the layers in the .afphoto fies which I downloaded. I shall also practice using groups and nested adjustments.

Thanks for your comments.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and Designer 1.6.5.123, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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1 hour ago, John Rostron said:

The photos I was referring to here were the ones in the links at the end of the previous message from @dmstraker

I was following the one posted by @Fotoloco fairly precisely as far as I can tell. I was very careful to only tick the HSV box when instructed to do so. I did this three times, once on the window (Gloucester Cathedral Great West Window), then on the half-timbered building (in Tewkesbury), then again on the window for these images. Each time I got the same result. I was using version 1.6 for all of these.

I will try and emulate the layers in the .afphoto fies which I downloaded. I shall also practice using groups and nested adjustments.

Thanks for your comments.

John

 

Ok, John. Let us know how you get on.


Dave Straker

Cameras: Sony A7R2, RX100V

Computers: Win10: Chillblast Photo with i7-3770 + 16Gb RAM + Philips 40in 4K; Surface Pro 4 i5

Favourite word: Aha. For me and for others.

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the unfortunate thing is I have not been able to create a macro for saturation masks..  It appears that affinity photo macro capability does not allow you to reorder or nest layers within the macro.  Can that be allowed in the next version 1.7?

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18 hours ago, hanshab said:

 It appears that affinity photo macro capability does not allow you to reorder or nest layers within the macro.

See: Macros: Layer Behaviour

If you meant instead the reordering in an already recorded macro, yes editing/changing that one then is pretty limited.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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I stumbled across a web page by Tony Kuyper, and he describes a really simple (and allegedly better) method of creating saturation masks. I have posted a link to his web page along with a bunch of macros that automate this process. My post is in the Resources section, here:

 

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