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Author Topic: Elements 8 and layer masks.  (Read 2674 times)

Offline Reinardina

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Elements 8 and layer masks.
« on: October 03, 2011, 11:20:04 PM »
I'm having constant problems with layer masks in Elements 8. Whenever I want to use a fill or adjustment layer as a mask, nothing happens when I paint on it with white or black.
I know I must make a fundamental error somewhere. I have managed to use a mask successfully exactly twice in the last nine months or so. I do not know what I did different then, so I cannot repeat it this time.

Can someone talk me through the procedure?

I've got the picture in the editor, with a desaturated layer on top that I want to use to do some 'colour popping.' I want to be able to remove some of the desaturated layer to reveal the underlying colour. I click on the black and white circle in the bottom of the layers panel and then have the cogs, the letter E in the middle and the white thumbnail on the right hand side. (Hue/saturation 1 or whatever.)
And then what? What do I have to click or drag or do to be able to paint with black on the bits that I want to 'uncover'?

It's driving me mad that I cannot do it!

Who saves me from these agonies?


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Reinardina.

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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 06:22:59 AM »
Elements Re has got two glaring omissions out of the box.

One is no layer masks (until version 9,) and the other which I still don't think is fixed in 10 , but I haven't looked, is no proper curves tool.

Luckily there are solutions for both problems.

1. Layer masks. Visit this page and follow the instructions. You can also achieve a similar result by locking a blank adjustment layer to the layer below.

2. Curves. You can find a really good curves tool here, although it is not a 'proper' adjustment layer it is a very good plug in.

Lastly, are you absolutely sure that you have got the mask selected when you are trying to paint into it?
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 07:54:14 AM »
Elements Re has got two glaring omissions out of the box.

One is no layer masks (until version 9,) and the other which I still don't think is fixed in 10 , but I haven't looked, is no proper curves tool.

Luckily there are solutions for both problems.

1. Layer masks. Visit this page and follow the instructions. You can also achieve a similar result by locking a blank adjustment layer to the layer below.

2. Curves. You can find a really good curves tool here, although it is not a 'proper' adjustment layer it is a very good plug in.

Lastly, are you absolutely sure that you have got the mask selected when you are trying to paint into it?

Thanks H.

As I have successfully used one of the adjustment layers as a layer mask, I shouldn't have to download any tools.
I'll try locking a blank adjustment layer to the layer below. Should the 'normal' adjustment layer also be locked to the layer below? Don't think I've done that.

And yes, as far as I'm aware, I have the mask layer selected when I try to paint on it. (That is, it is the top layer, and it is 'high lighted.')

I'm a real natural blonde as far as Elements goes, so far I've only mastered the very basics. Don't think I'm ready for the curves tool yet!

I'll try locking layers now. Probably for the rest of the day! (Get really obsessed in cases like this!)

Any more suggestions welcome!

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Reinardina.

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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 08:48:10 AM »
Well good luck with it. The layers tool is much much easier to use than locking a blank adjustment layer to another one. When installed you simply click on it and it loads a mask onto the selected layer. I used it all the time until I eventually got around to upgrading to Elements 9.

But I use Photoplus most of the time these days - poor man's photoshop ;)
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 09:32:43 AM »
Well good luck with it. The layers tool is much much easier to use than locking a blank adjustment layer to another one. When installed you simply click on it and it loads a mask onto the selected layer. I used it all the time until I eventually got around to upgrading to Elements 9.

But I use Photoplus most of the time these days - poor man's photoshop ;)

I may end up getting the plug in after all, but not quite yet.
I'm also wondering whether I should buy Photoshop proper, as I can get that at a reduced (student) price, now that I'm 'at college.' (Doing a beginners/improvers photography course at the moment.) But if I can't master Elements, what am I letting myself in for if I buy the whole packet?

Am now going to do a bit more 'obsessing!'
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Offline Paul Montgomery

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 10:30:05 AM »
Here's what works for me on the mac version of elements 8:
Start with open image and click the black and white circle to create new adjustment layer - select hue/saturation and make adjustments. Sounds like you've done all this O.K.
Use paintbrush with foreground selected to be black.
Click once on the white square next to the cogs (I suspect this might be what you're missing)
Paint on image - you should see black appearing on the white square that you clicked on in the previous step.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 10:47:16 AM »
Here's what works for me on the mac version of elements 8:
Start with open image and click the black and white circle to create new adjustment layer - select hue/saturation and make adjustments. Sounds like you've done all this O.K.
Use paintbrush with foreground selected to be black.
Click once on the white square next to the cogs (I suspect this might be what you're missing)
Paint on image - you should see black appearing on the white square that you clicked on in the previous step.

Thanks Paul.
I did indeed not click in the white box (that's the thumbnail, I presume?) so I breathed a sigh of relief ... Till I tried it and did not see the black strokes appear on the white mask!!! Back to square one!

Even followed tutorials  for Elements 8 to the 'letter' and nothing seems to bring the most wanted black marks on my mask. I'm sure I'm missing something vital, but don't know what.

I'll keep on trying though.
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Reinardina.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks. Problem solved!
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 12:13:02 PM »
With Elements I bought the 'Missing Manual,' and even following that step by step, I did not get anywhere.

I finally got wise (that can take some time, when you reach a certain age and are blonde etc.) and looked for the troubleshooting section and lo and behold!

A whole range of niggles and problems can apparently be cured by deleting the 'preference file.' I follwed the steps to delete my preferences (which I didn't even know I had), and it seems to work normally now!

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Reinardina.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 12:27:43 PM »
Glad you sorted it Re.

In the meantime I did a quick video for you.

Try HERE
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 04:19:16 PM by Hinfrance »
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 04:10:53 PM »
Glad you sorted it Re.

In the meantime I did a quick video for you. It's HERE if you want to have a look.

You probably can't see that. For some reason the browsers I've tried are using the quicktime plugin to try to play a mpg, and it is not a quicktime file.

Try HERE

H.
Thanks!!!! Just had a quick look at the video, and it seems pretty straightforward. Haven't got the time now to try it out. Will have to come back to it later.
I did have to use your second link, as the first one indeed did not work. But thank you very much for taking the trouble!
Re.
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Reinardina.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2011, 04:18:42 PM »
Yep, I deleted the first one.
Howard  My CC Gallery
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2011, 09:00:19 PM »
Yep, I deleted the first one.

Watched the video again and jotted down the details for further reference. Tried it and guess what? It didn't work! Same problem I've been having all along.
I had to delete the preference settings again, but that did the trick. I must do something peculiar with those settings, but I haven't got a clue what!

Anyway, thanks again, I am now going to do some 'colour popping.' Or at least trying to!

Re.
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Reinardina.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2011, 07:46:37 AM »
It might be worth trying a reinstall then. If you can work you way through installing the mask add on you'll find it much easier to work with.

And, of course, you are in the extremely fortunate position that you can buy proper photoshop at a reasonable price, and that has masks built in (as does Photoplus for even less cash - but it's not CS, sort of halfway between Elements and CS).

You could always save the video to your computer somewhere, that way, you'll have it for reference.
Howard  My CC Gallery
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 08:59:17 AM »
It might be worth trying a reinstall then. If you can work you way through installing the mask add on you'll find it much easier to work with.

And, of course, you are in the extremely fortunate position that you can buy proper photoshop at a reasonable price, and that has masks built in (as does Photoplus for even less cash - but it's not CS, sort of halfway between Elements and CS).

You could always save the video to your computer somewhere, that way, you'll have it for reference.

Thanks for all your help Howard. When I used the programme last night, it still worked properly, so maybe the problem has been cured.
I am a bit worried about installing anything new on my laptop, as I'm running out of hard drive space. (I have problems discarding photographs that I know I won't use, 'just in case' so, even with my two external hard drives, I have to be careful not to overload the machine. That said, I may save your video on my largest external drive, so it won't clog up the laptop.

Still thinking about Photoshop proper. It's a massive programme with too many possibilities I think, but yet ...

By the way, I don't know how things are in France, but I did a five week 'introduction to Photoshop' course in January, which cost me appr £80.00 and even with that, I could get a student discount on Photoshop. Almost worthwhile to enroll for that alone!
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Reinardina.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Elements 8 and layer masks.
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2011, 12:31:14 PM »
A course here would only entitle me to a French language version. Although my French is OK, there are some quite noticeable differences in the menu structures and often the French version is at least one iteration behind because of the translation work required.

I'll stick with Elements and Photoplus for the foreseeable future.
Howard  My CC Gallery
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

 

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