Problem Using Levels and Clone Tool or Healing Brush

BG
Posted By
Brooks_Gelfand
Dec 11, 2006
Views
422
Replies
6
Status
Closed
First my system: I am running Photoshop CS2 9.0.2 (the latest updates) on a Windows 2000 SP4 system with all security updates applied.

I am trying to touch up a dark image. As is my usual practice, I decided to make my changes to a blank, transparent layer; I generated a new layer with Normal blending mode and 100% opacity above the image by clicking the "Create New Layer" button in the Layer Palette and named it FIX.

Since the image is dark, I generated a Levels layer above the transparent layer and moved the gamma slider (the gray middle slider) to the left to lighten the image to facilitate seeing the imperfections. I do not want the finished product to be this light and intend to replace the Levels layer when I finish my touch up.

My layers look like this from top to bottom:

Levels > FIX > Image

I selected the FIX layer in the layers palette. I selected the Clone tool, Mode: Normal, Opacity: 100%, Flow: 100%, Aligned, and "Sample All Layers". I sampled a spot by Alt-Clicking on it, then released Alt, moved to the blemish, and began to paint. The result was much, much too light.

Next, I tried turning off "Sample All Layers" in the Clone Tool, clicked on the Image layer in the Layer palette to activate it, Alt-clicked in the Image window with the Clone tool to sample, then clicked on the FIX layer in the Layers Palette to activate it, and painted on the main window with the Clone tool. This method worked; the colors are correct, but it is slow. When I turn off the levels layer, the fixes look good. Turn Levels back on and the fixes look good.

I have the same problem with the Healing Brush. However the Spot Healing Brush works "correctly. I can be on the FIX layer with "Sample All Layers" checked, and the colors are correct.

What is happening here? It is almost as if the Levels adjustment is being applied twice, once through (not on) the transparent portion of the FIX layer and again on the Image layer. If the sample were simply being modified when it was painted on the FIX layer, I would get the same results "Sample All Layers" through the transparent portion of the FIX layer or sampling only the Image layer and painting it on the transparent section of the FIX layer.

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Y
YrbkMgr
Dec 11, 2006
What is happening here?

Turning on Sample All Layers results in sampling from the Image Layer with the Levels Applied to it. Then when you clone, the Levels is being applied, in essence again.

So your image layer is being sampled with your levels, then you clone, and the result is that lighter sample being cloned, and then viewed through the Levels – so it’s kinda like doing it twice.

So unless you really want to Sample ALL layers, don’t use that. I personally prefer to use the XY coords from the Info Palette, and mark my source then use those coordinates to clone, with Aligned checked.
C
chrisjbirchall
Dec 12, 2006
Great tip Tony.
Y
YrbkMgr
Dec 12, 2006
<tips hat>
BG
Brooks_Gelfand
Dec 14, 2006
Thank you, I see the problem now.

The level change information resides in the Levels layer, not the image layers the Level layer affects. Sample all layers does exactly that – samples all layers both above and below the selected layer.

To do what I wanted, I would need a "Sample All Layers Below" option on the clone tool. Unfortunately that option does not exist :-(.

It does not explain why the Spot Healing Brush worked with "Sample All Layers" selected.

Thank you very much for your help. Happy Holidays.
Y
YrbkMgr
Dec 14, 2006
It does not explain why the Spot Healing Brush worked with "Sample All Layers" selected.

Sure it does, because the spot healing brush works differently. Remember that the "healing" function takes the pattern from where you sample and then applies that pattern in the destination, while blending with the surrounding colors. So it’s doing exactly what the clone tool did, only it’s blending with the surrounding colors, thereby masking the error in color differences.

To do what I wanted, I would need a "Sample All Layers Below"

Not necessarily. Why not sample the bottom layer without using All Layers option, and then simply painting on your artificially elevated "Fix" layer?
BG
Brooks_Gelfand
Dec 15, 2006
"Sample Current and Below" for the Clone Tool will be available in CS3, according to Martin Evening. I guess I am not the only one who wanted it. <grin>

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