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ADOBE PHOTOSHOP : Advanced pixel blending

This Photoshop tutorial covers the details of Advanced pixel blending.

Blending pixel layers in Adobe Photoshop CS2 lets you do things that you simply can’t do by adjusting a single image. One situation where we blend pixel layers is when we want to extend the apparent dynamic range of digital captures. Of course, the best way to do this is to take several bracketed exposures and merge them to a 32-bit floating point HDR (High Dynamic Range) image. But that requires planning, a hefty tripod, and a subject that moves little if at all.
It may seem that it’s pointless to blend different renderings of a single digital capture. After all, all the data is in the capture, so why not simply edit it to get the results you want? We feel that there are two reasons:
• It’s extremely difficult to get everything right from a single rendering of the image.
• Most cameras capture 12 bits of data. By blending multiple renderings of the 12-bit capture, you can populate more levels in 16-bit space than you can by stretching and squeezing the original 12 bits. 
The image below shows an “impossible” image produced just this way.
We chose this completely over-the-top example to make it clear just how far you can take this approach, but the techniques are equally applicable to interior shots with bright window light, or to any other kind of widedynamic- range scene.
We started by creating three different renderings of the same camera raw image, one for highlights, one for midtones, one for shadows, using the Camera Raw plug-in.
In many cases, you can get away with only two renderings, but this is an extreme example! Our first rendering is for the shadows, using significant positive Exposure and Brightness adjustments, with fine-tuning applied using Camera Raw’s Curve tab. The second rendering concentrates on the sky and the distant hills. The third rendering makes use of Camera Raw’s extended highlight recovery, with a major negative Exposure correction further aided by the Curve tab to squeeze every last drop of highlight detail out of the image.
Combining the pixel layers
We always start with the lightest layer and add the darker ones, because it makes the masking much easier. Why? Because a very good starting point is to load the luminosity of the lightest layer as a selection, and use it as the layer mask for the darker layer. That way, the shadow detail in the lightest layer gets preserved, while the blown-out areas are replaced by the darker layer. We start by opening the first rendering in Photoshop. Then we open the second rendering, select all, copy, and paste it into the first rendering, where it appears as a new layer.
etc......................................................

Read this full PhotoShop Tutorial of ADOBE PHOTOSHOP : Advanced pixel blending


Resource: https://www.adobe.com/designcenter/photoshop/articles/phscs2at_pixelblend/phscs2at_pixelblend.pdf
Posted By : Priya
On date : 10.07.09

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