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Andyb90

Noels Actions - Local Contrast Enhancement - When to Use

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Hi all,

I just got the Actions for Photoshop CC. I'm processing a Ha image (around 6 hours of data) and did some basic curves, levels, noise reduction and high pass filter.

I then ran the Local Contrast Enhancement Action (applied to whole image), but the end result seemed a bit 'overcooked'. Looked to have pushed the data too far.

Could anyone advise on when you'd normally use the Local Contrast Enhancement in your processing workflow? Also do you have to ease off on the initial curves and level adjustments when using this action.

Would the action normally be applied to the whole image. Or is it generally better to apply it selectively using a layer mask?

Is there a way to see what the action actually does in Photoshop? I can see some layers getting created and deleted when the action runs, but I'm not sure which functions it uses in Photoshop.

Andy.

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Depends on the subject for me , some targets go look over cooked but if I do use it it's always nearer the end..

Maybe you over sharpend it initially?

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Hi Andy, at the bottom of the actions palette there is an action called "as layer on top". If you use this after your action, you can use the layers adjustments to control the strength.

I use it all the time!

Dave

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10 hours ago, DavM said:

Hi Andy, at the bottom of the actions palette there is an action called "as layer on top". If you use this after your action, you can use the layers adjustments to control the strength.

I use it all the time!

Dave

As a add on to David's advice, you can use the layer underneath and use the erasure tool to sharpen what you want..as in the hard lines of contrast

Edited by newbie alert
Damn phone
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11 hours ago, DavM said:

Hi Andy, at the bottom of the actions palette there is an action called "as layer on top". If you use this after your action, you can use the layers adjustments to control the strength.

I use it all the time!

Dave

 

38 minutes ago, newbie alert said:

As a add on to David's advice, you can use the layer underneath and use the erasure tool to sharpen what you want..as in the hard lines of contrast

Great, thanks for the advice. That makes sense as I feel the effect is too strong just be applied to the whole image. I'll use layers and eraser/masking to be more selective.

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I too have just purchased Noel's actions and have very little idea how to use them and no idea about using them as layers, so the tips here are great thank you 👌

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Also, I found that you have to flatten all the previous layers in order to get the actions to work or else it says "not found" or words to that effect.  I find that annoying as I have to do a PSD save before using an action leavign me two or more sets of PSD files for the same subject. 

Am I missing something please guys?

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Certainly use Noel as a layer so you can control where and how much you want. You have endless ways, in Ps, of selecting which parts of Noel's modded layer you want to keep and which to reject. You can use the Colour Select option or just the eraser brush. And, in layers, don't forget that you don't have to stick with the default 'blend mode normal.' If you run Local Contrast Enhance you can set the blend mode to 'Lighten,' for instance, so Noel's contrast will only apply where it has added brightness. Before using his local contrast tool be sure not to bring in your black point too far. You need plenty of space to the left of the histogram peak or Noel may clip your black point.

If you want to get fancy you can join me in an experiment with the Equalize algorithm found in Image-Adjustments near the bottom. I'm playing around with copying an Equalized version of the image onto a layer mask and stretching a little more through that mask.  Initial experiments are very exciting.

Olly

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Hi Olly,  but you have to use Noel's action as a stand alone process and then use PS layers to adjust the amount of effect of that action - i.e. blend/lighten/curves on what the action just did?  You cannot intrinsically manipulate within a Noel action?

I am quite new to Photoshop with astronomy processing.  It is a mighty powerful piece of software.

Steve

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I have Noel's actions but very rarely use them as I prefer to have personal control over what I am doing.  However on the odd occasion I try to odd action, and I have found if you don't like what has been done there is no way of going back to what it was before the action, so make sure you keep a copy of the pre-action file. 

Sorry I can't help with your question as I have never used Local Contrast Enhancement.

Carole 

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39 minutes ago, carastro said:

I have Noel's actions but very rarely use them as I prefer to have personal control over what I am doing.  However on the odd occasion I try to odd action, and I have found if you don't like what has been done there is no way of going back to what it was before the action, so make sure you keep a copy of the pre-action file. 

Sorry I can't help with your question as I have never used Local Contrast Enhancement.

Carole 

Yeah I find that too.  You can't CTl-Z and go back.....

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On 17/09/2019 at 13:13, Andyb90 said:

Hi all,

I just got the Actions for Photoshop CC. I'm processing a Ha image (around 6 hours of data) and did some basic curves, levels, noise reduction and high pass filter.

I then ran the Local Contrast Enhancement Action (applied to whole image), but the end result seemed a bit 'overcooked'. Looked to have pushed the data too far.

Could anyone advise on when you'd normally use the Local Contrast Enhancement in your processing workflow? Also do you have to ease off on the initial curves and level adjustments when using this action.

Would the action normally be applied to the whole image. Or is it generally better to apply it selectively using a layer mask?

Is there a way to see what the action actually does in Photoshop? I can see some layers getting created and deleted when the action runs, but I'm not sure which functions it uses in Photoshop.

Andy.

I think what you'd need to do is to use an action as the latest layer then "brush out" with a reduce opacity brush the parts of the action layer the areas you want to reduce the effect of the action.  I don't know though how to make what an action did as a layer...  I need to work that out.  Seems Olly already has.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

.............

If you want to get fancy you can join me in an experiment with the Equalize algorithm found in Image-Adjustments near the bottom. I'm playing around with copying an Equalized version of the image onto a layer mask and stretching a little more through that mask.  Initial experiments are very exciting.

Olly

I have the Noels Actions v 1.6.  Cant see where the Image Adjustments you refer to are located?   

Edited by wornish

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Posted (edited)

I think these actions are fantastically powerful.  They just have to be controlled by layers and masking because you want to refine where the action is applied to and how much of the action to apply.  You can do that with masks and layers and opacity.  I am sure you can edit the actions themselves if you were knowledgeable enough but there is little point when you can use in built Photoshop tools to adjust the effect of an action on your subject.

I can't work out how to generate a range mask with fuzzy edges  in PS.

Edited by kirkster501
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My whole Astro processing workflow in PS, as based solely around combinations of Noels and Annies actions, As Olly said you can use them in infinite different combinations and degrees of subtleness, by applying them in layers. The bottom 3 actions in Noels actions make this very simple, you just run the actions you want, then run either As layer on top, as layer underneath, or per selection only ( or inverse the selection first then run it ), then selectively erase or paint through the layers. Annies Actions  I tend to run the action, copy the result then jump back to the pre action step then manually paste it as a layer.  I have yet to see any way of being this Subtle in Pixinsight, Ive heard people say its Pix is a more mathematically accurate way of processing, but for me processing is an artistic representation and to be artistic its vital to be able to see the changes in real time. 

Lee

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7 minutes ago, Magnum said:

Annies actions

Interesting. I hadn't heard of Annie's actions before. Looks like they're a no brainer at $15.

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19 hours ago, Magnum said:

My whole Astro processing workflow in PS, as based solely around combinations of Noels and Annies actions, As Olly said you can use them in infinite different combinations and degrees of subtleness, by applying them in layers. The bottom 3 actions in Noels actions make this very simple, you just run the actions you want, then run either As layer on top, as layer underneath, or per selection only ( or inverse the selection first then run it ), then selectively erase or paint through the layers. Annies Actions  I tend to run the action, copy the result then jump back to the pre action step then manually paste it as a layer.  I have yet to see any way of being this Subtle in Pixinsight, Ive heard people say its Pix is a more mathematically accurate way of processing, but for me processing is an artistic representation and to be artistic its vital to be able to see the changes in real time. 

Lee

Layering in this way was on the PI development team's list of asks for many years but they abandoned it. 

The only way I can think of in PI to achieve a similar result to layers is to use masks and range masks and the history explorer.  It is nowhere near as visual as what Photoshop is.  PS is a result of 25 years of development work and billions of dollars of investment by Adobe as their Crown Jewels.

I am starting to incorporate PS more and more into my workflow now.

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On 04/10/2019 at 11:06, kirkster501 said:

Yeah I find that too.  You can't CTl-Z and go back.....

Hi Steve,

That's odd.  When I do Ctrl-z, I get a layer called 'After Action', above the background layer, which can be deleted and the background layer contains the image pior to the action.  That's with version CS3 mind you.

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33 minutes ago, r3i said:

Hi Steve,

That's odd.  When I do Ctrl-z, I get a layer called 'After Action', above the background layer, which can be deleted and the background layer contains the image pior to the action.  That's with version CS3 mind you.

Really? OK will investigate a bit more then. Thanks.

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