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7 Messages

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220 Points

Tue, May 17, 2011 7:46 AM

9

Lightroom: adding an History brush

History brush for lightroom
The history brush in photoshop CS is a very useful feature for selectively undoing certain edits. A quick and easy alternative to layer masks.

A history brush in lightroom with similar controls to the adjustment brush (auto mask, size, feathering, opacity) would be extremely useful.

A couple of examples. - After sharpening the history brush could be used to remove or reduce sharpening on women & childrens faces.

After noise reduction, certain areas containing fine detail could be brushed and opacity set to give best compromise for detail, while leaving smooth areas noise free.

After using the gradient tool on the sky , where the horizon is far from level the effect could be removed and or reduced in areas like trees and mountains etc. A history brush would greatly enhance the functionality of the gradient tool.

Regards
John

Responses

10 Messages

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490 Points

9 years ago

I've signed in and hit the +1 button several times, but it does not seem to be registering...
Tried both with FF & IE, no joy.

Adobe Administrator

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14.8K Messages

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285.3K Points

That's strange. What method did you use to log in? (Adobe ID, Facebook or Twitter)

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

10 Messages

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490 Points

registered an account from this page, used that login...

10 Messages

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490 Points

PS. It seems the "Remember Me' login option does not work either...

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

I was able to add my vote - logged in using Adobe ID (firefox 4, win 7/64)

946 Messages

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13.8K Points

9 years ago

I don't understand how a history brush could be implemented into a workflow that is not order-of-application-dependent, like Lightroom.

248 Messages

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4.1K Points

You could launch it after selecting one or more history panel items, and then mask those specific changes. This has been advocated before and apparently, according to Jeff Schewe, rejected by adobe. I forget if it was a technical or a ui complexity reason for not implementing. The interesting thing about this approach is you could eliminate the need for all the different adjustment brushes. Lots of stuff to think through...

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

Yes, it's a solution that may work OK with Photoshop's pixel-destructive workflow, but I really doubt it suits a parameter-driven app where one can be adjusting multiple images.

I also wonder how many Photoshop users who use layers ever bother with the history brush? It's also struck me as a slightly retro way of working and not intuitive enough for Lightroom.

248 Messages

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4.1K Points

I know what you mean John and I agree about the usage in photoshop. I think part of this is using the term "history brush". If you change that to "mask any lightroom controls" then it is a different thing all together. I just want to be able to make any change in lightroom locally - don't really care how that happens - and this is one possible solution.

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

'If you change that to "mask any lightroom controls" then it is a different thing all together' - agreed, some kind of masking may work, but something that uses a History step to paint back wouldn't.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

9 years ago

Great idea John - you got my vote.

Edit history is a vast but only partially tapped resource in Lightroom. I'm not sure about the technical details of making this work, but I think you're on to something...

I'd be curious how you would see the UI of this working, not to design it for Adobe, but as a clarification of what you mean by "history brush", and the exercise may help shed light on feasibility.

I think I've got the idea, but it might help you garnish support if people were more clear what you mean and what it would look like in Lightroom (and what the opportunity cost might be). PS - I recommend taking a whack *without* referring to the history brush in Photoshop for two reasons:

1. People who are familiar with the history brush in Photoshop may tend to think of your idea as a "port" of the Photoshop history brush, and that pre-conceived notion may interfere with their ability to see your idea in its most positive light. Also, there may be huge differences in how it would be implemented in Lightroom vs. Photoshop.

2. Not everyone is familiar with the history brush in Photoshop, in which case, the concept is not transferable.

7 Messages

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220 Points

9 years ago

Thanks guys

The history is listed in the left panel in order of application. This order is retained when light room is shut down and re-started so lightroom must remember what that order is. I had envisaged that a small box could be added to the left of each entry and would work just as it does in PS. Aparrantly that might not be feasible. It would be too cumbersome to add a 'selective undo' to each of the other controls (eg gradient, sharpening, noise reduction etc) each with an additional set of controls (auto-mask, size, opacity, feathering. That would be impractical.

One suggestion above was to change the name (and functionality) to "mask any lightroom controls". Its not a catchy name but I think the idea would be that it would be a mask to specifically target one previous adjustment, or perhaps just the previous adjustment. (correct me if I got that wrong John) I think I would be happy with that, what do you think ?

How about calling it a "Selective erase brush" or just "Erase brush" or "Targeted erase brush". Within its dialogue there would need to be a method of selecting the adjustment to which it is to be applied, unless it is fixed to work only on the previous adjustment. There could be a series of small boxes (ala photoshop) at the left of each history state to select which adjustments are undone. This could present some interesting problems for the development team wrt the database but they are clearly clever people. They probably have better ideas of how to implement this than I could think of, while keeping the interface as simple as possible (paramount)

Regards
John

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Thanks John, that makes it clearer, I think. So really, this is just a special case of painting local adjustments, except you're painting the inverse mask. Is that another way of looking at it?

7 Messages

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220 Points

Hi Rob
Yes I guess that is another way to put it.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Hi John - I was checking my understanding, for one thing, but also, there have been two related feature requests on this forum: Paint with Edit History, and Invert Mask. Since your feature request is closely related, you may want to go vote for those too. Note: the latter already has lots of support, but the former: not so much.

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

"One suggestion above was to change the name (and functionality) to "mask any lightroom controls". Its not a catchy name but I think the idea would be that it would be a mask to specifically target one previous adjustment, or perhaps just the previous adjustment. (correct me if I got that wrong John) I think I would be happy with that, what do you think ? "

I do think that masking is partly how you need to re-cast the idea, but I doubt enough people would ever understand using History steps as the driver for what is fundamentally a masking feature.

For one thing, I'm not convinced by your enthusiasm for Photoshop's history brush as "A quick and easy alternative to layer masks." Layers and masks are quick and easy anyway, and allow an almost non-destructive, session-surviving workflow.

My bigger objection is that even though the history brush UI is pretty elegant in Photoshop, I just don't think most people bother with it any more. While that seems partly because of layers and masks, I think it's mainly because using history to achieve masking is inherently indirect and so counter-intuitive.

So it would be a very radical change from your proposal!

I also think there are better, more Lightroom-style ways to achieve your specific examples of usage. Local sharpening - the existing adjustment brush can already be used to remove or reduce sharpening on faces. Noise reduction might be localised by adding it to the local brush, while a bendable gradient tool has already been proposed in this forum and strikes me as a much more direct way of working.

John

7 Messages

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220 Points

OK then, this idea is pretty much blown out of the water now. I'll look for the bendable gradient tool and vote for that.

4 Messages

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188 Points

8 years ago

Is this not covered by the brush tool in Lightroom as it stands today? Any brush you apply can either be applied with a positive or negative effect. If you brush "outside the lines", you can always hit the Alt key to enter erase mode, and simply clean up your messy painting.

I don't see the need for a "history brush" in Lightroom. The existing brush feature handles local edits quite well, and has the ability to positively or negatively apply edits (i.e. if someone does a strong denoise on the whole image, you could then paint noise back in on your key subject(s) using the standard brush tool, only with an negative setting rather than a positive one.)

The edit history is a very critical thing in Lightroom, however it is not the same kind of thing as an "undo history" in Photoshop. Edits are not baked in like they are with a tool such as Photoshop. Edits are simply a tracking of the develop module settings at a moment in time, nothing more. The way the Lightroom Develop module works is RADICALLY different than the way a destructive editor works. A history brush is entirely unnecessary in a non-destructive editor such as Lightroon...and actually comes off as rather counter-intuitive instead.

Rather than requesting a feature that is counter-productive to the fundamental nature of Lightroom, it might be better to learn exactly what a non-destructive editor is, how it works, and what the edit history actually is...so you can better utilize the tools that already exist.

7 Messages

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220 Points

The suggestion for using the history brush was for use with the gradient tool not the the brush tool. I also conceded defeat over a year ago on this issue, and have since learned to make better use of non destructive editing in CS using layers & smart objects for those areas where lightroom does not provide an adequate solution. Edits are no longer baked in using photoshop provided you used the right tools and methods and do not flatten your layers. The gradient tool in lightroom remains less useful than it might be if it were possible to some how bend the straight lines that it uses or erase portions of its effect.

Regards

John

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

John. you may be interested to see how the recently-released Capture One v7 deals with the problem. Where our grad filter adds a vector and never displays its internal mask, C1's gradient tool does paint a mask which operates more like those in PS, so you can then erase areas of it with the local adjsutment brush. I feel this, or my bendable grad filter, are more in tune with the underlying needs and the Lightroom style. As I'm sure you now understand, a history brush that paints from a historical state of the image is a very different thing.

7 Messages

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220 Points

Thanks for the tip John. Since I now have CS6 I am pretty well sorted. Still I might download the C1 trial and have a play some day. I remember during this discussion that you advised me to return to the fold regarding the use of layers. That was good advice and I thank you for it.