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12 Messages

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312 Points

Mon, Mar 7, 2016 8:18 PM

Lightroom White/Black Brush Sliders Are Destructive

All the previous brush sliders were non-destructive. I could completely clip the whites or blacks in my image in the 'basic' panel or with a curve and restore them by brushing in a different exposure or pulling down the highlights/pulling up the shadows. The new white/black brush sliders, however, totally grey out information that was lost in the other panels.

It would be very helpful to have properly-working white/black brush sliders. I could, for example, bring a lot of sparkle into the highlights of my image by pulling up the whites, but restore any blown highlights by brushing them back with the whites brush. Right now the details are lost and the area goes grey.

Responses

Official Solution

87 Messages

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2.1K Points

5 years ago

Hi Dave,

Local whites/blacks were not designed with the intention of recovering colors that are clipped. While they can be very useful for teasing out extra highlight detail (positive Whites) or extra shadow detail (negative Blacks), for the recovery workflow that you’re after, I’d recommend using other local control channels (Exposure, Highlights, and Shadows).

Regarding the placement in the imaging pipeline, the primary reason is to be able to maximize the amount of highlight and shadow detail that you can bring out. Whereas normally if you increase the "global" exposure or whites, then as you approach clipping, the highlights will become rolled off. The local Whites/Blacks gives you a way to approach pure clipping without any rolloff -- if you think of curves, it means the curve is steeper (instead of a shoulder and toe). To make this work, though, the user needs to start with unclipped data and then move it (gradually) towards clipping using local whites/blacks

12 Messages

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312 Points

I understand what you're saying—that the point of the white and black brushes is to locally increase the contrast of the whites and blacks—this is useful in its own regard, and I suppose the only way to achieve this is by placing it later in the pipeline. However, and perhaps this is a pedantic point, this is the opposite of maximizing highlight and shadow detail. Highlight and shadow detail are achieved when there is more information in the highlights and shadows. The way the brush is set up, the only thing the user can do isreducehighlight and shadow detail.

The exposure, highlights, and shadows local controls are indeed helpful. I was just hoping that with the addition of two new controls, there would be added recovery functionality. The highlight brush, for instance, moves everything in the top quarter or so of the histogram. In a very high key image, this can be quite a large percentage of the total image. How nice it would be to be able to control just the upper 10% of tones.

12 Messages

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312 Points

I suppose a more succinct question would be, "why have a whites slider that goes in positive and negative directions, if the only useful direction is positive?"

37 Messages

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858 Points

Hi Kelly, I understand your explanation. However:

1) The way Local Whites and Blacks works right now is totally misleading. You should warn the user in some way and/or move them in another position.

2) It would be REALLY nice to have the Whites and Blacks working like Highlights and Shadows.

87 Messages

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2.1K Points

Thanks guys. I will pass on your concerns to our developers.

Champion

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5.8K Messages

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102.2K Points

5 years ago

Can you show us some specific examples?

12 Messages

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236 Points

5 years ago


Here's un example, global settings for exposure or whites, than trying to paint back the ship. Not sure but shouldn't any slider/brush combination work like the exposure example? 
So it works with exposure, shadows, highlights, clarity
works  at 90% with contrast
doesn't work with whites, blacks or saturation adjustements

12 Messages

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312 Points

5 years ago

jochen nailed it.

Champion

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5.8K Messages

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102.2K Points

5 years ago

Gotcha.  Let me see what I can find out.

87 Messages

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2.1K Points

5 years ago

I can see how this might be confusing, however it is intentional “as designed” behavior.

Local whites/blacks are a little different than  global whites/blacks, in that they're applied very late in Lightroom’s image processing pipeline. What this means is that colors that have already been clipped at that point are no longer recoverable. For example, if you're used to Photoshop and you have adjustment layers - if the underlying layers have already clipped colors to pure white, then a new adjustment layer on top can't recover them. In Lightroom, if an area appears "pure white" prior to adding any local whites/blacks to that area, you'll simply be manipulating that "pure white" color (so if you make it darker, it becomes "pure gray" as shown in the thread example). The same is true for "pure black”. 

12 Messages

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312 Points

5 years ago

Hi Kelly,

I understand exactly that this is happening. The question is "why?" One of the advantages of using Lightroom over Photoshop, or so I thought, was that adjustments could be made nondestructively. It seems like with other adjustment brushes, the calculations are made simultaneously, not subsequently, as they are with layers in Photoshop. In Lightroom I can blow out the whites completely, then recover them with the highlight brush. Why can't I do the same thing with the whites brush? What was the thought process in intentionally putting the whites/blacks so late in the "pipeline"?

At least in Photoshop I have the option of changing the order of the layers. If I were to place the "recovery" curve underneath the "clipping" one, I wouldn't necessarily end up with a grey, unphotographic mess.

Right now the whites and blacks brushes only work half as well as they could. If I want to spark up a white area, or deepen a black area, I can do that; but if I want to recover that information (which is much more useful when working on a RAW file), I should definitely steer clear of these two new brushes.

12 Messages

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236 Points

5 years ago

I have to admit that the way it works doesn't trouble my workflow, I'm always very carefull with white and black sliders and don't use them for recovery.

But I'm with Dave, the behavior is strange to me. I'm not a computer scientist, but LR creates only a list of instructions, no? So basically if I adjust the global exposure to +4 and than brush with -2 it will "cook" a +2 exposure into the exported file. This behavior is fantastic... and don't have this possibility for whites/blacks just sounds not logical to me ;-)

In the end, the most important thing is to know how it works...

@Dave, you are sure that the behavior in previous LR versions was different? 

12 Messages

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312 Points

The whites and blacks for local adjustments are new to the last version or 2 of LR. To be honest, it doesn't trouble my workflow as it exists, because I know how to control highlight and shadow detail, and never had these adjustments to use before recently.

It just would have been nice for them to consider, with the addition of the new adjustments, the potential for recovering detail in those areas. I don't see how adding a brush that works theoretically in both positive and negative, but practically only in positive, is a smart move for the LR product.

37 Messages

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858 Points

5 years ago

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom 6 Adjustment Brush "White" does not work at all.

Lightroom Brush Adjustment "WHITE" does not work.

How to reproduce the problem:

1) Open a raw image (I used a Nikon D750 raw).

2) Find a over-exposed area (white area).

3) Select a Local Adjustment brush and turn "WHITE" slider to the left.

4) Try to paint on the overexposed area. The area becomes gray but there is no highlights recovery at all.

If you do the same with the "HIGHLIGHTS" slider it works (but on highlights, not whites). If you do the same adjustment with the "WHITE SLIDER" on the entire photo, it works.

Can you replicate this bug? Can you fix this please?