Lightroom: Gradient Eraser Request

  • 70
  • Idea
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Implemented
  • (Edited)
Would love to be abel to erase away gradients in Lightroom. For example the gradient is great on straightforward landscapes such as lakes with an even horizon. But if there is a mountain or a tree the gradient effect looks artificial. I need to be able to areas or conceal areas where I do not want the gradient effect would be fabulous!
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PSDiva, Employee

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  • frustrated

Posted 9 years ago

  • 70
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Rob Cole

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Although one can theoretically do everything with a brush that one can do with a gradient (with or without the gradient eraser), it would sometimes be more convenient to be able to use a gradient and erase some stuff. Couple this with some killer auto-masking technology - so I could guide Lightroom to "perfectly" avoid foreground objects and such, and we'd really be having things...
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Just to clarify what may not be explicitly clear to all visiting here:

It is possible to undo the effect of a graduated filter with an adjustment brush (by using the inverse settings of the graduated filter for the brush and careful "graduated" brushing using the flow/density settings) and the brush strokes have the advantage of staying in the same place even when the filter is moved around (e.g., they will still be covering the same mountain top that hasn't moved), but when the graduated filter is moved/stretched, the "counter" brushes will no longer match the previous filter effects. A compensation by adjusting the brush effect settings is cumbersome and will not always work.

What PSDiva is essentially asking for is a way to achieve irregularly shaped graduated filter masks. Moreover, the FR implies that it will be possible to change the graduation (graduation slope and extent) independently from the position/shape of the erased part.

Ultimately, graduated filters and adjustment brush strokes (and potentially more tools in the future) should be combinable to create arbitrarily shaped and arbitrarily graduated masks which then can be used to apply any effect from the development panels (not just a select few available from the adjustment brush and graduated filter panels). It seems like layers (as in Bibble 5) would be a useful concept, but perhaps LR can support them less explicitly than Bibble 5 or PS do.

I feel that adjustment brush stroke sets (associated with adjustment brush pins) can also be regarded as layers but LR does a great job of dealing with the "layers" implicitly. I believe the "adjustment pin" concept could be extended to encompass more complex masks without importing a "layer paradigm" into LR's user interface.
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Rob Cole

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Well put TK. And, I too see this as part of a bigger picture: How can one target adjustments just to desired stuff and not others? In Photoshop, there are magic wands, with tolerances..., and in Nx2, there are U-points, with no control options (except more U-points). Presently in Lightroom, there are two auto-masking technologies:
1. brush auto-mask, that tries to confine brush strokes to "like" areas.
2. sharpen masking, that tries to confine sharpening to "edgy" areas.
Personally, I am hoping that Adobe will come up with a controllable auto-mask technology for Lightroom, that allows user intervention whilst applying adjustments, to specify a whole host of criteria along the way to guide the mask. In the case of a gradient, one could then simply define a mask, then drop a gradient over it. So, really, the root is the ability to define arbitrary masks in Lightroom, subsequently applying an adjustment gradient is just the icing on the cake... So, design-wise its about de-coupling the masking from the local brush - let us define general masks, then decide what adjustments to overlay - gradient, or paint, or "globals" (in quotes, because once masking is generally available, all globals are essentially local).
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I concur, we need brush-applied masks which remain relative to the image, which we can then selectively apply/link to one or more gradients.
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Jon Miller

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YES! I want to see a combination of all masking techniques available in Lightroom (graduated filters and adjustment brushes), Photoshop (pen tool, magic wand, whatever the even more impressive one also under the W shortcut is called (sorry, too much running to open Photoshop right now to remind myself), the different gradient types (not just linear, but also radial, conical, and whatever the double-linear one is called) which can be applied to layer masks, and the various forms of generating a mask by color or brightness or both), the nik software U-point tools, and more. Create it by any of those methods, and edit by any of those methods. (Let me drag a linear gradient mask across a sky, then either a radial mask or a U-point around the sun itself, then pen or brush (depending on the situation) to remove foreground objects from the mask.

(Yes, I know that I can do a radial mask with the adjustment brush tool, but there is a big difference between that and a U-point mask or even a radial mask where you can just click and drag to change the size of it. With the adjustment brush I have to set the size and feather controls before clicking, and you can't just adjust those after you click. You have to undo or delete it and do it again with new settings. This is precisely the opposite of an intuitive solution. I'm grateful that we have those tools in the program, I'd just like to see more for special situations.)