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Elle74 Zaftig

Photoshop Filter/Tools Question...

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Posing this q to the Photoshop gurus out there...I used to have this Filter/Tool installed, it came as a free package with several tools in it, from a site I no longer remember (it's been ages)..not sure if it's even still a thing. Anyway, it's a tool that takes the colors of the edges of your alpha'd picture and colors in the background to those colors to prevent the "halo'd" effect when uploaded in-world.

Thanks in advance!

https://gyazo.com/30c33b886821cdaf0c23c974e24bbbd2

https://gyazo.com/8a9043b1dbb29daba3a76828f60487c6

 

 

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You're talking about the Flaming Pear filter, which you will see discussed on Robin Wood's web site.  It's one of the many ways you can eliminate the white halo effect.  Frankly, though, it's often just as easy to simply fill your background layer with a color that is close to the color of whatever you are masking.  So, for example, if you have designed a blue shirt and are using the alpha mask to "cut out" the neckline and sleeves, fill your background layer with that same blue and leave it active when you export the image.  Another perfectly good way to do things is to copy your image onto a new layer below your design and then use your liquify or blur tool to drag the pixels at the edge of the duplicate image.  That will create a customized version of what the Flaming Pear filter does. Whether you do that or use the Flaming Pear or simply fill the background layer,  the idea is to make it so that pixels that lie just outside your design have the same color and tonal value as pixels just inside it. 

Programs like Photoshop and GIMP apply an averaging algorithm to smooth out sharp differences between neighboring pixels, in order to keep an image from looking too much like a microscopic patchwork quilt.  Normally that's a good thing, because it promotes gentle gradations rather than really sharp edges.  If your image has a dramatic color difference at a boundary, however, the averaging algorithm creates a blurry edge.  The white halo is one of those.  You are averaging the color of your shirt (or whatever) with a white background -- or what the system perceives as white, if you have masked with alpha -- so you get a very light-colored aura at the edge.

Edited by Rolig Loon
Clarification
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@Elle74 Zaftig

Most people who use Photoshop are in way over their heads and barely scratching the surface of what it can do, often "doing it rong" (I hope you're not paying for it because there are better tools that cost a lot less)

I use Pixelmator Pro on the Mac (A great Photoshop replacement) - but when I worked in Photoshop I always used Calculations process to do knockouts. Here's a good video tutorial that shows how it's done: 

 

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That's a lovely short tutorial.  Thanks for posting it, Alyona.  Several years ago, Chosen Few posted a text tutorial with this same bit of advice in the old (old, old) forums, now thoroughly archived and lost from view.  It was a great help for those of us who were struggling with outlining tools and other even less productive methods.  Photoshop offers several different methods for creating and using masks.  No single method works best in all situations, so it's good to experiment to see how they all work.  I'm far from being a skilled graphic artist myself, so I need all the help I can get -- like most SL residents, I suspect.  ;)

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17 hours ago, Rolig Loon said:

No single method works best in all situations

Here is one tip that works every time: If you can export your image into Targa (TGA) - that is the *BEST* format for uploading into SL (the original format that used alpha channels for knockouts) - and it eliminates halos 99.9% of the time, unfortunately, it is so rarely used that support for it is beginning to fall by the wayside. For instance, Pixelmator supports it, but Pixelmator Pro (Photoshop replacement on Macs) does not (!) - I still use (and prefer) Photoshop CS5 - it still supports TGA, though I don't know about current versions.

The next best format is Portable Network Graphic format (PNG) (and the only other format SL supports, besides JPG) - because it is a non-lossy format and alpha channels are built into the format. :)

Edited by Alyona Su
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19 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

Here is one tip that works every time: If you can export your image into Targa (TGA) - that is the *BEST* format for uploading into SL (the original format that used alpha channels for knockouts) - and it eliminates halos 99.9% of the time

Yes, definitely.  I have used TGA almost exclusively for SL graphics.  In Photoshop -- yes, TGA is supported in the current CC version -- you have much easier control over manipulating the alpha channel with TGA than with PNG.  Again, I thank Chosen Few for his many posts in the old forum, where he was an ardent fan of TGA.

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On 11/8/2018 at 9:26 AM, Alyona Su said:

Here is one tip that works every time: If you can export your image into Targa (TGA) - that is the *BEST* format for uploading into SL (the original format that used alpha channels for knockouts) - and it eliminates halos 99.9% of the time, unfortunately, it is so rarely used that support for it is beginning to fall by the wayside. For instance, Pixelmator supports it, but Pixelmator Pro (Photoshop replacement on Macs) does not (!) - I still use (and prefer) Photoshop CS5 - it still supports TGA, though I don't know about current versions.

The next best format is Portable Network Graphic format (PNG) (and the only other format SL supports, besides JPG) - because it is a non-lossy format and alpha channels are built into the format. :)

PNG is quite nice, but it will not bring over the alpha like the tga, you loose that channel if you save as png, which may not matter with all images of course.

I use flaming pear too, its free and theres a bunch of nice effects in there, if you're doing an alpha mask and had not added margins in your UV bake, then it can save the day in one click to eradicate the white halo, and wont mess up the alpha channel either.

Rolig is right Photoshop CC has great tga support, the only annoying thing about tga is there is no folder preview thumbnails in windows explorer natively, unless you use adobe bridge, which is a waste unless you really need such an app.

Edited by Macrocosm Draegonne

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