Contrast Masking: frequently asked questions

Contrast masking main page

This is a collection of frequently asked questions and some tips about the Contrast masking actions. For basic information please go to the Contrast masking main page. If you have questions not answered here, please feel free to ask me by Email.

Q: I've got Photoshop CS. Will the actions work with 16 bit layers?

A: Yes and no. The 8 bit action works on an 8 bit background layer only. However, if you have a multi layer 16 bit image you want to use the actions on simply duplicate with merge and reduce to 8 bit. Then use the 8 bit action on that image. After completion drag the two adjustment layers with shift key depressed to your original image. Eventally adjust layer order - 'Highlights' layer has to be uppermost, 'Shadows' layer immediately below.

Q: Shall I use the 16 bit action with Photoshop CS?

A: You can. However, the 16 bit action was mainly intendet for photoshop 6 or 7 where it wasn't possible to use 16 bit adjustment layers. In CS use the workflow described in the previous answer.

Q: Photoshop CS got 'Shadows and Highlights' filter. Do I still need the actions?

A: Depends. Photoshop Shadows and Highlights works on a single layer only and it doesn't create layers. Hence you have to flatten your image first and there is no way to adjust single layers any more. If you follow the workflow suggested in first answer you will be able to use the actions on multi layer documents. More see next answer.

Q: Do I have additional benefits from using the actions?

A: Yes, of course.

Q: Can I use the actions with Photoshop 5.

A: The recent version is created with Photoshop 6 and compatible to all versions above. You will get an error message if you try to load the action set into Photoshop 5 or 5.5. If you have very strong interest in using the actions with version 5 or 5.5 please mail.

© Erik Krause 2005