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-   -   Using a digital greyscale? (http://portraitartistforum.com/showthread.php?t=5783)

Allan Rahbek 05-01-2005 09:20 AM

Using a digital greyscale?
I have an idea for using a digital gray scale but don

Leslie Bohoss 05-01-2005 11:46 AM


1. Start a new picture e.g. 1000 * 200 pixels.
2. Switch on the Color Wheel panel to L-a-b mode. (usually it is RGB at start)
3. Set L=0 a=0 and b=0 (very important!)
4.with the Select tool make a selection e.g. 50*200 pixels.
5. Fill it with the Fill tool.
6. Move your selection 50 pixels to right. (easily and accurate with the arrow buttons.)
7.Set your L to 5. (theoretically you can make a 100 stripe scale, but you want 20)
8. Fill your selection again.
9. Move it 50 pixels again and so on.. till L=100 (what white is)

I hope it helps, otherwise I can record it and send to you per mail.

cheers Leslie

PS the hole problem... I'm working on it.

Allan Rahbek 05-01-2005 12:04 PM

Thank you Leslie,


Leslie Bohoss 05-01-2005 12:41 PM

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Problem solved Allan

At "start new picture" you should choose the "transparent" option!
(the options are : white, background color and transparent)

Now make your 20 stripes as I wrote before.
Go to select tool : "Ellipse" and make a circle in the middle of a stripe. Hit the "Del" button. Move your circle to the next one and hit Del again etc...
Now you can save your greyscale as a PSD file. (not JPG, very important!)
Load your BW picture and add your greyscale as a new layer. You can move it, scale it, etc.. but you will see always through the holes.
See photo:


Allan Rahbek 05-01-2005 01:02 PM

Wow Leslie,
a piece of cake for those who knows how. :thumbsup: Thank you very much.

I guess that it is easy to number the scale as well. That would be practical if I chose to make a long scale.

While working at a painting I will have a premixed ten steps gray scale of oil paint on my palette. Now I can use the 20 steps digital scale to judge the values on the reference.

I think that I will number the digital scale like this : 1 - 1

Enzie Shahmiri 05-02-2005 11:00 AM

Leslie, I had a value scale I used with Photoshop, but until now it had no holes. I immediately followed your easy instructions and voila!This is great, thanks!

Leslie Bohoss 05-02-2005 03:03 PM

Freut mich Enzie :)

The funny thing is: I don't use such tools for paintings, only 2: making BW for underpainting and posterprint for sight sizing.

(I was 3d animator for some yrs. but painting is a much more difficult task, sometimes drives me crazy, even like the computer stuff before . :o )

Another similarity: you can never say: Now, I know all stuff about it! )


Garth Herrick 05-03-2005 01:50 AM

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Leslie and Allan:

Interesting practical topic! We all seem to be inventing in the same direction at once. Here is a view of a grayscale wheel I made.


Leslie Bohoss 05-03-2005 02:35 AM

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Hi Garth

100 steps.. cool. State of art greyscale. You can make a hole in the middle or like this one:

Allan Rahbek 05-03-2005 04:51 AM


Originally Posted by Garth Herrick
Leslie and Allan:

Interesting practical topic! We all seem to be inventing in the same direction at once. Here is a view of a grayscale wheel I made.


I got the idea by thinking of how I used to mix colors in a box for painting walls.
When one box was nearly empty I would mix the next one and compare the value and color by dropping a drop of the new color into the old one. That drop of paint would level nicely on the surface and the difference of colors be easy to judge. Much easier than side by side matching.

How do your scale work in practice?


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