by Suzanne Smith
In this tutorial, we'll explore the many benefits of using lenses and masks to make image adjustments. We'll also look at how to create special tonal effects.
Working with lenses
Lenses, which are the equivalent of adjustment layers in Photoshop®, let you preview special effects and image adjustments without permanently altering the image pixels. You can apply lenses to an entire image or to the editable area of a mask. When applying a lens to a masked area, you can use the Object Pick tool to reposition both the mask and the lens within the image.
Lenses also offer the advantage of being adjustable on the fly. You can make adjustments to the lens at any time.
Since a lens sits above the background image on its own layer, you can easily remove an unwanted lens layer by clicking the Delete button in the bottom right-hand corner of the Object Manager docker.
Note: When saving an image that has a lens effect applied to it, be aware that many file formats will merge any existing layers to a single layer. In this case, the lens effect will no longer be editable when the image is reopened. To retain the editability of a lens, save the file first in CPT format, which will retain the layer structure. You can then export the image in the required image format, such as JPEG, PNG, BMP, etc.
Applying a lens to an image
1. Click File > Open, navigate to your image, and click Open.
2. Click Object > Create > New Lens.
3. In the New Lens dialog box, choose Scatter, and click OK. This lens ‘scatters' the image's pixels, creating a painted look similar to Pointillism.
4. In the Scatter dialog box, experiment with the Vertical and Horizontal sliders until you achieve the desired effect, and click OK.
5. To readjust the lens settings, double-click the lens icon in the Object Manager docker, and make any necessary adjustments in the Scatter dialog box.
Applying a lens to a masked area
1. Open an image.
2. In the toolbox, click the Rectangle Mask tool.
3. On the property bar, adjust the corner roundness of the mask by typing a value in the Corner Radius box.
4. Drag to draw a rectangular mask on an area of the image.
5. To give the mask a softer edge, click Mask > Mask Outline > Feather. In the Feather dialog box, type a value in the Width box, choose Outside from the Direction list box, choose Linear from the Edges list box, and click OK. Feathering the outer edge of the mask will soften the transition between the masked area and the background image.
6. Click Object > Create > New Lens. In the New Lens dialog box, note that the Create lens from mask option is now automatically enabled.
7. Choose Gradient Map, and click OK. The Gradient Map lens allows you to apply color to a black-and-white image, or to change the colors in a color image.
8. In the Gradient Map dialog box, double-click the upper edge of the gradient color bar to add a new color marker, and choose a new color from the Color picker.
9. Continue adding more color markers as required, and then click OK.
10. To reposition the mask (and lens), click the Object Pick tool and then simply drag the mask to a new position.
11. To readjust the lens settings, double-click the lens icon in the Object Manager docker.