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03-01-2014, 10:09 AM   #1
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Photoshop: Stamp Visible question

I have a pretty consistent photoshop workflow but there has been one thing driving me crazy lately and I cannot figure a work around. Perhaps someone with some more PS experience than me can help me out here. It is a bit difficult to explain but I will try my best.

I understand the concept of a stamp visible layer and use them frequently. However, once you create a stamp visible, any changes made to layers underneath are no longer reflected in the final image if that stamp visible is turned on. For the type of processing that I am doing I create two separate HDR photographs, one that is over-processed and one that is subtly processed. I layer these in with the original base layer to give the image some pop yet keep it realistic looking. Because of this there is no single layer that is at 100% opacity because each of the 3 layers are blended in to some degree. I then the NIK color efex plug in for some additional work.

My confusion arises because NIK needs an actual layer, not an adjustment layer, to open with. If I create a blank layer NIK tells me there is nothing to edit basically. If I choose any of the 3 base layers then the effect will only be applied according to the opacity of that level and not at 100%. I can create a stamp visible and of course import that into NIK and it will be applied correctly but then I loose the ability to edit a layer below the stamp visible which is not ideal as I sometimes have 40+ layers and like to tweak them as I go on, but I loose this ability with a stamp visible.

So, there are two possible solutions that would fix my problem.
1. Is there a way to create an adaptive stamp visible that will update to reflect changes underneath? or,
2. Is there a way to apply filters globally at 100% without creating a stamp visible even though each layer is set to less than 100% opacity?

I have been searching everywhere for a simple solution to this problem and could use any suggestions.

03-01-2014, 11:32 AM   #2
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I'm not sure if this will help you do what you want, but here goes.

When I've been making lots of layers and then want to apply an effect, I do command option shift E (on the mac) which does a 'merge visible' into a new layer which you can then position at the top of the stack.
03-01-2014, 12:06 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Thanks for the reply! I may have my terminology mixed up or maybe the action has a couple names, but that action is actually what I was referring to when I said "stamp visible." My problem is that for the effects I need to apply I need a stamp visible layer and yet once I do that I am unable to change anything on layers beneath.
03-01-2014, 12:25 PM   #4
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OIC.
Put a layer mask between your underlying layers and your 'stamp visible'. Paint the layer mask to allow your changes to come through where you need them to.

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