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Change of appearance when flattening Layers

phototwink 14 18 3 Scotland
12 Mar 2009 9:02PM
Evening all
On a couple of occasions (yesterday being one), when flattening layers the appearance of the image has changed but I don't know why. I had a background layer and 4 adjustment layers. All layers were visible. Can anyone cast any light on why this happens, please? Many thanks in advance.

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User_Removed 11 694 3 Scotland
12 Mar 2009 9:09PM
You could try selecting the background layer and just one adjustment layer and selecting merge layers. If nothing changes then add another adjustment and merge again. This will at least identify which layer(s) are causing the problem.

I have to say that I rarely flatten an image unless the file size is getting out of hand. Quite like the option of going back and changing things if necessary. Folders are great for organising layers in a complex edit.
phototwink 14 18 3 Scotland
13 Mar 2009 7:40PM
Hi Pat
Thanks so much for taking the time to help. Tried your suggestion, but it happens when I make all but the first layer invisible. The first layer is the main Curves layer. I've uploaded an unflattened version (V2) to the image I'm having problems with, in case you have time to see the changes I'm talking about (shan't be offended if you don't, though!):

I thought I had to flatten an image before I could save it for the web, so thanks for setting me straight on that! I do normally keep images unflattened, for exactly the same reason as you, although haven't got to the Folders stage for layers yet. So much to learn, and so little time...!

Thanks again for your response
rowarrior 12 4.4k 9 Scotland
13 Mar 2009 8:41PM
You don't have to flatten an image if you use the 'Save to web option' in PS, assuming that's what you're using.
User_Removed 11 694 3 Scotland
13 Mar 2009 9:13PM
I am a tad confused but that happens a lot....

Checked out you pic. Image 3 is the original and image 2 is marked "this is what it is supposed to be like". It would be better to post a version that just shows the result of flattening.
JBA 11 341 1 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2009 9:47AM
It is useful to have a flattened version to add some final sharpening. Especially when you want to reduce the size for the web, when a light sharpening is usually needed after the size change.
I tend to have lots of adjustment layers and sometimes some duplicate layers of the original pic with various effects and layer masks. This means there is no one layer to sharpen, just lots of 'bits'.
What happens if you 'select all', go to 'Copy Merged', make a new document, and paste. . ? Probably the same thing you had but it may be worth a try.
Sometimes merging the layers one at a time can pinpoint what is going wrong.
good luck,
SteveCharles 17 2.3k 18 England
14 Mar 2009 12:26PM

Quote:It is useful to have a flattened version to add some final sharpening.

to create a web or Epz version, I often just duplicate the entire document, flatten, resize & sharpen - then get rid of it. BUT.. another way of doing it on the original document is once ready, hit shift+ctrl+alt+E, which will give you a new layer containing all the adjustments up to that point. Sharpen this layer, using a layer mask if you want to sharpen selectively.
phototwink 14 18 3 Scotland
14 Mar 2009 7:21PM
Thanks for all the tips and suggestions here, guys (and gal).

Pat - I spread mahem and confusion wherever I go - sorry! I had originally uploaded just V1, even though it didn't come out as I'd wanted. After learning from you that I didn't need to flatten in order to upload, I uploaded V2 (and V3 out of interest).

Jonathan - tried your suggestion of Select all/Copy merged; sadly, no improvement, but I hadn't used that before, so it's good to know it's there.

Similarly, Steve, I wasn't aware of that option either, so thanks for that.

Thanks, Katy - have now used that option, so just hope I haven't forgotten by next time I need it...


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