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Composition Aids

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Composition Aid Basics

CameraRC Deluxe has several composition aids that can be  used during Live View Photography to assist in composing images. The composition aids available are Image Masks, Onion Skins, and Grid Lines. You gain access to all of these capabilities on the Overlays and Grid Lines/Golden Spiral tabs of the Live View/Composition Aids panel. Note that the Overlays are only available for the Professional Edition of CameraRC Deluxe.

 

 

Please Note that all composition aids are intended to be used only in full image live view. If the image is zoomed in, then the image mask, onion skin, or gridlines will still be overlayed as if this is a full image and will not appear to be correct.

 

Image Masks

Creating an Image Mask 

Image masks are transparent png files that can be created in Photoshop or equivalent programs and used for framing or otherwise composing an image. A sample of a mask is show at the right, and several sample masks are included with the program in the samples directory for the program.

 

You create your own image mask in Photoshop or equivalent software. The recommended size of the image mask is as follows for different size images:

 

FX or DX : 640 X 424

1.2X : 640 X 424

5:4 : 536 X 424

9:16 (Movie) : 640 X 360

 

It is important to have the image mask be correctly sized - an incorrect mask size can cause the live view display to become unstable. An image mask should be created in landscape mode - for example, the above example mask could be used for composing portraits in an 8 X 10 portrait mode - when the camera is rotated, the image mask will also be rotated.

 

Steps in creating an image mask are as follows:

1.In a tool like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop create a blank transparent image. The size of the image mask is typically 640 X 424 but can be verified by checking the Live View Size*.

2.Draw lines on image as desired for your purpose.

3.Use flood fill in areas if desired.

4.Save the mask as a .png file.

 

* The size of the mask varies depending on the settings of the Live View Selector, Live View Image Size, and Image Area. The size of the mask to use can be determined by starting Live View with these controls set to the desired value and checking the Live View Size on the Live View/Composition Aids Panel.

 

Image Masks are only available on the Professional Edition of CameraRC Deluxe.

 

Using an Image Mask

To use a mask you first select a mask using the Mask File Selector to the right Mask File field; you can also enter the file name directly. Once selected use the Enable Image Mask checkbox to enable/disable the mask. When in live view the image mask will appear over the live view image - You adjust the transparency of the mask using the Mask/Onion Skin Transparency control; the transparency can be varied from fully transparent to fully opaque for the image mask.

 

Onion Skins

Onion Skins are previously captured images that can be overlayed onto the live view display; these are typically used when creating similar images or when creating images to later be combined in Photoshop or other editor. CameraRC uses jpg images for Onion Skins.

 

Any previously captured JPG image can be used as an image mask. You can also create an onion skin directly while in live view by clicking the Capture Onion Skin button; this will automatically capture an image and make it the current Onion Skin File.  

 

To use an Onion Skin you first select a file using the Onion Skin File Selector to the right of the Onion Skin File field; you can also enter the file name directly. Once selected use the Enable Onion Skin checkbox to enable/disable the mask. When in live view the Onion Skin image will appear over the live view image - You adjust the transparency of the Onion Skin using the Mask/Onion Skin Transparency control; the transparency can be varied from fully transparent to fully opaque for the Onion Skin image.

 

Onion Skins are only available on the Professional Edition of CameraRC Deluxe.

 

Gridlines

There are a variety of settings to allow your setting of gridlines on the live view image. Gridlines are turned on by using the Enable Gridlines checkbox. The number of gridlines to be displayed are set by the Horizontal and Vertical gridlines controls. The width of the gridlines is controlled by the Gridline Width, and can be set between 1 and 5 pixels. The color of the Gridlines is controlled by the Gridline Color control - click on the colored patch to bring up a color selection dialog. The transparency of the Gridlines can be separately control from the Gridlines/Golden Spiral Transparency control. Gridlines are position relative to the display and not the image; thus gridlines will remain in the same position on the display as an image is zoomed in live view.

 

Golden Spiral

The Golden Spiral control will draw a golden spiral with the desired orientation on the live view image. The transparency of the Gridlines can be separately control from the Grid Lines/Golden Spiral Transparency control.

 

 

 

Variable Gridlines

The Professional Edition of CameraRC Deluxe provides Variable Gridlines that allow the setting of variable number of Gridlines at any position in the Live View display. Sets of these Variable Gridlines can be created and saved for later use. Variable Gridlines as Standard Gridlines are position relative to the display and not the image; thus gridlines will remain in the same position on the display as an image is zoomed in live view. Shown below is the Live View with Variable Grid Lines Enabled. See more about Variable Gridlines in the Live Viewer Section.

 

Variable Gridlines are only available on the Professional Edition of CameraRC Deluxe.

 

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