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New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

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  #11  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:48 PM
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

In choosing a new imaging app you have to know ahead of time whether you just want to add surface effects or if you need to do layer-type effects. Lightroom doesn't support layers, so it's not a good choice for that. Elements is probably a good option: inexpensive yet powerful. If you want to use plug-ins, make sure the host supports them.

Maybe try the free GIMP which supports PS layers, etc. etc., or the inexpensive Pixelmator (if you're on a Mac).
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2011, 03:39 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

OnOne just released Perfect Layers which allows Lightroom to support layers to some degree. It won't do everything Photoshop layers do, but it's most likely simpler to use. Free 30-day trial, too....
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2011, 03:57 AM
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

Lightroom still doesn't actually do layers; Perfect Layers is an external editor that handles that functionality and prepares and outputs a layered PSD file as described on onOne's website: "Whether you use Perfect Layers from within Lightroom or Aperture, or as a standalone application, Perfect Layers files are saved in the PSD file format allowing you to take a saved file and open it in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements later if necessary".

There was quite a bit of controversy when Perfect Layers was released because it was being promoted by Scott Kelby as "layers in Lightroom", which wasn't technically correct and he got called out on it. It also became obvious that anyone who already owned PS did not need Perfect Layers.

Last edited by plugsnpixels; 08-28-2011 at 04:13 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:18 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

Yes, that's why I specified supports layers "to some degree".

I'm keenly aware of that controversy. But the explanation from Matt Kloskowsky is simple, clear and makes a lot of sense. Namely, Perfect Layers is not intended for people who own Photoshop, it's intended for people who don't.

The stand-alone program aspect shouldn't bother anyone. That's the way Lightroom operates. I own Viveza, Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro and Photomatix plug-ins for Lightroom. All of them do call-outs to separate programs, save the files in some format (usually TIF) and then allow Lightroom to work on them further. It's no big deal.

As a practical matter Perfect Layers does provide some reasonable layer support for Lightroom. Maybe not using "the perfect mechanism" for some people but at the end of the day the best principle to follow is simple -- if they don't need it, don't buy it if you like it and it's useful and works for you, buy it

Last edited by RobertAsh; 08-28-2011 at 11:33 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:35 PM
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

No problem, I knew what you meant ;-).

We're still not sure whether Tim even needs layers or not for the type of work he's doing. I say better to have them than not, whatever the process one uses!
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  #16  
Old 08-29-2011, 01:52 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

Oh, absolutely! Especially when there's a 30-day free trial And Topaz products tend to be very reasonably priced, which is always good.
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2011, 02:32 AM
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

You'll notice other major players in the plug-in field are permanently dropping their prices. I am guessing that's because Topaz has set the new standard of wide selection+high quality+low price, and/or very low priced iApps are beginning to take their toll (a bit less likely but this is another topic worth watching and discussing).
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2011, 05:40 AM
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

I am just getting interested in converting some of my images to photoart. At this point I don't really know what I need which is why I am looking for advice and suggestions from others who are doing similar projects. For the moment I have downloaded Gimp2 and I have PSP X2 as potential editors. For the art conversion I have Painter X as well as Painter Essentials 4 and am also looking at other programs that feature autopaint.
To give you some idea of what I have done by way of photography, you can see a few examples on my website at www.theportraitsofnature.net . I want to lean a little more to the color side of photography to give me images I feel would make good conversions to photoart. Sometimes I think I am a frustrated painter at heart, the only thing stopping me from being a good artist is talent...lol. Thank you for your ideas and suggestions, it all helps in my decision process.






Quote:
Originally Posted by plugsnpixels View Post
No problem, I knew what you meant ;-).

We're still not sure whether Tim even needs layers or not for the type of work he's doing. I say better to have them than not, whatever the process one uses!
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2011, 09:46 AM
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertAsh View Post
But the explanation from Matt Kloskowsky is simple, clear and makes a lot of sense. Namely, Perfect Layers is not intended for people who own Photoshop, it's intended for people who don't.
And presumably for those that want to spend more, and get less than just buying Elements. IOW, I find it a nonsensical POV.

The controversy was well deserved after the uber-hype Matt and Scott barfed up (on top of having banner ads for the product on their blogs). A far better approach for those that want something like layers in Photoshop, something that was built over night but a very smart fellow and at this point, for free is here:http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/layers

In terms of the Matt/Scott nonsense, a good read: http://regex.info/blog/2011-04-23/1753
These guys are the PT Barnum of the Photoshop world (too bad, at one time, they actually did care more about education than filling their pockets with $$).

Quote:
All of them do call-outs to separate programs, save the files in some format (usually TIF) and then allow Lightroom to work on them further.
You realize that’s not a good idea once you render the data, which is what ALL these plug-in’s do. Yes, I know Matt recommends this.

Getting back OT, as far as B&W conversions, where and why, one of the best video’s on the subject and free to boot can be found here:
http://mulita.com/blog/?p=1244

Its a must see. Keep in mind that doing such work in Lightroom, unlike the plug-in’s discussed is totally non destructive, very flexible using Virtual Copies and keeps everything in the Adobe raw pipeline.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:51 AM
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Re: New Topaz plug-in coming: B&W Effects

I always enjoy Andrew's frank observations! :-)

Tim, here's something perfect for what you're doing:

http://www.plugsandpixels.com/postworkshop.html

It's a standalone app or plug-in, so you're good either way.

See also under the "Natural media/paint" category here:

http://www.plugsandpixels.com/imageeffects.html

I too love making photo art but I can't be bothered to learn proper painting techniques, which is why I never launch Painter, though it's a wonderful app!
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