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Doug Nelson 11-26-2015 08:36 AM

RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
Guest Artist - Scott Valentine

This Saturday our favorite mad scientist returns to RetouchPRO LIVE.

Scott Valentine claims he has developed a black and white conversion workflow that allows near infinite tonal control. I'll admit to some skepticism, but he sent me some examples where he had teased out tonal differences for a b/w version where I honestly couldn't see any in the color original.

This isn't an action or a plugin. It uses basic Photoshop adjustment layers, selections, and blend modes. But if you have any experience with Scott's previous shows you'll know that a simple premise con quickly lead to smoke coming out of your ears.

You'll want to ask plenty of questions and probably watch again on Youtube. This could be just another fun RetouchPRO LIVE show, or it could completely change the way you look at black and white. We'll both have to watch and see.

Saturday Nov. 28, 2015 3pm Central US time
(there's a timezone converter on the registration page)
Click here to register

kerryafb 11-28-2015 04:58 PM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
Hi Doug, enjoyed the show, but found it quite advanced. I could follow it, although I had trouble reading what was going on, on the screen. I would like to try it out, but need the presets for the gradient maps for B&W, which have not come through yet. Will they come through by email, or do I have to access them on your site? Kind regards, Kerry Australia.

Click 11-28-2015 05:22 PM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
Excellent show Doug and Scott.

Look forward to the files and the details for setting up the ZS gradient.


Doug Nelson 11-29-2015 12:48 AM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
Here are the promised files from the show.

From Scott:

Here is the link to Retouching Toolkit extension:

The RGB triangle is created by starting with a Shape layer. Choose the Equilateral triangle (same length on all sides) with a white fill, and make the bottom horizontal. Size it to taste, then rasterize it.

There should be nothing else on the layer except the shape - everything else should be transparent (turn off any background layer, too).

Open the Channels panel and start with the Red channel - choose a White to Black gradient and drag from the lower left corner to the middle of the opposite leg. This can take a few tries, or you can get creative with guides to help snap to the correct points.

Repeat the gradient for each of the other two channels, moving to a new corner each time; the corner should be white, the opposite leg should be black.

If you've done it perfectly evenly, you'll get the RGB spectrum triangle that behaves as it does in the sample file.

The RGB Gradient is a little easier to build correctly, but has more steps. In a nutshell, use the Marquee tool to drag out a rectangle that is 1/6 the height of your canvas (choose a canvas size that makes this a simple calculation).

Fill the selection with a Black to White linear gradient, making certain it is centered and aligned to the top edge.

Skip a space vertically and drag out the same size marquee, again filling with B-W linear gradient. With the selection still active, choose Image > Adjustments > Posterize and select 8-24 steps as you like. I usually demonstrate 16. This creates the steps.

The final gradient also moves down so there is a space between it and the bottom. This one can be made with a gradient that ships with Photoshop called Spectrum. Otherwise, the clever among us can build a custom gradient that includes:
Cyan, Blue, Magenta, Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan.

Once the horizontal bands are done, duplicate them and position them in between the others. I generally use the one aligned to the top as the variable, and the one aligned to the bottom as the control.

When adding adjustment layers, be sure to clip them to the variable layer so they don't affect the control. For blending mode experiments, duplicate the variable layer and name one Base, the other Blend.

Doug Nelson 11-29-2015 06:04 AM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
This show recording is now viewable on Youtube

lokki 11-29-2015 12:01 PM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
I am waiting on permission before I share the Zone System gradient map that Rocky built (along with a few others he built). If I don't hear back by the end of the day, I'll build a collection to share. They're simple enough to make, it just takes some patience ;)


Click 12-18-2015 01:21 PM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
Scott... I wonder how this is going. Seems simple enough.

Using the gradiant editor assign specific values along the map. Key is what are those value.

Thanks in advance.


lokki 12-18-2015 03:05 PM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
Thanks for the reminder!

I have the gradient presets, but there are a few hundred in the file. I'll cull out the ones relevant to the presentation and post this evening. I'm sorry for the delay.


lokki 12-21-2015 05:25 PM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
1 Attachment(s)
Very, very late! This has just two simple gradients - a luminosity ramp and the zone separations. There shouldn't be any surprises here, so just use the Load option when adding them to your current gradients list.

Click 12-22-2015 07:03 PM

Re: RetouchPRO LIVE - Control Freak Black & White
Many thanks Scott.

Will give it a whirl.

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