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Software Photoshop, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, Painter, etc., and all their various plugins. Of course, you can also discuss all other programs, as well.

10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

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  #11  
Old 12-01-2009, 10:26 PM
secretagents secretagents is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

A very nice and useful plugin if you ask me. You can certainly do what it does with curves but at the expense of very frustrating fiddling with the curve tool IMO. Thanks for sharing. Definitively a keeper here. Cheers
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  #12  
Old 12-01-2009, 10:44 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

Hey Manta1900...

My interest is piqued. So I downloaded your ZIP file, but it expands to an odd format that can't be opened moved. I'm looking at it and figuring that perhaps it's not Mac compatible? Probably should have guessed that with the c:\... location for placing the plugin in your first post.

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2009, 04:39 AM
manta1900 manta1900 is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

Quote:
Originally Posted by seattle-light View Post
Hey Manta1900...

My interest is piqued. So I downloaded your ZIP file, but it expands to an odd format that can't be opened moved. I'm looking at it and figuring that perhaps it's not Mac compatible? Probably should have guessed that with the c:\... location for placing the plugin in your first post.

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.
OOPS.... it's Windows only!
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2009, 04:58 AM
manta1900 manta1900 is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

Have anyone compared the results from curves and this? Please post your results if you did.
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:58 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

Thanks for the links. Will check out later. Shamely, couldn't check your filter, I'm on mac.
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  #16  
Old 12-04-2009, 08:12 PM
Mihai Mihai is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

Hey John,

I’ve downloaded and tried your plugin and while I’m glad to see your interest in the zone system, I’d like to share my humble opinion as a junior member, which I hope that you’d take only as a constructive critique.

First, the UI and the degree of control it has seem pretty primitive to me. The preview window is way too small for me to see accurately what I’m doing, and altough the filter window seems resizable, the content doesn’t really resize, only the empty space around the controls expands.

Second, the 10 zones have a fixed range. I suggest taking a look at the zone system built into the stand-alone app called Lightzone which I think it’s working pretty well even though I use Lightroom for Raw conversion and parametric editing. In Lightzone you can “define” how much each of the zones spreads across the luminance scale.
There is also another Photoshop plugin called Ozone from DFT (included in Tiffen Dfx now) which follows kind of the same principle, with control over the depth of every zone, control over the channel from which luminance is extracted, and also multiple options like saturation, hue, brightness, contrast, gamma for each zone… Ozone also has a pretty neat way of displaying the selection range for every zone.

I pointed this two other apps just to show you that there is a greater degree of control that a plugin must offer in my opinion. Neither Lightzone nor Ozone are part of my workflow as I always have faster and better results with built-in Photoshop functionality. And I would never trade curves, selective colors and channels calculations used as luminance maps for just 10 sliders.

What I think a PS plugin should offer is a greater degree of control over a specific subject/zone/color/texture than the one easily available in Photoshop. What I think separates the best plugins from the ok ones is the ability to export the results on a new layer, 16 bit mode compatibility, CMYK compatibility and yes, even cross platform functionality… apart from a great result unatainable with just a few clicks in Photoshop.

I hope I’ve given you a few insights about what a 8 hour a day Photoshop user may expect from a plugin. Please check the trials of the above competitors. I realize that this may still be an early version and I’ll wait to see what will become of it. Make something really great of it and I will not even check Viveza 2’s trial. Well… I’ve got to check it out, hope you realize that

Thanks for sharing and keep it up!
Mihai

Last edited by Mihai; 12-05-2009 at 03:12 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2009, 11:20 AM
manta1900 manta1900 is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

Mihai,

Thank you very much for your time and critique that will really help me improve the filter. If you like to try new plug-ins I would like to hear your critique also for the "Auto White Balance" filter you will find in my site:

http://aphtophoto.50webs.com


I like to hear good words but I like more hearing critique. It helps me make things better.

John
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:30 PM
Mihai Mihai is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

John, I'm glad to see you took that just as constructive as it was intended

Sure, I’ve got the other plugins and took them for a spin.

Regarding Auto White Balance… I’m not the biggest fan of any “auto” thing and this is no exception. You literally have no controls in the UI, except the “sunlight” checkbox which I find to function a bit odd (there’s a huge lag, about a second if not more, from the moment you click on it to the moment it’s state updates visually). With such little or NO control, you really don’t need a UI, it could just as well be an action, just a keystroke really, and the software will do it’s thing while the user prays for the best.

I’ve tried quite a few plugins, some of them adressing the white balance, and I’ve found none to work that great to be integrated in my everyday workflow.

Apart from that, I think that there are two ways of looking at this. There is a clinical (ie. technically accurate) approach to WB, something similar to the way “snap neutral midtones” in levels auto options works. However, most of the time you want for instance a warmer light to brighten up a portrait (this is where the technically accurate approach may give you a very cool looking skintone with a lot of cyan into red and yellow), or you just want a decent looking skintone into a mixed-light ambient environment. This is more of a creative approach, or a subject oriented one if you’d like.
Most auto WB and auto color plugins or settings don’t do a good job because they don’t know what the subject is in the picture that’s being processed.

I find I can easily get the overall colors in my image looking just the way I want them to by using the curves dialogue because of the increased level of control it has over color balance.
I look for white (but not blown out) and grey areas and try to neutralize them by working on each channel’s curve (this should give me those technically accurate results, with a grey wall being displayed as grey), but if I work on pictures with people in them, I concetrate first on getting a decent skin tone, even though this may give me the above grey wall as looking a little coloured. It’s coloured because of the light falling on it and after I have the skin tone the way I like it I may adress this color selectively and neutralize it, but most of the times I find it part of the whole ambiance in the picture and I will leave it more or less as it is.

So you see that I can’t give away this kind of control to something that’s fully automated and may still require me to use other color manipulating techniques after using it. There really is no escape to mastering true photoshop techniques if you’re demanding the best from your images. This could be done just as well with curves, color balance, levels, selective colors, though ideally one should be familiar with all of them and know in every situation wich one they want to use. Or, someone can focus mostly on shooting and leave all those sliders, curves, color values, blending modes mambo-jumbo to somebody that can embrace their vision while leaving them more time to take pictures.

I haven’t really found a use for exposure-contrast and literally saw no difference when using fix focus on some wide-open shot pictures. As this is an optical issue I really haven’t expected any great results.

But don’t leave that to bring you down. The biggest discovery might be just around the corner. You have to be aware though that there are some pretty good plugin developers out there and maybe their success comes from focusing on something a little different than what is readily available in photoshop and delivering a great product to adress that issue.

Keep in touch if you think I might have anything to bring to your future projects.
Take care,
Mihai
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2009, 02:55 PM
manta1900 manta1900 is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

Mihai,

I can't thank you enough that you spended your time to try my filters and give me your true opinion. If you have any ideas (or needs) for filters I will be more than happy to make them reality for you (and the rest) for free. I am a person that I like to give back 100 times whatever good anyone gives me (and your time helped me a lot).


John
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2010, 01:01 AM
tomylee1 tomylee1 is offline
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Re: 10 band Light Equalizer for PhotoShop

very interesting and nice work.
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