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70% of photograph's post-processing success are luminosity masks.
It is a completely other level of working with deep shadows, blending and details.
We know that camera doesn't communicate beauty of nature 100%, post-processing is absolutely necessary.
Be it a light touch to ensure image matches reality or heavy artistic post-processing, we end up spending a lot of time on routine operations and manual adjustments of masks.
Time, that we could spend creating new images.
It took me a few years to really understand how to build high quality luminosity masks and how to ensure they are comfortable to use daily.
That is how ARCPanel – the fastest luminosity masking panel on the market – was built.
Panel consists of 2 tabs – Mask and Enhance.
Mask tab allows you to preview, generate, refine and apply many kinds of luminosity and saturation masks.
Another big feature – freeform color selection.
Built-in in Photoshop Color Range tool is limited, it lets you pick only one color.
New Color Slider allows to select color ranges and selection updates on the screen instantly as you drag selection handles.
You can preview any mask by hovering over buttons.
Start by picking a source for future mask by selecting between Luminosity, Red, Green and Blue channels, or Saturation. For example, selecting Saturation as a source and clicking on Lights-2 will build mask for light saturated colors. If no source is selected Luminosity is used by default.
5 Dark, 5 Middle range and 5 Light luminosity masks are available.
11 Zones correspond to Ansel Adams zones.
Gradient provides you a hint on which part of the luminosity range will be selected.
Example workflow for Mask tab is:
- Select a source you would like to use
- Hover over masks or zones until you like the preview
- Click on the button to generate a mask
- Hover to compare until you are satisfied
- In the Refine section, use Levels, Curves or Inversion to refine the mask, if necessary
- Apply generated mask to a new Level or Curve adjustment layer, show mask as a selection, replace existing layer mask or create any other adjustment layer
Enhance tab provides a set of widely used refinement tools
- Solar Curve – a special curve that makes it much easier to spot dust, scratches or issues with clone stamp on the image.
- Frequency Separation is a technique mostly used in portraits post-processing. It's main idea is to separate texture from color. You can apply Frequency Separation to smoothen human skin in portraits or fix lens flares in landscapes
- Orton Effect is a nice technique coming to photography from the filmmaking. It adds a nice soft glow to the image, resulting in a light surreal effect. Panel provides 2 ways to generate Orton Effect, with additional option to preserve darks.
- Dodging and Burning is a main way to post-process images. This technique comes from film days and dark room and is about darkening and brightening image parts. Panel provides 5 ways to Dodge and Burn:
- 50% grey layers
- Bright and dark curves
- With Frequency Separation to preserve details
- Automated, via Blend-If
- Rasterized version of automated version for extra effects
Find more details and example videos on panel website: https://arcpanel.averin.photo
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Window => Extensions => ARCMask and Window => Extensions => ARCEnhance