Workflow

 

When correcting photos it is often important in which order you preform certain correction steps. Applying the same correction steps in a differen order may produce a less good final result.

 

ColorWasher, LightMachine and FocalBlade

Although our ColorWasher and LightMachine plugins can both adjust color and brightness in images, they do so in a very different way and produce very different results. Both tools achieve great results in their own respect. The plugins were created for quite different image processing tasks and complement one another nicely. For some images you will only need ColorWasher, for some you will only need LightMachine and for others you will need both. FocalBlade provides the final essential correction tool as it enables you to enhance the clarity of detail, or sharpness, of your photos.

You should use ColorWasher for correcting photos which are completely under or overexposed, as well as those with overall color cast problems. It lets you correct such images automatically and very quickly. LightMachine, on the other hand, is needed to make refined adjustments to the specific problem areas in partially under or overexposed photos, and/or to make sophisticated brightness and contrast corrections.


If you need to use both plug-ins to work on different aspects of the same photo, you should use ColorWasher before you run LightMachine, otherwise you may worsen or emphasize the color cast when using LightMachine. In such a case please try to avoid using the Exposure and Highlights/Shadow features in ColorWasher. Manipulating the brightness in ColorWasher may prevent LightMachine from producing the best results in certain image areas, but first using Auto Contrast in ColorWasher may help LightMachine achieve a better result. A color shift can become visible after lifting shadows using LightMachine, but this problem can be dealt with using its features for correcting specific image areas.

While ColorWasher should be used before LightMachine, FocalBlade should ideally be applied only after your color corrections have been completed. If you use FocalBlade before ColorWasher and LightMachine, it is possible that the sharpness effect might be increased or decreased, which can result in artefacts.

 

LightMachine and Other Tools

Correcting the brightness or contrast of a photo with any other tool before using LightMachine is not recommended as this might detrimentally affect the quality of Light Machine's results.

If preferred, you can also use LightMachine only as a masking tool and do your corrections with other tools. To do this you can render the mask to the image by activating the N or P button and pressing OK. The resulting B/W mask can then be used as a layer mask. Alternatively you can run LightMachine on a layer, activate the S or H button and press OK. The mask will make certain areas of the layer transparent.