Imagine you have just taken your masterpiece
photo, processed it for hours with Photoshop and afterwards you
show it to a normal person without special knowledge. Feedback:
The spectator says a moderate "nice" or "fine",
you can hardly expect more.
If you would like to hear a "this looks
really fantastic", then show a photo with well visible beams
of light to people. This does always work, that is why I was looking
for a suitable plugin, which is able to produce such effects.
DFT Rays v 1.0
I was able to find such a plugin with Digital
Film Tools, who offer a corresponding plugin called Rays. That is
why I take the time and let you take part in my "first steps"
Installation under Windows 8 works without any
problems, afterwards the plugin is displayed in Photoshop`s Filter
Whoever is not too keen on reading instructions,
takes the risk of using an unsuitable sample image at the first
launch of the plugin. This results only in frustration and a missing
Thus it is recommendable to deal somewhat with
the theory first and only start hereafter. Rays creates a new light
source, the existing image details are regarded when rendering.
That is why a fully highlighted portrait photo is rather not suitable,
better use photos on which the light source is interrupted by divided
windows or trees in the forest etc. Only this way the fascinating
distributed beams of light are possible.
The program surface
Rays presents itself after restoring the last
assigned setting. This may distract a bit in the first moment, but
due to a reset button you will quickly get used to it.
All controls are properly
The sliders for different settings
are divided into four groups. You will find them on the right hand
side of the program surface. In the canter of the photos you can
see a white dot, for which I will give you more information shortly
- furthermore with this plugin the buttons for Zoom out and Zoom
in are of special meaning, which you will also see now.
Should you prefer an overview
of the original and effect-rendered image, it is feasible.
Let it shine
Now we can tackle a practical exercise. Before
I will give you a hint with regard to the sample photo. Here the
incidence of light and the shadows through the windows are already
The expert, or better to say photo enthusiast,
would consider the new beams of light and choose an identical perspective.
But it also works differently.
in Caesar´s Palace, Las Vegas - photographer: Silvia Kuhnlein
When working with a plugin, I would - apart from rare exceptions
- make a copy of the background layer in order to keep the original,
but also to add the effects of other plugins.
In the first screenshot you can
see a white circle in the middle of the image for determining the
beam center - in most cases it is located outside the image. Now
you also know why the Zoom out button is so very important. Alternatively
you can use the mouse wheel or the O key for Zoom out and the I
key for Zoom in.
Setting the beam center with the small
After sufficiently reducing the view, I ignored the already existing
incidence of light in the original image. Moreover, while keeping
pressed down the mouse button I moved the white circle for the beam
center upwards. This function lets you act completely free - the
dot and thus the beam perspective can be moved optionally.
Afterwards the parameters were changed until
the result corresponded to my ideas. An exact listing of the single
settings would make little sense, because your own photo certainly
requires different values.
One possible result with DFT Rays
Because I do like experimenting with plugins, I worked on a new
layer and achieved the final result with PhotoWiz ContrastMaster.
DFT Rays & PhotoWiz ContrastMaster
Beams of light with DFT Rays
A popular and suitable theme is a forest scenery,
where you let the "new light" shine through the trunks
and branches, I assure you that DFT Rays will help you with that.
I could show you an array of further examples where the plugin makes
your work considerably easier and leads to convincing results. But
I hope you understand that this is a review and no comprehensive
For more information, please go to www.digitalfilmtools.com
I was not able to detect any negative side-effects
when working with DFT Rays, on the contrary I always reached the
target by intuitive controlling and some "playing" with
Kay Michael Kuhnlein