Run your image processing application of choice, e.g. Photoshop, and open an image file. To launch ContrastMaster please open the menu that leads to the plugin filters (e.g. the Filter menu in Photoshop and Elements, the Image > Plug-ins menu in Paint Shop Pro or the Effects menu in Photo-Paint) and choose "ContrastMaster" from the "The Plugin Site" sub menu.
If ContrastMaster appears grayed out on the menu, then the mode of the opened image is not supported by it. That is the case if your image has e.g. only 256 colors, 32-bit per channel or is a CMYK image. Before you can use ContrastMaster with the image, you have to change its color mode to RGB and 8-bit/16-bit per channel. In Photoshop that is done using the Image > Image Mode menu. Other applications have similar options.
To run the standalone of ContrastMaster, double click the ContrastMaster icon on the desktop or choose it from the Start > All Programs > The Plugin Site > ContrastMaster Standalone menu. After ContrastMaster shows up click the Open button in the bottom right corner to open one or more image files. You can also click arrow-down button in the top left corner to display a menu with file options.
To run ContrastMaster in Lightroom, select one or more images and choose the ContrastMaster menu item on the Photo > Edit In menu. Alternatively right click on an image and choose Edit In > ContrastMaster from the context menu. The following dialog will appear:
If you selected RAW files, you will only be able to select the option "Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments". If you edit a JPEG or TIFF file, you will also see the other two radio buttons. We recommend that you use the first or second option in this case. Never use "Edit Original" unless you have a backup copy of the file(s).
We suggest that you keep the Copy File Options settings as they are to avoid reduced image quality or a slower startup of ContrastMaster. By using "ProPhoto RGB" for the Color Space option you preserve as many image colors as possible. If you use other external editors in Lightroom that do not support color management, changing the option to "sRGB" may be a viable compromise. If you do not use the "16 bits/component" setting, you may get reduced image quality. If you do not use the "None" compression settings, ContrastMaster will need longer to start up. On the other hand the "Stack with original" keeps the original and ContrastMaster-processed copy of the image side by side in Lightroom, so it is rather a question of your workflow if you want that or not.
Finally press the Edit button to run ContrastMaster. If you selected one or more RAW image files, Lightroom now creates TIFF copies of them, which may take some time. For JPEG and TIFF files ContrastMaster appears much faster.
To run ContrastMaster in ACDSee switch to Manage or View mode, select the image you want to edit and choose Tools > External Editors > ContrastMaster from the menu.
To run ContrastMaster in AfterShot Pro, right click on one of the thumbnails in the thumnbail panels and choose the Edit with > ContrastMaster from the context menu. Alternatively you can use the Edit > Edit with > ContrastMaster menu item from the top.
To run ContrastMaster in CaptureOne, select an image from the browser, choose File > Edit with… from the main menu (or right click from the browser and select Edit With…). Select TIFF or PSD as the image format from the appearing dialog, choose 16-bit as the bit depth and no compression. Choose Other from the Open With…drop down menu and navigate to the ContrastMaster installation folder. Finally click on the Edit button to run ContrastMaster. Alternatively the File > Open with… menu item lets you edit the original image file, which is usually not recommended.
To run ContrastMaster in DxO Optics, open an image and go to "File > Export to application" from the main menu or right click on a thumbnail and select "Export to application". In the appearing dialog click the Browse button, choose the ContrastMaster installation folder from the file dialog, e.g. at C:\Program Files\The Plugin Site\, and double click on the ContrastMasterLR.exe file. From the Action combo box select the item "Process as TIFF and export" and under Quality choose "16-bit". Finally click the Export button. Click OK on the ContrastMaster dialog when you are finished and back in DxO Optics click on the newly created thumbnail to see the result. The next time that you go to File > Export to application you can choose ContrastMaster from the Export to combo box and do not need to locate it first.
To run ContrastMaster in Exposure X2 or higher, select an images at the bottom, right click on the thumbnails or the displayed image and choose the Edit Copy In > ContrastMaster from the context menu. Please note if you use the Edit In > ContrastMaster menu item, the original file will be overwritten when clicking OK in ContrastMaster.
To run ContrastMaster in ON1 Photo Raw, open an images file and choose File > Send to Other Application... from the menu. Now choose the ContrastMaster installation folder from the appearing file dialog, e.g. at C:\Program Files\The Plugin Site\, and double click on the ContrastMasterLR.exe file. On the appearing Edit In dialog choose "Edit a Copy ...", from the File Format combo box select "Photoshop" and from the Bit Depth combo box select "16-bit". Choose a color space as you see fit. Finally click the Edit button. ON1 Photo Raw now creates a new image and runs ContrastMaster. In ContrastMaster click OK to save the effect.
The next time you do not need to use the File > Send to Other Application menu item, because there will be a dedicated File > Send to ContrastMaster menu item available, which you can use.
At first you have to enter the path of ContrastMaster under Preferences > General > External Editor > Other command line. The path should usually be e.g. "C:\Program Files\The Plugin Site\ContrastMaster\ContrastMasterLR.exe" or "C:\Program Files\The Plugin Site\PhotoWiz\ContrastMasterLR.exe", but please check yourself in Explorer to be sure.
To run ContrastMaster in Raw Therapee click the "Edit Current Image in External Editor" button on the Editor tab or at the bottom-left of the Preview panel.