Contrast Effects Actions
User Guide
This new set of actions contains tools for manipulating the local contrast and tonal range of images. Some of
the actions simple apply Contrast Masks to bring contrast levels into an acceptable range for further post processing. The other actions take the processing much further by applying Local Contrast boost as well as the contrast masks that can take the image into special effect territory with a look resembling LucisArt/HDR/ToneMapping processing.
As with all extensive manipulation artefacts may be introduced and it is advisable in some cases to run a 3rd
party noise reduction program to bring the noise or grain to an acceptable level. Of course you may decide that
the grain adds to the appeal of the image.
The ContrastEffect actions are definitely not suitable for all images and a degree of experimentation is necessary to produce acceptable results.
The actions in this set apply contrast masks of
varying degrees. The lower values will produce a
flat looking image that may require further processing. In some cases it is useful to apply a low
value ContrastMask to portraits before carrying
out further processing.
The higher value can be used to bring out detail
in landscape images such as making clouds on an
over-cast day more clearly defined.
The actions in this group apply a significant
amount of sharpening to increase local contrast
and can create images similar to the LucisArt
Exposure filter.
There may be an increased level of grain in the
image and some artefacts. Some images may take
on an illustrated appearance.
If possible it is advisable to start out with a 16-bit
image as they will stand up to the processing
rather better than 8-bit jpgs.
All the actions work with a single image—they
do not undertake true HDR tone-mapping.
The ColorMod action can be run after the other
actions and will attempt to reduce any color
changes that occur as part of the processing with
the other actions.
Original image—8-bit jpg from a point and
shoot digital compact.
Image after the Contrast Effect III action
The Layer Palette after the ContrastEffect
actions and the ColorMod action.
Turned off by default. Click the “eyeball” icon
box and set the opacity to suit. The colors will
become more muted but more true to life.
Controls the ContrastMask—changing the
opacity varies the amount of shadow and highlight detail revealed.
Controls the level of HighLight control—
reducing the opacity of this level will have a
dramatic effect of the results. Tuning the layer
off will increase the “Lucis” look.
Controls the amount the image is “processed”
- the higher the opacity the greater the
strength of the effect. Turning this layer off
will leave the image with just the contrast
mask applied.
Please note that the layers may be in a different order with some of the actions.
If you are really keen on the Lucis Art effect then the best way is undoubtedly to purchase LucisArt. Likewise
for true HDR then multiple exposures together with tonemapping software such as Photomatix is the way to go.
These actions are not intended to replace any of these programs but merely an inexpensive way to achieve certain special effects.
Copyright 1clickactions/Mount Photography 2008

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