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Author Topic: Lightmachine ?  (Read 3851 times)
Box Brownie
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« on: November 11, 2005, 07:13:10 AM »
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Having seen Michael's reference to Photowiz Lightmachine and looking at the examples on the website it looks like a very appealing addition to the PPing armoury.

I have yet to try it but was hoping for some insight & experienced comments from any users here?

TIA
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Box Brownie
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2005, 04:15:59 PM »
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Hi All

Hmmm!!!  77 viewers.  

I have not had the chance/time to try Lightmachine yet.

Has anyone got a bit of feedback?

TIA  
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Gary_Berg
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2005, 07:54:17 PM »
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Quote
I have yet to try it but was hoping for some insight & experienced comments from any users here?
I thought Lightmachine was from The Plugin Site - at least the version I bought was from the makers of FocalBlade. I've not tried the new v1.01 that was just released, but the original version was pretty good, probably at least as good as the shadow/highlights tool in PS Elements 3.0. I'm not sure compared to the S/H tool in CS2, which is more sophisticated. There are certainly a fair number of choices in how to use LM, for sure.
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gmitchel
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2005, 08:47:59 AM »
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It is from The Plugin Site. Harold Heim created it.

I purchased it a couple of days ago. There was a link to the new release on the NAPP site.

Like with Focal Blade, it gives you a lot of control. It is like the Shadows/Highlight command combined with the Lighting Effects filter and the combination fed steroids.

I had an image of the Roman coliseum that was badly damaged from underexposure and sun flare. I have wrestled with salvaging the image for a couple of years. LightMachine did not repair the image perfectly. I still had several steps to fix the image in a way that left me satisfied. But it definitely gave me a better foundation for repairing the image than any tool to date. I was left with a digital negative I could work with and come away with a print that left me pleased. (It is still not perfect, but when you botch a shot, you sometimes have to settle for less than perfect.)

The time I saved on this one image and the result left me feeling LightMachine was worth the price of admission.

My experience with Harold Heim is that he is a genuine pleasure to do business with. He updates his products regularly and when he does, he makes the upgrades freely available. He provides excellent support.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Box Brownie
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2005, 09:43:21 AM »
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Quote
It is from The Plugin Site. Harold Heim created it.

I purchased it a couple of days ago. There was a link to the new release on the NAPP site.

Like with Focal Blade, it gives you a lot of control. It is like the Shadows/Highlight command combined with the Lighting Effects filter and the combination fed steroids.

I had an image of the Roman coliseum that was badly damaged from underexposure and sun flare. I have wrestled with salvaging the image for a couple of years. LightMachine did not repair the image perfectly. I still had several steps to fix the image in a way that left me satisfied. But it definitely gave me a better foundation for repairing the image than any tool to date. I was left with a digital negative I could work with and come away with a print that left me pleased. (It is still not perfect, but when you botch a shot, you sometimes have to settle for less than perfect.)

The time I saved on this one image and the result left me feeling LightMachine was worth the price of admission.

My experience with Harold Heim is that he is a genuine pleasure to do business with. He updates his products regularly and when he does, he makes the upgrades freely available. He provides excellent support.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Hi Mitch

Your positive feedback is very welcome.  I will now have to make the time to 'test drive' on likewise awkward image(s) which have somewhat disappointed me with my (limited) PSCS2 abilities.

If, like you, I find it does a good workmanlike job I will happily buy it.

Thanks again.  
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gmitchel
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2005, 12:11:27 PM »
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Well, here is the result:

 Even this pathetic digital negative (folks, when you take your family along, you sometimes have to hurry and screw up) can be salvaged.

I'll leave the images in my temp folder on my site for a few weeks.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2005, 01:20:07 PM »
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Mitch,

Wow! That is impressive. I don't know if I would have bothered even trying to fix that original. Your after-LightMachine tweaks don't seem that excessive or difficult.
I think I'll look into LightMachine (not that I ever have an image that needs rescuing,        )

Eric
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gmitchel
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2005, 02:34:05 PM »
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Thanks, Eric.

I have kept digital negatives that plague me, figuring I will learn a new technique, figure out a technique, or buy a tool that will help me in the future.

That's why I use so many layers. That way I can step back and rework an image at some point at a later time.

I try to avoid situations like that digital negative. I was rushing and the LCD fooled me.

I like how LightMachine protected the fine branches on the tree at the extreme right of the image and the smaller one near it. Thise fine spidery branches tended to be a casualty when I would work the image in ACR II or apply tone-based maps.

I used the Highlight/Shadows mode in LightMachine and worked at keeping as much contrast for those branches as I could get.

When I brightened the image in LightMachine, it tended to break down. (Admittedly, I am not completely familiar with it yet, so that could be operator error.) But I figured if I got a good foundation, I could build on that.

Nothing was difficult. The brushing was built up over successive strokes. So it was all freehand dabbing and dragging the brush around. I tend to use something like 20-30% opacity and set the flow at 100%. Sometimes 80% for the flow. That way, the strokes easily blend in.

It was all routine retouching stuff. When you're new to PS, those 6 or 7 steps sound like a lot. But anyone with a bit of experience with Photoshop should be able to achieve a similar result in 20-30 minutes.

You can see an earlier result wthout LightMachine in my tutorial here on tone-based masks:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/masking.shtml

It's surprising how we can take a dreadful image and craft something worthwhile from it sometimes, eh?

Cheers,

Mitch
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2005, 09:13:20 PM »
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Mitch, I liked Figure 2 in your L-L article much better than the result you posted above from Lightmachine. I think Fig 2 in L-L is a much more natural-looking result. I have tried Lightmachine on photographs with very deep shadow areas and find it does nothing that other tools and techniques in Photoshop CS2 could do at least as well. So far, I'm not very impressed with it, but admit I have not plumbed to the depths of it during the short trial period made available.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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