© Jan Esmann and Power Retouch. All rights reserved.
Photoshop plug-ins for retouching

Retouch levels

Retouch levels is common to many Power Retouch plug-ins. The three sliders lets you control the percentage of effect in lights, mid tones and darks. If you check White Alert, areas in the preview that are 0.3% pure white, will

Quick introduction

This Power Retouch Photoshop plugin lets you edit brightness without loosing color. It also lets you edit brightness independently in highlights, lights, mid tones, darks and blacks as well as apply a graduated effect. This is the Brightness plugin’s control panel. Click on the image for a larger view. It works with the following image modes: 8 & 16 bit/channel: RGB, CMYK, Grayscale, Duotone, Lab.


The Brightness slider ranges from -100 to 100 and changes the image from virtually black at 0 to white at 100.

Offset & Preserve Color

Offset adds or subtracts a given value from every pixel in the image, thus moving the entire image up or down in brightness. The Preserve Color slider ranges from 0 to 200%. Set to 0 will produce an almost grayscale image and set to 200 will produce an image of more or less double color intensity. Don't misunderstand this slider to be a plain saturation tool. I is tightly linked with the brightness slider and will behave differently depending on the setting of the brightness slider. If you set it to 100% it will ensure the overall aesthetic color impression is unchanged no matter what changes are made to the brightness.
be masked. Likewise Black Alert masks 0.3% pure blacks. You can change the color of the masks by clicking in the colored rectangles.
Lights, midtones and darks deepened 100%

Color range

This is also common for several of the Power Retouches. Color range will restrict filtering to colors in the range from the right side of the "From" slider to the left side of the "Up to" slider. This also if the "From" slider is to the right of the "Up to" slider. If you only selected what was in between, you would not be able to select everything except red (for example). Mask unchanged will apply a mask over areas outside the range. The Invert button will make the sliders swap place. For example you might set the slider to include only reds. If you press Inv. the sliders swap place and select everything but reds.
This is useful, for example, if you first want to edit selected foreground colors, then rerun the plug-in to edit all other colors. The plug-in remembers your settings between invocations, so on the second run just hit Inverse. The two small colored windows show the selected color. If you apply a target range the color in these two windows will become lighter or darker according to the selected gray-range. This Softness slider determines if the changes should be applied evenly to the entire color range or if (and how much) it should fade out towards the extremes.

Graduated Effect

These controls are common for most of the Power Retouch plug-ins. Using graduated effect will cause the filter to apply it's filtering at full strength in one side of the image and then fade the effect out towards the other side. You can change direction by right clicking the preview. Midpoint will shift the balance between how large an area will be filtered at full strength and how much will have a faded out effect. Contrast will change the acceleration and spread of the fade-out.
In this example we applied a graduated effect towards the bottom, lowering the brightness of the foreground, setting midpoint to the edge of the green foreground. This slight retouch gives a greater sense of depth in the image. In this case we used Photographic Mode, which is a very important feature when retouching because it gives retouches a far more natural look.
Foreground deepened

Color channels

You can edit the brightness of any of the seven basic colors.