Local Adjustments are a means for the photographer to enrich his-her images and improve their readability.
Local Adjustments are the cornerstone of some development software (e.g. Capture NX2) and, in fact, appear fundamental for some users.
PhotoLab did without it for a long time (DxO Optic pro, its precursor, did not have it). If you look closely, the algorithms used for the different global corrections apply their effects locally.
The development of photos with PhotoLab is based on the Global processing of the image. It is when this correction mode has been carried further, using the most powerful tools, that Local Adjustments are implemented to allow the photographer to add the creativity, or the best readability, that he wants to bring to the image.
This practice can be confusing for the user coming from other software. However, it is logical and relevant.
In the tutorial dedicated to beginners in digital image development, we have seen:
The user spontaneously has in mind to reinforce the presence of the subject while it is often appropriate to decrease the importance of secondary elements.
It is therefore more qualitative to optimize the image to highlight the subject before using the Local Adjustments.
A Local Adjustment is performed in three steps.
1- Choose the appropriate Local Adjustment type
2- Define (or draw) the mask; the area to correct
3- Correct the local area (the masked area)
There are several modern approaches to making Local Adjustment masks. Some software editors have worked on pattern recognition, DxO has chosen the path of selection by content; by density (brightness, contrast) and color.
What type of local adjustment should I use ?
DxO offers five types of Local Adjustment, each with its own field of application.
* The Control Line is a graduated filter applied to pixels similar to the collected area.
This is the preferred all-purpose Local Adjustment. It makes a very discriminating selection according to the structure of the desired area.It is unparalleled in its ability to change the density of an area, distinguish between two close color tones, cancel out a color cast or establish the color balance of two light sources.
* The Control Point performs retouching on pixels similar to the collected area. Inherited from Nik Collection, it has contributed to the success of PhotoLab’s Local settings. However, it is often misunderstood, and in fact, misused.
It is suitable for isolating complex shapes but not for creating a total mask (e.g. the sky).
* The Auto Mask is used like a brush that automatically detects the edges of the subject.
It is ideal for detailing an object or isolating a face (or a person).
* The Brush is used to paint the retouching. The outline of the mask is progressive.
It is very useful for changing the light tone.
* The Graduated Filter simulates the effect of a graduated filter placed in front of the lens.
This basic Local Adjustment has to compete with the control line.
Sky correction is its domain.
* PhotoLab also has an eraser to modify the drawn masks.
Define a Local Adjustment
Define (or draw) the mask specifying the local area to be corrected otherwise.
– Click on the “Local Adjustments” icon in the top toolbar or the “Tool” icon in the palette to start the function
– Right Click on the image opens the Radial menu which gives access to the selection of mask type
– Choose (e.g.) the brush to create the first mask
– Paint the area to correct by holding down the mouse button
– Release the button, the marker, the mask symbol appears – The equalizer is available – see the second illustration in the next chapter
– ENTER key or ESCAPE to validate the images editing and leave the functionr
* Press M key/Shift+ M to see – hide the current mask
* Move the mouse cursor away from the window to stop seeing the masks
* A button to see – hide the mask – Mac only
* The H key activates – deactivates the help panel
BEWARE. When resuming a previously made Local Adjustment, the marker (in the viewer window) must first be selected for the mask to be displayed.
For high enlargement rates, panZoom (movement in the image) by click + drag is no longer available.
– Press the space bar to access it
The size of the mask creation tools is insensitive to the zoom magnification rate. The choice is:
– Enlarge the dimensions of the mask (Ctrl+ wheel) to increase the mask’s overlap area
– Zoom (wheel) to reduce it and gain precision … and the opposite
When the masks are difficult to execute, do not hesitate to multiply the Virtual Copies to mark out the realized drawing (return to this state).
Correct the masqued area
This is the purpose of Local Adjustment, which we discuss in the next chapter.
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