Luminosity Mask Masterclass: A new video series by Sean Bagshaw

I’m very happy to announce that Sean Bagshaw’s newest video series, Luminosity Mask Masterclass, is now available on the Panels & Videos page. I’ve included several sample chapters below.  Previous customers should check their email for a private discount code.  New customers can use the following code for an introductory 20% discount:  Master20

From almost the time the original tutorial was released in November 2006, Sean Bagshaw has been a user and proponent of luminosity masks.  He’s been teaching them for nearly a decade and has had significant input into designing the panels I’ve made to generate them.  His first Complete Guide to Luminosity Masks series in 2013 and the follow-up “2nd edition” in 2015 helped many photographers understand the potential of these amazing masks for the first time.  Since then he has done numerous courses utilizing luminosity masks.  His Complete Workflow videos, for example, demonstrate how easily these techniques can be incorporated into the digital workflow and what a difference they can make.

However, it’s been over five years since Sean released a series devoted exclusively to luminosity masks, and this makes Luminosity Mask Masterclass an important and timely update.  I’ve continued to evolve masking concepts over the years, and new masks and new panels are now available.  While preset luminosity masks are still the core type of pixel-based masks, they’re no longer the only type of mask that can be derived from pixel values.  Saturation masks, color masks, and zone masks are now easily generated, and these too can be extremely useful when making targeted adjustments in Photoshop.  In addition, there are new ways to modify masks, new ways to output them, and new techniques that take advantage of these masks’ immensely useful self-feathering character. 

So the universe of pixel-based masks has expanded considerably in the last five years.  Luminosity Mask Masterclass looks to combine this new knowledge about pixel-based masks with Sean’s expertise in using them to provide a detailed overview of their creative potential.  Masterclass is a compendium that provides both a broad look at this masking landscape as well as in-depth demonstration of how to use these masks in specific situations.

The new series is composed of fifty (50) chapters and would require around five hours if you watched them all straight through.  Fortunately, Sean has the content arranged into broad topics that include:

  • Basic concepts
  • Ways to mask
  • Choosing masks
  • Modifying masks
  • Mask techniques

It’s filled with lots (and lots) of examples and includes images, so you can practice along with Sean.  The organization makes it easy to focus your attention on topics and chapters that interest you most and to learn at a pace that feels comfortable.  Additionally, this is Sean’s first course that makes extensive use of the new TK7 Go module, and I’m really happy to see how it performs. It’s instructive to see how he employs it in a wide variety of situations.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy this new series. Sean is a talented teacher and an expert at explaining the way things work and how to do them, especially when it comes to luminosity masks. Luminosity and other pixel-based masks can certainly make a difference in your images, and this course will help you get the most out of them. I hope you’ll give the new series a try. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

NOTE: The Master20 discount code expires on November 26, 2020.

Sneak peek: Luminosity Mask Masterclass

Sean Bagshaw finished his Luminosity Mask Masterclass video series and currently plans to release it in November, soon after he returns from taking pictures. This new course is a major update to his Complete Guide to Luminosity Masks, 2nd edition series, currently on sale for $5 on the panels and videos page. That older series is now five-years-old, and pixel-based masks (like luminosity masks) have advanced considerably in that time. New masks, new methods, and a new TK7 panel are all available. I’ve been watching the new course and thoroughly enjoying it. It clocks in at nearly 5 hours and is packed with information. Fortunately, Sean has it organized in to compact chapters, so it’s possible to skip around and choose topics that interest you most, instead of watching it straight through. One of the chapters, with a brief introduction by Sean, is linked below.

Luminosity Mask Masterclass will provide a timely and comprehensive update on using multiple types of pixel-based masks, and I’m sure you’ll find it useful. More information coming soon.

NEW and FREE: TK Lum-Mask plugin for Adobe Photoshop 2021

I’m excited to announce the launch of the new “TK Lum-Mask” plugin for Adobe Photoshop.  TK Lum-Mask is a luminosity mask generator built on Adobe’s Unified Extensibility Platform (UXP), which is new in Photoshop 2021. Luminosity masks are a unique creative tool, and the TK Lum-Mask plugin makes it easy to add them to your workflow.  NOTE: Adobe uses the more inclusive term “plugin” to refer to applications developed on UXP, instead of “panel.”

The TK Lum-Mask plugin is FREE and available right now through the new plugin marketplace. It requires having Photoshop 2021 (Photoshop v 22.0) installed, so be sure to do that first. If you don’t see the update listed in your Creative Cloud Desktop app, click “Help > Check for updates” in order to activate this update in your “Apps > Updates” menu. Once Photoshop v 22.0 is installed, CLICK HERE to install the TK Lum-Mask plugin.

Then either click the “Open link” button that pops up or the “Get” button on the webpage. After that, follow the prompts to install the plugin.

Alternatively, you can discover and install the plugin from your Creative Cloud Desktop app following these steps:

  1. Open the Creative Cloud Desktop app.
  2. Click on the “Marketplace” tab at the top.
  3. Click on the “All plugins” menu along the side.
  4. Find “TK Luminosity Mask” in the list of plugins.
  5. Click the “Get” button and follow the on-screen prompts to install it.

You will see the message below when the plugin has installed successfully.

Once the plugin is installed, open Photoshop and click through Plugins menu > TK Luminosity Mask > TK Lum-Mask to open the plugin. 

NOTE:  “Plugins” is a new top-level menu to access all UXP-based plugins in Photoshop 2021.

The TK Lum-Mask plugin is similar to the TK Basic V6 panel, which you may already have. It quickly generates preset Lights, Darks, and Midtones luminosity masks that can be viewed in real time on-screen in Photoshop. The plugin also provides several output options for deploying the masks that are created. The bit depth of the masks generated by the plugin always matches that of the image, so with 16-bit images you get 16-bit masks throughout the process. The images below outline how this plugin works. You can also download the instructions PDF here.

You might be wondering what the new UXP architecture means for current Photoshop extensions, like the TK7 panel.  Adobe’s long-term goal is to move all Photoshop plugins to UXP, but it also plans to continue supporting the current panel architecture, called “CEP,” for the foreseeable future, so there is no danger that the TK7 panel will stop working anytime soon.

I’ve been collaborating with the Adobe team for several months to build the new TK Lum-Mask plugin and have also started transitioning the TK7 modules to UXP while adding some new features.  I hope to complete the work in 2021 and release the UXP versions of TK7 when they’re ready. 

Even if are using the Basic V6 or TK7 panel now, I’d recommend installing the UXP-powered TK Lum-Mask plugin (even temporarily) to get a sense for where things are headed.  It has a new look that will likely find its way into other plugins I develop on this platform.  If you like what you see, please consider leaving a positive rating in the plugin’s marketplace listing.  If you don’t like it or have suggestions on how to improve it, please contact me with your recommendations.

NOTE: It’s easy to uninstall this plugin at any time using the “Marketplace” tab within the Creative Cloud Desktop app.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Photoshop is the only image-developing software that I know of that supports third-party extensions like TK7 and TK Lum-Mask, and it was exciting to work with the Adobe team to use UXP to create the TK Lum-Mask plugin.  Adobe’s move to the UXP architecture demonstrates their continued commitment to allow third-party developers to create unique applications that feel native to Photoshop.  Collaborating with Adobe also provided a first-hand look at the resources needed to make this possible, and the team behind this effort is impressive.  UXP is a big step forward that will allow new and better things to happen with Photoshop. 

Big sale: The Complete Guide to Luminosity Masks video series—$5

Sean Bagshaw’s Complete Guide to Luminosity Masks, 2nd edition is approaching retirement.  These videos have been the definitive resource for understanding luminosity masks for over five years, but time and techniques continue to advance.  The basics of luminosity masks are now pretty much common knowledge, but the methods for using these masks has expanded considerably since the series was released, as has the types of masks available and the different pixel values around which masks can be created.  The series utilized the older TK V4 panel.  It was cutting edge in its day, but it’s also considerably less capable and has fewer masks and features than the current TK7 panel.  So Sean has decided, and I concur, that’s it’s time to sunset this older series and move on to something newer and better.  The older series still has lots of valuable information on how to generate and use luminosity masks, and, before it’s gone completely, Sean is discounting the price to just $5 for photographers who want to add it to their collection.  The sale price on this product will last approximately one month on the Panels & Videos page.  No discount code is needed.

I’m also retiring my TK Actions V5 panel for Photoshop CS6.  The number of CS6 users has dwindled over the last year, and I want to concentrate future panel and plugin development on the current Photoshop platform.  Photoshop CS6 is now seven years outdated and I can’t make a good case for encouraging users to continue using it.  As such, the “CS6 Combo” product will also be on sale for $5 on the Panels & Videos page for anyone still using this version of the software.  It too will be removed in the near future.  NOTE:  If you are using Photoshop CS6, the Basic V6 panel is still available and contains a CS6 version.

This “last chance” sale is prompted by the need to make room for the new video series Sean is working on.  It’s called Luminosity Mask Masterclass and is set to debut in November.   It provides a fresh look at all the different things luminosity and other pixel-based masks can do.  The TK panel has advanced considerably since the last Complete Guide to Luminosity Mask series was released, and Sean’s had several years to refine his approach to using these masks in his workflow.  It all comes together in this new series. The Masterclass course will provide an exciting update that shows how to take the potential of luminosity masks even further.