I’m pleased to announce the availability of a new extension panel for Photoshop. The TKActions Basic panel creates luminosity masks and is meant to provide a simple way for anyone to add these techniques to their workflow.
The Basic panel incorporates the latest 16-bit method for making luminosity masks. It’s essentially the “Basic” tab of the TKActions V4 panel with a new layout and added features. The panel’s embedded scripts create Lights, Darks, and Midtones luminosity masks and also generate Curves and Levels adjustment layers with luminosity masks as the layer masks. This makes it super easy to start using luminosity masks to confine adjustments to specific tones and to see how adjustments through these masks blend perfectly into the rest of the image.
The “Channels” section of the panel creates luminosity masks on Photoshop’s Channels panel AND also creates an active selection of the designated mask at the same time. Active luminosity selections are the basis for luminosity painting, one of the most powerful methods for using luminosity masks. It’s an excellent technique for localizing brightness adjustments when burning and dodging. Painting through luminosity selections also provides precision for mask painting when exposure blending.
There is an integrated active selection indicator at the top of the panel. It’s a black and white scrolling bar that turns on anytime Photoshop detects an active selection. Since some luminosity selections do not generate selection borders (marching ants), this animated indicator informs the user when a selection is indeed present. Even if the marching ants are hidden in order to better evaluate painting through a selection, the indicator stays on and continues to provide a reminder that the selection is still active.
The white box at the bottom of the Basic panel provides rollover Help for any button. Simply roll the mouse over a button and this area displays a message as to what the button does.
Clicking on the rollover Help window opens the panel’s settings. From the settings dialog, users can control the panel’s color saturation and choose from five different languages for the panel’s interface.
The Instructions PDF is a short document that provides a more complete overview of the panel and what it does.
The TKActions Basic panel is free and can be downloaded here. It works on Mac and Windows computers and there are versions for Photoshop CC and Photoshop CS6 in the download folder. Four videos by Sean Bagshaw are also included to insure users are able to get the most benefit from the new panel.