“Combo” and “Batch” are the newest modules to be released in the latest update of the TKActions V6 panel. The RapidMask2 V6 module was released in October 2017. With the release of these two new modules, the V6 panel is now complete.
NOTE: Previous V5 and V5/V6 customers have already been sent information for a free download of these updated V6 modules. Check your spam/junk if you missed it. Update information was sent on February 26 and resent on March 3. If you’ve not purchased the panel yet, for the next 3 weeks you can use the following code on the Panels & Videos page for a 25% discount on all items: V625off
The new Combo module comes in two versions: Combo and ComboX (also designated Cx). The different arrangements have identical functions, but they make it possible to create two very different workspaces to utilize the V6 panel. This is explained in the “Custom V6 Panel Workspace” video at the end of this blog.
The Combo module combines the Control and Action modules of the V5 panel into one. This continues the evolution away from the button-crazy, multi-mega-panel design trend to a more compact, efficient, and logical workspace that started with RapidMask2. Most users will now need just two modules in order to access V6 functions: the RapidMask2 module makes all the different luminosity masks and Combo runs Photoshop. The V6 modules use smart menus to replace confusing tabs and even entire panels. A good example is the “TK ▶” button. It opens a menu that contains all the actions of the V5 Actions module plus several new ones (image below). While these actions can be extremely useful when developing images, it’s not necessary to have them in a separate panel given that they are used one at a time and generally only occasionally during processing. The smart menus in the Combo and RapidMask2 modules track what’s happening and automatically close once they’ve served their purpose.
Below is a short list of the features of the new Combo/Cx modules.
- Compact design−Combines the all features, functions, and actions of the V5 Control and Actions modules into one.
- Run Photoshop from the module−Many common Photoshop functions, keyboard shortcuts, and menu items can be run with a single button click from the module.
- Muted color interface separates buttons into logical groups in order to quickly find the correct Photoshop function. (Color is adjustable in the Settings window.)
- Multi-function buttons−Several buttons have dual functions that are graphically displayed on the button itself.
- Use the “TK ▶” button to access the creative Photoshop actions menu−Includes new actions for Smart Orton and Neutralize Cast 2 for creative development, and Stack, Align, and Focus Blend for blending multiple exposures.
- Integrated web-sharpening−Sharpen images for the web to any dimension, convert to sRGB, and run post-sharpening actions with one click directly from the module.
- Expanded user actions−Ten programmable actions, accessed via the “User ▶” button, allow users to run their own actions directly from the panel.
This update also includes some additional enhancements to the RapidMask2 module that was released in October 2017.
- Advanced Mask Calculator−Any mask created using the panel can be added, subtracted, and intersected with any other mask. This makes it possible to combine luminosity, color, saturation, modified, and even user-created masks in any manner desired. There is also an Advanced Mask Calculator in Layer Mask Mode so users can see the results reflected immediately in the image itself.
- Enhanced “Pick” button−The Zone mask that is picked is highlighted directly on the panel. This makes it easy to experiment with adjacent or nearby zone masks to see if one of them might work a bit better.
- Properties panel toggle−Creating an adjustment layer automatically opens the Properties panel so that the desired adjustment can quickly be made. This feature is also active when using the Combo panel to create adjustment layers.
The Batch module is also part of this release. It resizes and sharpens entire folders of images for web presentation. It may not be used frequently, but can be huge time-saver when there are lots of images to sharpen.
The videos below provide a brief overview of the V6 panel. Additional information can be found on my website. The comprehensive instructions PDF for the V6 panel can be downloaded here. To purchase the V6 panel plus other panels and videos, please visit the Panels & Videos page. Don’t forget to use the V625off discount code. It also works on Sean Bagshaw’s videos listed on that page.
Please contact me if you have any questions.