Now Available: TK8 version 1.2.2

NOTE:  During the launch of the updated version of TK8 there is a 20% discount available on everything on the Panels & Videos page, including the TK8 plugin and Sean Bagshaw’s videos.  Add the code JulySale in the shopping cart to get the discount.  This sale ends on July 31.

The TK8 plugin has been updated to version 1.2.2.  This is a major update that incorporates new code for Adobe’s UXP architecture for plugins.  Previous TK8 customers have been sent an email via MailChimp telling them how to update for free.  Please check your email (possibly the junk/spam folder).  The latest update information was sent on either July 16 or July 18.  Contact me if you are a licensed TK8 customer but did not receive the update information. New customers can use the discount code listed above to get 20% off for a limited time.

You can check your version of TK8 by clicking on the “TK” button on the Multi-Mask module to open the preferences interface and then looking in the lower right corner. If you do not have version 1.2.2, please get it now.

Importantly, TK8 version 1.2.2 only works in Photoshop 2022, version 23.2.0 or later.  The new version of TK8 will NOT work in Photoshop 2021 or older versions of Photoshop 2022.  So, the best practice is to make sure Photoshop is updated using the Adobe Creative Cloud app before installing TK8 version 1.2.2.

There are several new features in TK8 version 1.2.2, but the biggest is the introduction of the “My Actions” module.  It’s an improved alternative to the “User Actions” section of the Combo and Cx modules. Most of us have lots of Photoshop actions scattered around our Photoshop Actions panel.  The My Actions module helps users dynamically organize the actions they actually use into a single list.  This, in turn, provides easy, one-click access to these frequently-used actions.  The video below shows how the new module works.

This video provides a quick look at how to use the TK8 My Actions plugin.

In addition to their personal actions, the My Actions module provides a place where users can list actions that contain menu items, keyboard shortcuts, and even Photoshop scripts.  As long as these are first recorded into actions, they can be added to the My Actions module.  Sean Bagshaw shows how to do this in the video below.  This ability to completely customize the My Actions module means users can now essentially create their own Photoshop plugin.  Simply record whatever Photoshop features you use most into Photoshop actions, and then add these actions to the My Actions module.  From there they can be rearranged and color-coded in whatever way works best for your workflow.

Sean Bagshaw demonstrates how to customize your My Actions module with actions, Photoshop menu items, and keyboard shortcuts.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Button clicks in the TK8 plugin, like when making luminosity masks or other masks, cannot be recorded into Photoshop actions at this time. They can only be called directly using the buttons on the TK8 plugin.

Additional changes in TK8 version 1.2.2 include:

  • Most button clicks create a single history state.  This makes it possible use CTRL (Windows) / command (Mac) + Z to undo most TK8 button clicks.  Note, however, that using CTRL/command + Z does NOT reset the TK8 user interface to what it was at the previous history state.  So, only Photoshop is reset to the previous history state, not the TK8 plugin.
  • Occasionally, a green progress bar will display if the run time for a TK8-called process exceeds two seconds. This is part of Adobe’s new UXP code. Sometimes the progress bar will flash only briefly when a process completes.
  • A green outline now appears around the Lights, Darks, and Midtones buttons when they are clicked in the Layer Mask mode interface and the Edit Selection interface. This makes it easier to track which button was clicked and which mask was created.
  • For the Burn, Dodge, and Paint Color output options in the Multi-Mask module, CTRL (Windows) / command (Mac) + click on the respective output button creates a layer mask of the on-screen mask on the newly created layer instead of creating a selection of this on-screen mask to paint through. The layer mask then controls where the subsequently-applied paint shows through in the image.
  • The “png” save option in Web-Sharpening output has been updated to embed the color profile in the saved document. Other output file types already do this.
  • The ability to choose a color using the Color Picker is now available when running the Color Clone action found in the Combo and Cx modules.
  • Several other bugs were fixed and changes were made to make user interaction more efficient.

Known issues that remain unresolved at this time:

  • Adding the menu item “Edit > Fade” to an action and then adding that action to the My Actions module doesn’t work.  There will be an error alert indicating that the Fade command is not available.
  • Nik filters played as actions do not work when the actions are called from the My Actions module. However, invoking Topaz filters from the My Actions module DOES work.
  • Actions that contain Adobe ExtendScript code cannot be run directly from the module. To play an action that contains ExtrendScript code it is necessary to first create a separate action on Photoshop’s action’s panel that plays the action with the ExtendScript code and then add this new action to the module’s actions list.

There is a lot of new code in TK8 version 1.2.2, and, as such, there may be additional problems that surface and additional updates might be needed to fix them. If you contact me when you see a problem, I can take a look and see if there is a workaround that can be implemented and will post new versions of TK8 if needed. Hold onto the email containing your download link as it will always allow you to get the latest version of the TK8 plugin.

Coming Soon: “Making Better Prints” video series

Sean Bagshaw and Zack Schnepf are putting the final touches on a new video series that takes a close look at the process of printing photographic images. This video course is based on printing workshops they’ve conducted previously. Not everyone prints their images, but most of us enjoy seeing a hard copy of an image, perhaps hanging it on the wall, and possibly giving (or selling) copies to friends and customers.

Traditionally, prints were the only way to share photographs, and there is still something very satisfying about looking at actual prints compared to just seeing images on a monitor. I’ve printed my photos on a home printer for more than two decades and learned most of what I know through trial and error (and at least one costly mistake along the way). This new series significantly flattens the learning curve for those looking to start printing their images whether at home on a computer printer or through a commercial photo lab. It also contains many great tips for those already making prints so that the process is reproducible, efficient, instructive, and fun. The course covers workflows using both Photoshop and Lightroom.

Sean and Zack are allowing me to sell this course on my website. I’ll be emailing customers as soon as it’s available with additional details and special discounts (hopefully by Thursday). There will also be more information posted on this blog. For now, the video below will provide a brief look at what the new series is about.

Umpqua Autumn – Complete Workflow:  Photographing from the center

Learning to “photograph from the center” is one of the keys, I think, for making truly successful images.  This “center” is that point where we can block out the rest of the world for a period of time and focus ourselves, as well as our cameras, on the light we are trying to capture.  We find this “center” by placing ourselves in an environment and near subjects that speak to us in special ways.  Pictures from the center, once developed, reveal not only the light in that moment as seen by the camera, but also the personal light that the photographer brings to the experience.  It’s a glimpse into the motivations, sense of beauty, and types of connections valued by the individual taking the picture.  To a large extent, then, photographing from the center is as much about releasing ourselves into world as it is about capturing light from it.

These are the thoughts that came to mind as I watched Sean Bagshaw’s new complete workflow series featuring his photograph “Umpqua Autumn.”  This is an image that obviously comes from a “centered” photographer.  Sean takes the picture in a place he clearly loves and is able to focus wholly on the environment that surrounds him.  He finds numerous compositions and then in the chapters of the series walks us through his workflow to expertly develop one of them.  In doing so, he not only brings out the best light in the scene, but he also pulls us into his center to appreciate the experience of being there to witness and participate in this moment of light and beauty.

The Umpqua Autumn Complete Workflow video series is now available, and it can be appreciated on many different levels. 

  • Yes, there are many new Photoshop techniques covered in this series. 
  • Yes, Sean does a great job explaining them. 
  • Yes, you’ll learn many new things. 
  • Yes, the TK8 plugin is used. 

But as you watch the series, don’t just focus on the technical aspects of developing an image. Keep in mind the larger concept of “photographing from the center.” While it’s not explicitly covered in one of the chapters, it’s an undercurrent to all of them and is subtly present throughout the different phases of the photographic process, field to finish. Finding your personal center and photographing from it is just as important as learning new Photoshop techniques. Watching this course will hopefully help you improve both.

Because it so closely aligns with my own creative viewpoint, I am extremely pleased to be able to offer Sean’s new course on my website. Until the end of February, there is a 20% discount on it and all other items, including Sean’s other video courses and the TK8 plugin.  To get the discount, simply enter the following code in the shopping cart:  Vid20.  Previous customers should also check their email from January 31 for additional savings.

Coming Soon: Umpqua Autumn–Complete Workflow video by Sean Bagshaw

Sean Bagshaw is in the process of producing a new complete workflow demonstration video series. I’ve watched most of the chapters (looks like there will be around 15) and was thoroughly impressed. Not only is this a complete walk-through of the creative process, from in-the-field decision-making to fine-tuning with minor adjustments at the very end, but the series is full of new techniques that he’s not demonstrated before. It’s an excellent illustration of how a photographers work both with the scene and the image to achieve a creative and evocative final result.

This new video series features the TK8 plugin in a supporting role. Most of the techniques Sean demonstrates don’t require it, though it can simplify several of them. Some of the new features in TK8 are closely aligned with what Sean does in this video series, and that’s because he recommended adding these techniques to TK8 when it was being developed. And, not surprisingly, coming from Sean they’re really useful. I’m happy that they’re now part of the plugin.

Umpqua Autumn–Complete Workflow is scheduled to be released next Monday, January 31, and I’m once again pleased to be able to offer it on my website. During the launch period, which will last through the month of February, there will be a site-wide discount on all items. This includes the new video series, the TK8 plugin, and all of Sean’s other video courses. For previous customers, there will also be an additional discount on the new series via a special discount code that I’ll email when the series is released. Please be sure to wait for that code if you’re a previous customer or contact me if you don’t receive it by February 1. The video below is Sean’s brief introduction to this informative new course. You can see the image he’s working on and get a quick look at some of the techniques he’ll cover.