hey, I am trying to find a good plugin for photoshop that allows me to easily color grade photos, but at the same time, giving me the freedom to be very complex. I have tried colormancer, but the interface is not to my liking. programs like premeire pro come with great tools for this sort of thing, but there really isn't anything in photoshop, a program that specializes in photo enhancement.
I was wondering what success you guys have had with any of the other plugins out there, because most of them cost money, and I don't want to by them all just to try them.
NOTE: i am not looking strictly for free plugins, paid ones will be fine.
but there really isn't anything in photoshop, a program that specializes in photo enhancement.
If I understand correctly color grading is a term from film editing; but can the processes it describes or their effects not fairly easily be achieved with a combination of Adjustment Layers (CS6’s new Color Lookup may be especially relevant)?
Could you describe in more detail, possibly with examplary images, what you are trying to achieve?
Most of the grading plugins that i have tried (including magic bullet) are made for the person who wants to just drag on a preset, and maybe tweek it a little, and thats it. I like the freedom to tweek the hell out of my photos, and customize every feature about it. Again, i have tried colormancer which gives allot of freedom, but it is very hard to use, and i really don't like it.
Most color grading is done with 3 point color controls -- which match the basic controls in levels, but with a different UI.
Secondary color grading may need masks and Hue/Sat controls.
All the typical color grading operations and controls are already available in Photoshop - they are just presented slightly differently because Photoshop is more flexible, and predates most of the grading apps.
Most of the grading plugins that i have tried (including magic bullet) are made for the person who wants to just drag on a preset, and maybe tweek it a little, and thats it.
Far from it. Looks can be a s complex as any other color correction tool but based on your complaints I guess you're simply laboring on the wrong assumption that any of this could be learned in 5 minutes or even would be intuitive. Color grading is an art in itself, that's why it's still one of the few leftover jobs in film production that pays reasonably well. It's a complex process that requires an eye for it and an understanding of the technical aspects. Without it, the most expensive and sophisticated plug-in is useless. In any case, it seems to me that you' haven't really spent enough time with PS own tools. No offense, but that "I want to tweak the hell out of my photos" comes off like in the end you still only want the same over and over used looks we see everyday, you're just making a fuss over it without acknowledging that a photo you tweak to perfection on your system may still look crap on anotehr one or whan printed on a cheap printer. Or more to the point: In my opinion, you have wrong priorities and obsess over merely one aspect of the work while completely missing out on others - like color management or while saving a tweaked photo to JPEG for Internet use may nullify all your best efforts. I'm the last to advocate PS as I dislike its clunkiness and outdated paradigms as much as the next guy, but really, you can do a lot just with its bundled tools and features and you should spend some time learning them...
I do not agree with you Mylenium and your answer is for a significant part not relevant to the discussion. Please don't tell people who and what they are, that's very unnerving, even for other readers.
Before starting the discussion, let me say that I'm a photoshop user since 1997. I'm still learning tricks every day, but I can say that I know this softawre pretty well. Yes color grading seems to be an art in itself, and if it has it's own tools, that's probably for some reason. You can do everything a grading softawre do in photoshop, but it is going to involve a lot more manipulations. For instance, photoshop clearly lack those dynamic masking features, and some more advanced color spectrum analysis tools, which are present in most of the color grading packages. This become counter productive when you have to color correct a bunch of images the same way. Writing actions is definitely an option, but it's far more time consuming than copypasting layers with dynamic masking features.
I guess the main point about this discussion is more about productivity than doability.
Stéphane, that's one hell of a first post to the forum! I believe the point Mylenium was making is that the term Colour Grading is usually associated with video production, hence the name of Adobe's video colour correction application Speedgrade. Of course colour management is a huge issue with Photoshop and still images. It's just not usually refered to as 'grading'.