Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Velvia Vision v1.5

The Velvia Vision Plug-In is one of those helpful apps that wasn't created with us in mind, but is incredibly useful in our workflow. Often enough, we get images that are washed out and the detail that we're looking for just blends in with everything else. This plug-in offers the ability to punch up the image and bring out the details in one simple yet powerful step. Download the plug-in and install it according to the included instructions. Activate it by clicking File>Automate>Velvia Vision.

By now, the interface should look fairly familiar. The Settings pull-down is there to help in speeding up your workflow. Included in the dialog is the Intensity slider that allows for an incredible amount of control.

The Smart Contrast options (from None to Contrast 4) allow enhancement of the tonal range without clipping highlight / shadow details. Contrast 1 is the safest option. Contrast 4 results in some range clipping, but it won't be noticeable when printing. In this example, I've used Contrast 4 along with the Smart Color Correction and Neutralize Midtones check boxes checked. With these boxes checked, the plug-in removes the subtle colour cast present in the image.

I wanted to really drive up the contrast and temperature so that the gun and mask stand out. To do this, I selected Intensity 3 from the Warm Colors drop down and Level 4 from Add Dynamic Range. Warm Colors, like it's name suggests, warms up the image. In this case, the image's cast caused it to be way too cool. Warm Colors, combined with Add Dynamic Range handles this problem quite well.

The Global Intensity Tweak slider works like a Fade Effect slider. This allows for us to back the entire effect off slightly if necessary. Before and After allow you to see the original and finished versions before you commit to the settings.

Finally, the Layer Options check box allows you to save the results to a new layer. It's not an editable layer, but it's helpful nevertheless.

Like all of Fred's plug-ins, this one is well worth the price. Download it for yourself and I think that you'll be as impressed with his work as I am. At less than US$25, you can't go wrong.

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