Questions about PercepTool
1. What does PercepTool do?
The camera image and the image on the human retina of the eye see a luminance
image that lacks depth. The visual cortex of the brain takes that luminance
image and processes it so that the edges and contrast are optimized for a 3D
image. PercepTool mimics that process. The great masters of painting and
photography were able to do this because of great practice, expertise, and
genius. It can also be accomplished in Photoshop with much effort, skill,
experience and…genius. Why do you think that there are so few masters?
2. Why wasn’t PercepTool included with the book, B&W Printing?
The answer is simple – the publisher would not publish a CD with the book, so I
had no choice and had to market it separately. The price has been reviewed as
just right, too much, and not enough. The typo that shows the PercepTool price
as $19.95 in the book as compared with $89.95 on the website is a pure and simple
copy editor error that no one caught. It will be changed in subsequent editions
of the book. If you think you were upset when you saw it, you should have seen
3. Why was the workflow done in Lightroom and Photoshop?
I explain, thoroughly, that the workflow in the book is a guide and make a point
of it. I use both Photoshop and Lightroom in my workflow, but anyone with the
least bit of expertise could work out a workflow for Photoshop and Camera Raw
alone, Aperture and Photoshop, NIkon Capture NX, or any other photo processing
software. I even have a chapter on how to think about making a workflow. The
workflow I suggest is simple, which is the way most real masters work. None of
the ones I’ve known and worked with were complicated. I’ve even included workflow
examples at the end of each chapter to show other masters who work entirely different
from me to show that greatness in workflow is the power of end masterpiece, be it
simple or complex. If you don’t like my workflow, don’t complain about it, just make
your own, for crying out loud.
4. PercepTool availability.
Perceptool is now available for both Windows XP and Vista and Macintosh Intel.
For those of you who have Photoshop Standard, the script works in 8 and 16 bits
per channel and in Photoshop Extended in 32, 16, and 8 bits per channel. The
main reason for this discrepancy is that layers are not totally supported in
Standard in 32 bits per channel, required by the scripts. The noUI Filter plugin
works always at 100% and works in 32 bits per channel on all versions. The is no
64 bit version for Vista 64. The speed in version 1.5.5 is around 8x faster than
the original. We had a breakthrough just after the software was introduced and
is the reason for the quick availability. In addition, I should point out that
the interface sliders in the script UI show “real-time” image adjustment, not a
proxy in a window like so many other Photoshop plugins. I believe this is a
first for this. PercepTool 2 will have an improved interface that combines many aspects
of the previous workflow. It will also have a new and excellent HDR capability for
combining and Tone Mapping.
Actually, the largest problem we’ve had is installation. Most of the emails I
get are about how to install PercepTool. Short of making an installer, we have
made it as simple as we can, and the instructions are clear. Eventually we do
plan to add an installer, but the initial cost was expensive. Please, please,
please, read the installation instructions and follow them precisely. We’ve had
people, for instance, that only installed the 3 plugin because they thought it
was for PS3. You need to install both 3 and 4 plugins.
6. The reason for the book.
The book was written to revive the idea of photographic masterpiece and how to
create one in the simplest way possible. Most people have missed this point.
Many want to talk about Lightroom and Photoshop and Tips and Tricks, but the
book is NOT about those things. It’s about masterpiece and how to think about
making one and how great painters and photographers think and work it through.
Most people who look for the latest trick are what I call “lick players.” In
Bluegrass Music there are people who play songs and people who play licks
connected together on the banjo. People who play songs use licks, but they have
a sense of the whole as well. Lick players have no sense of the whole. A
masterpiece demands that you have a feeling and technical expertise for the
whole. If you haven’t seen the whole, you’re a lick player.
Some have complained about my lack of coverage of printers and color management.
Printing and color management are, in reality, a simple matter. All you need for B&W
printing is a high quality monitor that is calibrated, printer environment (printer, ink,
paper) profiles that are very accurate and linearized in the L channel, and, of course, a
high quality printer and paper. The most important aspect of printing and photography is
the “Artist’s Eye.” The Artist’s Eye is what my book B&W Printing and PercepTool are
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- May 30, 2010 / 4:54 pm