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Technique #5

Use Lucis to alter the intensity image in each RGB channel so the composite image is very artistic and colorful.

Lucis Pro 6 operates in two modes, Single Channel mode and Split Channel mode. Single channel mode uses the two Lucis sliders to enhance the entire image. Split Channel mode allows you to view, select, and alter the intensity information in each Red, Green and Blue (RGB) channel separately using the two Lucis sliders. Changing the intensity images in each channel makes how they overlap different and will therefore shift the image’s color and details.

Click on any image to see a high resolution version.

original image
Image 1: The original 8-bit image. Detail.
I opened the image in Photoshop and duplicated the original image on several layers. Then I selected a duplicate image and opened Lucis Pro 6. Since I am creating an image where I will be using the Smooth Detail slider significantly, I also change the Processing Scan Lines to 50 so the output will be high quality, no radial line artifacts. Next I checked the check box labeled Split Channels to enter Split Channel mode. I unchecked the check box labeled View Composite Image so I can select and view the intensity information in each RGB channel separately. When first unchecked, the Red Channel is selected by default. The Lucis Pro 6 User Interface (UI) after adjusting these settings is shown below.

Lucis UI red channel

Image 2: Screen shot of the Lucis Pro 6 UI with the original image opened in Split Channel mode, red channel selected.

My goal was to create an interesting intensity pattern in each channel. This means significantly increasing the value of the Smooth Detail slider and keeping the difference in value between the Smooth Detail slider and the Enhance Detail slider relatively small. Typically I move the Enhance Detail slider first to get an image with a lot of detail and then I move the Smooth Detail slider until I have an interesting pattern. You can also just set the two sliders to a specific difference (I suggest 10-30 depending on the image), check the Tie Together check box and then when you move one slider the other follows, keeping the difference constant. So you can quickly view numerous possible variations. You have to first uncheck the Tie Together check box if you wish to change the difference between the two sliders, then check it again to keep the difference constant.

In this case after just a little experimentation I liked the Smooth Detail slider set to 31 and the Enhance Detail slider set to 55. The Lucis Pro UI showing the intensity information in the Red Channel with these slider settings is shown below. I liked this image because it had the level of detail and pattern I wanted and a good balance of dark and light areas.

red channel with Lucis processing
Image 3: Screen shot of the Lucis Pro 6 UI, Split Channel mode, Red Channel selected, the Smooth Detail slider set to 31 and the Enhance Detail slider set to 55.

As a first cut I typically just set the Green and Blue Channels to the same slider settings and take a look at the result. You can adjust from there, but frequently having all the color channels with the same slider settings produces a nice result. Below are two screen shots of the Lucis Pro 6 User Interface, one showing the Green Channel and the other showing the Blue Channel with the Smooth Detail slider set to 31 and the Enhance Detail slider set to 55.

green channel with Lucis processing
Image 4: Screen shot of the Lucis Pro 6 UI, Split Channel mode, Green Channel selected, the Smooth Detail slider set to 31 and the Enhance Detail slider set to 55.
blue channel image with Lucis processing

Image 5: Screen shot of the Lucis Pro 6 UI, Split Channel mode, Blue Channel selected, the Smooth Detail slider set to 31 and the Enhance Detail slider set to 55.

Now comes my favorite part. I check the Display Composite check box so I can view the entire image processed with the slider settings I selected. It feels like getting a present because you never know what you will see. I was very surprised and pleased with the result, shown below.

full Lucis image

Image 6: Screen shot of the Lucis Pro 6 UI, Split Channel mode, Display Composite Image checked, the Smooth Detail slider set to 31 and the Enhance Detail slider set to 55 for all channels.

If what you see is close to what you want but not perfect, then make small adjustments at this point by selecting a channel and adjusting the sliders.  For example, if wanted more blue in the image, select the Blue Channel and lower the value of the Smooth Detail slider a little.  This increases the level of detail in the intensity image in the Blue Channel, which increases the amount of blue in the processed image.

To further fine-tune your final image you can also diminish the effect of the Lucis Pro processing from a color perspective by moving the Assign Original Image Color slider to the right.  You can also mix in a percentage of the original image by moving the Mix with Original Image slider to the right, which will reduce the surrealistic nature of the image.

I liked what I saw without any further Lucis adjustments, however I could see that there were parts of the image, especially the face, which I knew I would have to fix later using Photoshop®. Below is the image fully Lucis-processed with the Smooth Detail slider set to 31 and the Enhance Detail slider set to 55 for each RGB channel, no other adjustments.

Lucis image

Image 7: The Lucis-processed image. Detail.

I used the clone tool in Photoshop to eliminate the black dots on Tyler’s shirt. I used the erase tool with the percentage set very low to erase back in some of the skin and facial features form the original image. I also used the clone tool to improve some of the colors and shadows on his face and neck. This did not take very long, maybe 15 minutes. The final result is shown below:

Lucis image with skin fixed

Image 8: The Lucis-processed image with a few areas of the image repaired using Photoshop (primarily the face and neck areas). Detail.

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