What Is the Lightmachine Plugin?

The Lightmachine Plugin is used to perform a wide variety of lighting adjustments in photographs. In comparison with other similar programs, the plugin allows for quick adjustments without using layer stacks and time-consuming selections. It offers the user a variety of tools and features to enhance photos by modifying the shadows and highlights, adding virtual lighting as well as a host of color correction tools. A photograph taken using inadequate amounts of lighting and bad camera settings can be turned into great photograph. Other plugin features include adding glows, sunsets, turning areas into black and white, color replacement and simulation of polarizing filters.

Compatibility and Upgrade Options

The program is available in two versions: as a plugin accessible from inside Photoshop and a standalone executable application. The standalone version also works as an external editor for Lightroom. Currently, the standalone version is only available for systems running on Windows. As a plugin, it is compatible with all versions of Photoshop running under Windows or Mac. Other graphic editing programs such as Photoshop Elements, Photo-Pain, Paint Shop Pro and Irfan View may also use the plugin. Customers who purchased the Windows plugin after May 2009 can avail of a free upgrade to the 64-bit version.

General Use

All versions have the capability of batch processing as well as working on RGB images under the 8-bit and 16-bit channels. The plugin is able to work on a variety of file formats. One additional feature which makes the plugin unique is the Virtual Studio. This feature allows the user to place additional areas of light and shadows. The additional light sources can be adjusted in terms of size, intensity, hardness, shape, angle and reflection. There is also the Colors set of modes which allows users to correct specific colors by clicking on these areas.

Complex Formulas

The plugin is able to correct the brightness, color, saturation and contrast of images. Each element can be adjusted and manipulated independent of each other. The formulas and algorithms used in creating the plugin allows the user to add more details to the image without the risk of making the image look unnatural.

Interface and Other Features

The interface can be modified to suit users ranging from beginners to professionals. Four different filters are arranged in a simple mode for first time users and a Pro mode allows more seasoned users to modify the features and settings. Dialog boxes can be adjusted in terms of size to fit in any window. Controls are organized under numerous tabs, allowing users to easily locate each feature. Split Views show both the original and corrected image right beside each other.

The Auto Mask feature is user-friendly, allowing even first time users to create their own masks. Shadows lifted from the images can also be modified. With just one click using the built-in color picker, color shifts in the shadow areas are removed. There is also a Logged Settings feature which logs in all of the settings used. Users may load these settings automatically whenever required.