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NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop: Tips and Tricks for Using Luminosity Masks for Exposure Blending, Color Correction, and Color Grading


NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop: A New and Innovative Way to Create and Control Luminosity Masks




Luminosity masks are one of the most powerful tools in Photoshop for retouching and editing images. They allow you to make precise selections based on the brightness values of an image, and apply adjustments to specific tonal ranges without affecting other areas. However, creating and controlling luminosity masks can be a tedious and cumbersome process, especially if you use actions or channels that create multiple layers or masks that you have to manage.




NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop



That's why NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop is a game-changer. It is a new and innovative plugin that lets you create and control luminosity masks from a simple and intuitive panel interface. You can choose from three options to create luminosity masks: overall luminance, RGB channels, or saturation map. You can also select any combination of 11 luminance ranges for any mask, invert the selection, toggle the layer or mask view, and adjust the contrast of the mask. All this without creating any additional layers or channels.


In this article, we will explain what luminosity masks are and why they are useful, what NBP Lumizone Plugin is and how it works, how to use it for different purposes, and show some examples of using it for exposure blending, color correction, and color grading. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to use NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop to create stunning images with ease.


What are luminosity masks and why are they useful?




Luminosity masks are selections based on the brightness values of an image




Luminosity masks are a type of selection tool in Photoshop that allow you to select pixels based on their brightness values or luminance. Unlike other selection tools that select pixels based on their shape, color, or edge contrast, luminosity masks select pixels based on their tonal range. This means that you can isolate pixels that are dark, midtone, light, or any combination of these.


Luminosity masks are created by using calculations that compare the brightness values of each pixel in an image to a threshold value. For example, if you want to create a mask that selects only the brightest pixels in an image, you can use a calculation that selects pixels that have a brightness value higher than a certain threshold. The result is a grayscale image that shows the selected pixels as white and the unselected pixels as black. This grayscale image is called a luminosity mask, and it can be used to apply adjustments to the selected pixels.


Luminosity masks can be used for various purposes such as exposure blending, color correction, color grading, saturation masking, and more




Luminosity masks are useful because they allow you to target specific tonal ranges in an image and apply adjustments to them without affecting other areas. For example, you can use luminosity masks to:



  • Blend multiple exposures of the same scene to create a high dynamic range (HDR) image. You can use luminosity masks to select the best parts of each exposure and blend them together seamlessly.



  • Correct the exposure, contrast, or color balance of an image. You can use luminosity masks to select the dark, midtone, or light areas of an image and adjust their brightness, contrast, or color separately.



  • Grade the color of an image to create a certain mood or style. You can use luminosity masks to select different tonal ranges and apply different color effects to them.



  • Mask the saturation of an image to create a selective color effect. You can use luminosity masks to select the most saturated or desaturated areas of an image and adjust their saturation level.



  • And more. Luminosity masks are versatile and can be used for any purpose that requires precise tonal selection and adjustment.



Luminosity masks can be created in different ways, such as using actions, channels, or plugins




There are different ways to create luminosity masks in Photoshop, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common methods are:



  • Using actions. Actions are pre-recorded steps that you can play back to perform a certain task. There are many actions available online that can create luminosity masks for you with one click. However, actions can also create many layers or channels that can clutter your workspace and slow down your performance. Actions also have limited options and flexibility, as you cannot modify or customize the masks they create.



  • Using channels. Channels are grayscale images that store information about the color components of an image. You can use channels to create luminosity masks by duplicating and modifying them with calculations or curves. However, channels can also be confusing and complicated to use, as you have to switch between different panels and menus to access and manipulate them. Channels also have limited options and flexibility, as you cannot preview or adjust the masks they create.



  • Using plugins. Plugins are third-party software that add extra features or functions to Photoshop. There are many plugins available online that can create luminosity masks for you with a simple interface. Plugins can offer more options and flexibility than actions or channels, as you can preview, modify, and customize the masks they create. However, plugins can also be expensive or incompatible with your Photoshop version or system.



As you can see, each method has its pros and cons, and none of them is perfect. That's why NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop is a great alternative that combines the best of all methods.


What is NBP Lumizone Plugin and how does it work?




NBP Lumizone Plugin is a Photoshop panel that allows you to create and control luminosity masks from three options: overall luminance, RGB channels, or saturation map




NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop is a plugin that adds a new panel to your Photoshop workspace. This panel allows you to create and control luminosity masks from three options: overall luminance, RGB channels, or saturation map.


Overall luminance option lets you create luminosity masks based on the overall brightness values of an image. You can choose from 11 luminance ranges: black (B), dark (D), midtone (M), light (L), white (W), zone 0-10 (Z0-Z10). Each range represents a different percentage of brightness in an image.


RGB channels option lets you create luminosity masks based on the red, green, or blue color components of an image. You can choose from 11 RGB ranges: red (R), green (G), blue (B), cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), red-cyan (RC), green-magenta (GM), blue-yellow (BY), zone 0-10 (Z0-Z10). Each range represents a different percentage of color in an image.


Saturation map option lets you create luminosity masks based on the saturation values of an image. You can choose from 11 saturation ranges: desaturated (D), saturated (S), zone 0-10 (Z0-Z Z10). Each range represents a different percentage of saturation in an image.


NBP Lumizone Plugin lets you select any combination of 11 luminance ranges for any mask, invert the selection, toggle the layer or mask view, and adjust the contrast of the mask




NBP Lumizone Plugin gives you full control over the luminosity masks you create. You can select any combination of 11 luminance ranges for any mask by clicking on the buttons on the panel. You can also invert the selection by clicking on the invert button, toggle the layer or mask view by clicking on the eye button, and adjust the contrast of the mask by dragging the slider on the panel.


By selecting different combinations of luminance ranges, you can create masks that target specific tonal areas in an image. For example, you can create a mask that selects only the dark and light areas, or only the midtone and saturated areas, or only the red and blue areas, and so on. You can also fine-tune the mask by adjusting its contrast, making it more or less feathered.


By toggling the layer or mask view, you can see how the mask affects the image. You can also preview the mask as a grayscale image by holding down the Alt key and clicking on the eye button. By doing this, you can check if the mask is accurate and smooth.


NBP Lumizone Plugin does not create any additional layers or channels to create or modify masks, making it more efficient and streamlined than actions or other panels




One of the best features of NBP Lumizone Plugin is that it does not create any additional layers or channels to create or modify masks. This makes it more efficient and streamlined than actions or other panels that create multiple layers or channels that you have to manage.


NBP Lumizone Plugin creates masks on the fly, using calculations that are stored in memory. This means that you do not have to worry about cluttering your workspace with unnecessary layers or channels, or slowing down your performance with heavy calculations. You can also undo or redo any changes you make to the masks with ease.


NBP Lumizone Plugin also works with any layer or adjustment layer that supports masks. This means that you do not have to create a separate layer for each mask you want to apply. You can simply select the layer or adjustment layer you want to use, and then use NBP Lumizone Plugin to create and control the mask for it.


How to use NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop?




How to install and activate NBP Lumizone Plugin




To use NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop, you need to install and activate it first. Here are the steps to do so:



  • Download NBP Lumizone Plugin from the official website. You will receive a zip file containing the plugin files and a license key.



  • Extract the zip file and copy the NBP_Lumizone folder to your Photoshop plugins folder. The location of this folder may vary depending on your Photoshop version and system, but it is usually something like C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2021\Plug-ins.



  • Launch Photoshop and go to Window > Extensions > NBP Lumizone to open the panel. You will see a dialog box asking you to enter your license key.



  • Copy and paste your license key from the email you received and click Activate. You will see a confirmation message saying that your plugin is activated.



  • Click OK and enjoy using NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop.



How to access and use the panel interface




To access and use NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop, you need to open the panel interface. Here are the steps to do so:



  • Go to Window > Extensions > NBP Lumizone to open the panel. You will see a small window with three tabs: Overall Luminance, RGB Channels, and Saturation Map.



  • Select one of the tabs to choose which option you want to use to create luminosity masks. You will see 11 buttons with different labels: B, D, M, L, W, Z0-Z10.



  • Click on one or more buttons to select one or more luminance ranges for your mask. You will see a preview of your mask on your image.



  • Click on the invert button (the circle with a slash) to invert your selection. You will see a preview of your inverted mask on your image.



  • Click on the eye button (the eye icon) to toggle between layer view and mask view. You will see a preview of your layer or mask on your image. You can also hold down the Alt key and click on the eye button to see a grayscale preview of your mask.



  • Drag the slider below the buttons to adjust the contrast of your mask. You will see a preview of your contrast-adjusted mask on your image.



The panel interface is simple and easy to use, and you can access it anytime you want to create or modify luminosity masks.


How to create and adjust luminosity masks from different options




To create and adjust luminosity masks from different options, you need to select one of the three tabs on the panel: Overall Luminance, RGB Channels, or Saturation Map. Each tab offers a different way to create luminosity masks based on different criteria. Here are the steps to do so:



  • Select the Overall Luminance tab if you want to create luminosity masks based on the overall brightness values of an image. This option is useful for exposure blending, contrast enhancement, or tonal adjustment.



  • Select the RGB Channels tab if you want to create luminosity masks based on the red, green, or blue color components of an image. This option is useful for color correction, color grading, or color adjustment.



  • Select the Saturation Map tab if you want to create luminosity masks based on the saturation values of an image. This option is useful for saturation masking, selective color, or saturation adjustment.



  • Click on one or more buttons to select one or more luminance ranges for your mask. You can select any combination of 11 ranges: B, D, M, L, W, Z0-Z10 for overall luminance; R, G, B, C, M, Y, RC, GM, BY, Z0-Z10 for RGB channels; D, S, Z0-Z10 for saturation map.



  • Click on the invert button to invert your selection if you want to select the opposite tonal range.



  • Click on the eye button to toggle between layer view and mask view. You can also hold down the Alt key and click on the eye button to see a grayscale preview of your mask.



  • Drag the slider below the buttons to adjust the contrast of your mask if you want to make it more or less feathered.



You can create and adjust luminosity masks from different options depending on your needs and preferences. You can also switch between different options anytime you want to change the criteria for your mask.


How to apply luminosity masks to layers or adjustment layers




To apply luminosity masks to layers or adjustment layers, you need to select the layer or adjustment layer you want to use, and then use NBP Lumizone Plugin to create and control the mask for it. Here are the steps to do so:



  • Select the layer or adjustment layer you want to apply a luminosity mask to. You can use any layer or adjustment layer that supports masks, such as curves, levels, hue/saturation, exposure, etc.



  • Open NBP Lumizone Plugin panel and select one of the three tabs: Overall Luminance, RGB Channels, or Saturation Map.



  • Create and adjust your luminosity mask as explained in the previous section.



  • Click on the Apply Mask button (the checkmark icon) at the bottom right corner of the panel. This will apply your luminosity mask to your selected layer or adjustment layer.



You can apply luminosity masks to layers or adjustment layers to make precise adjustments to specific tonal ranges in an image. You can also modify or remove the mask anytime by using NBP Lumizone Plugin panel again.


Examples of using NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop




Example 1: Exposure blending with overall luminance masks




In this example, we will use NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop to blend two exposures of the same scene: one exposed for the sky and one exposed for the foreground. We will use overall luminance masks to select and blend the best parts of each exposure.


Here are the steps:



  • Open both exposures in Photoshop as separate layers in the same document. Place the layer with the darker exposure (sky) on top of the layer with the brighter exposure (foreground).



  • Select the top layer and open NBP Lumizone Plugin panel. Select the Overall Luminance tab and click on the B, D, and M buttons to create a luminosity mask that selects the dark and midtone areas of the image. These are the areas where the sky is well exposed.



  • Click on the Apply Mask button to apply the luminosity mask to the top layer. This will hide the overexposed foreground of the top layer and reveal the well-exposed foreground of the bottom layer.



  • If needed, adjust the contrast of the mask by dragging the slider on the panel. This will make the transition between the two layers smoother or sharper.



  • If needed, use a soft brush tool to paint on the mask with black or white to refine the selection or remove any unwanted areas.



The result is a blended image that combines the best parts of both exposures, creating a balanced and natural-looking image.


Here is a table that shows the before and after images:


Before After --- --- Example 2: Color correction with RGB channel masks




In this example, we will use NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop to correct the color balance of an image that has a yellow cast. We will use RGB channel masks to select and adjust the yellow areas of the image.


Here are the steps:



  • Open the image in Photoshop and create a curves adjustment layer.



  • Select the curves adjustment layer and open NBP Lumizone Plugin panel. Select the RGB Channels tab and click on the Y button to create a luminosity mask that selects the yellow areas of the image. These are the areas where the color cast is most noticeable.



  • Click on the Apply Mask button to apply the luminosity mask to the curves adjustment layer. This will limit the adjustment to only affect the yellow areas of the image.



  • In the curves adjustment layer properties, switch to the blue channel and drag the curve slightly upward to add some blue to the yellow areas. This will neutralize the yellow cast and make the image more balanced.



  • If needed, adjust the contrast of the mask by dragging the slider on the panel. This will make the selection more or less precise.



  • If needed, use a soft brush tool to paint on the mask with black or white to refine the selection or remove any unwanted areas.



The result is a color-corrected image that has a more natural and pleasing color balance.


Here is a table that shows the before and after images:


Before After --- --- Example 3: Color grading with saturation map masks




In this example, we will use NBP Lumizone Plugin for Photoshop to grade the color of an image to create a cinematic look. We will use saturation map masks to select and adjust the saturation levels of different tonal ranges in the image.


Here are the steps:



  • Open the image in Photoshop and create a hue/saturation adjustment layer.



  • Select the hue/saturation adjustment layer and open NBP Lumizone Plugin panel. Select the Saturation Map tab and click on the S button to create a luminosity mask that selects the saturated areas of the image. These are the areas where the colors are most vivid.



  • Click on the Apply Mask button to apply the luminosity mask to the hue/saturation adjustment layer. This will limit the adjustment to only affect the saturated areas of the image.



  • In the hue/saturation adjustment layer properties, drag the saturation slider slightly to the left to reduce the saturation of the saturated areas. This will create a more muted and subtle color palette.



  • Create another hue/saturation adjustment layer and select it. Open NBP Lumizone Plugin panel again and select the Saturation Map tab. Click on the D button to create a luminosity mask that selects the desaturated areas of the image. These are the areas where the colors are most dull.



Click on the Appl


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