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New tool: Contrast brush

Explorer ,
Sep 24, 2023 Sep 24, 2023

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I propose a new tool that would be in the same category as the "Dodge" and "Burn" tools and would increase the contrast of the affected pixels, or if the "Reduce Contrast" mode is enabled, would decrease the contrast, the same the Brightness/Contrast adjustment works, but applied locally via a brush that can be softened, rather than globally.

Alt-clicking a color will set its grayscale value as the "middle point", meaning that colors brighter than it will get lighter, while colors that are darker would get even darker, increasing ease of use in over- or underexposed images.

It could also have a dropdown menu that lets users customize how the lightening/darkening is done, including modes such as "Multiply/Screen"; "Darken/Lighten"; "Dodge/Burn" and "Reduce Contrast".

 

How this could be useful:

While it is possible to make a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and paint the mask to only affect the image locally, these are way too many steps with too much configuring, and yet it doesn't offer the abovementioned modes. For people who don't want to burden their layer stack or just want to quickly increase local contrast in a powerful and easily customizable way, this tool would be ideal.

 

It's worth mentioning that there currently exists a similar tool - The history brush, set to the "Overlay", "Soft Light", "Hard Light" or "Vivid Light" blending modes. However, there are a couple of problems with this "implementation", namely that it's very hidden and undocumented, so scarcely anyone knows about it. It's also necessary to set the history brush state to the current step, or it might bright back old parts of the image. And the biggest drawback is that these blending modes have a midpoint of 50%, meaning everything brighter than 50% gray gets brighter, and everything darker than 50% gray gets darker, and that's not customizable. Also, due to the way the history brush functions, it adds to the opacity of half-transparent pixels, making them more opaque. Not to mention it's clunky to switch between using the history brush as intended and this mode.

My proposed tool would alleviate all of these problems.

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iPadOS , macOS , Windows

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1 Comment
Enthusiast ,
Nov 08, 2023 Nov 08, 2023

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Great idea, totally support!

This functionality can be added to the existing Sponge tool.

IvanZayats_0-1699442439766.png

 

It already has 2 modes

IvanZayats_1-1699442518297.png

 

so, why not to add 2 more?

  • Add contrast
  • Reduce contrast 

 

And there should be a checkbox "Protect saturation" 🙂 

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