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ALCE | Advanced Local Contrast Enancer

An easy-to-use and powerful tool to effectively improve and finely tune the local contrast of an image. The interface is simple and clean, with just one slider, allowing the user to customize the effect in a straightforward way.

© Depositphotos.com/Coolfonk
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...it Makes my Work just Pop so Beautifully…

“we can correct the sad and unattractive aspect of digital photography. This is the same difference between overcooked and al dente spagettis, or between a soft and a crunchy french baguette”

© Depositphotos.com/Goinyk
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ALCE | Advanced Local Contrast Enhancer



An easy-to-use and powerful Photoshop tool to effectively improve and finely tune the local contrast of an image, by means of a smart algorithm which avoids the clipping issues typical of methods like shadows/highlights.
The user interface is simple and clean, with just one slider, allowing the user to customize the effect in a straightforward way.

  • Improvement of local contrast. Excellent local sharpening, 3D look 80%
  • More detail and structure in the shadows without any detail loss in the highlights 70%
  • Better digital and offset prints with impressive tonal range 60%

alce_intro_500

 

ALCE | Single User License
22% Vat added to EU Customers
Price in $ subject to daily exchange rates

Compatibility

  • Photoshop CC 2014, CC, CS6, CS5, CS4, CS3
  • MAC: All version of OSX compatible with the above Photoshop versions, Yosemite included
  • WIN: All version of OS compatible with the above Photoshop versions, WIN8 included

The current version is

  • 2.3.1 for CC 2014, CC, CS
  • 2.1.2 for CS5, CS4, CS3

Follow Up Page >
Get the Most Out of ALCE. Online Training and Manual – Before After Comparison- Tips and Tricks

ALCE_Tutorial_400

The complete collection of the famous tutorials by Marco Olivotto.

  • First part: “Introducing ALCE” will support you in your first steps with the sofware.
  • Second paer, “Working with ALCE” will introduce you to several interesting and advanced techniques.

Go to tutorial page >

 

Press

The Press about ALCE. See the section below


All comments are published or authorized by the authors. We invite you to visit their site.

I really like the way your program enhances images. It is the only 3rd party plug in I use and almost always use it for my landscape works and also for some of my commercial photographs. Your support is also terrific.
Sowerby Smith, Sydney, Australia >

Thank you for your product, this is really what I been waiting for long time, we can correct the sad and unattractive aspect of digital photography. This is the same difference between overcooked and al dente spagettis, or between a soft and a crunchy french baguette.
Rémy Gindroz, photographe, La Croix sur Lutry, Switzerland >

I rarely send an unsolicited email, but I wanted to thank you personally for such a great piece of software. I jumped right in, viewed and hopefully absorbed your videos, which are entertaining as well as enlightening. And just as I was hoping that it was a little faster, I get an email from support about the upgrade. Bravo.
Robin Moyer, Hong Kong >

I use ALCE as part of my main workflow. Very few images will not benefit from a bit of a boost and, remember, what you see on your screen will be much more contrasty than a print. Giving an image a quick once over with ALCE will lift your print quality without a shadow of a doubt. ***Highly recommended.
Nick Rains, Better Digital Camera Magazine >

The software is fantastic. A major breakpoint in digital image enhancing.
Hans Strand, Hägersten, Sweden – Hasselblad testimonial >

I use ALCE2 on almost every file. It makes my images come to life!
I wish it would run faster but I am sure you have it running as fast as possible given the many steps I see happening.
Lanny Nagler, Hartford, CT, United States – ASMP >

Thank you very much for your fast reposonse, I am not only very impressed with your product, but also with your support! …very nice tool, which is worth every euro of its price!
Jan Lemmens, Lemmert Photography, Leuven, Belgium – Belgian Federation of Professional Photographers >

I must say I love ALCE. It’s easily one of the best photoshop plugins I’ve ever found. I’ve developed ways of shooting subjects (shooting flat with low contrast) so that when ALCE is applied the results are fantastic.
Victor Albrow, Edinburgh, Scotland >

The best $30 I’ve spent since I got a computer. Thanks.
Rick Dahms, Seattle, WA, United States >

ALCE2 is a deceptively easy tool that enhances the contrast of an image to really give it some punch. Unlike some filters that have hundreds of options and boxes to click – this one is simple: just one slider. You dial in the amount of effect you want and off it goes. Best of all, it records the setting you used – right in the layer name – so you can actually recreate the look later. This was a huge plus for me!
From: New Way To Enhance Contrast. Larry Lourcey Blog, Plano, TX, United States >

Very pleased with the upgrade. I knew ALCE was a work in progress and it was worth the wait. Good job!
Philip Castleton, Toronto, Canada >

I just want to thank you for a great program! I’ve just done some testing, really good!
Nils Gunnebro – Digital Center, Stockholm, Sweden >

I have downloaded your ALCE and have been enjoying the benefits from it. It is a great tool and have forwarded your link to some of my professional photographer friends.
James Walshe, Victoria, Australia >

I love your ALCE – makes my work just pop so beautifully.
Bruce Girdwood, Wellington, New Zealand >

Thanks – I really love your Filter – it’s AMAZING!!!!
Oli Rust, Paris, France >

I have tried using ALCE in Black and White images, particularly on some quite old photographs. The results were fantastic considering it was all done with a single slider. ALCE repaired the old photos to some extent but the great thing was the contrast value with the whites becoming much “whiter” and the black becoming real black without any loss of detail.
Ern Matters, Melbourne, Australia

Your action is really nice. I travel and speak to professional groups in the USA and would like to mention your product.
William Branson III, Durham, NC, USA >

Just want to say that this plug-in with the tutorials is a fantastic help to me. I use ALCE a lot when making interior shots for my customers, saves me a lot of time.
Martin Ekwall, Stockholm, Sweden >

I Purchased the superb ALCE program. It is very helpful and quick.
Pat Wettstein – Photoproduction Studio – Nussbaumen, Switzerland >

ALCE is AMAZING!!! I cannot sleep; I am too busy playing with the various effects of ALCE on a copy of one of my photos. I haven’t yet looked at your instruction manual.
Alain Foussier, Woudsend, Netherlands >

…the new cs4 script is great, the website for it is also fantastic. It is wonder that you and Davide share so much information.
Brud Jones, Digital Labrador, Kansas City, USA >

Thank you for the creation of ALCE My name is Zisiang See, currently in Kuala Lumpur location. It feels good having the ALCE you have created. I purchased the ALCE and tried it on some of my work, and find loving the outcome so much! The custom taste you have tuned in the ALCE is very quality. Hope to have more update from your side soon.
Zisiang See, Reina Imaging, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia >

The ALCE Photoshop plug-in makes dull photos look brilliant and brilliant photos even more brilliant.
Article byErik Vlietinck, IT Enquirer

This inexpensive PS panel plugin can produce some magical effects.
The Online Photographer – Oct 22, 2010 – Posted by: Mark Norman >

Thank you very much, It’s really a great tool!
Thomas Smetana, Linz, Austria >

“I am one of your avid users of ALCE and use it all the time”
Ralph De Caro, Panomedia Productions, Harrisonville, NJ, USA >

I Love ALCE!!!!!!!! Just wanted to let you know that I am using ALCE on all the images I use at work. I don’t know how I managed without this.
Bev West, Creative Director, Lawrence, KS, USA >

Just the best investment I ever made in CS4. Bravo. Gracie
Jean Pierre Bammatter, Geneve, Switzerland

ALCE has got such an important part of my workflow that Photoshop CS5 is more or less useless for me. You did a truly fine piece of software!
Rupert Larl, Innsbruck, Austria >

Thanks for such a wonderful plugin!
Mark Gregory Peters – Barcelona – Spain >

I recently bought the ALCE file and it works brilliantly, absolutely love it, best money ever spent on a Photoshop Plug-in/Script.
Adian Kunst Five Star Studio – Wedding Photographer – Mackay, Australia >

By the way I do love the program and your tutorials!
Steven Gustafson, Chattanooga, TN, United States >

I have been using your outstanding software from January and I have to say that each time I use it, I thank the ‘gods’ for ALCE!
Roger Gelland, Digital HR images. Tzur Yigal, Israel >

Why ALCE

Whether used as a final touch-up tool or early in the workflow to set up the structure of an image, Local Contrast Enhancement is a processing technique which improves realism and tri-dimensionality in pictures: it’s like being in front of the subject rather than a mere bidimensional reproduction of it.

Improvement of local contrast

Humans don’t see things like cameras do: the software running in our brain and constantly processing the visual information passed on by the eyes is enormously more sophisticated than any camera chipset. When we look at things out in the world, we’re continuously calibrating and extracting detail depending on the subject we are looking at and also on its surroundings. We were gifted with a built-in local contrast enhancement routine which always runs, and that’s why the comparison of the pictures shown below, before and after the application of our tool, are remarkable examples of successful image processing.

What is local contrast?

A global adjustment of contrast sets the balance of the entire picture: the standard method is that of establishing a highlight point, a shadow point, and then re-allocate contrast in the midtones, possibly even tuning quarter tones and three-quarter tones. Whatever tool we use for this, the fact is that a lot of contrast still lies, hidden and unexploited, in the image. We need to process every area of the picture separately to make the most out of it, so that all of the image’s features may be greatly intensified.

 


Excellent local sharpening, 3D look

A standard way to apply a form of contrast enhancement which mimics a “true” local contrast routine is known as HiRaLoAm sharpening, after Dan Margulis’ definition. It is, in practice, Photoshop’s Unsharp Masking filter with High Radius and Low Amount. If properly controlled, it yields remarkable results. Nevertheless, Local Contrast Enhancement is a different algorithm, conceptually and practically. Still, to an unexperienced eye, the processed image looks sharper as if some kind of filter to boost three-dimensionality were applied.

More detail and structure in the shadows without any detail loss in the highlights

The algorithm analyzes the image through a user-defined value (called “radius”). Such radius defines a neighborhood of interest, and within that area a contrast-enhancing manoeuvre is carried out without any clipping. This way, highlight details are safe and enriched, while the structure of shadows is boosted and yet preserves the original information.

No artifacts in soft nuances

Any image processing routine aimed at boosting contrast and detail tends to emphasize transitions between light and dark areas: artifacts and noise in smooth areas almost invariably are an unwanted by-product of such filters.
The choice of an appropriate radius helps to minimize this issue, and simple masking will minimize unwnted halos. Check the advanced tips&tricks section below in order to master some useful techniques that may come in handy when you need to tweak the processed result.

13 Great Tutorials by Marco Olivotto

GO TO TUTORIAL PAGE

22% Vat added to EU Customers

€28/ BUY NOW! / $38

Before After Comparison


Here below several examples of Triple Tone, Single Tone, Color Filters and Colorize. all explained step by step.
Manually navigate back and forth using the keyboard  left/right arrow keys or swipe on devices.

  • ba_alce_glacier_before
  • ba_alce_glacier_after
  • 02_01-Cagliari_before
  • 02_02-Cagliari_after
  • ba_alce_rhino_before
  • ba_alce_rhino_after
  • 03_01-Cruise-Ship_before
  • 03_02-Cruise-Ship_after
  • ba_alce_kids_before
  • 05_02-Kids_after
  • 06_01-Groom-Bride-in-the-car_before
  • 06_02-Groom-Bride-in-the-car_after
  • 07_01-Spouses_before
  • ba_alce_Spouses_after
  • 08_01-Photokina-2008-Kata_before
  • 08_02-Photokina-2008-Kata_after
  • ba_alce_glacier_before
  • ba_alce_glacier_after
  • 02_01-Cagliari_before
  • 02_02-Cagliari_after
  • ba_alce_rhino_before
  • ba_alce_rhino_after
  • 03_01-Cruise-Ship_before
  • 03_02-Cruise-Ship_after
  • ba_alce_kids_before
  • 05_02-Kids_after
  • 06_01-Groom-Bride-in-the-car_before
  • 06_02-Groom-Bride-in-the-car_after
  • 07_01-Spouses_before
  • ba_alce_Spouses_after
  • 08_01-Photokina-2008-Kata_before
  • 08_02-Photokina-2008-Kata_after


Technical Notes & Photo Credits
  1. Glacier: ALCE15  - 70% opacity – 3000×2000 px
  2. Royal Palace of Cagliari: ALCE200 – 100% opacity + ALCE20 at 30% opacity + ALCE – 100% opacity - 3228x 3060pix
  3. Rhino: ALCE100 – 100% opacity - 2572x2340px
  4. Cruise Ship: ALCE2_20 – 60% opacity (Mask) + ALCE1 70% opacity (Mask) – 1080×810 (Web)
  5. Kids: ALCE50 – 70%  opacity+ Hue/Saturation 20+ ALCE1 -70% opacity
  6. Just Married B&W: ALCE50 at 70% - 3000x1996px
  7. Spouses Color: ALCE10- 70% opacity (Mask) + ALCE3 50% opacity (Mask) + ALCE1 20% opacity - 1080×720 (Web)
  8. ALCE20 – 100% opacity + Advdnced layers options as described in advanced tutorial: “2.8 ALCE, Leak-a-boo” – Original resolution 7210 by 5410 pix
  • Photo Credits:
  1. Glacier: © Depositphotos.com/Goinyk
  2. Royal Palace of Cagliari: ALCE200 – 100% opacity + ALCE20 at 30% opacity + ALCE – 100% opacity - 3228x 3060pix
  3. Rhino: ALCE100 – 100% opacity - 2572x2340px
  4. Cruise Ship: ALCE2_20 – 60% opacity (Mask) + ALCE1 70% opacity (Mask) – 1080×810 (Web)
  5. Kids: ALCE50 – 70%  opacity+ Hue/Saturation 20+ ALCE1 -70% opacity
  6. Just Married B&W: ALCE50 at 70% - 3000x1996px
  7. Spouses Color: ALCE10- 70% opacity (Mask) + ALCE3 50% opacity (Mask) + ALCE1 20% opacity - 1080×720 (Web)
  8. ALCE20 – 100% opacity + Advdnced layers options as described in advanced tutorial: “2.8 ALCE, Leak-a-boo” - Original resolution 7210 by 5410 pix


Related Topics

 


ALCE test Action | Understand How Radius Works

ALCE test Action is a Photoshop action which automatically creates eight ALCE layers with different radius values, from 1 to 350. You can choose ALCE to be applied with or without Turbo (Softer) option to see the difference between the two methods.

ALCE and 360° panoramic images

Two suggestion for ALCE processing of equirectangular images to be used building 360 degree panoramas. By Davide Barranca Equirectangular images, the ones used to build those beautiful, immersive, 360 degrees panoramas, may require some extra attention with ALCE , in...

Larry Lourcey on ALCE: New Way To Enhance Contrast

ALCE2 is a deceptively easy tool that enhances the contrast of an image to really give it some punch. Unlike some filters that have hundreds of options and boxes to click – this one is simple: just one slider. You dial in the amount of effect you want and off it goes. Best of all, it records the setting you used – right in the layer name – so you can actually recreate the look later. This was a huge plus for me!

Better Digital Camera Magazine: A Local Contrast Enhancer | By Nick Rains

I use ALCE as part of my main workflow. Very few images will not benefit from a bit of a boost and, remember, what you see on your screen will be much more contrasty than a print. Giving an image a quick once over with ALCE will lift your print quality without a shadow of a doubt. Nick Rains ***Highly recommended.

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