ALCE Tutorials


By Marco Olivotto.
The first part: “Introducing ALCE” presents RGB, Roberto Bigano Group and will support you in your first steps with the software.
The second one, “Working with ALCE” will introduce you to several interesting and advanced techniques.

Open the tabbed contents to read the video summary. The tutorials are marked with green, yellow or red tabs according to the difficulty level.

Part 1. Introducing ALCE. Basic Instructional Video | By Marco Olivotto


1.1 What is local contrast? | Understanding ALCE’s working principles
  • The concept of luminance ratios
  • Dark and light points and the use of the info palette
  • Overall contrast and local contrast of an image
  • First application of ALCE
1.2 Getting ALCE to work | Installing and running the script
  • Installing and run ALCE the first time.
  • The ALCE main window. How to get support, info, download videos and documentation.
  • The Batch processing option.
  • The formats where ALCE works.
1.3 Between radius and saturation | Choosing ALCE’s radius and dealing with colors
  • What is radius.
  • The difference between various radius values. Re-allocation of contrast.
  • The relationship between radius value and file size.
  • The saturation issue and the perceptual saturation.
2.1 ALCE in the Abbey | Simple ALCE layers tuned with opacity and hand-made layer masks
  • The re-allocation of luminosity.
  • Use opacity to control the ALCE effect.
  • What is a layer mask.
  • Create manually simple masks to protect some parts of the image.
2.2 Smoked ALCE| Comparison and blending of ALCE layers with different radii
  • Comparison and blending of ALCE layers with different radii.
  • ALCE’s application at different radii on different layers. 
  • Layer masks and painting of the effect to combine ALCE at multiple radii in a single image.

2.3 ALCE Goes Plastic | Separating light and dark halos, and beyond
  • Use of Darken and Lighten blending modes in order to split the effect of dark and light halos across two layers. 
  • Use opacity to modulate them separately. 
  • Advanced processing for further detail enhancement.

2.4 ALCE on Wuthering Heights | Using combination of Channels and layer Masks
  • Making ALCE’s author look like a fool. 
  • HiRaLoAm comparison. 
  • Finding a suitable RGB channel to be used as a layer mask. 
  • Channel operations on a layer mask.

2.5 ALCE. Portrait or Fashion? | Difference leads to different approaches to the same image
  • Different masks can enhance different features on the same image. 
  • Mask blurring. 
  • Use of Difference blending mode to create a skintone mask.

2.6 ALCE Gets Married | Enhancing shape where there’s little
  • Use of channel operations on a duplicate image to create a mask, via HardMix blending mode. 
  • Application of two ALCE radii through the mask. 
  • Multiply blending mode at reduced opacity. 
  • Hue/Saturation correction.

2.7 ALCE in the Lab | Difference leads to different approaches to the same image
  • Lab color mode. 
  • Separation of contrast (L channel) and color (a,b channels). 
  • Use of Lab channels as a foundation for a mask Usage of Gray 50% fill to isolate colors, plus blending modes and further mask optimization.

2.8 ALCE, Leak-a-boo | Localizing the effect by conditional blending
  • Image analysis. 
  • Explanation of Advanced Blending Options and “Blend If” sliders. 
  • Their use in Lab to wipe halos out from saturated areas.

2.9 ALCE finds the Key | A difficult case which requires Black Magic
  • Roundtrip RGB->CMYK->RGB conversion. 
  • ALCE on CMYK. 
  • Retaining the effect on the K channel only. 
  • Applying the CMYK effect back to RGB.

2.10 ALCE. The ultimate nightmare | Improving impossible CMYK conversions
  • Out-of-gamut colors in CMYK conversions. 
  • De-saturation as the standard option to recover detail. 
  • ALCE in CMYK as a better choice

Marco “The Voice” Olivotto recording


Marco is a Master in Color Correction since when he decided to spread the word about color correction techniques in Photoshop, still relatively unknown in Italy. Marco also teaches colour correction techniques in important workshops and conferences. He is a Teacher-in-a-Box instructor and writes for the magazine Fotografia Reflex which hosts a monthly space about color correction. Marco is also the author of our best tutorials. The great Dan Margulis, who invented color correction in Photoshop, and was the first mentor of Marco publicly called him “a renaissance man” because of his eclecticism.

Visit his website >

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