Contrast Enhancement Evolution. From ALCE, to NEXT, to SHAPE.
We currently have two contrast enhancer plugins in our product range. SHAPE was developed four years after NEXT, capitalizing on the experience made with many other plugins, especially Wow! Frequency Equalizer. SHAPE was also designed to work alongside or even improve NEXT. The two plugins are different in terms of behavior, color engine, and algorithm. However, what NEXT does can ben easily be reproduced in SHAPE but, not the opposite,
Introducing Wow! Pro 2 – Five Bands Frequency Equalizer and Decomposer
We have been working on Wow! 2 in the last months capitalizing the know-how achieved developing plug-ins like Shape and others. We set out to develop this new outstanding version by improving performance and all existing features and adding more features to enhance user experience and speed up the workflow. We invested a lot of resources in the user interface, and all functions are now customizable.
The most important new function is Edge and Tone Preserving, a new exciting exclusive core feature of Wow! 2. It magically improves edges and overall tone, protecting highlights and shadows. It allows pushing the frequency sliders further. We also added “Adaptive Frequency Range”, “Shadows & Highlights Protect”, “Quick Decompose”, “Full Color Control”, “Tooltips Help” and more.
Introducing NEXT. The Next Generation ALCE
ALCE has been our bestselling product for many years and, since the release of ALCE2, its core functionality has not changed significantly. Recently, thanks to the know-how achieved developing plugins such as Wow! and Mask Equalizer, we set out to make this outstanding product even better by improving some of ALCE’s weaknesses. Specifically, we focused on: creating a live preview, improving the embedded halos suppress tool, adding three masking sliders and finally switching to Quad-Core processing and 32bit computing capabilities, not available in Photoshop.
The result was the Next Generation Local Contrast Enhancer, which we decided to rename NEXT.
ALCE missed the preview. Its routine was very complex and it has been necessary to consistently improve the speed. NEXT is at least three times faster compared to ALCE at 8 bit and eight time faster at 16bit.
It means virtually live preview.
ALCE embedded an halos suppress tool. We have consistently improved it but, when needed you can deactivate it to get even further contrast. Despite this we still were not satistied and added a brand new masking option.
We added three new masking sliders. They are hidden when you open the panel in compact mode. You can now progressively mask highlights, midtones and shadows. Works well in shadows and to remove halos in flat backgrounds.
ALCE was a script, NEXT is a plug-in. It means that it uses its own engine working at 32bit without color quantization and stretching the local histogram much better. With NEXT gradations, highlights and shadows are smooth as never before.
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Wow! Pro 2 + Mask Equalizer. Two Thoroughbreds Working Together
Mask Equalizer is a Photoshop plug-in to create sophisticated masks using multiple luminosity ranges quickly. Load one preset with just one click, to start to create your perfect mask. Instantly preview the result switching back and forth from mask to comp mode. Feather the mask, modify its contrast or opacity. The plug-in works with adjustment layers, advanced objects or groups.
We warmly suggest considering to buy our convenient bundle of Wow Pro 2 and Mask Equalizer. This plug-in is entirely independent of Wow!, but it shines when they are used together.
Page Photo Credits
Two girls: © Irina Gromovataya / depositphoto.com
Man: © Sergey Galushko / depositphoto.com
Model: © Irina Gromovataya / depositphoto.com
Family Portrait: © Jani Bryson / depositphoto.com
Interiors Video: © Roberto Bigano /www.bigano.com
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