Contrast Enhancement Evolution. From Alce to Next, to Shape

by | Mar 23, 2020

ALCE and NEXT later have been our best selling products for many years, generating unprecedented enthusiasm. So we can say that Know-How Transfer grew up on ALCE and milk. However, two years ago, we sat out to make to develop a new plug-in able to improve our outstanding flagship product. This newer plug-in is Shape, and, for a limited time, it’s available as an upgrade from ALCE or NEXT.

Alce, Next and Shape panels and a Ferrari F40

How Next (and ALCE) work.


Next is THE Local Contrast Enhancer by excellence. It does its work very well, in an easy way.
You don’t add more or less enhancement, you simply modify the radius value to get a very variated result.
Next’s ease of use is at the same time its strength and weakness, as it doesn’t offer any further option.

Watch the videos to learn the basics of Local Contrast and Radius.

Watch “What is Local Contrast”

Watch “What is Radius”

NEXT main and preferences panel
Shape main and preferences panel

How Shape “Makes it Pop”.


SHAPE works in a different way, as it separately controls the Kind and the Amount of Contrast Enhancement.
The Kind is controlled by the presets: Global, Local, USM and Custom.
The Amount is controlled by the Shape and Sharpness sliders.

This workflow is powerful and flexible as you can apply Local Contrast, as NEXT typically does, or Global Contrast, as a Photoshop Curve, but focusing in the mid-tones.

It’s something like having an amazing version of NEXT with two sliders, to separately control the contrast mode and the amount. Plus the extra options to add sharpening and color boost, customize the behavior of the sliders, and a more advanced highlights and shadows protection.

Watch “Contrast Enhancement Evolution – From ALCE, to NEXT, to SHAPE” 


SHAPE, for a limited time, is available as an “upgrade” from ALCE or NEXT.
All NEXT and ALCE customers are eligible for the upgrade discount, which applies automatically once logged in.
If you purchased ALCE before July 14, 2014, as well as at Adobe or deals sites as Mighty Deals, please contact support to get a custom discount code.

Full functions version with watermark

€19.2 – NEXT and ALCE Users

The Wow! 2 Before/After Training Booklet

 The Next/Shape Interactive Comparison Booklet


This 60 pages booklet is designed to easily compare versions using the index buttons available in all pages, or browse back and forth through the pages using the keyboard arrow keys.
Download and open the pdf in Acrobat Reader or Preview, using “View in Full-Screen Mode”option. You can also download some of the files used in the booklet and tutorial.

Download the comparison booklet

Download the sample files