Shape | Midtones Global/Local Contrast Manager


Shape is a Plugin for Photoshop CC to manage contrast, sharpness, and color, in just one step. Its shaping effect is mostly concentrated in the mid-tones, using a sophisticated 32bit internal masking tool protecting highlights and shadows, that the user can control by just moving the sliders.

A unique feature, Shape allows changing not only the amount but also the kind of contrast as the user can modify the default global/local contrast mix. The color behavior can be controlled as well, thanks to the color boost control and the two color modes.

Shape Plugin for Photoshop CC

Midtones Contrast


Shape adds contrast and sharpness to midtones in just one step, thanks to a masking tool that protects highlights and shadows.

Global/Local Mix


Shape pops-up contrast and colors with no halos using a customizable mix of Global/Local contrast with great artifacts-free transitions.

Midtones USM


Shape is a unique and powerful sharpener that you can exclude in shadows and highlights where USM creates most of the artifacts.

Color Control


Shape allows full color-control thanks to its 32bit engine, the color boost tool and two color modes, with a natural and photographic look.

€32 – Multi-licenses available

Full functions version with watermark

Design 2 for Shape

 Why Shape


We designed Shape with a completely new approach capitalizing on what we did in the past with other plugins.

To start we asked ourselves, which kind of tool does a photographer really need?
The answer was: a qualitative, powerful, flexible contrast manager given that native digital files are “flat”.

But which kind of contrast? A Local contrast, like the one used in NEXT, or Global contrast like Photoshop curves?
The solution was to keep the best of the two worlds! Easy to say, not so easy to do.

A click of the mouse and adjust the sliders


1. Click on “RUN” to apply Shape for the first time. An internal masking tool preserves highlights and shadows proportionally. Shape 50 equals to Protect 50.
2. Adjust the contrast using “Shape”
3. If necessary adjust the “Protect” sliders independently by unlocking the lock button to reduce or increase the shape effect in highlights or shadows.
4. Adjust the sharpness.
5. Click on “NEW” to get a new version to compare.

The ability to control so many adjustments at once in live preview makes it easy to use even for photographers new to Photoshop. Shape will boost images to a higher dimension – a lot of power in very few steps.

Watch the video to watch Shape at work.

Design 1 for Shape

Customize your Shape


Shape is at the same time extremely easy to use and fully customizable, by accessing the preferences panel.

The most important option is the balance of Global and Local Contrast. You may increase the Global effect by increasing the amount of the Low Frequency (High radius). For example, 512 instead of 256. Or you can increase the Local effect by reducing that number. For example, 64 instead of 256. Keep the Medium frequency value intermediate.

You can also customize the preview mode, the color mode, the color saturation and the sharpening mode.
Read more in the “Customize your shape” tab

Watch the video below to learn how it works.

Design 2 for Shape
Design 1 for Shape

Global and Local


We designed Shape using a prevalence of Global contrast because in general it’s better and has a more photographic look. Then we focused on protecting highlights and shadows without artifacts or posterization. It was a significant challenge, but in the end, we were able to design the current protection embedded tool, working at 32bit.

Shape allows you to modify this default mix to add more or less Local Contrast to fit your taste and needs.
But what Global and Local contrast are? To learn it proceed in this order

1. Watch the “Customize your Shape” video.
2. Download the Shape-Package containing the files used in the tutorial with original, Global prevalent and Local prevalent layers.
3. Pick three of your images and apply the same settings used in the video. Then play with the Low-Frequency value to refine the result.

Design 1 for Shape

If you don’t want to watch the video here a quick resume of the video contents

Design your custom Shape


What else can you customize?
The Preview mode so you can, for example, select the manual preview instead of the live one.

The Color Boost. You will never again experience the lack of saturation when increasing the contrast. By default it’s 15, so with a standard boost of contrast you will get exactly the same color feel.

The Color mode by choosing the Color Accuracy (RGB) option, great with landscape images.

And last but not least, the Sharpening mode by adjusting the High Frequency (low radius) value. With a lower number you will get a thinner USM, with and higher number a more aggressive one.
Whatever value you choose will have a powerful sharpener, that you can exclude in shadows and highlights where USM creates the most of the artifacts – the only one in the market that lets you do this.

€32 – Multi-licenses available

Full functions version with watermark

Compatibility, version and manual


Photoshop CC and later
Mac: OSX Lion and later
WIN: WIN 7 and later, 64bit only
Current Version: 1.0.8
Read or download the user manual

The cover of the user manual of Shape plugin for Photoshop CC with the panel and a sample of application

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