What’s new in Wow! Frequency Equalizer Pro Vs Classic
Wow! Classic works on five different frequency layers, but where are they? Well, they’re hidden: you actually manipulate them with the sliders, but there’s nothing else you can do. Wow! Pro adds the option to turn each frequency into its pixel layers for a better and more precise frequency based retouching. You can paint, clone and heal on the very specific frequency layer that contains the features you need to target, with high precision, giving you unprecedented control over the retouching process.
The two panels compared
The two editions side by side so that you may see the differences. On the left, you see the classic version of Wow! Frequency Equalizer, on the right, the Pro version. You may notice that the only difference in the interface is represented by an additional row of controls, namely a checkbox called Luma, a couple of buttons named Classic and Social, and a button called Decompose.
When the Luma checkbox is active (default setting), the original color remains untouched, but you can deactivate it to instruct the plug-in, not to re-compute color.
Social. If you enable this button, Wow! uses in the computation a different algorithm optimized for small images, and in turn, it won’t usually work on larger ones.
Finally, the Decompose button: a unique feature. Wow works on five different frequency layers, but where are they? Well, they’re hidden: you actually manipulate them with the sliders, but there’s nothing else you can do. Unless you use the Decompose button: let’s see what happens. This operation may take a while, especially on a slow machine, but in practice, you get a decomposition in six different layers: what scientists call a “pyramid” of layers. Each one of these addresses a different frequency. Bottom to top: a base layer image, extremely blurred, followed by decreasing frequency layers. The smaller the frequency, the finer the detail.
How It Works With The Sliders (Classic and Pro)
Here the Wow! interface. There are two ways you can go. The first: you start tweaking the sliders until you get a satisfactory result. The second, faster and easier: you start from one of the presets enclosed in Wow! Choosing a preset from the menu, the sliders will change their position and set themselves in a given configuration.
The sliders correspond to five spatial frequency bands; left to right, the bands correspond to high frequencies which become progressively lower. If you prefer: detail is on the left, shape is on the right. The intermediate bands work on intermediate scales.
Each slider can be either boosted or cut: a boost corresponds to an enhancement of a given band, a cut corresponds to a reduction. Sliders can be combined, of course, in whatever ratio. The effect may not be easily predictable at times, and it strongly depends on the image you are working on. Also, notice the sixth slider: you may think of it as the intensity of the overall effect, a bit like opacity: 100 is maximum (and the default), and 0 is minimum, corresponding to no effect.
How It Works With The Decomposed Layers (Pro only)
The Decompose button is a new exciting feature of Wow! Frequency Equalizer Pro decomposing the image in six different layers: what scientists call a “pyramid.” Each one of these addresses a different frequency. Bottom to top: a base layer image, extremely blurred, followed by decreasing frequency layers. The smaller the frequency, the finer the detail.
These are real layers that you can manipulate at will for a better and more precise frequency based retouching.
You can paint, clone and heal on the very exact frequency the layer that contains the features you need to target, with high precision, giving you unprecedented control over the retouching process.
If for instance, the layer named Scale 2 seems to be responsible for most of the skin blemishes, using the Clone Stamp tool on it sounds like a brilliant idea. This doesn’t change the remaining frequencies so that every layer addresses a single and peculiar characteristic of the image. In the case shown here, we added a clipped curve to modify the contrast of the Scale 3 and a layer mask on the Decompose group.
In the large image above an example of wrinkles retouch on a decomposed layer. This will affect only the detail and not the color.
Not only beauty. A non-conventional use of frequency separation
Usually one encounters frequency separation for the first time in the field of beauty retouch and the samples shown above are just related to portrait and beauty retouch and improvement.
However Frequency Separation, thanks to the easiness of Wow!, especially Wow! Pro is much much more. There are a lot of non-conventional techniques that can bring great or even unseen results. As for why we encourage you to play with the base and scale layers. Modify tea opacity, blur or contrast them or even apply ON the scale layers Wow! (using sliders).
An example. We found a stock image that was nice but very flat. We simply applied decompose and modified the opacity of the base layer from 100% to 26%. Yeah!…I know what are you thinking: “you could only add contrast.” No, the result should be much less impressive. This has preserved virtually all the detail on highlights and shadows with no color shift.
Out of this example, this technique is perfect for HDR images and in general with landscape and architecture, starting from a base file (no usm, clarity or contrast added in camera raw). On this topic, we’ll publish a post soon.
Classic Customers Special
- For Classic Edition customers only
- Get the the key to buy Wow! Pro Edition at €20
- This is not an upgrade. You’ll get a a brand new license.
Wow! Pro Edition
- Wow! Frequency Equalizer Pro Edition
- Adds to the classic features of Wow! Classic the Decomposition button a new exciting feature. You can now explicitly turn each frequency into its own pixel layer (five of them are created in a stack, plus a base layer) for a better and more precise frequency based retouching. Classic and Social Engine.
Wow! Pro + Mask Equalizer
- Two Thoroughbreds at a Special Price
- Mark Equalizer shines used together with Wow! Frequency Equalizer Pro Edition. I will allow to create on the fly complex luminosity masks with an instant preview of the mask applied. Works with pixel layers, adjustment layers, advanced objects and groups.
To put it as easily as possible, frequency separation is a Photoshop technique which separates the texture of an image from its shape creating two layers, one storing color and luminosity information and the other one, storing the detail. Activating a curve adjustment layer, restricted to operate on the high frequency layer, you can change the detail level of the image by steepening or flattening the curve. You will also be able to easily clone over defective parts with no visible side-effects.
Usually one encounters spatial frequency separation for the first time in the field of beauty retouch. To put it as easily as possible, it is a technique which separates the texture of an image from its shape, allowing the retoucher to easily clone over defective parts with no visible side-effects.
Page Photo Credits
Cover Photo: © Irina Gromovataya / depositphoto.com
Girl: ©Uri Avitan
Kid: © Andrey Kuzmin / AdobestockVideo: ©Pietro Bianchi