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Lumenzia FAQ 

What does Lumenzia do?

Lumenzia is a luminosity masking panel with four core functions: create masks, apply masks, refine masks, and finishing tools. Mask creation includes options to select by luminosity and saturation. Mask applications include creating a selection; shortcuts to create curve, HSL, and PhotoFilter adjustment layers (you can also create other types of adjustment layer such as levels or color balance by using the selections function); and the ability to replace the mask on any existing layer with a single click. Mask refinement tools include the ability to apply the mask to a specific part of the image or a specific color, as well as the ability to combine masks to make it easier to understand complex masks and save on clutter and file space. Finishing tools include a luminosity-mask capable dodge/burn tool, a creative vignette tool, and a sharpening tool (which uses a surface blur technique).

How does Lumenzia differ from other luminosity masking approaches?

Lumenzia creates luminosity masks without using channels. This simplifies the workflow and enables more targeted masks that aren’t possible with a channels-based approach. For example, Lumenzia is optimized right out of the box to provide a better response to saturated colors (which tend not to be selected with a channels based approach). And you can tweak and customize the masks it creates in an infinite number of ways to get the best mask for your image. Lumenzia is written in JavaScript. That means that it has built-in intelligence and capabilities that vastly exceed the limits of action scripts in Photoshop. For example, every action in Lumenzia shows up as a single history state, so it’s easy to undo anything. It helps you keep track of your masks by naming the adjustment layers you create. It has the power to do complex math to enable options such as the “un-group” tool for combining group masks or the “zone picker” to select tones visually. And much more.

Can Lumenzia produce the same masks as channel-based masks?

Yes. The buttons at the top of the panel produce results similar to my free channel-based masks. For black and white images, the results are the effectively the same for either approach. Lumenzia’s default behavior has been optimized to be more responsive to saturated colors. However, Lumenzia also includes an option to create masks that have the same color response (just hold the <cmd / ctrl> ke> while clicking on the masking button).

What is required to run Lumenzia?

Lumenzia is compatible with Photoshop CS6 and all current versions of CC (tested through CC2018 on both Windows and OSX). Please note that CS6 has a slightly different interface from CC, but nearly all the same functionality. 

Unfortunately, if you are using Photoshop CS5 or earlier, you will not be able to use Lumenzia (you may wish to try my free luminosity masking actions, which I haven’t tested, but I have heard work on older versions of Photoshop). If you wish to consider upgrading, recommend the Creative Cloud Photography Program, which offers both Photoshop and Lightroom for only $9.99 a month. I find it to be a very good value for two of the best photo editing/organizing programs available - one Nikon D810 body costs the same as 25 years of Photoshop subscriptions.

Are there are any functional limits on CS6?

In general, nearly all functionality is available on CS6. There are a few minor limitations, such as:

  • PreBlend does not work with a single exposure (as Camera RAW is not supported on CS6; however multi-image PreBlend is fully supported).
  • "Split" requires minor interaction from the user (but is supported and enables the same view).
  • "Live" masking and selection modes are not available (but the same results can be achieved without these modes).
  • Masks and selections can only be added or subtrated, not intersected.
  • Some features require use of modifier keys (such as holding <shift> to create BlendIf masks).

Does Lumenzia support LAB color mode?

Yes! Lumenzia works natively in 8 and 16-bit RGB and LAB color modes. LAB is supported for all panel features, and the workflow is nearly identical to the workflow shown in my RGB demos. Lumenzia additionally supports the use of 32-bit, grayscale, CMYK and Duotone images through the use of Smart Objects. When using one of these alternative color spaces, Lumenzia will ask if you would like the image automatically converted to a smart object. This allows you to retain the original image data and use Lumenzia for luminosity masking. If you want to modify the smart object, just double click it to continue editing the original image in it’s original color space and bit depth.

Does Lumenzia support 16-bit color?

Yes! Lumenzia uses a 16-bit workflow to create masks. While the benefit of 16-bits is typically modest for luminosity masking, this can be beneficial in more extreme circumstances – such as adjusting a sunset sky through a fifth level lights mask (as performing five 8-bit operations is likely to produce banding in the mask and a strong adjustment may make this apparent in the final image). Please see my blog post on 16-bit masks for more info on the subject in general.

Are the masks created by Lumenzia the same as the ones I’d get from other luminosity masking tools?

As mentioned above, Lumenzia can do much more than what is possible with channel-based masks. There are essentially three types of masks in Lumenzia – replicas of my free channel-based masks (D2, LM1, etc), zone masks (a, b, c, 0, 1, 2, …), and vibrance/saturation masks. By default, the masks which replicate my free actions produce the same results for black and white images, but have been optimized to better select saturated colors (note that you can also get the same results for color images by holding the <ctrl> > or <cmd> key while applying these masks, which may be useful if you want to create more separation between whites and vibrant colors). Also, since Lumenzia runs in 16-bit and achieves its final result with fewer math steps, it produces less banding in the more extreme masks like L5. This can potentially enhance results (by minimizing risk of banding in adjustments of the sky, for example).

The vibrance/saturation masks are not based on any existing solutions, but it is very simple to adjust them to get whatever result you need. The default mask can be adjusted to be more or less specific to saturated/de-saturated colors.

The zone masks use a completely unique approach. I have never been able to create channel-based masks that I feel adequately target specific tones. Lumenzia allows you to create very natural selections of specific tonal values. There is both a 5 and 11 zone system, to give you the freedom to be more or less specific in targeting a given tonal value. And if you use the “zone picker” tool, it will center the selection on your targeted tone to provide a more precise mask (ie, you can basically target any gray value from pure black to pure white).

Can the masks created by Lumenzia be customized?

Yes, this is one of Lumenzia’s greatest strengths. You can make the masks more or less sensitive to specific colors, tones, and levels of saturation. The options are unlimited and make it possible to create selections that are impossible to do with channels. And Lumenzia lets you visually and interactively customize the masks, so it’s incredibly fast and intuitive.

Can I purchase without a PayPal account?

Yes. You may use either Stripe or "guest checkout" on PayPal. 

For the PayPal credit card option: Checkout will go through a few screens on a DPD domain (my shopping cart vendor) before you arrive at the first PayPal screen, shown at right. Just click the gray button to purchase without logging into PayPal. If this button is not visible, then PayPal's anti-fraud measures are restricting your purchase. You may wish to try another computer/VPN, or purchase through a friend if you run into that situation.

Do you offer a money-back guarantee?

Yes, I'm confident you will love Lumenzia. Any requests for refunds should be directed to Greg Benz Photography (not PayPal) within 30 days. If you find it does not meet your needs for any reason, I greatly appreciate feedback in order to help continuously improve.

Is there a trial version of Lumenzia?

No, I'm confident you'll love Lumenzia. However, I also have a free panel that lets you get stared with luminosity masks. Lumenzia offers a much more powerful and simple workflow, but the free panel can be used to create great images using a traditional channels-based approach.

How do I get updates?

If applicable, updates to Lumenzia will be emailed to the email address registered for each customer. See the updates page for more info.