LightMachine corrects brightness, contrast and saturation in specific
image areas independently from each other. It basically consists of
four different filters each split up into a simple mode suitable for
beginners and a Pro mode with more features for more flexibility. The
Brightness/Contrast modes adjust brightness and contrast throughout the
image which is nice as a starting point. The Shadows/Highlights modes
give you complete control over dark and bright image areas and let you
correct them completely independently from each other with the help of
sophisticated masking options. The Virtual Studio modes allow you to
place an unlimited number of shadow and light spots as if you were
placing studio lights in a real photo studio. The intensity, size,
ovality, angle, hardness and reflection properties of each spot can be
adjusted precisely. Finally, the Colours modes let you selectively
correct image objects of a specific colour by clicking on them.
LightMachine offers brightness, contrast and saturation correction
algorithms that let you bring out more details without making photos
look unnatural. LightMachine's flexible shadow/highlight masking
options let you quickly and easily adjust specific image areas without
affecting other regions. The Virtual Studio algorithms simulate light
and shadows so realistically that you will feel as though you are
working in a photo studio rather than a two-dimensional photo.
LightMachine offers effective methods for dealing with problematic
colour shifts in lifted shadows and various different saturation
algorithms for avoiding colour artefacts even at high saturation values.
Plenty of Tools
LightMachine uses a resizeable dialogue and its controls are logically
organized in various tab sheets. Moving the mouse over each control
instantly displays a detailed explanation in the Help box, so you don't
need to read the manual before using LightMachine. Spilt Views let you
display the original image side-by-side with the corrected version and
the 17 different histograms can be useful as a guide. Complex
corrections are made easy by LightMachine's Auto Mask feature, which
lets even beginners quickly create suitable masks. Four different modes
for displaying the used mask help even further. Removing colour shifts
in lifted shadows is a snap with LightMachine's one-click colour
picker. LightMachine's Logged Settings feature can remember the
settings used for any image and automatically loads them whenever they
are required again.
Why LightMachine is Different
LightMachine offers plenty of features for improving a much wider range
of photos with better results. Other available software often only give
acceptable results for the common cases, but can't cope with more
difficult ones. These shadow/highlight tools usually produce
contrast-burned or over-saturated results which have an unnatural look.
Unlike LightMachine, they don't let you adjust shadows and highlights
really independently, add artefacts along the shadow/highlight borders
or don't brighten shadows or darken highlights enough to make details
Other lighting tools usually produce only artistic effects and are not
suitable for correcting photos. They don't give you precise control
over the lighting effects and offer no contrast options. They also
affect the surrounding areas instead of just focusing on the target
area. They do not support a Reflection feature therefore you often
can't avoid blown highlights without decreasing the overall effect.
LightMachine's Virtual Studio tool avoids these problems, because it
was developed for producing realistic light effects for correcting
Other colour-based correction tools don't allow to replace the colour
of a specific image area with any other imaginable colour. They are
limited to a range of colours depending on the colour that needs to be
replaced. Most of these tools also don't let you selectively adjust
brightness and contrast and have no features for adjusting the border
smoothness. LightMachine on the other hand gives you complete control
for colour-based corrections.
Availability & System Requirements
LightMachine is available for Windows and MacOS X. LightMachine sells
at $69.95 (40 approx) for a Regular License or $39.95
(23 approx) for an Academic/Educational License.