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Exchange Saturation and Lightness Values - CS4

johnp 13 141 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2010 12:44PM
There is a Nik plug-in that exchanges Saturation and Lightness channels and it looks very effective.

If you look in the Color Picker box, it shows RGB, Lab, CMYK and HSL values. Image>Mode allows you to switch between RGB, Lab and CMYK but not HSL. In RGB it's possible to exchange the values in two channels, so my goal is nearly in sight ....... but not quite

Does anybody know a way of exchanging Saturation and Lightness (other than paying Nik's fancy prices, that is!!


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johnp 13 141 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2010 7:44PM
Tom_Mann 7 4 United States
16 Aug 2010 5:25PM
I've used a free plugin called HSBHSL.8BF for the past couple of years that allows one to separately access H, S, and B or H, S, and L. You select which conversion from RGB that you want and then the red channel contains the hue info, the green ch. contains the saturation info, and the blue ch. contains either the brightness or lightness info. Manipulate them as you want (eg, exchange them) and then use the plugin a 2nd time in reverse mode to go back to the usual RGB image. It works on CS3 through CS5, and both 8 and 16 bpc images.

It's a bit more clunky to use compared to using the color spaces built in to PS, but it gets the job done and has given me zero problems.

That being said, I just did a quick Google search to see where one can download it these days, and found a few warnings about some malware file intentionally given the same name, so be careful.


Tom M
Washington, DC
johnp 13 141 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2010 6:12PM
Thanks, Tom. I'll give it a go and see if it's any different from another plug-in of similar name, which didn't give me the result I hoped for. Have you actually used this to swap Saturation and Brightness? Did it give a result like the Nik plug-in?
Tom_Mann 7 4 United States
16 Aug 2010 6:27PM
Hi John - No, unfortunately, I haven't tried using it to swap saturation and brightness. I tend to use it to do fairly complicated tasks such as:

- decrease the saturation of the weakly saturated colors and increase the saturation of the strongly saturated colors (or visa versa) via curves ... sort of like a "vibrance" control on steroids and with very specific adjustments.

- use the brightness channel to control the saturation via a curve. For example, either totally saturate or de-saturate the very brightest and darkest areas.

If this plugin works for the above tasks, I'm sure it will work for a simple interchange. The only trick I found in working with the HSB or HSL channels (... I'll call them that, even though they aren't "real", Adobe-generated channels...) was to make a copy of each as your very first step. Perform your manipulations on the copies, and then cut and paste the modified version of a channel back into the appropriate R, G, or B channel.


Tom M
johnp 13 141 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2010 10:14PM
Hi Tom and thanks. I'll give that a try, but probably not until late October. I start a 2-month tour of Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, so busy packing at present!



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