Digital Lith Tutorials – Streaking Modules

This is the second episode about uneven development. This time it will cover streaking modules. Streaking modules in principle compute a pattern overlay on the fly. But they also can make use of the negative itself and so for example can create stronger effects in the shadows and so on.

To make use of streaking modules you have to go to the Digital Lith Exchange and download them from there as Digital Lith does not come with any streaking module pre-installed. Before you install streaking modules you have to set the extensions directory in the preferences. Once you have done this go to the Exchange menu and select the Streaking menu entry. This will show you a list of available streaking modules like the one below. Make sure that your computer is connected to the internet.

You can get more details about the streaking modules by clicking on Read more. Select as many modules as you like and then click on Import to import them to the directory specified in the preferences. Once the download is complete you need to restart the program to have the streaking modules loaded. This is different from the preset exchange and maybe in a future version this will not be necessary, but for the moment it is and I do not think that it is too much of a burden to do so.

Now that you have the streaking modules installed and also enabled streaking in the preferences you will see the following section in the Uneven Development part of the parameters. There is a popup menu to select the kind of streaking you want to add. You may be surprised about the long list of streaking types you can select from, much more than you selected to download. This is because almost all streaking modules provide more than one streaking type. There is always different flavors contained in a module. Do your selection and then click on the Add button to add that kind of streaking. Sometimes one streaking type is not enough, so you can add as many streaking entries as you want.

If you want to reset all streaking click on the Reset button which will remove all selected streaking. The Manage button will be covered later in this episode. Let us first select a streaking type from the popup menu and add it to the parameters.

On the left you will see what your parameters look like now. Here we added Bent Vertical Area Invert which is added with its default parameters. Let us first have a look at parameters, just to get an idea about how the parameters of quite a few streaking modules look like. Usually there is an option to specify an amount of streaking to applied. This is usually a percentage of the image area. Here we even have two amounts, first the one which specifies how much of the image area is covered with streaks and then the amount of streaking applied per streak. Then there is a variance, also given in percent so that no all streaks will have the same length and amount. Also the length into the image area is given, in this case the streaks will reach from bottom and top edges 70% into the image area. Then we have a grain size which lets you specify – well – the size of the grains created. Next there is the strength. This is comparable with the grain parameter of the process. But you will see that you often have to give far higher values for the streaking. Then in this case there is a misalignment which means that the streaks might change direction a bit. And the last one is the flection which defines how much the streaks are bent. Play around with it and you will get used to the parameters.

Now let’s have a look at the different UI elements, the two arrows will let you move the streaking up and down if there are more than one streaking types selected. A click on the minus sign will remove this streaking and a click on the plus sign will duplicate it with the same parameters.

If you ctrl-click the name of the streaking type a context menu like the one on the right will pop up. Here you are able to change the streaking type of the current selection. You can change from one type to another within the same module.

Then you can disable the this streaking or if it is disabled you can re-enable it again. Then you can collapse it so that the parameters do not take up all the space. If it is collapsed then this lets you expand it again. There might be modules where you have vertical and horizontal parameters in one type. You can switch vertical and horizontal ones.

With set defaults you can define the current values as default values which means whenever you add streaking of that type the current values will be used as default values. And with the reset you can reset the current values to the default values.

Now let us have a look at the streaking modules manage feature. For that let us first change the parameters for the bent area streaking and set the Strength to 0.8 since the invert almost always needs a greater value than the normal type. Then click on the Set Defaults button. After that click on the Manage button and you will get to a dialog like the following (depending on which streaking modules you have installed).

Here you see a list of all installed streaking types. Since every streaking module contains multiple streaking types it may very well be the case, that you only like some of those types. So why bothering with those types that you do not like. Here you can select those that you like to see in the streaking selection. In addition to that you also see for which streaking type you have default values overwritten and select those which you want to reset the stored default values to the types original defaults.

Now it is time to show the result of the above setting with our test image. You see the effects more on darker than on lighter areas (except for the paper only options where we do not work with the image negative).

I created a preset for the development parameters of the image above. See at the end of the page.

This finishes this episode and also the episodes about the Digital Lith Exchange. We will not cover the Process Module Exchange since there is no serious process module at this time. For some time I had an extended digital lith process but that eventually made it into the standard process.

In the next episode we are going to cover the process parameters again and have a look at a few more special ones. Click!