And off we go. A new version of DigitalLith went online. It has been ready for quite some time. But the tutorial has not been updated yet. So I added more and more to it while still not working seriously on the tutorial. I am not a good doc writer which means that I try to avoid doc-writing as long as possible. And you know what? I am pretty successful with it. So the Tutorial update is still in the make – at least I made some progress. But I just think I give the new version to the public before I need to re-write the updates in the Tutorial again. Those who do want the Tutorial matching the version they use … Do not update to 4.8. Just wait a few days … or weeks.
Here is what is new:
- When importing presets you can now specify which category the presets end in. That is possible for presets imported from a file or for importing from the exchange.
- When updating a preset with the current settings the description went away.
- In the pattern area, if you have multiple patterns of a pattern type you can now randomly choose by pressing the random button.
- Sometimes preparing an image takes some time. When doing a test development an empty images is shown immediately so that you have confirmation that the test development started.
- When storing the result image you can now embed a small thumbnail. This speeds up image preview when selecting parameters from a developed image. If your original images contain thumbnails these are also used for image preview in the open dialog.
- Sometimes it is nice to see the effect of parameters on a gray gradient instead of a real image. In the File menu you can now select a gray gradient to work with.
- There is now a fast route test development (cmd-shift-T/ctrl-shift-T) where the UI is not updated. This on my Laptop leads to development times hardly taking one second if (!) you set the preview size not too high (e.g. 500×500)
- Since you might not want to change the preview size all so often when using a normal or fast route test development, you now can define two different preview sizes and select them using ctrl-1 or ctrl-2 (cmd-1 or cmd-2 on Mac OS).
- You can not select to automatically run a test development when pressing the return-key in a field of the process settings. If on preview size one a normal test development will be started, if on preview size two a fast development will be run.
- There is now the ability to blur the image after processing.
That is all for this version.
But I would like to talk a little bit about that last new feature I mentioned. It was planned for 4.9 but then I decided to delay 4.8 a bit and add it to 4.8. Sometime the generated grain is just a little bit too sharp. In that case you will now have the possibility to apply some image blur to the finished image. You will find this in the image adjustments section on the left in the parameters panel. The default is 0 which means no blur is applied.
Blurring every development step of a test development would slow down the processing noticeable. For that reason you can decide if you want to see the blur in a test development or not. That means you can switch the blurring on and off at any time, even after the development. You do so with the show image blur checkmark. Having it checked or not only applies to the UI, running a batch development will take the specified blur parameter and apply it after development finished no matter if showing the blur is checked or not.
The parameter is an integer greater or equal to zero.
Below you can see three crops of the same development, with the blur parameter ranging from 0 on the left, 2 in the middle to 5 on the right.
And, since this post has been waiting to be published for a long time … there is some other thing.
A friend of mine has a book project with all digital lithed images. And he wants the captions under the images to pickup the rendering of the images. For that he has some png with transparency so that the text can be placed everywhere on the page. DigitalLith did not support handling transparency. For that reason I added some support for it. It is three-fold, first there is support to preserve transparency by bringing over the transparency mask from the original image. And then there is also the possibility to do a parallel lith run for the transparency layer of the image. And of course, you can also choose (and that is the default) to ignore transparency. How you want to deal with transparent areas, if you want to ignore, preserve or develop transparency, is selected in the image adjustments section.
If you choose to do a development of the transparency layer, that is only supported if the process supports it. For that reason I added a new process to DigitalLith which you can select in the process settings. It has an additional parameter to choose a different dilution for the transparency development. Other than that it is the same than the standard process and when switching between them the other parameters are kept unchanged.
If you choose to develop the transparent layer you can also select if you want to expose the transparent layer or not.
As always: Have fun!
And before I forget, here you can find the new version: Click!