Following a consistent PaintShop workflow can make your digital editing
life a whole lot more predictable which tends to produce consistently
good results. This is assuming
that you're not always depending on those quick fix routines like
Express Lab, One Step Photo Fix or Smart Photo Fix.
After all, where's the fun in letting a Corel PaintShop software
engineer make all the decisions
and do all of the work when you are far more creative than any program?
You can think
of the steps as a PaintShop road map or "what to do and when to do it"
working with your photos.
A loose analogy is following a recipe
when making your favorite munchy and you know restaurants
follow their most popular recipes - the difference is that there isn't
much room for 'winging it' with a recipe.
So this could be your PaintShop workflow road map, and just like a road
the route can be modified according to what you want to achieve and the
overall quality of the image. The steps that follow, then,
not written in stone - they're simply
suggestions because you're free to edit your shots in any way you wish.
Let's take a look at a suggested PaintShop workflow and then work
This PaintShop Workflow
is summed up in three basic steps ...
Start with global adjustments.
Move to local adjustments.
Finish with global adjustments.
Open the photograph (somewhat obvious).
Make a copy of the Background.
Straighten if necessary.
Now you're ready to start working on the photograph. Some
additional global adjustment suggestions (that is adjustments that will
affect the whole image) include ...
layer to improve exposure, contrast and color. and if the problem is
too severe then try to ...
compensate for an under or over exposed image by
changing the Layer Blend
Mode to Screen (for an underexposed image) or Multiply
(for an overexposed image).
Shadows and Highlights to modify the shadows and
in the Adjust >
Brightness and Contrast > Highlights/Midtones/Shadows.
a color cast
- this tutorial
will show you how (text and video).
Hue and Saturation adjustment layer.
Save as a .psd (Photoshop format) or
.pspimage (PaintShop format) to preserve any layers that were
You don't have to do all of the steps, only do the ones that you figure
If you're shooting RAW
files then it will open in the RAW editor rather than the normal
PaintShop editor. A lot of the initial adjustments can be
complete in the RAW editor if that is what you want to do.
This is where you can have some fun with your image and your Wacom
The steps you may take at this point include pretty much everything in
the PaintShop menus. They include adjustments such as ...
Dodging and Burning (with PaintShop tools or with a
Cloning and or patching.
Smudging and Bluring.
Save as a .psd or .pspimage to preserve any layers
that were added.
This is also where your critical eye and your knowledge of PaintShop
Pro comes into play.
This section of the PaintShop workflow is the final step - where the
file is prepared for printing or uploading to the web or whatever you
have in mind.
Collapse the layers.
Noise reduction (if necessary)
Save (with a new name to preserve the original).
Here's an example with commentary ...
The first Global Adjustments
was taken in Henderson, Nevada just before dark. My
trusty camera tried to compensate for the lack of light by overexposing
The foreground is way to light as is the sky - it's not at all what I
It definately needs some TLC.
Background Layer was duplicated and then the Blend Mode was changed to
Multiply (to darken the picture).
That really worked well other than the foreground is way too dark now -
but the sky is looking good.
The next steps will dig into some local areas.
an attempt to lighten up the middle bits of the of the image (front of
the buildings) a Show All Mask Layer was added to the top layer.
The Mask Layer is white which means a black brush is used to "punch
through" the Multiply layer so that the lighter, original Background
layer shows through.
The Mask Layer worked well but was not nearly enough - the small shrubs
in the foreground, the trees and the bushes on top of the left building
are still too dark.
realized that painting in the lighter information from the Background
Copy would be a nightmare, even with my Intuos 5 tablet so a bit of
creativity was required.
Selecting the area I wanted to lighten (everything but the sky) with
most of the selection tools would take forever and require enormous
patience. I resorted to the Magic Wand to select the uniform sky.
I had to do the Magic Wand a couple of times and finally ended up with
a Tolerance of 31 with Contiguous unchecked to dig into the trees where
the sky is showing through
With the sky selected I inverted the selection so everything but
the sky was selected.
Now the area I wanted to
lighten was fully selected which meant I could paint with black to
Instead of painting, I selected a black to transparent Linear Gradient
and used the Flood Fill Tool on the foreground area.
This worked quite well.
Last Global Adjustment
This is where I went back
to the final Global Adjustments.
The somewhat annoying and distracting wall on the left side of the
picture was croped out.
The foreground part of the
image was way too dark so Adjust
> Brightness and Contrast >
Highlights/Midtones/Shadows was used to open up the dark
area. The adjustment also opened up the sky area a bit, producing
a brighter blue.
The image was
sharpened using Adjust >
Sharpeness > High
Pass Sharpen ...
Overall, I was quite satisfied with the end result.
The final two steps were to flatten the image and save it with a new
and unique name (to keep the original intact).
Here's a side by side comparison of the original and the final shot ...
The steps taken in this PaintShop workflow example are pertinent to
only and every other image will include different steps and
techniques. What that says is to resist slavishly following
is written here, other than the big picture view - that is start with
global adjustments, move to local adjustments and finish with global
Start with some Global adjustments, move to Local adjustments and
finish with the final Global adjustments.