This is a collection of frequently asked questions about the Contrast blending actions. For basic information please go to the Contrast blending main page. If you have questions not answered here, please feel free to ask me by Email.
Q: The actions don't work. I get an error message like 'The object ...of set ... is not currently available'.
A: Make sure not to rename the action set and the single actions. The name of the set of current version 1.3 should be: 'Contrast Blending v1_3' (without the apostrophes). If in doubt, delete the whole set from the actions palette and reload it. Make sure not to have renamed the file. On Macintosh computers you probably have to remove the .atn ending.
Q: Can I blend only two or three images?
A: Yes, you can. But if the images are more than two f-stops apart, the results probably won't be good. You will then have to try to adjust the masks manually.
Q: When stitching a panorama, should I blend the single images or the stitched panorama?
A: You should stitch the panoramas first. Create a folder for each set of equally exposed images. Place your images in this folders giving them equal names. Use the images with most details to set control points and to optimize. Create a script for stitching. Use this same script in each folder.
Q: I would like to see a step by step explanation of what the actions do.
A: Have a look at steps.htm. Basically they create a new layer with layer mask and create the mask using the image itself. The mask must be blurred to not affect small details. Then it is treated with the 'curve' tool to be transparent for the highlights and to be opaque for mid tones and shadows. This way the actual layer contributes the mid tones and shadows and the underlying layers contribute the highlights.
The actions have a kind of procedural structure, they all call the different 'Sub:.'.-actions.
A: In the new version they are renamed to 'Batch', since you can use them in batch automation, too. Open the Background image in Photoshop. Place all but the background image in a folder and choose 'Folder' as source and 'Save and Close' as destination (there will be nothing to save).
© Erik Krause 2005