George DeWolfe & Perceptool

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    Topic: George DeWolfe & Perceptool Read 746 Times
  • George Stark
    George Stark
    Participant
    Posts: 27
    Epson Printers
    on: November 15, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    I don’t know if its appropriate for me to post this topic in this particular forum .. if not I apologize and please feel free to move me out or erase…

    I’m posting here because I know there are several printing experts participating here who I’m assuming may have the answers I’m seeking.

    In an attempt to educate myself in the process of printing Black and White… I was looking through the many Photography books I have collected over the years and found that I had a a book by George DeWolfe “B&W Printing”…. I had completely forgot about….. 

    In my opinion it has an outstanding wealth of information  with regards to printing B&W… 

    Mr DeWolfe devotes quite a few pages talking about his invention of the Photoshop plugin “Perceptool” and its use in  the processing of images.

    I was interested in trying out this Plugin and started googling Mr. DeWolfe and the Perceptool but it seems as of about 2009 -2013  any updates of the plugin or status of the author halted. 

    I was hoping to find out if there are any plugins that have replaced the Perceptool or has Photoshop now evolved to the point the same processes can be completed another way?

    Does anyone know  the current status of Mr. Dewolfe?

    His web site is no longer working … 

    Thanks & Cheers

    George

     

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 516
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #1 on: November 15, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    I don’t know Mr. deWolfe’s current status or that of his software, but I do know that Lightroom provides several very satisfactory ways of making B&W conversions, depending on your processing strategy for B&W tonality, and it all works very well in respect to Black density, neutrality (if you want it) and tonal gradation. The same can be said for Photoshop. I’ve done quite a bit of B&W conversion, as well as toned B&W (e.g. depia, selenium) and B&W with colour elements and haven’t found it necessary to move beyond the Adobe Photographer’s package. There are also very good instructional resources on the Internet, much of it free, for doing all of it.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Silver Member
    Posts: 856
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #2 on: November 15, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    George, George DeWolfe was a very well known BW printer.  As many here know I am pretty passionate about printing. Perceptool as you found out is no longer available.

    One of the best and most used tools for BW is Silver Effects from NIK Software.  This plug in does an amazing job either with the presets (which are pretty damn nice) or by picking a preset and customizing it to your liking.  I have created many of my own presets using NIK.  Have you tried this plugin?

    The book I have of George’s is Digital Photography Fine Print Workshop

    Stay tuned for announcements soon on our Fine Art Printing workshops.

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 186
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #3 on: November 15, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    George: you are concerned about converting color images to B&W or, printing such images ‘monochrome’ or toned and if so, which printer?

    All kinds of tricks and tips for conversion to color to B&W; making that print as you want it, without metameric failures and perhaps, dead nuts neutral, that’s a different ball of wax.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 535
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #4 on: November 16, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    I second Kevin’s recommendation of Silver Efex Pro. I thought (correctly) that Lightroom did excellent B&W conversions; but when I started using SFX a few years ago, I was amazed at the difference.

    Jeremy

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 516
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #5 on: November 16, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    When was the last time you tried doing a conversion in Lightroom? SilverEfex Pro is an excellent application – you may recall I wrote an extensive review of it on LULA years ago and was equally impressed; but since then Lightroom has made enormous strides in this area. SFX has more presets, which are convenient, but in terms of just basic conversion quality I think LR is fine these days.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 535
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #6 on: November 18, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Mark, I still use LR for basic conversion, to see what an image might look like in B&W. I agree that it’s much better than it was. I still find I get better results from SFX most of the time. The only major problem I tend to have is that it seems to add a lot of noise to some images.

    Jeremy

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 516
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #7 on: November 18, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    You may wish to check whether the noise may be coming mostly from the blue channel, by varying the Blue Saturation. It can happen that when blue is pushed too far it yields noise.

    I’d be interested to know what you mean by “better results”? What’s the criteria, and how sure are you that very similar results can’t be had from different adjustments with both approaches?

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 186
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #8 on: November 18, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Exactly: the noise is there in the data OR it is added using other settings that generate noise outside a conversion of color to B&W. On this end, simply altering treatment from color to B&W doesn’t affect noise at all. Alter say Texture, sure it does.

    Can a user even apply Silver Efex Pro to raw data or must it be rendered first?

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 535
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #9 on: November 18, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks, Mark – the noise does seem generally to be in the sky, so fiddling with the blue channel is certainly worth a look.

    What do I mean by “better”? I can’t be specific, I’m afraid. More detailed, more contrasty perhaps. Just more pleasing on the (or my, anyway) eye.

    Do I know that LR couldn’t manage it? No, I don’t. I just know that I can usually get what I want more easily and more quickly by using SFX. Maybe having become reasonably comfortable with SFX over the years, I’m just too lazy to learn how to accomplish what I want in LR.

    Jeremy

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 535
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #10 on: November 18, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Exactly: the noise is there in the data OR it is added using other settings that generate noise outside a conversion of color to B&W. On this end, simply altering treatment from color to B&W doesn’t affect noise at all. Alter say Texture, sure it does.

    Can a user even apply Silver Efex Pro to raw data or must it be rendered first?

    Yes, probably SFX just makes apparent noise which was there in the colour image but not visible. Perhaps it’s a philosophical question: if noise isn’t visible, is it truly there, and does it matter?

    SFX works on TIFFs.

    Jeremy

     

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 516
    Re: George DeWolfe & Perceptool
    Reply #11 on: November 18, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Now that you mention this, I recall it’s the main reason I stopped using SFX and concentrated on perfecting my B&W editing in LR. My general philosophy is to stay raw as much as possible, which most of time means always. It’s partly a storage issue. Now that I am using a Sony A7Riv, those files are each 123 MB raw, and once converted become 375 some.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

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