Understanding the Restore Settings button as a prerequisite for automating ColorPerfect

 

To be able to use ColorPerfect's automation features familiarize yourself with the Restore Settings button on ColorPerfect's Start panel. Make sure to read the help text on that button in the plug-in itself, too.

The Start panel as such is only visible directly after calling the ColorPerfect plug-in. It disappears upon the first interaction with anything on the graphical user interface (GUI) outside of the Start panel itself. The revert button (<<) at the upper left corner of the plug-in always restarts ColorPerfect and consequentially also brings back the Start panel.

Restore Settings is a cycle arrangement. Pressing the according button takes your from one loop state to another. The 5th press of the button takes you back to where you started. Each step provides a different starting point for your manual use of ColorPerfect. The automation options will also use those starting points. Thus you need to understand the five available states of Restore Settings before automating anything.

Restore Settings - As Optioned

The default choice for Restore Settings in manual operations is "As Optioned" which is linked to the Remember section on ColorPerfect's options screen. Whatever combination of settings is activated there gets restored to subsequent images whenever "As Optioned" is active.

It is important to realize that the exact settings to be restored always stem from the immediately previous image processed in the same mode and not from the time when the choice to keep restoring things was made. By default nothing is ticked in the Remember section and thus nothing gets restored for the new user of ColorPerfect.

The four modes ColorNeg, ColorPos, PerfectRAW and TouchUp have individual Remember options. When visiting ColorPerfect's options screen and ticking some of the Remember check boxes reverting (<< button) and choosing the same mode again will immediately bring those choices into effect based on the last successfully processed image of the according mode if such exists.

Restore Settings - Optimized

Optimized restores all but a handful of situation-dependent settings from the previous use of the plug-in in the same mode. The settings that do not get restored but are optimized are mostly related to black point (B Point, BP Tails, BP Colors). They typically vary from image to image even if the subsequent one is of the very same scene.

Restore Settings - Basic

Basic takes things one step further away from the previous call to ColorPerfect. The image's overall brightness as controlled by Black and the image's color balance as controlled by a CC filter pack are no longer being restored. Instead they will be determined automatically based on the thresholds as defined on the options screen. Where applicable the CC filter pack to use will be derived from data captured by the digital camera and passed into the ColorPerfect PerfectRAW system by our auxiliary program MakeTiff. In case of PerfectRAW the Smart Clip settings also do not get remembered for Basic.

Restore Settings - Fresh Start

"Fresh Start" does not use anything from a previous image. It always provides a clean slate and is not useful for automating ColorPerfect. Therefore it is simply not provided in our automation solution below. In manual operations "Fresh Start" becomes useful as soon as "As Optioned" has been customized from the Remember section of the options screen.

Restore Settings - Exact

Exact actually restores everything, including the black point related settings that usually benefit from optimization. Most often it is not a good idea to use Exact.

Exact exists for special use cases. For example some users like to include a lot of film base or even sprocket holes. Doing that can fool ColorPerfect's initial imaging assessments. Users working with such images would thus first crop their image and work it to a state they like using ColorPerfect and then undo both their edit and their cropping in Photoshop to then call ColorPerfect again and to use Exact to apply everything as they had it before to the version with the sprocket holes etc.

So, please resist the temptation of restoring "everything" unless you have good reason to do so and have reviewed the optimized alternative.

Automating ColorPerfect using our custom set of Photoshop or PhotoLine Actions

Based on the functions described above and as detailed on the following pages, ColorPerfect can be automatically applied to groups of similar images using Adobe Photoshop or PhotoLine.