Introductory words from the developer

Hey there dear people!

I thought it’s worth dropping a few lines about NEGMASTER BR and the -at least subjectively- noteworthy story behind it.

Neggy BR is my Baby. Literally. Opposed to other conversion plugins like the original Negmaster for Photoshop, BR was developed in isolation. Negmaster PS was kind of a ‘community child’. There was plenty of influence from the Facebook group over the years. Feedback i am still thankful for. And it really paid off. Conversion results are awesome once you find your personal workflow.

But the concept and the amount of feedback came with some drawbacks. We had so many functions in that small Interface. Users who followed the project from the beginning had no problems with that, while new users had a hard time figuring things out. It was overwhelming for some of them. That’s not to blame the community. At last i made the decisions.
Another thing was the Adobe Cloud subscription model. We have many customers who pay the Adobe Cloud just to be able to use Negmaster or Negsets.

So at some point i felt i had to find a whole new concept. This was about one and a half years ago. I did this …kind of secretely at that time, because i didn’t want anyone to think the original concept will be abandoned in the near future. Because it isn’t and it won’t.
What i did then was literally inverting the whole concept. The original Negmaster relies a lot on preparation and universal usability over a wide range of devices. It will work for DSLR scans as well as for scanners. It is very open, but at the same time a bit ‘unspecific’. I found we need a new generation of specialist plugins for scanners and DSLRs. That’s where i made the first big cut and split everything in half.

The next cut was completely separating from the Adobe Photoshop universe in terms of image preparation and processing. Because although the results were great, users were often confused about the amount of profiles, presets and working color spaces we needed to get the whole thing rollin’.
I made a first new plugin for Photoshop that could work around the Adobe Camera RAW module that didn’t need profiles and all that. But i found the overall concept of ‘open-convert-edit-export’ single images annoying and time consuming and didn’t release it. Results were not that great anyways.

A little bit later i began programming plugins for Adobe Bridge, mostly for companies that deal with large archives of images. I found out i could use Bridge very well for what i was up to.
The rest is history. Once i knew what will work and what not, i informed the community about Neggy BR and that it will come. But this time there were no beta tests and i kind of blocked influence from others. Not because of arrogancy or something. I did this because i had quite a clear vision of what i wanted to create and i didn’t want to loose that vision in the fog of hundreds of feature requests.

So, if you’re wondering why the design is like it is or what the reasons for this plugin were. It’s because i developed it in the isolation of a dark tunnel of my own thoughts. For repairing something in myself that got broken when i tried fixing the needs of others.

Or in other words: I just had to create it. This is the NEGMASTER i always wanted. It’s perfectly me.

General

Thank you for purchasing Negmaster BR. Please read these instructions carefully. If you have further questions you can reach us via the contact form or join the NEGMASTER group on Facebook for help from the community.

Installation

NEGMASTER requires at least Adobe Bridge CC 2019 to work.

Windows

  1. Unzip the Negmaster-BR.zip you downloaded
  2. Close Adobe Bridge, Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw
  3. Install the resulting Negmaster-BR.exe via double click
  4. After installation is finished open Bridge> Window > Extensions > NEGMASTER-BR
  5. Enter the serial you received via mail and your email adress. The plugin will restart automatically after successful activation

Activation

After installation you can start NEGMASTER BR from the windows dropdown in the Bridge top menu bar. On first start, the plugin will ask you to enter your e-mail adress and license key. You can find your license key in the order confirmation email and in your account in the license keys section.
Please copy your license key and paste it into the text field via ctrl+c / ctrl+v. The plugin will validate your license key and if everything is correct, the plugin interface will show.

Activating can take up to five seconds, depending on server traffic or speed of your internet connection. If you are experiencing any problems please wait some minutes and try again. If activation is still not possible please open a support ticket.

Updating to a newer Version

You can check for the currently installed version on the bottom left of the plugin window. NEGMASTER BR will automatically check for updates on the Negmaster server. Once an update is available the version number will change to a clickable link “Update to Vx.x is available”. Simply click on the link. It will lead to your account on negmaster.com, where you can download the latest version.

After downloading, the procedure for updating is the same as for the installation. The installer will overwrite the outdated plugin files.

Deactivation

You can deactivate your license key for switching activations between different computers. From the main panel, clik on the question mark button. A second plugin will open. In the second plugin, click on the bottommost “unlink”-icon

After clicking on the unlink button a dialog will open, asking for your license key. Your license key can be found in the order confirmation email and in the license keys section of your account. Simply copy your license key and paste it into the text field and submit. After successful validation, the plugin interface will remove license informations and deactivate online and you can use your license key for activation on a different computer. The plugin remains usable on the deactivated machine until restarted.

Deactivating can take up to five seconds, depending on server traffic or speed of your internet connection. If you are experiencing any problems please wait some minutes and try again. If deactivation is still not possible please open a support ticket.

Uninstalling

Uninstalling is straight forward. Simply remove NEGMASTER BR via the uninstallation dialog in the Windows system settings.
In case you want to sell your computer or want to use your license key on another device, you should deactivate before uninstalling. If you don’t do that and the computer is gone, the activation is lost because it’s bound to the machine’s ID.

User Interface – Main Panel

Image orientation buttons

Buttons for changing the orientation of converted images. From left to right:

  • turn 90 degrees left
  • flip (mirror on vertical axis)
  • flop (mirror on horizontal axis)
  • turn 90 degrees right

Copy settings button

Clicking this button will copy the xmp settings of the currently selected image. While settings are in storage, the button will change it’s border color to yellow for the indication that settings are copied to storage. On a second click, the settings will be pasted to the newly selected image(s). After pasting the settings, the button’s yellow border will be removed for the indication that no settings are currently in storage.

Conversion button

The conversion button is the most important button in the main panel. It’s main function is starting the actual conversion process.
The button consists of three parts. The clickable button, the indicator ring and the info output as text in the middle. Whenever you interact with the conversion button it will change it’s state for giving you a feedback of the program’s current state.

These states can be:

  • ready state – yellow ring with text ‘READY’
  • error state – red blinking ring with text ‘🕱ERR🕱’
  • queue state – white progress ring with text ‘QUEUE: (number of files in queue)’
  • chrono state – text with overall time needed to convert a queue of file in seconds and centiseconds
  • done state – green blinking ring with text ‘DONE’ after converting a queue of files
  • generate state – white progress ring with text ‘GENERATE’ while generating contact sheets
  • doze state – button will show featured images of RSS feeds and slowly blink red
  • loading state – text ‘LOADING’ while loading RSS feeds
  • connect state – text ‘CONNECTING” when connecting to a RSS feed
  • filetype state – text ‘FILETYPE NOT SUPPORTED” with red blinking ring
  • skipped state – white progress ring with text ‘SKIPPED: (number of skipped files)’

Examples:

Conversion options button

Clicking this button will open the conversion options panel where you can set adjustments for the process of conversion, output and load balance.

Contact sheet options button

Clicking this button will open the contact sheet options panel where you can make adjustments for the layout and output options when generating contact sheets.

Help Button

Clicking this button will open the help plugin. In this plugin are further buttons that link to further functions:

  • Opening the NEGMASTER BR user guide on negmaster.com
  • Opening the NEGMASTERS Facebook group
  • Opening the contact form on negmaster.com
  • Play Negrun in the help plugin window
  • Opening an upload interface in the negmaster cloud
  • Deactivate your license key of NEGMASTER BR on the current machine

Sytem info gauges

The system info gauges exist for the purpose of showing you what the bottlenecks in your machine are. Users with consumer scanners that produce scans in the 20-200MB region usually don’t need to worry about them. Things are getting tougher if you are a large format or drum scanner guy. The gauges from left to right:

  1. real time CPU load
  2. load balance
  3. real time amount of RAM used
  4. real time amount of cache disk used

1 – CPU NEGMASTER BR runs parallel single threads for converting multiple images. The number of parallel threads is limited by the number of virtual cores of your CPU. This means for example if you have a 8 core CPU with multithreading activated, you have 16 virtual CPU cores. So you can convert 16 images at the same time in parallel.
If you selected more than 16 images for conversion – let’s say 32 images – the other 16 images are queued until a thread is done with converting. Then the next conversion will begin and the queue is reduced by one (the queue is than 15) until all images are converted.

Thing is, NEGMASTER BR is so effective at using your CPU cores, that it will easily eat up 100% of your CPU capabilities and your computer is literally blocked for any other work until the conversion is done.

The real time CPU load shows the overall CPU load on OS level. This can help you find processes that occupy the CPU before conversion begins. Like hidden system processes that are not shown in the CPU monitor of the Windows task manager. But it will also help adjusting load balance for keeping your computer responsive for other workloads.

2 – LOAD BALANCE shows the number of CPU cores used for parallel conversion threads vs the total number of CPU cores available. Load Balance can be adjusted in the Conversion Options Panel. NEGMASTER BR automatically identifies your CPU and will adjust to ‘total number of cores -1’ for making sure the machine will still respond to user interaction while converting multiple images.
Please note that converting long queues of high resolution images, that are easily larger than 1GB is a heavy workload for a machine, comparable to video or 3D rendering. Adjusting load balance can help keep your computer cool and reliable in countries with hot climate conditions.

3 – RAM shows the currently used RAM on OS level. Keep an eye on this gauge. When it shows 100% while conversion is running, the processes slow down significantly because data exceeding RAM will be outsourced to disk, which is much slower than RAM at reading and writing. You can work around that by reducing load balance number of cores used or terminating background tasks. If you are still in the 100% region you found a bottleneck and you should think about upgrading RAM.

4 – DISK shows the amount of used disk space where the plugin works on. Usually this is your boot drive (that is hopefully the fastest drive in your computer). The plugin will outsource data on this disk if RAM is 100% used. A drive that is nearly full will work slower than a drive that has sufficient free space. So keep an eye on this before running into a bottleneck.

Editing sliders

The editing sliders are used for correcting the resulting .tif file after conversion. The changes you make are non-destructively written into a .xmp sidecar file that can be read from Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Lightroom alike.
All adjustments are standard adjustments you know from Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom with the exception of the midtones slider that will adjust the composite RGB curve.

Once you made adjustments to an image, NEGMASTER BR is able to retrieve these values and will sync it’s slider values by simply selecting a thumbnail.

Version number / update notification

The version number indicates the current version of the plugin installation.
The plugin will call the update API on the negmaster server in 10 minute intervals. When it finds an update, the version number will change to a yellow clickable link : ‘Update to Vx.x available’. The link will take you to the user account login page on negmaster.com where you can download the latest update.

User Interface – Conversion Options

Invert Checkbox

The invert checkbox appears with yellow text when activated, indicating that the selected images will be inverted while processing. Unchecking the invert checkbox is useful if you want to convert negatives that were already inverted by the scanning software or if you want to process slides that have color casts that need to be corrected.

Default: checked

Reveal Checkbox

The reveal checkbox appears with yellow text when activated, indicating that selected cropped images will be uncropped after processing, revealing the film border. Unchecking the reveal checkbox will remove the film border while processing.
Please note that the reveal function has beta status, means it will produce irregular results at some point.

Default: unchecked

Chrono Checkbox

The chrono checkbox appears with yellow text when activated, indicating that the processing time will be measured and displayed in the conversion button after processing is finished.
Chrono is useful as a benchmark for comparing performance between systems and finding bottlenecks in system performance.

Default: unchecked

Sound Checkbox

The sound checkbox appears with yellow text when activated, indicating that sound will play on the event of conversion queue done (success sound) or conversion error (fail sound).

Sound is useful for longer queues of large images, where you want to do something else in the meantime and come back when conversion is finished or eventually ran into an error.

Default: unchecked

Load Balance

NEGMASTER BR automatically identifies your CPU and will adjust to ‘total number of cores -1’ for making sure the machine will still respond to user interaction while converting multiple images.
By using the load balance slider you can decide how many virtual CPU cores (parallel threads) will be used while converting multiple images. When converting many images, using all available cores can make your machine unresponsive for other tasks. Like browsing the web or working in Photoshop while converting. The load balance slider will free up some computing power for other needs.

Default: [total virtual CPU cores] -1

ICC Profile

The ICC profile text box shows the currently active ICC profile that will be applied after conversion, before color space transformation. ICC profiles can be useful if you have a regular unexpected output quality from the program. For example, if you notice a slight blue color cast in every result, you can make an ICC profile that compensates for this issue.

Another purpose can be that you want to achieve a certain look. Like the minilab look or the look of printed colors. The ‘deep warm’-profile that comes with NEGMASTER BR is such a look profile.
Correction and Look profiles can be easily made with Photoshop. This is explained in the ‘Workflow – ICC Profiles’ section of this user guide.
ICC profiles can also be used for assigning an IT-8 input profile that can be made with the help of softwares like dcamprof, Basiccolor or Lumariver.

You can add an ICC profile by clicking on the ‘+’ button. A dialog will open that asks for an ICC profile. The plugin will save the profile in the plugin/profiles folder as ‘user.icc’ and will remember it when the plugin is restarted or the computer is rebooted.
A shorthand function for adding an ICC profile is clicking on the ICC profile name in the main UI panel.
The ICC profile can be removed by clicking on the ‘-‘ button.

Generally, ICC profiles are not so much needed when converting DNG files. TIF files have a larger benefit here. It’s difficult to speak about a general recommendation which format is better suited for converting in NEGMASTER BR. This depends pretty much on the scanner and the scanning software.

Default: none

Output Profile

The output profile checkboxes show the available profiles that can be assigned to the resulting tif file:

  • RAW RGB is the input device color space. Color gamut remains untouched while converting
  • ProPhoto RGB is a very wide color space. Colors from scans from devices with a gamut narrower than ProPhoto RGB will be stretched and therefore appear with a lack of saturation. Especially on monitors that don’t cover the ProPhoto color space.
  • AdobeRGB is a wide color space that is sufficient for exchange between different devices. Most semiprofessional monitors cover this gamut. It’s the best compromise for devices exceeding the sRGB gamut.
  • sRGB has a comparibly narrow gamut but prevents oversaturation on amateur monitors from devices that exceed the sRGB gamut

From our experience Adobe RGB works best for scans from manufacturer softwares in combination with the TIF file format. More modern consumer devices like Plustek and Reflecta are working better with sRGB when scan softwares like Vuescan or Silverfast were used for scanning with DNG output. Results may differ across devices. You should run some comparison tests before deciding which output profile you will use.
Generally oversaturation in reds and greens or greenish skin tones are good indicators for a wrong output profile.

Default: AdobeRGB 1998

User Interface – Contact Sheet Options

Custom Heading

Here you can enter a custom heading for your contact sheet.
The default heading is ‘Contact Sheet [folder name]’. A custom heading will replace the default heading.
If you want to return to the default behaviour, simply enter the word ‘default’.

 

Default: ‘default’

Layout

The grid picker on the left is for choosing how many rows and columns your contact sheet will have.
Simply hover over the grid until you reached your desired layout, then left click to confirm.
If you choose no layout with the grid picker, the contact sheet will use the default value

Default: 6 columns, 7 rows

Background

Here you can choose the background color for your contact sheet. If you want to print the result, you should go for a white background to save ink.

Default: white

Output Format

A contact sheet can have two different output file formats, JPG or PDF.
If you have more images than a single sheet can contain, the resulting PDF will be a mutlipage file, while the JPG format will generate multiple files.

Default: PDF

Final

The final section contains the Generate button. Clicking it will start generating the contact sheet for the selected TIF and/or JPG thumbnails according to the settings you made in the Contact Sheet Options. If no thumbnails are selected, it will generate a contact sheet for the whole folder

Workflow – Introduction

NEGMASTER BR in easy words

The conversion settings

The main concept behind the plugin was ease of use. And that’s why there is actually not much to say about the workflow. It does nearly everything automatically. There are five basic options in the Conversion Options Panel a user can set for letting the program know what to do with the files that are selected:

For everything else there is a logic, that determines what to do if a condition is met or not.
Actually, most people won’t even need to change anything. Because the default settings fit most use cases. Users of high end scanners like Heidelberg, Imacon and so on will probably need to make adjustments fitting their scans better (output color space and ICC profile). But i guess those people know pretty well what they’re doing.

The actual conversion

Well, it may sound not sound spectacular but it’s just this:

  • select the thumbnails you want to convert and hit the convert button

Just make sure you scanned your frames straight and without remains of the scanner’s light source / film holders. Otherwise you need to crop those remains away before converting.

Post editing

The plugin has sliders for editing the resulting TIF files directly in Bridge. We broke that down to a minimum because we wanted to avoid overload. These are the sliders you would want in the first place when correcting the conversion results. And they do the job just fine. You can edit multiple images at the same time. Just select them and start dragging.

Exporting

Developing versions of the plugin had the ability to directly convert to JPG while processing. But in the end we ditched that because the export panel in Adobe Bridge is just brilliant. It’s a pleasure to use. Drag and drop on your custom export preset: done. No need for own functions here.

Contact sheets

Same here, not much to say. there are some options you can make for the layout, heading, background color and file format. Simply select the thumbnails you want, hit generate: done.

If things go wrong

Murphy’s law. Things will go wrong at some point. Mostly this is related to some flaw in or on the film emulsion. Sometimes it’s omething else or the user’s taste that is not met. For the latter you can use ICC profiles. You can easily create them yourself. But as far as we can tell NEGMASTER BR is quite good at ‘guessing’ what you like.

Workflow – Scanning Recommendations

DNG Vuescan

Below you will find the recommended settings for scanning RAW DNG with Vuescan.

Settings Input tab

  • Options: Professional
  • Task: Scan to file
  • Mode: Transparency
  • Media: Image
  • Bits per pixel: 48bit RGB
  • Auto save: Scan

Settings Output tab

  • Raw file: checked
  • Raw file type: 48bit RGB
  • Raw output with: Scan
  • Raw Compression: Off
  • Raw save film: checked (if you want IR embedded)
  • Raw DNG format: checked

Settings not mentioned either have no impact on the result because we are scanning RAW or are not recommended. However, if you are used to scan with different settings like using analog gain etc… you may use them if that fits your taste better.
Please note that adjustments in the Color tab don’t affect raw scans as long ‘Raw save film’ is unchecked. If ‘Raw save film is checked’ Vuescan will (partly) embed changes made to the image data, what can affect results when converting in NEGMASTER BR.

TIF Vuescan

Below you will find the recommended settings for scanning TIF with Vuescan.

Settings Input tab

  • Options: Professional
  • Task: Scan to file
  • Mode: Transparency
  • Media: Image
  • Bits per pixel: 48bit RGB
  • Auto save: Scan

Settings Filter tab

  • Infrared clean: to your liking
  • Restore colors: unchecked
  • Restore fading: unchecked
  • Grain reduction: to your liking
  • Sharpen: None

Settings Color tab:

  • Color balance: Neutral
  • Black point (%): 0
  • White point (%): 1
  • Curve low: 0.25
  • Curve high: 0.75
  • Brightness: 1
  • Brightness Red: 1
  • Brightness Green: 1
  • Brightness Blue: 1
  • Scanner Color Space: Default
  • Output color space: Device RGB

Settings Output tab

  • TIFF file: checked
  • TIFF file type: 48bit RGB
  • TIFF compression: Auto
  • TIFF profile: unchecked

Please make no other adjustements to the image data if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can set white balance or other editing options but you have to expect oversaturated results. Instead we recommend scanning “as is” and assigning a correction profile in NEGMASTER BR.

DNG Silverfast

Below you will find the recommended settings for scanning RAW DNG with Siverfast 8/9.

Main Interface

  • Material to scan: Positive
  • Output Color Format and Bit Depth: 48 bit HDR RAW
  • File Format: DNG

Settings not mentioned either have no impact on the result because we are scanning RAW or are not recommended. Silverfast cannot embed ICE/IR information in 48bit RAW DNG files. We are working on converting 64bit files with IR channel embedded.
Meanwhile, if you want to have IR information embedded, please switch to the tif file format.

TIF Silverfast

Below you will find the recommended settings for scanning TIF with Siverfast 8/9.

Main Interface

  • Material to scan: Positive
  • Output Color Format and Bit Depth: 48 bit
  • File Format: TIFF

Please make no other adjustements to the image data if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can set white balance or other editing options but you have to expect oversaturated results. Instead we recommend scanning “as is” and assigning a correction profile in NEGMASTER BR.

TIF manufacturer software / high-end scanners

recommending settings for this very wide spectrum of different scanning programs is close to impossible. But we can give you a general guidance that is valid for nearly any software. The results from converting scans from the manufacturer programs are often better than scanning with third party software because calibration is more accurate. But that is no rule of thumb. Results widely differ across different scanners.

  • Scan your negatives as they appear on a light table. Don’t try to ‘linearize’ or ‘enhance’ them by changing exposure, contrast, saturation, white balance etc… You may do this if you found out this or that optimization fits your taste better. But for the beginning we recommend starting with a neutral positive scan as a base.
  • Use the highest output bit depth the program offers. NEGMASTER BR will work with 24 to 48bit color depth (64bit is in the pipeline)
  • Stay in device color space when saving. Just to make sure no information is lost.
  • When compressing TIF before conversion in Negmaster BR, make sure it’s a lossless compression
  • Dust is true color’s biggest enemy, because it induces wrong black/white points. Make use of ICE if your scanner offers it. If not, you should remove it in Photoshop before conversion. Or even better, simply don’t scan with dust on your negatives.
  • Don’t scan with sprocket holes or remains of the scanner’s light source or film holders. Draw the scanning frame around the image content. Slight remains of the film leader are ok if you want the shadows in your image content to stay ‘open’.
    The scanning frame is the area the scanner uses for calculating density/exposure. Everything in the frame will be part of the calculation. And everything that doesn’t belong there will lead to wrong exposure of the image content.

Workflow – File preparation before conversion

Cropping / Orientation / Rotation

Thanks to the concept of NEGMASTER BR you only need to prepare cropping the scan to image content. You only need to do this if

  • you didn’t already crop correctly in the scanning software
  • the scan shows something that doesn’t belong to the scene’s content (sprocket holes, remains of the scanner’s light source or film holders)

Slight remains of the film leader are ok if you want the shadows in your image content to stay ‘open’, otherwise NEGMASTER BR will search for the black point in the scene itself, what will crush the blacks a bit. But generally it does that in a ‘pleasant way’ by transferring a gamma curve, that is similar to common wet printing paper. However, if you want to preserve more details in your shadows, we recommend scanning and converting with a bit of film leader.

Image orientation with deviation from original image orientation is fully supported for TIF files. DNG files will automatically be rotated and mirrored into their original orientation before conversion. This means, you should not care for image orientation before conversion. Instead just crop if needed and rotate/mirror the result after conversion.

Rotations in angles other than 90, 180, 270 are currently not supported.

Film borders with sprocket holes

Converting with film border / sprocket holes is in beta status.
When converting with sprocket holes that are to be revealed after conversion, you should crop the scan in ACR like shown in the image below.
Make sure you are cropping exactly between the sprocket holes and the image content. When you’re finished, you can check the reveal checkbox in the conversion options and the border with sprocket holes will be revealed after conversion is done.
If you don’t do that accurately, it can happen that there will be visible differences between the inner and outer crop that are not easy to fix.

Workflow – ICC Profiles

Purposes

Although you can use any ICC profile in NEGMASTER BR, they can serve different purposes. You can build ‘Look’ profiles for achieving a special look. Maybe like the common sense of a minilab scan. Just like you would use a 3D Lut or a preset in Lightroom.
You can build a correction profile, if you are experiencing results you dislike on a regular basis. Like for example skin tones that appear too saturated or cyanish skies. Maybe you want to use the 3D Luts from your video work for your conversions?
Or you could even go scientific and profile your scanner with an IT8 target with the help of programs like DCamProf, Lumariver or Basiccolor. Or you just use the IT-8 profiles you made in Vuescan or Silverfast. Basically, there is no limit.

Creating look / correction profiles in Photoshop

ICC profile creation is very easy in Photoshop. Let’s say you dislike something in the results from NEGMASTER BR. Maybe it isn’t the program’s fault, maybe it’s related to scanner calibration. That doesn’t matter at this point. Something that repeats over and over again, that is annoying to correct every single time. Like a cyanish sky for having  a simple example.
All you need to do is converting one of the images that have this problem. You will want RAW RGB as output color space. Then open the resulting TIF image in Photoshop. Preferably you won’t change the color space to anything else while importing. But that won’t make that big of a difference. Do as you like for now.
Then you would do something against the cyanish sky. Let’s say you would create a selective color adjustment layer and remove greens and yellows from the blues.
After you have done that, head over to the PS menu bar > File > Export > Color lookup tables.
In the next dialog enter a name for the profile and a quality of 64. For format check ‘cube’ and ‘ICC profile’. Then save both files to disk and you’re done. The ICC profile can be loaded in NEGMASTER BR and will be applied during conversion process.
The additional .cube file can later be loaded in PS. There you can refine it further and save it again as cube and ICC files if you find it neccessary to change more than just the sky or in case you are unhappy with your profile.
One last thing:  make sure you are working with adjustment layers only! Changes on pixel level or masks won’t work.

Creating IT-8 Profiles

*under construction*

Workflow – Converting

Converting single images

Single images are converted by simply selecting a file in the Adobe Bridge content pane and clicking the conversion button. The image will be converted according to your settings in the conversion options. The result will be written to the folder of the source image.

Converting multiple images

Multiple images are converted by simply selecting multiple files in the Adobe Bridge content pane and clicking the conversion button. Multiple files can be selected by holding down the shift or ctrl button while clicking the thumbnails to be converted. The images will be converted according to your settings in the conversion options. The results will be written to the folder of the source images.

Metadata

NEGMASTER BR will not touch metadata in your original scans with the exception of image orientation for DNG files. When image data enters the plugin for processing, it will make a virtual copy of the pixel information only without any metadata or profiles. After image processing is done, the plugin will write the TIF output and a standard xmp sidecar file to disk. The sidecar file contains the badge ‘Negmaster Conversion’. You can find it in the filter window and use it for easy telling apart your original scans and conversion results.

Dealing with unexpected results

When talking about unexpected results, we should talk about expected results first.
Strictly spoken, automated film conversion is all about balance. The plugin will analyze the image information in it’s ‘viewport’ and it will try to balance colors and brightness to a theoretical state of neutrality. This state of neutrality is defined in the codebase of the plugin as well as logics that constantly check for ‘plausibility of correctness’.

Basically speaking there are two possible sources of error that can mess up the results:

1 – There is something in the viewport that doesn’t belong there and has nothing to do with the image/scene content. This can be flaws like

  • dust, holes and scratches
  • remains of the scanner light source or film holder
  • the scanner’s calibration is off
  • strong noise from the scanner’s sensor
  • user error while adjusting scanning parameters
  • developing flaws
  • expired film

2 – The image has some sort of content the plugin isn’t able to balance correctly because it is contradicting the built-in logic that would have been correct for other scenes. When that happens, you need to correct that manually. For example

  • Scene: a night time shot with a strong vignette caused by the camera lens.
    Result: The image is too bright. The plugin lifted midtone brightness because a vignette is like a dark radial gradient, covering more than 50% of the image content. The plugin decides to preserve the details in the gradient instead of crushing them.
    Contradiction: The same logic would have been correct for an underexposed frame.
    Correction: Adjust midtone brightness with edit sliders
  • Scene: a person with a white shirt in front of a green hedge
    Result: The person’s white shirt has a magenta tint. The plugin lowered green gamma to compensate for the hedge, that covers more than 50% of the image content.
    Contradiction: The same logic would have been correct for a frame with a green color cast
    Correction: Adjust green/magenta tint with edit sliders

When unexpected results happen on a regular basis and the issue is always the same, you can and you should work around them with a  correction profile. 

Workflow – Export

Creating Export Presets

With the Export panel in Bridge, you can export your converted TIF frames to the file format you desire. By default, the Export panel is in focus when you work in the Essentials and Output workspaces in Bridge

To access the export panel:

  • Navigate to Window in the menu bar.

  • From the drop down options, select Export Panel.

  • Adjust the position and width of the Export panel that opens as per your preference. In the Export panel, you can select ‘Create New Preset’.

     

You can create customized presets with your frequently used export settings and save them for easy accessibility in the future.

To create a new preset, do the following:

  • Click the Create New Preset option in the Export panel.
  • Click the add preset () icon from the bottom of the Export panel.
  • Right-click  in the Export panel to bring up the context menu. Select Create New Preset.

Once the Create New Preset dialog opens, you can type a preset name and set your preferences for — Saving Options, Image Format, Image Size, and Metadata, just as you would do in Custom Export . Click the Save button in the Create New Preset dialog to save your preset and find it listed in the Export panel.

Using Export Presets

Select files from the content panel that you wish to export and do any of the following:

  • Drag and drop the selected assets from the Content panel to the Custom Export option in the Export panel.
  • Right-click to bring up the context menu. Select Export To > Custom Export.
  • Go to File (menu bar) > Export to > Custom Export.

In the Export dialog that opens, type a preset name and set your preferences for — Saving Options, Image Format, Image Size, and Metadata.

Saving Options:

  • Export To: Expand the drop-down option to choose a location — Original File Location and Specific Folder.
  • If you select the Specific Folder option, you can further use the Browse field to set a location for your exported files.
  • Enable the Save to subfolder named checkbox and type in a name to specify a subfolder location.
  • You can also Manage Conflicts by selecting any of the options from the drop-down — Create unique file nameOverwrite existing file, or Skip file.

Image Format: Use this option to select a format using the Export panel. Bridge supports JPEG, DNG, TIFF, and PNG for export. Based on the format selected, you can choose from further settings.

Image Size:

  • Scale: Select Scale to set a scale percentage in the Image field.
  • Resize to: Select this option to resize your assets to fit or fill a target rectangle area and set the dimensions. You can resize images based on Long Edge, Short Edge, or Width/Height in the Export panel. You can also enable the Don’t enlarge option to make sure your image doesn’t get enlarged on exporting. By default, Don’t enlarge is enabled for Fit and disabled for Fill.
    • On selecting Fit, you can fit your image to resize on the basis of Long edge, Short edge, or Width Height.
      1. Long Edge: You can manually change the Dimension and Resolution before you export your images.
      2. Short Edge: You can manually change the Dimension and Resolution before you export your images.
      3. Width Height: You can manually change the Width, Height, and Resolution before you export your images. When you select Width/Height as your Fit option, your image is resized as per a target rectangle.
    • On selecting Fill, you can resize on the basis of Width Height. You can also view image thumbnails under Resize To having the original and new sizes of the images mentioned below each thumbnail.
    • You can specify the Resolution of your image in Pixels/inch or Pixels/cm and Dimension metrics in pixels/inches/cm.

Image preview: You can also see a preview of your images beside the resize options to quickly look at your applied changes for Width/Height options.

  • Resample Method: Choose any of the available Resample Method — Bilinear, Bicubic (best for smooth gradients), or Bicubic Sharper (best for reduction).

Metadata:

  • Include Original Metadata: Select this checkbox and use the drop-down menu to choose from the metadata associated with the files that you wish to keep.
  • Select the Remove Location Info checkbox to remove location specific metadata from the exported files.
  • Apply Metadata Template: Select this checkbox and choose from the following field:
  1. Name: Choose any of the available metadata from the Name drop-down.
  2. Method: Select a method — Append Metadata, or Replace Metadata.
  3. Additional Keywords (Separated by semicolon): Use this field to add additional keywords to the files you wish to export.

Click Start Export in the Export dialog or from the bottom of the Export panel to start the export process.

Comfort Functions

Doze Mode (Dozer) & RSS

Dozer works similar to a screen saver. After a predefined time of inactivity, the main panel interface will change to an RSS feed reader. It shows feeds from blogging websites that actively deal with film photography topics. We thought something like dozer is useful for connecting the community and finding new sources of inspiration and information.

You can anytime exit doze mode by simply hovering over the preview image.

Adjusting doze time

The inactivity time until Dozer activates can be set by hovering over the clock canvas. Then the canvas will change to a round slider. Simply drag the inner circle from 0 to 360 seconds. Doze time will be saved to hard drive and the plugin will remember your adjustment

Showing previews

When hovering over single headlines Dozer will show the featured image of the blog post in the preview window while showing a tooltip box with date, author and excerpt of the particular post.
Clicking on a headline will open the blog post in your default browser.

Arrow Buttons

The arrow buttons will switch between the next and the previous RSS feed.

Playing Negrun

Negrun is a minigame based on Outrun. You can start Negrun from the help plugin.
This of course was more like a fun project. Although the game mechanics are kind of rudimentary, it’s really fun and helps relaxing your brain if you’re stuck in editing or waiting for conversions to finish. The colors in the game (neutral gray street and purple background) were specially chosen for relieving eye-strain from correcting color casts.
Simply click in the game window and then press accelerate. If you like you can share your lap time in the Negmasters Facebook group.

Keyboard layout:

  • W – accelerate
  • S – steer left
  • A – steer right
  • D – brake

If you like the music visit Azul Cobalto on Spotify. He is a Negmaster user.

Uploading to Negmaster Cloud

Workflow – Contact Sheets

In Adobe Bridge’s content panel, select the thumbnails you want to generate a contact sheet from. Then simply click on the generate button in the Contact Sheet Options ‘Final’ section. The contact sheet will be generated according to your settings.

Please note that generating contact sheets from TIF results will happen without the changes you made in post, because contact sheets are based on pixel data. The changes you make to TIF files are stored in xmp sidecar files. Hence, instead of generating contact sheets from TIF files, we recommend generating contact sheets from exported JPG files, in which the post editing is ‘burned in’ on a pixel basis.

Changelog

1.0 – initial release