Plugs ’n Pixels looks at LandscapePro Studio
It always seems to be the case when you’re out shooting landscapes that all of the best elements of the scene are usually not present at the same time: A sky full of puffy clouds and colorful lighting. Crisp mountains without obscuring haze. Clear blue sparkling water and lush greenery.
You might get one or two of these, but chances are that not every element of the scene will be right.
So your choices are to shoot what’s there as best you can under the circumstances, or keep coming back again and again until everything falls into place. Or you can use software such as Anthropics LandscapePro Studio!
This powerful and clever app is a lot of fun to use and really makes up for when nature is lacking. Inside the app, the weather is always perfect.
The screenshot at top shows my image at the finishing stage in LandscapePro Studio. The image just above shows my original Lake Tahoe shot, which is still nice but not nearly as interesting, mainly due to the bland sky. So how did I get from the one to the other? Let’s take a look at the process, where LandscapeStudioPro actually walks you from step to step.
With your image loaded, you are greeted with the Add & Edit Areas control panel, where you drag labels onto different parts your image: Sky gets dragged to the sky area, water to the water area, mountains to any mountains and trees to where there are trees. A total of 15 categories are available.
In the screenshots below, you can see this control panel at left. At right are the labeled areas. If an area does not fully fill on the first try (as with the trees below), click and drag the “carrot” arrow until the color is solid. If you’re familiar with Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tool, you’ll understand this functionality right away.
Below is how it looks when the various scenic elements are fully labeled and selected (in this case, Sky, Mountain, Water, Tree). Tools are available for fine-tuning the selection as needed, such as in cases where trees meet the sky and need to be masked or there are small objects to be dealt with, as well as crooked horizon correction.
Now the fun begins! You can begin working with any of the labeled elements. Here I have chosen to adjust the trees (below). With the Tree menu expended, there are several presets to choose from (your actual image selection is reflected in the previews, which is nice). If none of them are to your liking or just don’t work with the image, choose the Sliders option instead to adjust Levels and Color manually.
Continue on through each of your scenic elements (such as water, below), making clicking on presets or making slider adjustments to best suit the overall scene.
Below, you can see I’ve saved the best for last: the Sky. Adjustments to each of the terrestrial elements definitely helped improve the scene, but replacing the bland blank sky with a new dramatic one from the presets completely overhauled the scene.
You can be done there, or you can enter either the Global Presets or Whole Picture sections and still further transform the scene using overall adjustments, such as the Night preset:
Other finishing touches include Lighting, where you can actually drag and pull lighting from one area of the image to another (almost like a moving flashlight) and Fixes (options include de-noising and straightening).
LandscapePro Studio is a very unique app and I really enjoyed using it. The results are great and you don’t have to spend much time getting going, because the app itself guides you with animated dialogs. Tutorial videos are also available on Anthropics’ website.