Try the new blog at www.sagelightblog.com!
Introduction to the Tone Blender
A new addition to the Sagelight in version 4.1.5 is the B/W & Color Tone Blender, or just the Tone Blender for short.
The Tone Blender allows you to add color tones to your black-and-white or color (or color as black-and-white) picture in many different forms, from subtle sepia, warm & cool tones, washed out effects, color burned effects, or just color toning to blend in to your image for moody or surreal effect.
In addition to color toning, the Tone Blender also has a powerful vignette feature that allows you to add a vignette of any color and many different styles to the image. By itself, the vignette can add a very dramatic statement to your image, especially when used with some of the color burn modes.
The Tone Blender features 60+ presets to help get you started. You can select a preset from a list or a random preset – when you see something you like, you can then use the controls from there After a few presets and experimenting with the controls, it becomes pretty clear how powerful the Tone Blender can be.
Try it yourself with loadable profiles/presets
How to do it:
- Load the original image link (see below)
- Load the profile link and save it somewhere on your disk.
- When running Sagelight, load the original image.
- Go to the “B/W & Color Tone Blender” under the “Pro Menu”
- Load the saved preset. It will create the same results.
Tone Blender Types
As with many Sagelight features, the Tone Blender really is a Program within a Program, in that it offers a number of features with a lot of control. There are a few basic areas of the Tone Blender:
- Simple Monochrome Toning and Duotoning
- Multi Color Mode
- Washed Out Effects
- Burned Color Effects
- Using the Vignette
- Simple Vignette
- Color Vignette
- Harsh Vignette
- Burned & Burned Color Vignette
Simple Monochrome Toning and Duotoning
When you first come into the Tone Blender, two menus come up, the Image Controls Menu with various controls for light type and pre- and post-disposition of the image. Another menu that comes up is the Color Blending Controls (Simple Mode):
This menu allows to change the basic color tone, the amount (i.e. how much of the color), and brightness of the color of the image. You can also press the “Layer Fill Color” button to pop up a window where you can select the color more visually.
If we use the above picture as a start point, we can use this simple menu to make a nice black-and-white sepia tone image out of it. (click on image or here for original size)
With the new image, all I did was to do the following:
- Turn the image black and white with the Black and White Slider (see below)
- Set the color to 30 degrees, which is about the same as the default entry (see the above menu to see the color)
- Select “Solid Color”. This keeps the picture bright. I will show another example below where I don’t use that switch for a more pronounced effect.
- Put the Saturation to 21 – this brings down the amount of color, since I want a subtle toned effect for this image.
- load the preset: click here to download “dog1”.
The Image Controls
Another menu comes up when you launch the Tone Blender:
These controls allow you to make changes to the image before it is process and after. For example, I used the Black and White Slider (at 100%) in the above example to turn the image black and white before I toned it.
Adding a Vignette
Now let’s add a vignette to this image. I am also going to make one more change: I will uncheck “Solid Color”. Instead of blending with the color selected, it will now blend with a copy of the image toned to that color, which adds contrast to an image and makes it more moody:
As you can see, this image is a lot different. Here is what I did with this image:
- Set the Vignette Opacity to 80%. The other vignette controls are already set.
- Move the vignette with the mouse slightly to make the center closer to the dog’s head (but not completely centered, as that didn’t look as nice)
- Unchecked the “Solid Color” checkbox to create a deeper tone.
- Increase the Color Amount in the “Color Blending Controls” Window to about 35. I did this because it looked better with the deeper tone after unchecking the “Solid Color” checkbox
- load the preset: click here to download “dog 2”
Now, if I want to, I can create a different mood just by moving the Color Slider:
With this picture, here is what I did:
- Move the Color Slider to about –135 degrees.
- use the preset from above, and move the Color Slider.
and that’s it!
Another thing I can do (to the previous ‘warm’ duotone), I can select the “Hard Light” setting to create a harsher light onto the image:
With this image, I did the following:
- Reloaded the Profile “Dog2”
- Selected the Hard Light Option
- Increase the Saturation to about 25 for effect (to add slightly more color)
- load the preset: click here to download “dog3”.
Things to try:
- Move the vignette with the mouse. Also try the softness and other controls
- Select presets. Then change the controls set by the presets. This is a great way to learn how to use the tone blender and to see how versatile it is.
- Try a vignette color. Then try a Burn Mode (under Vignette Mode) with a wide softness value.
- Try different blend modes.
- Try different mixtures of the Black and White Slider and the Post Saturation Slider.
Conclusion (for Part I)
The Tone Blender allows you to do simple to more aggressive toning with just a few controls. The first part was a basic introduction show a small set of controls to perform simple toning of a black-and-white image (or color image converted to black-and-white, as in this case).
Coming Next in Part II: Blending with Color Images and the Multi-Color Mode
Image Credit: “My dog is soo dog gone cute” by katherinejoy101