Tonality Masks Panel
Verdict: Tonality Masks Panel is a plugin for Adobe Photoshop that allows customizing colors and shades in images. Being developed with an innovative selection system in mind, this plugin employs SPECTRUM and IRIS for accurate and swift work, affecting the brightness and colors of photos. Installing TM Panel, you actually get a set of tools for image editing, without compromising the quality of visuals in the long run.
Unlike numerous Photoshop plugins, TM Panel is a universal instrument that can come in handy for newbies, who usually use default settings, and professionals alike.
The bragging point of Tonality Masks Panel is its ability to produce pixel-based masks, e.g., luminosity masks. However, this is just a jump-off point for more complicated manipulations. TK7 can also make masks based on color channels, hue, saturation, vibrance, and even custom alpha channels.
As the name implies, this plugin is capable of creating masks/selection based on tonality instead of luminosity. What’s the difference? Let’s imagine the sunset scene. If you make a luminosity-based selection and select lights, almost the entire sky part will be selected. If you opt for a tonality-based selection, you can choose only the cold lights in the sky or warm lights, which is a more flexible approach.
With TM Panel activated, you can perform various tasks without freezes and delays even if you use an older computer. The program copes with the process in a quick way responding to your clicks. Thus, you can achieve the desired result rather fast.
This photo retouching plugin has undergone several updates, and the latest version has a very stylish and intuitive UI, which can be adjusted to suit user’s needs. Moreover, you can turn on all three main windows (CORE, LANDSCAPE, and EXPORT), or keep the one you currently need.
To keep the workspace neat and have specific tools at your fingertips, you can select the categories of commands that will be reflected in the Landscape panel. Besides, the developer added the SETTINGS section, where you can find even more adjustments.
Users appreciate that the latest version has 3 different sections, as the working process has become more structured. The CORE is the main part of Tonality Masks Panel; the LANDSCAPE is packed with various tools intersecting with the CORE selections; the EXPORT for outputting images to the web, social networks, etc.
CORE consists of two sections – the CLASSIC and the IRIS (Infinity Range Image Selection). I want to focus on the latter, because mastering the first section, which involves basic mechanisms and concepts, you will quickly more to the IRIS and will use it on a regular basis.
Here you can find a standard scale of the Brightness selections (from D6 to L6), the COLOR WHEEL, WARM and COLD tools, and the CTL (Color-Hue-Saturation) controls. Using these features, you can make additions, subtractions, and intersections between masks in order to get a balanced and eye-catching image.
LANDSCAPE contains all types of commands. From familiar BLENDING, CORRECTION, COLOR TONING, CONTRAST, DODGE & BURN to new COLOR THEORY and LIGHT SIMULATION – you can find all the needed tools in this section. With the help of Color Theory, you can apply a precise COLOR GRADING to your images, using the colors from the color wheel or sampling them from another photo. The process is bound to be intuitive thanks to the lights/shadows/averages options.
The EXPORT panel is needed for effortless output of finished photos to social networks or applying final touches such as assigning ICC profiles, name, destination, or adding a watermark.
You can find lots of video tutorials on the official website that can make the learning procedure as stress-free as possible. You will learn how to improve images if you practice the main photography types or how to create HDR effect in Photoshop.
But keep in mind that all videos are in Italian. Anyway, if you have already used Adobe Photoshop, you will easily locate the needed menu or tool.
In addition to Tonality Masks Panel, the developers also offer users their new products to improve image tones. They work smoothly in Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 and newer.
Color Grading Panel contains different instruments for color management, so you can give your images a unique finishing. There is also a color wheel based on PERCEPTUAL MODE instead of regular RGB mode, that excels at defining color combinations that look great together. Besides, you can save your favorite palettes. Another cool feature is called the automatic sampling function. It allows users to extract the main color palette from a photo.
Black and White Panel is unmatched when it comes to transforming images into B&W format. There are several contrast sliders that you can use to adjust exposure, lights, midtones, shadows, whites, blacks, and clarity in a very straightforward manner. Moreover, there are 2 separate sliders by dragging which you can alter toning, thus having more control over the B&W conversion process. What’s more, you can mimic particular cinematic effects that were very popular in the ear of B/W movies.
The official website contains a download link, following which you can get Tonality Masks Panel for free. However, this is only a demo version, which means you’ll have to put up with restrictions. You need to indicate your email to start the downloading. But I highly recommend you to pay attention to a paid version, which costs only $28.80. For this money you get 16/32 bit Algorithm, Luminosity Masks, Tonality Masks, Color Masks, Saturation Masks, Vibrance Masks, Real Time Masks, Advanced Operations Between Masks, Refine Masks, Dodge & Burn, Regulation Layer.
People using a full version, receive a lifetime license for 2 devices. You can pay via PayPal, use Credit, Debit Card, Prepaid Card, or Bank Transfer. The last variant presupposes 3/5 working days delay even if you choose instant bank transfer.
You can also get 5 Panels Bundle for $68.08. It includes Tonality Masks Panel v7, Landscape Panel, Color Grading Panel, Black and White Panel and Export Panel.
The truth is that TM Panel is a unique plugin and there is currently no other tool that can replace it. It is indispensable on all photo editing levels. Of course, it takes some time to master this plugin, but the way it changes your working routine totally justifies your efforts.
In most cases, you need to spend about 7 days to have a complete mastery of the panel, and then you can move to more complicated tasks. Anyway, TM Panel V7 has no competitors when it comes to tonal-based selections for RAWs.