Digital Lith Tutorial - Uneven Development, Streaking

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This is the second episode about uneven development. This time it will cover streaking modules. Streaking modules in principle compute a pattern overlay on the fly. But they also can make use of the negative itself and so for example can create stronger effects in the shadows and so on.

To make use of streaking modules you have to go to the Digital Lith Exchange and download them from there as Digital Lith does not come with any streaking module pre-installed. Before you install streaking modules you have to set the extensions directory in the preferences. Once you have done this go to the Exchange menu and select the Streaking menu entry. This will show you a list of available streaking modules. Make sure that your computer is connected to the internet. You can get more details about the streaking modules by clicking on Read more. Select as many modules as you like and then click on Import to import them to the directory specified in the preferences. Once the download is complete you need to restart the program to have the streaking modules loaded. This is different from the preset exchange and maybe in a future version this will not be necessary, but for the moment it is and I do not think that it is too much of a burden to do so.

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Now that you have the streaking modules installed and also enabled streaking in the preferences you will see the following section in the Uneven Development part of the parameters. There is a popup menu to select the kind of streaking you want to add. You may be surprised about the long list of streaking types you can select from, much more than you selected to download. This is because almost all streaking modules provide more than one streaking type. There is always different flavors contained in a module. Do your selection and then click on the Add button to add that kind of streaking. Sometimes one streaking type is not enough, so you can add as many streaking entries as you want.

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If you want to reset all streaking click on the Reset button which will remove all selected streaking. The Manage button will be covered later in this episode. Let us first select a streaking type from the popup menu and add it to the parameters.

On the left you will see what your parameters look like now. Here we added Blotchy Area 2.0 which is added with its default parameters. Let us first have a look at the buttons here. There is the Switch H/V button. This is a streaking type with horizontal and vertical parameters. Clicking this button will swap the horizontal (Horizontal Spread) and the vertical (Vertical Spread) parameter values. If you click on Reset, then the parameter values for this streaking entry will be reset to the default values. Then the last button is Set Defaults which will store the current parameter values as new default values.


Update for Digital Lith Version 4.0.5: The Switch H/V, Reset and Set Defaults buttons have been removed and the functionality is now available via the context menu described in the next section. This menu will also let you enable/disable the streaking type.


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But there is more adjustments that you can do here (besides the parameter values). If you click on the Streaking Type name there will open up a context menu which let’s you choose another streaking type of the same module. On the right you can see that streaking module Blotchy Area 2.0 provides four different streaking types. Just for an example it provides the normal type (Blotchy Area 2.0) which will add the effect depending on the tonal value of the negative which leads to a more intense effect in the darker areas. Then an inverted type (Blotchy Area Invert 2.0) which instead to simulate an over-development will simulate an area of under-development. And then there is a paper only type for both of them which will add the effect independently of the tonal value of the negative (Blotchy Area Paper Only 2.0 and Blotchy Area Invert Paper Only 2.0).

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Then there is the small minus sign on the left of the streaking type name. If you click on this streaking entry will be removed.

Now let us add another streaking entry. Here is what we will get, both streaking entries are now effective and the first one is applied before the second one. If you want to change the ordering then use the two small arrows. Clicking on the down arrow will move the entry one step down until it is the last one. The up arrow will move it up until it is the first one. That way you will be able to rearrange the streaking modules if you decide to do so later. It is always an option to add them in the right order. On the left you see how the streaking parameter section looks like after adding another streaking entry (Bent Vertical Area Invert) and moving that one up to be the first entry.

Do you remember the Batch button. If you run the development of the image in the background you will see the progress right on top of the preview image. You will see the bar going from left to right once for each added streaking entry and then starting at the left again for the development.

Now let us have a look at the streaking modules manage feature. For that let us first change the parameters for the bent area streaking and set the Strength to 0.8 since the invert almost always needs a greater value than the normal type. Then click on the Set Defaults button. After that click on the Manage button and you will get to a dialog like the following (depending on which streaking modules you have installed).

 
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Here you see a list of all installed streaking types. Since every streaking module contains multiple streaking types it may very well be the case, that you only like some of those types. So why bothering with those types that you do not like. Here you can select those that you like to see in the streaking selection. In addition to that you also see for which streaking type you have default values overwritten and select those which you want to reset the stored default values to the types original defaults.

Now it is time to show some developed images. With the above example, but having the horizontal spread set to 20 percent for Blotchy Area 2.0 you will get the image shown on the left. Removing the Blotchy Area 2.0 type will lead to a different result, as you can see below on the right. In both images you can see the streaks of under-developent creeping into the image from the top and bottom edges. On the left image you also can see patches of over-development coming from the blotchy area streaking.

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I created a preset for the development parameters of the image on the left. You can download it here: StreakingDemo

To install it, after downloading it, click on the Import button and select the downloaded file which will add the preset to the presets list.

This finishes this episode. In the next episode we are going to cover process modules: Click!