Fstoppers Reviews the NBP Freqsep Control 2.1 Plugin Update

Fstoppers Reviews the NBP Freqsep Control 2.1 Plugin Update

As always, I get comfortable in my workflow then something new comes along that I didn't know I needed. This can of course be a good thing as long as we aren't closed minded to change. Today I'm going over an awesome new feature of the new NBP Freqsep Control update version 2.1.

Full disclosure, I am an ambassador for NBP plugins, so I obviously use these products however I wouldn't endorse a product that I don't honestly use and believe in for my workflow. 

What It Is

Freqsep Control is a frequency separation panel that gives us a lot of control over how we do our frequency separations. Rather than running an action, we are presented with a bunch of options. The original info on this panel can be found here.

Unique Features

The unique features of this panel is that you have three options for the type of frequency separation, a Gaussian Blur, a Median Filter, and a Proprietary algorithm called Super Surface Blur which is a modified version of a surface blur, geared specifically for this purpose and to run quickly.

I've been using this panel exclusively in my workflow and have found it to be very useful. Now on to one of those things I didn't know I needed.

The 2.1 Update

This update for Freqsep Control primarily adds the ability to choose between a few different options when running your frequency separation. 

To better explain those, the way my workflow and many others is to use a layer in between the high and low frequency to softly paint on some sampled colors from neighboring areas to the area we are working on. This has been the standard way for quite some time with most all frequency separation processes.

Standard transitions layer

The new options give us that same option which is named default. Then we also have available Body Parts, which creates several layers in between the high and low and names them according to commonly retouched body parts. This is more of a workflow time saver and a way for those of us that are super picky about staying organized to quickly do so while adding the ease to adjust opacity of your corrections restricted to specific areas.

Body Parts Layers

The third option in the settings box is my favorite and is a big time saver for me because it adds three ranges of luminosity masks for me automatically right as part of my frequency separation. I leave this setting on 99 percent of the time now. This allows me to paint transitions that are restricted to the referenced luminosity range. So I am able to paint shadow transitions while leaving the highlights and midtones alone. This is totally one of those things I didn't know I needed and now I wouldn't know what to do without.

Amazing luminosity masks added to the layers in between the high and low frequency.

What I Like

I love the ability to save time by the panel creating these layers for me. Adding the luminosity masks is a huge thing.

My finished image looks similar to how I would have done it before but the difference was how many steps I needed to get there.

Retouched image with NBP Freqsep Control for my texture work.

What I Didn't Like

I would like an option for post layer creation, such as automatically selecting a layer to begin working without having to move over to my layers panel and pick one. However this of course would be difficult to do since each retoucher might do things in a different order, and that only gets increasingly more complex now with the new layer options that version 2.1 brings us. So it's unlikely to be a possibility. This is also getting super finicky, I'm very OCD about every extra click in my workflow.

Where You Can Get It

You can buy the panel for $30 here.

Bill Larkin's picture

Bill is an automotive and fashion inspired photographer in Reno, NV. Bill specializes in photography workflow and website optimization, with an extensive background in design and programming.

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What I like? The model. I have no clue what NBP Freqsep Control update version 2.1 is. My spell checker doesn't even know how to spell it.

How to transform a normal woman in a plastic doll……

I don't know many dolls with skin texture.

Sorry but this is not "skin texture", this is "fake skin texture"…
Fake vain people, not accepting to appear as they really are, living in a fake world where everything and everybody must be pretty and perfect ...…

A perfect world until you get out in the street and see the fatties.

Yes, Let's go and photoshop them all!

Let’s do it! But wait, would it be politically correct or are we gonna offend the fat people society?

LaughingCow, I bet when she wants to be a "normal woman" her hair isn't perfect, her make up is minimal, she doesn't stand around in perfect light with a fuzzed out background, wearing that outfit. She is a model, doing a photoshoot. Nothing normal or natural about it.

I use NBP FreqSep V2.1. I would really like to see how you use the 3 level luma masks that save you so much time.