BW Workflow Pro v1.5

BW Workflow Pro v1.5
PC and Mac

Introducing the BW Workflow Pro

Taking black and white conversion to the next level

BW Workflow Pro

This workflow is not like any other plugin available. There are tons of options, features, and endless possibilities for creating your masterpiece. In addition to manual modes, and custom tweak options, I have packed this plugin full of carefully designed preset options to help you get the best image quality out of your files. You have 9 preset filter selections, 32 duotone presets, 18 tritone presets, 6 quadtone presets, 3 film grain presets and 4 dynamic range presets. Everything you do, can be easily previewed as you work on your image. High quality B&W has never been easier to achieve. Let the BW workflow Pro give you the control you need to get the best B&W look from your image.

Several changes and were made to v1.5. To start, the plugin layout was improved and redesigned in order to keep the interface as small as possible. We made the plugin sliders more accurate and added the ability to save your custom settings. A new plugin preset was also added: It's called Digital Infrared and mimics an infrared filter.

*16-bit color depth available with Photoshop CS or higher. FM Plugins will work with both 8-bit and 16-bit files. However when using Photoshop 5.5, 6, or 7 this plugin will only work in 8-bit mode.


Note: Mac version illustrations will be shown throughout this page. Identical features are available for PC and Mac users. The new interface functionality and concept is based on the feedback from many professional photographers looking for the highest quality black and white output.


Launching the BW Workflow Pro Plugin

If Photoshop was open during the BW Workflow Pro plugin installation, close it.

Re-open Photoshop and open a new Image. You are ready to load the Plugin.
Go to: Menu / Automate / BW Workflow Pro
See the illustration below: When clicking on 'BW Workflow Pro', the plugin interface will launch.


BW Workflow Pro settings:

The BW Workflow Pro plugin is packed with features and options. Every setting has been designed to ease your workflow when converting RGB color images to black & white.

There are 3 main options to choose from: Preset Mode, Smart Mix or Manual Mode.

Preset Mode:

Although this mode is fully automated, it provides options to tweak the filter preset selections in order to achieve custom and unique results. From the drop down menu, you can choose from 8 presets that have been carefully calculated for optimal conversion results. They are:

  • B&W (no filter)
  • B&W + Red Filter
  • B&W + Orange Filter
  • B&W + Yellow Filter
  • B&W + Green Filter
  • B&W + Blue Filter
  • B&W High Contrast
  • B&W Very High Contrast
  • B&W Digital Infrared

The default option is B&W (no filter). This preset mimics the look of black and white film without any filter attached to the lens. The other options were designed to mimic the look of black and white film with red, orange, yellow, green and blue filters attached to the lens respectively.

The Preview button (Located on the right side of the plugin interface) is very helpful when choosing between the Filter Selection options. Whenever the "Preview" button is checked, you will preview the changes on your original file.

Within the Preset Mode, you will find 2 extra settings:

Tweak Filter: The Tweak Filter feature provides you with numerous possibilities to tweak chosen filter selections. It can be used with any preset, except for the "High Contrast" and "Very High Contrast". You will have a range of (-150% to 150%) to tweak the look of the desired filter selection. This can be done by either adjusting the slider or entering a number from -150 up to 150 in the percentage field.

Intensity: The Intensity slider accentuates and enhances the results from the preset filter selections. The available range is from 0% to 50% and it can either be adjusted from the slider or by entering a number up to 50 in the percentage field.


Smart Mix Mode:

BW Workflow Pro works with RGB (color) files and because of that, it bases its algorithms on three channels: Red, Green and Blue. The Smart Mix mode, provides a very effective way to isolate one of the color channels and then tweak the remaining two without overexposing or underexposing your images. It's smart because whichever setting you choose, your file will retain your original exposure.

For example, if you have a landscape image that you wish to convert to black and white and would like to make the blue sky as dark as possible while maintaining a "healthy" exposure, you could select the "Red" channel and give it a max of 200 percentage setting. (The Master channel range is -200 to 200%)

Then you could tweak the Green and Blue channels to obtain the look you desire. If more Green is desired, move the slider towards the Green side and if more Blue is desired, move the slider towards the blue side. The settings will auto-adjust in between an amazing range of -300 to 300%. Possibilities are infinite!


Manual Mode:

This mode is similar in concept to the Smart Mix mode, except that it will not correct exposure by default. In Manual mode, you have the option to use settings for any color channel individually and therefore you can create custom and creative looks for your black and white images. Again, by default, exposure will not be balanced and images could end up severely overexposed or underexposed. However, when checking on the "Calculate Average" option, the plugin algorithms will maintain the intended black and white look while balancing exposure to perfection.


Add Effects:

Add Effects offers a multitude of looks for your black and white images. It can be used with any of the Plugin modes like: Preset Mode, Smart Mix Mode or Manual Mode.

You can choose from 32 Duotone presets, 18 Tritone presets and 6 Quadtone presets. You can also tweak "Tone" and "Intensity" from any Effect preset to achieve a custom look for your black and white work. Tone Tweak will range from (-150 to 150) and Intensity from (-50 to 50). With all of these Effects, you could really create a unique look for your black and white work when deciding to go beyond the provided preset options.


Add Grain:

The Add Grain feature will emulate the look of film grain. You can choose from ASA 100, 200 or 400. It can be used with any of the plugin modes: Preset Mode, Smart Mix Mode or Manual mode.


Add Dynamic Range:

The Add Dynamic Range feature opens up the shadows and rescues as much highlight detail as possible. You can choose from Level 1, 2, 3 or 4 (4 = strongest level). It can be used with any of the plugin modes: Preset Mode, Smart Mix Mode or Manual mode.


Image Zoom and Reset:

The Image zoom feature provides the following optional views for your preview file: Zoom in, Zoom out, Fit on Screen, Actual Pixels and Print size. *Before using this "View" option, make sure you have the Preview button checked.

The Reset button will return the image to the initial default setting of the plugin. (Which is Preset mode with Filter selection B&W - no filter.)


Shortcut to access BW Workflow Pro:

There is a great way to use your BW Workflow Pro Plugin faster and easier. All you need to do is create a simple action in Photoshop to open the BW Workflow Pro plugin automatically, instead of having to go through using the Automate menu every time. More details included in the User Manual.


Batching BW Workflow Pro:

Normally, plugins are not compatible with Photoshop's batch mode. However, BW Workflow Pro has an internal batch capability that has been added (Scripting support). More details included in the User Manual.


Check out 5 samples from BW Workflow Pro:
(Hundreds of possibilites could be created for this image)

Original RGB file

Smart Mix Mode

Preset Mode: Red filter with Tweak set to 28%, Tritone: Sepia (Toned), Add Dynamic Range: level 1

Smart Mix Mode (Extreme settings)

Preset Mode: High Contrast, Add Dynamic rage: Level 4, Duotone: Warm Gray (Medium)

Preset Mode: Preset Mode: Very High Contrast, Duotone: Yellow (Strong)