"Frequency Separation Brush?"

I know some are familiar with frequency separation technique which is typically implemented as a multi-step process in photoshop. And while I’m not at all a fan of its overuse to smooth skin, it definitely has some applications for cleaning up backgrounds. And I’d like to do it all in my RAW processing tool without having to load each image into photoshop or something similar.

Why can’t we have a local adjustments type layer that handles the whole frequency separation process?

DXO can manage the high frequency and low frequency layers and we can adjust the amount of blur in the low frequency, and then we can apply cloning or repair to high frequency and blur to low frequency layers. The parameters could be stored in the sidecar files just like the local adjustments today, and it can be done in a non-destructive way. i.e. we can come back and try different low frequency layer blur and things like that to adjust.

I haven’t fully thought through, but it seems for a lot of frequency separation work, it could be handled this way.

it would be SO MUCH faster than round-tripping through photoshop, especially if you’re trying to clean up backgrounds from a number of images.

Am I crazy?

Is there something close to frequency separation processing already in PL ?

No. Google it and there are a number of tutorials on how it’s done. (Some are better than others.) it’s quite an interesting technique with a number of applications, not just for face/skin touch ups. (Which is where it’s most commonly used.)

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There is a function in Affinity Photo to split frequencies, easily producing the equivalent layers, which up till now are not supported by PL. :frowning:

Understand. I don’t use Affinity and am trying to avoid the round tripping.

I know frequency separation can be done in multiple tools. But to my knowledge it’s not done in higher volume tools like Lightroom, Capture One, or DXO. But it could be.


I suggested a feature which is closely related.
Does it suit the same purpose?

don’t know Picture Windows Pro, but if I understood when following the link, PWP does something automatically, while you (can) set kind of threshold to influence …

With Frequency separation you split colour (e.g. the skin tone) from texture (e.g. the pores), usually on separate layers, so that you can retouch them independently. It’s an advanced technique, often used for portraits (and also helpful to ‘repair’ burnt out patches).

In case of PhotoLab, I would like to have such an advanced tool, realized

  • as an ‘extension’ of the Repair Tool
    (option to repair low and high frequency separately)

  • or within Local Adjustments
    (needs some masking to enable individual application)

@MikeR – and of course @StevenL,
that is something else to distinguish the Elite version … :slight_smile:



Being myself a frequency separation enthusiast (in PS), I’d like to have such feature right inside PL… :partying_face:


In Picture Window Pro 8, the user is completely in charge of the transformation, it is not automatic at all. You choose the spatial frequencies of application, the fall-off between effective frequencies, the amplitude and radius of the effect. Moreover, the user can select where to apply the transformation via masks which can be created using a brush or many other means. Thus, the effect of advanced sharpening can be local via masking or global. Multiple instances of the advanced sharpening transformation can be applied in a series of applications. Each instance can have different settings.
The name of the tool does not rellect its triple-use : noise reduction ( for smoothing textures ), speck removal, and sharpening.

Ah, ok – thanks for explanation!

But then I, also would like to avoid roundtripping, and even prefer to do most of the retouching in PL as often you have more ‘playroom’ with the raw-file .

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In the meanwhile it is actually very easy to continue processing in PWP using “send to application”.
PWP is completely free and very useful as a complement to PL.