For most images, the overall process is as follows:
- Open an image.
- Scale, crop, and white balance the image in the Develop Phase.
- Move to the Factor Phase, identify one or more Bright/Dark pairs, and process the image.
- Save your work in a Lightbrush file.
- Evaluate the results and provide additional user input, as necessary, to improve the solution, saving your work periodically.
- Move to the Edit Phase to touch up the results or edit the illumination or reflectance layers.
- Export your work to a layered document and use it in a another editing program or export the results as one or more TIFF or EXR images.
The images to the right show the original image with the tool palette and a Tool Options pane (A), and examples of the two intrinsic image outputs: the illumination map (B) and the reflectance map (C).
Separating an image into its illumination and reflectance is the primary task of the Factor Phase. Creating a separation requires one piece of information to begin: a single Bright/Dark Pair with one end of the tool placed on a lit version of a material and the other end placed on a shadowed version of the same material.
Once the Lit-Dark Pair is placed, hit the Process Button in order to execute a separation. The progress bar on the bottom of the main screen will indicate when the analysis is complete. The processing tools allow the user to interactively guide the separation process and improve the analysis, as necessary. Once new annotations have been placed, continue to hit the Process Button to re-process the image.