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Super Saturation

A new and better way to add / remove color saturation

If you turn up the saturation in a graphics program to get a more vivid image, it will often look unnatural, and certain areas of the image might be over-saturated. SuperSaturation is a Photoshop filter that solves this problem.

Both when adding and removing color (de-saturating), this filter offers additional possibilities over the built-in saturation control in Photoshop, like e.g. maintaining individual color brightnesses like you see below.

Download the plug-in for free and put it in the Plug-ins/filters/ directory:

8-bit version 16-bit version

SuperSaturation Photoshop
SuperSaturation Photoshop
Here we are lowering the gamma curve of the reference image to make the image darker. Notice how certain colors in Photoshop do not get darker, but rather just start approaching red, green or blue. This is because of the nature of the RGB color space. Photoshop can also operate in other color spaces than RGB, in which case this behavior changes to some degree.

SuperSaturation Photoshop
Raising the gamma curve to make the image brighter. Notice how certain colors in Photoshop now start approaching yellow, cyan or magenta. This is again because of the nature of the RGB color space. Also some strange edges appear in Photoshop instead of smooth transitions.

SuperSaturation Photoshop
Increasing image saturation to boost the amount of colors in grey'ish areas. Because of SuperSaturation's "lively" mode, hard edges and blown-out colors are avoided. In the right image (Photoshop) you can even see a strange horizontal line appear. This is not a natural part of the reference image.

SuperSaturation Photoshop
Hue shifting (rotating the colors of the spectrum around) also reflects the smooth nature of the SuperSaturation - again avoiding harsh transitions and blown-out colors.

More example images

Example gallery I   (livelyness)
Example gallery II   (gamma correction)

Plug-in and Web page written by Joachim Michaelis in 04-oct-2009.

Website by Joachim Michaelis