Paint Shop Pro: One Step Photo Fix…

Paint Shop Pro, formerly from JASC and more recently from Corel, has a nifty One Step Photo Fix command for automatically adjusting color balance, contrast, clarity, saturation, smooth edges, and sharpening an image. It command works pretty well as it is but I found that by tweaking the script behind it, I could more often get images that I liked better than the default output.

Paint Shop Pro 8 from JASC (more recent version is Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI) has a nifty One Step Photo Fix command for automatically adjusting color balance, contrast, clarity, saturation, smooth edges, and sharpening an image. The Paint Shop Pro One Step Photo Fix command works pretty well as it is but I found that by tweaking the script behind it, I could more often get images that I liked better than the default output. I will give some examples and show how I modified my script for Paint Shop Pro 8.

First, here is a photo of my beautiful and tolerant wife enjoying the presence of my Canon 10D in our campsite after backpacking a couple miles into Maine’s Cutler Coast. This photo is 20% of the original size, before any other editing.

Cutler Coast Campsite, Maine - original

The photo itself is not perfect by any measure; the focus is soft. But, this photo is pretty good for my photo album as-is. I might even be tempted to just have it printed with no adjustments.

When I run the Paint Shop Pro One Step Photo Fix command on the image above, this is the output:

Cutler Coast Campsite, Maine - After the Paint Shop Pro One Step Photo Fix command

After running the Paint Shop Pro One Step Photo Fix command, the colors are more accurate, and the image is clearer and sharper. But, I think the contrast is too high. More specifically, I think it makes things look too washed out; especially in the skin tone.

Unhappy with the One Step Photo Fix command, I went looking for the script that is run when you click the One Step Photo Fix button. I found it in C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 8\Scripts-Restricted\OneStepPhotoFix.PspScript. (Note: C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 8 is where I installed Paint Shop Pro 8. Your installation may be elsewhere.) The script is a Python script that Paint Shop Pro reads and executes when you click the button. It’s just a text file and you can read it with Notepad or Wordpad. Be careful to not modify the original file, though. We are going to copy it first to another directory.

You may not even know it, but when you install Paint Shop Pro, it creates directories in your My Documents directory. We want to place a copy of the OneStepPhotoFix.PspScript into the My Documents\My PSP8 Files\Scripts-Restricted directory.

Here is a picture showing where the Paint Shop Pro 8 Scripts-Restricted directory is:

PSP 8 user directory

If you did that, you now have two copies of the script, the default installation version and one you can edit for your own needs. The new copy will appear in the script drop down on the menu bar, as shown on the left in the image below (you may have to select it from the drop down list after restarting Paint Shop Pro 8):

Paint Shop Pro scipt menu bar

I opened OneStepPhotoFix.PspScript with Notepad and I changed the copy to skip the contrast enhancement step by adding #’s before the lines. This is called “commenting-out” in computer programmer jargon. Here is what the modified contrast section looks like:

# Enhance the contrast

#   App.Do( Environment, 'AutoContrastEnhancement', {
#           'Appearance': App.Constants.Appearance.Natural,
#           'Bias': App.Constants.ContrastBias.Neutral,
#           'Strength': App.Constants.ContrastStrength.Normal,
#           'GeneralSettings': {
#               'ExecutionMode': App.Constants.ExecutionMode.Silent,
#               'AutoActionMode': App.Constants.AutoActionMode.Match
#               }
#           })

That’s the only change I made. Now, when I run the script from the scripts menu, I get this output:

Cutler Coast Campsite, Maine - custom

That looks more appealing to me.

My new script gives me all of the automatic adjusting of color balance, clarity, saturation, smooth edges, and sharpening the image; without the overpowering contrast adjustment.

Author: Eric Holsinger

Eric Holsinger is a software professional and photography enthusiast in Southern Maine.

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