Grayscale Values Reversed

Here everybody can post his problems with PhotoLine
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue 02 Oct 2007 06:56

Grayscale Values Reversed

Post by mkochsch » Fri 12 Oct 2007 06:37

Maybe it's just me or maybe there's a setting somewhere....BUT, it would appear the greyscale values are reversed in Photoline32. Zero (0) is white and 100 should be black. They are the other way around. The origins of this nomenclature/system come from the printing and newspaper world. In order to produce photos and tones on paper, glass screens with fine etched lines were used. A 10 per cent screen give a nice light grey, a 50 per cent a very dark grey.
I think I know what's happening....the brightness value is being used from the HSV/B model. I think it would be an improvement to update this feature.


Michael Roek-Ramirez
Posts: 499
Joined: Tue 19 Nov 2002 16:16
Location: Darmstadt/Puebla/Shanghai

Post by Michael Roek-Ramirez » Fri 12 Oct 2007 08:11

Hmmm.... I see your point!
Actually I am not the youngest user any more, but have never been thinking the "old" way around.
Anyway we are not inking paper, but generating red, blue and green light in the monitor. And 100% for me always means 100% red, 100% green and 100% blue = white.

I dont have any trouble with that.

What would be the benefit of switching that?



User avatar
Posts: 3865
Joined: Sun 03 Jul 2005 13:35
Location: Mülheim/Ruhr

Post by Hoogo » Fri 12 Oct 2007 10:11

Would converting the greyscale-picture to CMYK help?

Posts: 6
Joined: Tue 02 Oct 2007 06:56


Post by mkochsch » Fri 12 Oct 2007 22:44

Many people work only in monochrome. e.g. Black and White photography is all monochrome work. If PL32 -- as a photo editor -- is to be accepted in these circles and the graphic arts industry it needs to use the existing standards. If someone is creating art for pre-press and tells the print shop they want a 90% screen when really they meant to say 10% screen it's confusing...and expensive...

User avatar
Posts: 943
Joined: Tue 29 May 2007 14:42
Location: Rabaul, Papua New Guinea

Post by greenmorpher » Sat 13 Oct 2007 00:51

I have to say that I hadn't noticed this yet -- I suppose because I am still exploring the program and nearly all my regular work is still in Canvas, where 100% black is black and 0% black is white (or whatever the underlying colour is if the layer is transparent).

I have two hats -- one as a person who DTPs stuff for print and the other as a marketing consultant.


For printing, black = 100%, white = 0%. Michael is right in respect of RGB projected colour, but the fact is that 99% of people don't know that and don't care -- it is an engineering detail which has been hidden from them for most of their lives and can stay hidden! Their mental reference is to a sheet of paper with ink added. That is concrete and they can see that. :P

Further, even most people who are doing electronic scrapbooking, photo albums and so forth, have a printed output in mind. So while working 99% on screen, their final output, the one in which they are envisaging their work, is ink on paper.

Finally, we are all brought up to understand that 100% black is black and 0% black is nothing, i.e. white (the colour of most paper). We learn stuff like that at our mother's knee.

So as a guy working on materials for print output, I want to see (in the words of the 1960s song) "Black is black ... white is white ...".

I also do the occasional website. I simply don't need to know the structure of RGB when I am preparing the materials for that -- it happens automatically, unlike ink distribution in print where you have to have control of stuff.


It's perfectly simple -- you go with the flow. The world understands that if you want to tighten a nut of put in a screw, you turn it clockwise -- it is called a "right-hand thread" in English (forget the special exceptions). The right-hand thread became the world-wide standard becuase it provides a biomechanical advantage to righthanded people -- the majority of the population.

So if you want to sell a mechanical screwdriver or nut tightener, or you imagine yourself as the next flat-pack furniture marketing genius, you set stuff up for or with right-hand threads.

Then people will buy. If you do it the other way about, and theoretically there is no reason why you shouldn't, then you might have some initial success until it becomes known that you stuff "works backwards". Then people won't buy. You have made it user unfriendly. They ask themselves: "If this doesn't work *correctly* in this basic matter, what else is wrong with it?"

This is the situation we have here with white being 100% and black being 0%. In terms of RGB *emissions*, that may be true , but who cares a damn? It is what I am looking at as a user that counts and what I want when I see black is 100% black, and white is 0% black.

With every product, people talk about wanting "something different" -- and they do. BUT they only want it a LITTLE different. People gasp in wonder when they see circular or octagonal houses -- but how many actually put their money down to buy one? What they want is a regular, conventional house, with some little changes from the house next door so it works better for them.

Having black = 100% and white = 0% is one of those things. It is regular and conventional.

The same goes for the grouping of tools, filters, and stuff and nomenclature in the menus and palettes.

If Gerhard and Martin want this excellent program to win greater market share -- and they should -- they need to follow convention, the usual, with this kind of stuff -- and absolutely avoid "hidden" features.

PL32 is a great tool, a professional level tool. It will never actually "look" professional unless it uses professional terms. Amateurs want their tools to look and sound professional too.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at