Why Photoline?

Here everybody can post his problems with PhotoLine
skip
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Why Photoline?

Post by skip » Wed 10 Apr 2019 20:11

My wife and I are retired. We find that photography as a hobby is increasingly becoming a part of our lives. Additionally, my spouse has a passion for greeting card design.

During a past life, we extensively used Publisher, Photoshop, Gimp, Paintshop Pro, etc. for marketing purposes while operating a retail venture. I am currently using Darktable, Gimp, and Inkscape. My wife operates using Affinity products.

I have been aware of Photoline for years and have been fascinated by the passion demonstrated by its adherents on photography forums. Also, I've been impressed with the consistent depth of graphic knowledge that many members of this forum seem to possess.

Currently, there are many apparently competent free and moderately priced options available for almost any graphic purpose. I am curious why any Photoline user made that software choice. I am aware that, unlike almost anything else available except Photoshop, Photoline can operate on raster, vector, raw, etc. with a remarkably full toolkit. Perhaps that's the main attraction. Why did you chose Photoline as your primary or as a significant graphic solution?

Over the years, I've read a number of discussions in which it's been asserted that Photoline does many things, but few well. It's handling of raw files is often used as an example. Obviously, members of this forum disagree with such an assessment. Nonetheless, do you find the app in its current iteration significantly uneven in its handling of various tasks?

What is your assessment of Photoline when used primarily for photographic adjustment and correction?

Please do not take this post as a Photoline criticism. That is far from the truth. It is most impressive that such a complex program is the product of two developers. I am, however, genuinely interested in your reasons for making this choice. The program is demanding enough that a causal thirty day trial would probably create confusion more than anything else for someone such as myself with only a rudimentary understanding of many of the graphic principles involved.

Thanks in advance for your input.

bruce1951
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by bruce1951 » Thu 11 Apr 2019 00:34

OK I'll try to put my move to Photoline as simple as I can.

I was a long time user of PSP. Way back in the Jasc days up until PSPx8. PSP became more bloated and slow without out much gain between versions. So I started to look around for alternatives. A few web pages convinced me to give it a go. Here's one that influenced me. https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/1600 ... photoshop/ scroll down and read Herbert123's post. (Herbert123 visits this forum).
PL down loads as just 20+megs. And will work from a memory stick. Good price.

But most importantly for me PL allows me to have a full tool box. It allows external programs and plugins which mean I can use PL and flip back and forth to other tools without any drama. (Other than user issues :( ). Also much of the above web page from Herbert123 is also important with PL's flexibility.

The authors of PL watch this site and I very good at helping. They are also open to fixing bugs and making changes. Something most/many other companies are unprepared to do.

It's a bit 'different' with terminology etc but it's worth the learning curve.

bruce

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russellcottrell
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by russellcottrell » Thu 11 Apr 2019 06:34

What is your assessment of Photoline when used primarily for photographic adjustment and correction?
The best. Do it. http://www.russellcottrell.com/photo/PhotoLine/

The stargazerslounge link above pretty much says it all. I left that other program because of the licensing issues, and now use PhotoLine for photo editing because in a number of ways it is better. (I am not much into graphic arts.) The Lab and saturation curves, and color filters, by themselves are worth it. And I have plugins that I can’t do without, and they work in PhotoLine. I still use the other program for printing, and sometimes scripting but PhotoLine is catching up. I use specialized programs for raw development, panoramas, and HDR, but the photo editing is all done in PhotoLine.

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iosoio
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by iosoio » Tue 16 Apr 2019 22:32

My wife and I are retired. We find that photography as a hobby is increasingly becoming a part of our lives. Additionally, my spouse has a passion for greeting card design.
Enjoy your well-deserved retirement! And welcome to the phantasmagoric but, unfortunately, the more and more vulgarized world of Photography. The same goes for Cinema, anyway.
Currently, there are many apparently competent free and moderately priced options available for almost any graphic purpose. I am curious why any Photoline user made that software choice. I am aware that, unlike almost anything else available except Photoshop, Photoline can operate on raster, vector, raw, etc. with a remarkably full toolkit. Perhaps that's the main attraction. Why did you chose Photoline as your primary or as a significant graphic solution?
Say You don't use a software only because the others do, and dislike the subscription model of the mainstream software houses;
You don't think in stereotypes (but you do think a lot).
You do not bleat like sheep.
If so, you are a serious candidate to become a Photoline user.

Given that, I agree with you that there are some great competitors, and I agree with you the way Photoline handles raw files isn't the best: If I were the developers I'd also split the program in two parts (and compile a Linux version like Vuescan) but that's a different story and totally up to them.

On the other side Photoline is a compact and fast, consistent, not at all bloated application with many tools that are very precise. For example I love the selections ones. I am a kind of an old fashion man who think that curves could almost always do the job. Does anybody remember Dan Margulis?

In the end, You have the freedom to choose, and this already is an act of creativity...

Bye
Papa, Papa, ich möchte ein Clown sein, wenn ich groß bin.
Bravo, sag deiner Mutter, sie soll dich nach Italien bringen, um als Richterin zu lernen!

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Herbert123
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by Herbert123 » Thu 02 May 2019 08:35

For myself PhotoLine offers a unique mix of features not found anywhere else, and an open architecture which invites the user to use PhotoLine as a 'hub' for all sorts of graphics work, from photography to game design assets and even small job DTP work.

As others have already stated here, curves adjustments in PhotoLine are a pleasure to use - in particular to other image editors, and that include the 'industry standard' one. So many smaller and bigger workflow helpers exist in PhotoLine, and while it has a few rough edges, on the whole I can fly in PhotoLine compared to other image editors.

To me a non-destructive workflow is extremely important, and here PhotoLine truly shines. Almost anything is non-destructive, and PhotoLine is still one of the few offering a smart object workflow, yet cloned layer instances which update in realtime are also an option.
Many Photoshop-compatible plugins even work in non-destructive mode: for example, I make extensive use of FilterForge and the NIK filters (free version), and these can be applied as live filters. That is huge: excepting Photoshop, I don't think any other image editor is able to pull that off.

There's just so many little things that make sense to me in PhotoLine. The layers are unbeatable (well, it would be nice if we could anchor separate layers together), with still unique options such as the negative opacity and being able to go beyond 100%. That is just such a brilliant addition.

The external app round-tripping built into PhotoLine is marvelous. I can easily extend PL to work seamlessly together with other applications. This has saved me countless hours. The live connection with applications is again a truly useful thing to have. Open a vector object/group in InkScape via the external app function, edit, save, PhotoLine updates, edit some more in InkScape, PhotoLine updates, and so forth. Just super.

There are still a number of things I'd like to see improved in PhotoLine:

- digital painting tools. The brush engine is in dire need of an update. Luckily the devs are busy working on exactly that. I am hoping the GUI and brush engine capabilities will more or less be able to compete with the ones in Photoshop. That said, I think it is unrealistic to expect wonders, and I use Krita and ClipPaint for most of this work. I'd love to see a feature in which Krita and PhotoLine work seamlessly together in some manner. The external program option doesn't work very well in this particular case.

- master pages and a symbol library would take PL's DTP features to the next level. Not only for DTP, but also for all kinds of other work these are essential to have. I now work around these limitations with the virtual layers, but maintaining and organizing these is a bit of a chore. It would be super helpful if we could assign pages to become master pages, and the layering cascades throughout the pages. And allow us to override elements.

- indexed colour mode. One can dream... If only. Indexed colour mode with all the options of PhotoLine? Pixel artists would KILL for this. The 1-bit image mode of PhotoLine is ENTIRELY unique in its functionality, and blows everything else out of the water. 1bit with layers??!! If this could be implemented with 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 bits, plus the indexed pallette? Sheer heaven for pixel artists. I am using Pro Motion NG for this work now, but would immediately switch to PhotoLine for all my pixel art. Brings tears to my eyes even thinking about this. Tears of joy.

- the GUI still needs work. I really hope we can have an option some day to change the colour scheme ourselves, for example. Expose those colours, and allow the user to change any of the interface colours, including all GUI components. I also made a proposal mockup to improve the multi-view/document handling.

BTW, the developers are incredibly helpful and responsive, and often implement workflow improvements within days. They are a wonder compared to 99% of other software companies I dealt with in the past three decades. Kudos to them.
/*---------------------------------------------*/
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maxwell
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by maxwell » Thu 02 May 2019 10:47

Advantages of Photoline:

In comparison to Photoshop, Photoline has no different user interfaces for different image processing tasks, e.g. lens correction, raw processing, liquify, .... The best example in this context is Adobe camera raw, which is sold now as Lightroom. This was one of my main reasons to switch to Photoline. Non destructive channel processing is also of advantage in comparison to Photoshop. Most of the other advantages of Photoline are already noted in the other comments.

What's missing in comparison to Photoshop:

There are only a very small number of image processing functions not included in Photoline till now, like:

- the brush engine in the latest beta corresponds to Photoshop's CS4 engine. Brush tips like bristle etc. are missing. These new tips were introduced in CS5 and CS6

- the vanashing point filter is missing

- organizing layers with respect to AI processing, i.e. recognizing objects, forms etc. in images, are not included till now.

If someone really needs these missing properties depends on the requirements of the user.

Josef

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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by Tida » Fri 17 May 2019 13:58

Maybe there should be more the question of why not PhotoLine.

The program becomes more fabulous with time but the knowledge about its existence becomes less with time.

Adobe will keep it's position for professionals as a must have as it's a standard when you want to work together with other partners. Most owners of mobile phones (consumers) do not buy extra cameras anymore and they are happy with it's in-camera processing.

Only the prosumer (indie) is left for PhotoLine where one needs the right marketing concepts. ON1, Affinity, Luminar etc. carry out aggressive marketing. The contrast between no marketing of PhotoLine and their aggressive marketing is so high that prosumers can hardly visualize PhotoLine (in the highlights) any more.

Many people claim about the beauty of it's UI but in my opinion, PhotoLine looks modern enough and I would keep it as priority C to make changes. More important are the pictures which are used for demonstration to make it sexy. An ability in the forum to integrate Video and upload pictures with high resolution is one of many other points.

Why do we see no newer video tutorials from other people??? Try to motivate them by money like Skylum is doing it with Luminar using promotional codes: https://skylum.growsumo.com/. There is no risk when you commission people to sell your product this way. Do giveaways for award-winning photos edited by PhotoLine...

Thanks for this great program and technical support.

bruce1951
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by bruce1951 » Sat 18 May 2019 03:36

None of us know the motives of the developers. Maybe they are happy to chip away without all the worries of the larger publishers. There comes a time when bigger isn't always better. Doubling sales doesn't mean doubling the profit. And maybe profit isn't a goal! Bigger comes with more costs. Those costs have to be passed on either with more sales or a higher price.

Photoline has been around for a long time. It's obvious that the developers have the staying power/interest to keep going.

I see Photoline as a secret that few know about. I smile every time I read about 'other' editors and their 'new' features while at the same time I know Photoline is still ahead of the pack.

bruce

Juan
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by Juan » Mon 24 Jun 2019 08:56

Herbert123 wrote:
Thu 02 May 2019 08:35
- the GUI still needs work. I really hope we can have an option some day to change the colour scheme ourselves, for example. Expose those colours, and allow the user to change any of the interface colours, including all GUI components...
+1


Herbert123 wrote:
Thu 02 May 2019 08:35
BTW, the developers are incredibly helpful and responsive, and often implement workflow improvements within days. They are a wonder compared to 99% of other software companies I dealt with in the past three decades. Kudos to them.
Absolutely.

der_fotograf
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Re: Why Photoline?

Post by der_fotograf » Fri 05 Jul 2019 08:52

I can only report from PL under OS X.

PL is small and compact: my somewhat older version (17.x) only uses a little more than 60 MB on the hard disk. In contrast, Affinity Photo 1.29 GB and the Adobe product is also in the order of more than 1 GB. PL is only 1/20 as big.

PL loads even large photos / files (from 1 GB) the fastest of all three programs mentioned above. Simply unbeatable.
PL saves the fastest of all three of the above programs, regardless of the format. Also unbeatable.

PL saves the edited files in the same folder from which the original was called (Affinity still can't do that!).
PL has wonderful actions, which I can even modify with formulas in the input fields.
PL has the cleanest algorithms for up- and downsizing (format change), and at a breathtaking speed unlike the contests.
PL can handle linear TIFFs (scans). The others sometimes have strange colors.
PL is precise. It can even handle openexr, which requires clean programming.
PL has a clean color management that leaves no questions unanswered.
With TIFFs that I had edited in PL, I've never had printing problems in over 10 years.

PL is virtually crash free (it crashed - I guess - just once in over 10 years) and runs (very important for me) very fast on hardware that is a bit older (in my case an iMac 8.1 at the end of 2008).

If there are problems, you either write an e-mail to the developers (a kind of "personal" direct contact), and they take care of it. This is definitely not the case with the competitors.

How do I know about competitors' products? I had installed PS once, never used it properly, because it was slow like a dinosaur. When the cloud came, I uninstalled it. I had bought Affinity because the features looked convincing, but they didn't even come close to being used in everyday use (that hasn't changed to this day). The problem with competing products: they can't handle very large files - still not.

I can't write much more about it, because I don't need any complex RAW development or image editing, because I either scan large format slides and negatives (from 115 MP upwards), which are then available as TIFF, or just use the converter of the camera manufacturer. I don't do composing, I don't replace the skies and the like. But since I'm reading here in the forum, I know that PL offers much more features than I'll ever need (or understand). Now other users should jump on the bandwagon and write something about it.