Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

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shijan
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Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

I had few attempts to use RAW files in PhotoLine and always give up due some confusions and limitations in workflow.

Good things:
I really like that it is possible to see and operate with original untouched RAW data and experiment with different debayer methods.

Problems:
1. Seems there are gaps in color management and usability. Seems color management from original build-in RAW input profile to document/image profile is hidden somewhere deep inside. Image always transformed to sRGB by default and it is impossible to transform it manually directly from original input camera color space to any other desired wide color space.

2. Once you delete or modify Contrast curve or Channel Mixer WB, it is impossible to reset it back again from original camera preset. So you need to save that curve/settings manually as preset or close RAW file and re-open it again.

3. I guess currently the only way for more advanced workflow is to create custom ICC profile with Linear gamma based on ColorChecker or IT8.7 chart, apply it as input for RAW layer and use normal color management system. Correct me if i am wrong.

4. This goes to another problem - there are no any tools in PhotoLine to generate custom ICC profiles from color charts. So user need to use free apps like Rough Profiler (based on ArgyllCMS) or LProf (based on LittleCMS) or some other commercial tools.
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

Some further investigations:
- Seems Channel Mixer layer acts like Input matrix profile replacement and probably based on camera input profile metadata it corrects color primaries to transform and fit them inside working color space.

- In Preferences-> File-> Raw it is possible to set default color space for RAW files. Not too many options to choose and no custom user defined ICC profiles there. Not perfect but at least it is better than plain sRGB.

- It is also possible to set user defined debayer method in same preferences. Nice!
Image

- Curves appply factory designed contrast curve adjustment (same as most RAW editors apps do) and could be turned off if user needs flat starting point with less contrast.

- Levels seems transform from Linear to gamma corrected tonal curve.
- Levels also auto clip some near empty tonal range space. In some situations this hard auto clipping may produce unwanted problems and artifacts.
Last edited by shijan on Mon 21 Dec 2020 21:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Martin Stricker
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by Martin Stricker »

shijan wrote: Mon 21 Dec 2020 17:53
- In Preferences-> File-> Raw it is possible to set default color space for RAW files. Not too many options to choose and no custom user defined ICC profiles there. Not perfect but at least it is better than plain sRGB.
In fact you can a choose camera profile in the color management prefrences as default.
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

If you uncheck all filters inside adjustment layer you will see empty white screen. When i saw this first time i was very confused and was thinking that it is something related specially to RAW handling. But later i realized that it is just how multi adjustment layer works with any image (or could it be a bug?). So you need to keep at least one filter inside adjustment layer or disable layer globally.
Image
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Martin Stricker
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by Martin Stricker »

shijan wrote: Mon 21 Dec 2020 19:05 If you uncheck all filters inside adjustment layer you will see empty white screen.
That's the layer mask.
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

Martin Stricker wrote: Mon 21 Dec 2020 19:02
shijan wrote: Mon 21 Dec 2020 17:53
- In Preferences-> File-> Raw it is possible to set default color space for RAW files. Not too many options to choose and no custom user defined ICC profiles there. Not perfect but at least it is better than plain sRGB.
In fact you can a choose camera profile in the color management prefrences as default.
Yep, Great! Seems like it works. Preferences -> Color Management -> Devices -> Digital Camera.
When ICC profile it selected like this, i can see it as image input. Also there is no more Channel Mixer adjustment layer inside RAW file.
Sort of complicated setup...
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

Problem (or just some sort of limitation for RAW files):
"Preferences -> Color Management -> Devices -> Digital Camera" can't support LUT-based ICC profiles (Lab cLUT or XYZ cLUT type). Program just crash when i import RAW image like this. Only matrix-based input profiles are supported there.

UPDATE: Seems problem was fixed in 22.90b3
Last edited by shijan on Sun 24 Jan 2021 11:48, edited 1 time in total.
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

Ok, here is another more-less color managed way to deal with RAW file with Channel mixer input:
- In Preferences set RAW to ProPhoto RGB
- Import RAW file
- Switch to Document mode.
- Set Document ICC profile to custom-made ProPhoto RGB with L*gamma
- Set RAW image layer ICC profile to ProPhoto RGB with Linear gamma
next you can disable levels and custom curve to have real raw starting point for further manual color correction. Starting point like this also perfect for film slides and negatives captured in RAW on digital cameras instead of scanners.

:arrow: It also may be useful to add in future support for .dcp Dual-Illuminant DNG input Profiles for RAW files.
Last edited by shijan on Wed 30 Dec 2020 00:54, edited 1 time in total.
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

Demosaic quality and options in PhotoLine also looks rather limited and basic. There are some basic algorithms, default VNG cubic and DCB that produce less aliasing but same time introduce blocky patterns instead of fine noise structure. And no any other additional fine tuning.
Image

For example here are advanced demosaic options in Darktable RAW editor app:
Image

Image

Image

And even special options for Fujifilm X-Trans sensor pattern:
Image

Image

Iridient Developer:
ImageImage
Last edited by shijan on Thu 31 Dec 2020 06:57, edited 1 time in total.
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

Curve in raw layer sometimes look very strange and produce some sort of clipping and posterization artifact.
I still can't get, is that curve somehow generated automatically depending of image dynamic range, or just taken from file metadata? I never seen artifact like this in any other raw editor before.
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

If it helps, here are some threads that describes different demosaic options, problems and solutions and share some code.
https://discuss.pixls.us/t/diagonal-int ... g/3338/106
https://discuss.pixls.us/t/new-demosaicing-filter/3543

Test RAW examples from almost any camera and any ISO may be downloaded from this known online tool https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison
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Martin Stricker
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by Martin Stricker »

shijan wrote: Wed 30 Dec 2020 11:55 Curve in raw layer sometimes look very strange and produce some sort of clipping and posterization artifact.
This is a relatively new function that is supposed to simulate the appearance of the embedded Jepeg file. As you find out it doesen't work well. In my opinion it should be removed with a input curve.

My tests with several raw files have shown that these effects, more or less pronounced, occurred in about a third of the images. This is relatively often.
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by Martin Huber »

Martin Stricker wrote: Thu 31 Dec 2020 11:10 My tests with several raw files have shown that these effects, more or less pronounced, occurred in about a third of the images. This is relatively often.
We asked you for a sample image that clearly shows the effect. Unfortunately, we didn't get one. In our examples here, the tone curve is a clear improvement.

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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

I see rather strong clipping effect in FUJIFILM X-H1, FUJIFILM X-T3, FUJIFILM X-T20, FUJIFILM X-T30.

Nikon D850, Nikon Z7 also produce similar highlights clipping effect but less pronounced.
RAW examples may be downloaded from this known online tool https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison
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shijan
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Re: Improvements and ideas for RAW workflow in PhotoLine

Post by shijan »

I guess problems with highlights clipping also may be just because PhotoLine use too many points for curve. In other raw editing apps those camera curves are way more simplified.
For example here is how same curve look in darktable app and PhotoLine
ImageImage
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