v14 Feature / Improvement Requests :-)

Here everybody can post his problems with PhotoLine
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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Sat 10 Nov 2007 15:34

A little bit different, but the result of the action is the same:
-New working layer
-Activate prevoius layer (Layer < management...)
-Add next layer to selection
-Group marked layers
-Draw isolated

Ludger
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Post by Ludger » Sat 10 Nov 2007 16:51

But you can start this action by one click, can't you? Sorry, didn't try that ...

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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Sat 10 Nov 2007 17:20

Yes, you can.

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Koyaanis
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8-bit / 16-bit Gap Filler?

Post by Koyaanis » Sun 11 Nov 2007 18:04

I don't know quite what to call the feature I'm looking for, but I know what it should do.

Sometimes when working on an 8 bit image there's not enough color and luminosity data. So when I go to do a curves adjustment or other operation on it where I have to greatly stretch out those hues over a wider range I'll get gaps in the histogram. The image becomes posterized in those regions of the histogram.

In some cases I'll go back and convert it to a 16-bit RGB image first to see if the tool I'm using will "fill in" those gaps, by interpolating the hues and colors needed. On of my favorite plugins called ColorWasher does this, they call it "Histo Fix" for histogram fix. It interpolates the data that should be in the gaps and adds it in. But often (depending on the tool used) it'll just duplicate the same values and still cause those histogram gaps when trying to stretch out the data. I can use other tools like blur and stuff to try to get it to interpolate those missing colors in the process, but .... I don't want to blur things.

I've noticed that some of PL32's tools will do this on an 8-bit image converted to 16-bit. Or at least I think it does. Like the Light/Shadow adjustment tool. After using it to try to stretch some details out of the shadows the histogram still appears nice and smooth.

But if I go to use curves or laying down a working layer, and then use the intensity slider adjustment, I'll get those gaps in a histogram again. So, sometimes it happens, sometimes it don't, depending on what tool I happen to be using to fix something.

Could there be like a one-click button that redistributes the data in an image to fill in any gaps caused by using certain tools and actions? This would be extremely useful for many things. It could even work on 8-bit images, instead of having to work at a 16-bit depth.

Maybe this is already in PL32 and I don't know how to make it work all the time? Or maybe there's a tool with extremely minimal settings that already exists that will do this?

Anyway, I'm looking for a "Smooth Histogram" or "Interpolate Missing Values" button. :-) A little "Histo Fix" button on the Histogram Correction panel would be a good place for it. I can't seem to get any of the existing Histogram Correction options to fill in those gaps.

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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Sun 11 Nov 2007 20:04

Hm, I'm not sure if such a smoothed histogram is eyewash or something serious...
As an experiment you could take an usual picture with some sky in it. Then convert it to grayscale (things are easier with just one channell) and reduce its colordepth to 16 colors, standarad-palette. Now you have 16 colors, that gives a histogram with 16 peaks and a pictue full of banding-effects.

The histogram shows only a statistic of the picture, if it was a 1D-picture it would be easy to fill the gaps, but teh peaks only correspond to pixels, flattening a peak means to change some pixels in the picture.

and all operations that read only a pixel itself and do not care about its neighbourhood wil not increase the number of colors in the picture and will only move the histogram around. These are functions like brighten, darken, histogram, curves (that explains their former name clut=color-look-up-table), maybe some more. Every brightness in the source picture has ONE corresponding brigtness in the destination picture.

All functions that use masks or read multiple pixels to create a new one may increase the number of colors and can fill the gaps in the histogram. But no function will increase the information stored in the picture, every function will decrease it. That's why I think that a smoothen histogram is eyewash. A histogramm with gaps is a sign for a bad exposure, but a histogram without gaps is no sign for a good exposure. A blurred bad picture will just give the same result in the histogram.

So try to find something to fix the picture with the 16 colors and you will fix the histogram, too. For a tree in front of a sky Neat Image can do a great job, but a face will be turned into mess. Blurring with high radius, but small intensity might help, sometimes sharpening will be better...

lutz
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Histo Fix

Post by lutz » Sun 11 Nov 2007 20:31

Are you talking about something like the Histo Fix here ? :
http://thepluginsite.com/products/photo ... /index.htm

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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Sun 11 Nov 2007 21:05

I just tried this one. It adds simple noise, turning a duplicate to layermode difference and adding a histogram shows it. Its nearly the same like performing quality > roughen with intensity 1% on red-channel, then calling the filter again with grenn, then again with blue channel. A jpeg-compression gives better results.

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Koyaanis
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Post by Koyaanis » Mon 12 Nov 2007 01:29

Thanks for the ideas, I'll play around with filters that might interpolate some missing values I guess.

I do see this as something very worthwhile. Especially if you go from an 8-bit image and convert it to a 16 bit image. It would alleviate (stop) all posterization that occurs when you try to stretch those values.

Instead of trying to spread the values of 25 to 26, giving an obvious edge on any border between them. Converting to 16 bit then you get 6400 to 6656, that's an extra 256 hues (well, way more than that, I'm just doing the math for one channel, it would really be an extra 256x256x256 new colors/hues between them). That's plenty to work with to make any posterization edges disappear. And the more you apply any futher operations to those posterized areas, they become even more apparent.

I agree that you're not really adding any REAL data, but neither are you adding any real data when you upsample image size either, yet that's used all the time too.

I don't know how complex it could be to throw in a mid-range value in the gaps, I just know that other software does it, as well as some of the tools in PL32 already do (like Light/Shadow filter, but only for the range in which you've set them to work). It would just be nice to have the same capability that that filter has for all operations where it might require smoothing out the histogram to avoid those posterization effects that can occur in very even hues and you have to stretch them apart.

The need for this doesn't happen often, but when it does ... I get frustrated that I can't do anything about it. I can tweak a photo to be one of the most stunning photographs, and then notice that some values in the surface of a lake will have posterization in them when everything else in the photo is set just right. I'll give up and discard what could have been the perfect photo, realizing that it can't be used the way I'd like it to be.

(p.s. I'm still on the hunt for a good DeJPEG atifact cleaner. I've tried using some of PL32's built-in filters to accomplish this task, but I've not stumbled on any good combinations yet.)

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » Mon 12 Nov 2007 06:39

Did you try Alien Skin's freebie, Koyaanis?

Cheers, geoff

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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Mon 12 Nov 2007 08:36

Well, find a way to turn that posterized 16gray-picture (4Bit) into a good looking 8Bit-picture, and you have something to turn a 8Bit-picture into a 16bit picture. That histofix in the freebies might work for your purpose though, instead of a clear banding you will get some (quite good-looking) noise after applying a curve.
A quite experimental idea I might try someday (but not today): Select every two adjacent colors and place them in an empty layer for themselves. That should give 15 layers in that 4bit picure. Blur every layer with keeping transparency, then overlay 2 layers with 50% normal, reduce these layers, overlay the next...

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Koyaanis
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Post by Koyaanis » Mon 12 Nov 2007 14:06

I just tested the Histo Fix plugin now. Yes, I think it will work. Not quite the solution I was thinking of but then, I don't think there is any simple solution. After seeing how it works and thinking about it more, I'm now realizing how difficult it would be to implement something like this. Just how would you determine what is a histo-gap boundary vs. normal edges. And then how much do you want to "smear" them into new interpolated data. I just assumed because some of PL32's features do this and that other ColorWasher plugin has this option, that it must be some kind of simple well-known algorithm that could just be plugged in as another handy "Easy Button". :-)

Anyway, thanks for the info and lead to that plugin and stuff.

And if anyone finds or comes up with a better method, I'm all ears. :-)

(Did you folks check out the new release notes "what's new in v14" page with all the sample screen-thumbs? A nice reference. I always save those as a nice addendum to the main Help-File. The quick samples often making it clearer what words alone may not. Greenmorpher, if you've not done it before you might want to look at all those earlier pages listed at the bottom of that page. They're a good introduction to all that might be new to you.)

Martin Huber
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Re: Numeric Slider Adjustment Precision?

Post by Martin Huber » Fri 16 Nov 2007 11:08

Koyaanis wrote:Would it be possible, so that when holding down some extra keys, that slider could be given finer precision than jumping by 10 units?

Say if you held down:

Shift = 1's place changes

CTRL = 0.1 place changes

ALT = 0.01 place changes

Something like that?
As you might have read in the announcements version 14.01 allows to use Shift and Ctrl (on Windows, Command on Mac OS) to modify the behaviour of the double-arrows. Holding Shift the double-arrows will increase/decrease by a 1/10th of the standard value, Ctrl will increase/decrease 10x.
Koyaanis wrote:Oh, and while I'm at it. I'd DEARLY love a way to add more default resizings options in the Scale Document / Layer panel. That 50% I never use. 25% or 33% I most often use. Couldn't we just type in the ones we like and it would remember the 10 last used ones, or something like that? That'd help A LOT! :-) (Something that's been bugging me for years now.)
In 14.01 the Scale panel will offer the percent values defined in Options/Usage/Zoom, so at least there are now more default values and you can adjust them if needed.

Martin

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Koyaanis
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Re: Numeric Slider Adjustment Precision?

Post by Koyaanis » Fri 16 Nov 2007 22:56

Martin Huber wrote: As you might have read in the announcements version 14.01 allows to use Shift and Ctrl (on Windows, Command on Mac OS) to modify the behaviour of the double-arrows. Holding Shift the double-arrows will increase/decrease by a 1/10th of the standard value, Ctrl will increase/decrease 10x.
Ah, sorry, I missed the v14.01 announcement. (I'll have to go find that now.) But I did download v14.01 and have been using it! It's really really nice!

Thanks for the heads-up about this feature you added. This will really be a help.
Martin Huber wrote: In 14.01 the Scale panel will offer the percent values defined in Options/Usage/Zoom, so at least there are now more default values and you can adjust them if needed.

Martin
NICE! This makes it easy to change them to some favorite defaults. I especially like that it saves whatever last ratio that you typed in now too. That speeds up things a lot. When working on a project, sometimes a certain resize will come in handy for lots of images. This makes it very easy to re-apply it during the session or even from session to session. THANKS!

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Post by greenmorpher » Sat 17 Nov 2007 01:49

As everyone must have gathered by now, I am very reliant on the program assisting me with basic adjustments.

Now -- leads to the question of what is basic.

When I open those two excellent tools, Light/shade and Image optimize, from the digital camera menu, they retain the last setting saved in their previous use.

I think!

Okay, what should be the default settings, the beginning points, in these tools?

1) Can the program be set up so that the settings used are retained with the saved picture so that when I open it, I can immediately see what settings I used?

2) Can the program be set to return to default, the beginning point settings, when a new picture is opened?

3) Or should the setting represent what is already in the new picture, e.g. the gamma?

I don't know!!! :cry:

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 http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by lutz » Sat 17 Nov 2007 03:12

Hi Geoffrey,
highlight/shadow (and other tools) does retain the last chosen settings; even after restarting the program.
Image optimize is special as it seems to be the only tool that aims to figure out optimized settings automatically.
I do not know of any options to change this behavior.