The Plugin Site
Discussions about graphics and video topics
General discussions ColorWasher, FocalBlade, LightMachine, B/W Styler and ContrastMaster
5 posts • Page 1 of 1
A few questions
1) In order to maximize the benefit from Colorwasher and Focalblade, should the default settings for sharpening, contrast, saturation and color tone be set at -2 on a Canon 10d i.e turned off completely or will CW and FB benefit from a different setting ?
2) Sometimes when I use Focalblade in novice mode and use it to sharpen a portrait, I notice that the hair has jaggies and looks as though it's lightened. How can this be avoided with the rest of the image being left pretty sharp ?
3) Since RAW shooting allows the white balance to be changed, Exposure compensation to be changed amongst other things, if Colorwasher and Focalblade is being used in an optimal fashion, is there still a need to be shooting in RAW ? I only ask this question since I see references in this forum for CW and FB to work in 16 bit mode. So I'm assuming yes, RAW will provide other benefits other than sharpening, color correction, contrast adjustment etc
Thanks for your interesting questions!
If you are shooting RAW files you may set them to -2, but I think it is best if you keep contrast, saturation and color tone at 0. ColorWasher 1.02 only works with 8bit images at the moment, so having these settings at -2 will force it to stretch the image values, which may cause problems for some 8bit images. When the new ColorWasher version with 16bit support will be available, you can set these parameters to -2 in case you are shooting RAW.
Concerning the sharpness setting you can set it to -2 if you want to adjust sharpness in FocalBlade. But as the 10D is applying a very light sharpening even at +2, I see no problem if you set sharpness to +2.
FocalBlade's Novice Mode doesn't give you much control, so if you mastered it, I recommend that you try using a more complex mode, e.g. DeBlurPro or Expert Mode.
You can avoid the oversharpened hairs by reducing the overall sharpness. But in most cases that won't be an option, so you better use the sliders on the Fix tab in the Deblur Pro or Expert mode. In this case you can try the White Halo or Highlights slider to suppress the sharpening of the hair.
In tough cases you can also use your graphics application to make a selection of the problematic image area, invert the selection and apply FocalBlade to the rest of the image. After that you can invert the selection again and apply FocalBlade again with different settings.
White balance, exposure, contrast and sharpness can be changed for JPG files, too, as ColorWasher and FocalBlade prove. So that isn't an advantage of RAW files. Shooting RAW files only has the advantage of editing images with 16bit accuracy, or more correctly with 12bit precision, because many cameras only allow 12bit, although these 12bit are blown up to 16bit later.
Editing images in 16bit only gives you noticable advantages if you need to perform very strong adjustments or if the output device supports true 16bit data. For photos that don't need strong adjustements, there is no visible difference between editing in 16bit or 8-bit. The only difference when converting the 16bit image to 8bit (which is done internally anyway for most printers) is that the previously 16bit image contains 8bit of image information and the image that was edited in 8bit contains something between 7 and 8-bit of information. You need very good eyes to distinguish between 7 and 8 bit and you will only be able to do that for images with large graduations, e.g. blurred images or close-up images.
Although many people may want to make you believe that shooting and editing RAW files is the only way, there is not much difference between editing in 8bit and 16bit if the photo isn't quite damaged. Taking JPG photos is much more conveniant than RAW, because they need less memory, most cameras let you shoot faster in JPG mode and you don't need to edit JPG files to be able to display them on your monitor or TV.
Still for professional photographers the difference between 12bit and 8bit can mean that an important photo taken under bad condictions is still usable and brings some money. So they are better adviced to use RAW files in critical situations. Another adantage of RAW files is the missing JPG compression artifacts. Although these artifacts are as good as invisible at normal print sizes, they can become a problem if you plan to print at poster size.
I'm trying to sharpen this
When I go into Novice mode, it's clear that it's oversharpened, particularly for wispy blonde hairs. Skin is very good though
I want to preserve the general sharpness but not oversharpen the hairs
I tried to go into Deblur pro and Expert mode and I played around with White halo to 70 and 114. At 100% in photoshop it still looks oversharpened. Should other settings be changed to enable a more natural look ?
Can you do a better job on this photo and post your settings ?
This is just one example. I take a lot of portraits and I know that out of camera 10d pictures are soft, but I hesitate to use FB, because I always seem to get oversharpened hairs, but the rest of the picture is sharpened up pretty well
In many ways I feel as though Expert mode is just way too complex. Sure it gives many options, but it's hard to discern if some of these make a significant difference until extreme values are chosen, then I back off and choose a lower value.
Is there a way to compare the effects of different changes i.e everytime a change is made, a thumbnail or picture is created and I can then make subsequent changes and others will be shown.
Right now, I have to change a value in FB, save it and bring it into Photoshop, then go back to FB and make changes again and bring this into Photoshop and compare multiple images within Photoshop. I'd like to compare the changes within FB, is that possible ?
I have many different photos which I'd like to sharpen e.g portraits, landscapes, macros, night shots, shallow and wide dof. But where to start after novice mode, if it doesn't give me optimal sharpness ?
In other words, couldn't Focalblade be designed so that for certain types of pictures, certain sharpening parameters by picture type or depth of field are defaulted.
If not, how about some suggestions as to what settings would result in a good starting point for each type of picture. Unfortunately it doesn't really mean very much for me for white halo to be set to 50 and soften to 45. Yes, very specific, but that doesn't really 'talk to me'
Sorry, I don't mean to come across as being too negative about FB, because I like this tool a lot, and CW even more so, but I wish I could have more ease of use in different picture taking scenarios without having to deal with the complexity of expert mode, when novice doesn't give the best results for certain types of pictures
One other question. I know that I can right click on the picture and move the cursor so that the picture 'moves' in the preview window, so I can focus on just the area that I want to preview. But if I let go of the cursor, then it looks as though FB will start the sharpening process. However I don't want to do it just yet, I just want to fine tune the positioning of the area to be previewed and then start the process. So if it takes me multiple mouse clicks to get to the area I want to focus on, then it seems as though FB will sharpen multiple times. How can I avoid this ? I've tried to move and then click on reset, move, then reset etc, but it still looks as though sharpening has taken place. Is it possible in a later release, that you can jump to a specific area of the picture ?
Also what is in store for future versions of Focalblade ?
When is a new version likely ?
From a feature perspective, I'm not sure if I'd like to see more. I'd just like a quicker, easier workflow for certain picture types
I tried sharpening your photo in FB, usig DeBlur Pro, and got a VERY good result. Nice picture by the way.
Now whether my result would suite you is a matter of your final destination for the photo. I always sharpen for printing because that is what I want t do with my photos. If you are outputting for the web you would want a different level of sharpening, perhaps. I print on an Epson 2200 and it tends to be very sharp and requires little over sharpening to come out as seen on screen. I also print large.
I used 80 and .7 radius on edges and 200 and .2 on surface. My method was Gausian and I had Antialias and Compansate checked. Fix is set to 0 on all parameters.
One method to avoid oversharpened hairs is to sharpen the hairs seperately. To do that just create a rough selection around the hair areas and feather the selection with a larger values. Then sharpen the hairs. After that invert the selection and sharpen the rest of the image with other values.
If you don't want to do that you can try the Highlights slider of the Fix tab in FocalBlade for reducing the sharpness of blonde hairs and the Shadows slider for dark hairs. Another option to avoid oversharpened hair is to reduce the value of the Sharpen slider of the Edge tab and increase the value of the Sharpen slider of Surface tab like Bruce Gidney suggested.
Another thing you have to remember is that an oversharpened image may look just right as a print. So if you oversharpen the image a bit, it will produce a sharper look on the print.
You can use one of the Split View option to view the original and sharpened image side by side or view a part of the image at different Sharpness levels. Holding down the shift key and clicking on one of the parts will set the appropriate sharpness. This works for different sharpness values, but not for different radius values yet.
You should definitelly use Expert Mode if you are not satidfied with the results of the Novice Mode. In Expert Mode you can see what sharpen and radius values the auto sharpening featuire suggest and modify them to fit the current photo.
Well, I could add a page to the manual with general instructions for certain picture types, but supplying certain parameter values won't help much, because every image is different and it also depends if you want to sharpen for print or for screen.
Anyway, I'll investigate the idea of adding an option to FocalBlade for selecting a certain picture type like portrait, landscape etc.
The values itself don't need to "talk" to you. The result in the preview is meant to talk to you. .
No, you are not negative, you are quite constructive. Such feedback as yours helps a lot to improve a product. Sharpening is quite a complex topic, so you often need to do manual adjustments. But I'll nevertheless will try to improve the automatic features of FocalBlade to make manual adjustments as unnecessary as possible.
You have to deactivate the Auto Preview check box at the left bottom corner to avoid preview updates.
As I said there certainly will be more and improved auto features, but there will also be more fine tuning features for experts. Performance enhancements, like faster rendering, are also very likely to come. I can't tell you any dates for new version releases yet.
5 posts • Page 1 of 1
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests