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Non-destructive workflow and double raw conversion

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  #11  
Old 09-22-2012, 08:10 AM
jklier jklier is offline
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Re: Non-destructive workflow and double raw conver

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Originally Posted by ronfya View Post
The problem with this is that I feel I have better control over the luminosity look I want to achieve by generating this layer through LR, not PS.
That seems surprising to me. Outside of raw conversion, everything in LR has a PS equivalent and then some. May require some experimentation to find the right formula.

I played with it a bit yesterday. I generated a luminosity mask with Tony Kuyper's action, and applied it to a curves layer. I also made a curves adjustment to the mask itself to raise it's contrast a bit. I did a layer comp with that result to a double raw conversion, and with a bit of playing had identical results, yet had much more things to play with on the various curves layers if I wanted.
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:08 AM
ronfya ronfya is offline
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Re: Non-destructive workflow and double raw conver

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Originally Posted by jklier View Post
That seems surprising to me. Outside of raw conversion, everything in LR has a PS equivalent and then some. May require some experimentation to find the right formula.

I played with it a bit yesterday. I generated a luminosity mask with Tony Kuyper's action, and applied it to a curves layer. I also made a curves adjustment to the mask itself to raise it's contrast a bit. I did a layer comp with that result to a double raw conversion, and with a bit of playing had identical results, yet had much more things to play with on the various curves layers if I wanted.
I completely agree with you, there are equivalent ways in PS indeed.
It's just that I find some things easier to do in LR.
That's why I said "I feel I have better control over the luminosity look I want to achieve by generating this layer through LR, not PS"
Yeah one thing easier there just brought me a tough question here.
Hahaha it's a little ironic.

Maybe I should fiddle with the settings and compare LR and PS from this point of view.

Thx.

R.
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2012, 12:49 PM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Non-destructive workflow and double raw conver

While I'm certain, given the time and complexity, one could mimic anything done in LR/ACR in Photoshop why? And the bigger issue: while you can produce the same visual results in most cases (white balance is really tough on rendered images), the way the editing is produced and applied plus the data the edits are applied upon are vastly different in the two processes.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2012, 11:17 PM
jklier jklier is offline
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Re: Non-destructive workflow and double raw conver

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
While I'm certain, given the time and complexity, one could mimic anything done in LR/ACR in Photoshop why?
In most cases it may not matter, or one may be easier/better than the other.

However, as outlined in the thread if your read it carefully, this is not a question of which tool is better, but a question of workflow. The OP wanted to find out if there are ways that changes could be made to the tonality element of a double-raw conversion even after D&B was applied without creating inconsistencies.

That can only be achieved if the tonality adjustments come after the D&B in the workflow (i.e. layer stack). And since LR/ACR are not suited for D&B, that means the tonality adjustments would have to be made in PS, not LR/ACR. Totally doable with the use of luminosity masks.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:28 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Non-destructive workflow and double raw conver

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Originally Posted by jklier View Post
In most cases it may not matter, or one may be easier/better than the other.
Based on using Photoshop on a lot of images since 1990 and Lightroom and ACR since before they were released, I'd say in most cases, short of fine pixel editing (retouch work), using a raw process to produce as optimal an image is faster and produces superior data.

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However, as outlined in the thread if your read it carefully, this is not a question of which tool is better, but a question of workflow.
Exactly. But one is pixel editing and one is pixel creation where the creation from raw is ideally produced such that you'd just use Photoshop's unique tools that are unavailable in a parametric (instruction based) raw processor. I see zero reason to apply a global edit in say Photoshop's curves when I can adjust that faster, truly non destructively and without any of the overhead Photoshop forces on this process in ACR/LR.
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:02 AM
jklier jklier is offline
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Re: Non-destructive workflow and double raw conver

Well, we may have to disagree on that one. I've been writing software since before the 90s and have been around cameras for a long time. So now that we have the credentials out of the way - which by the way have nothing to do with this conversation:

Yes, anytime a non-destructive operation can be performed it's preferred, because it applies a math formula rather than intermediate data, and can thus be modified and repeated without loss of quality.

That said, PS has grown up and is offering 'adjustment layers' as an alternative to carrying out operations on a pixel layer. In addition it now has 'smart filters' which can be applied to smart objects instead of plain pixel layers. Mathematically a curves adjustment layer in PS and moving a slider in LR/ACR is identical in quality and data manipulation. It also doesn't create any additional data nor bloats the size of the file.

There are two exceptions to this, which is white balance and exposure range. Those are operations that are performed by translating the raw bayer array data into RGB values, either in camera or LR/ACR. Since PS cannot read raw data (unless via ACR) but has to get a TIFF/JPG file, white balance modification or shadow/highlight recovery can only be performed logically during LR/ACR, as once a JPG or TIFF file is created as an input, these functions are locked in. But that only applies to these two functions, not any of the other changes you can make in LR/ACR.

A luminosity mask is a pixel 'mask' applied to a curves adjustment layer. It's not pixel level editing, but a math formula applied based on the luminosity values of the original image. There is no degrading of the image's quality by using it, and it's a repeatable process, since the mask can be regenerated if changes have been made earlier in the workflow.

If we want to go and split hairs - quality improvements can be accomplished in the way the math formulae work as they're applied. Having a single formula that incorporates all adjustments, rather than a series of formula can have a positive quality impact, and has been a selling point for a high end color grading plugin I use for video editing. I do know that PS applies adjustment layers in sequence - if you blow out highlights in a lower layer in PS, and then do the reverse adjustment above, data is lost. Thus the sequence and number of layers may matter. Since you can only apply a single curve in LR there's no equivalent, and I don't know if there is a similar negative effect by various LR modules impacting each other. But again, all this is not to the OPs question.

And I can show you a workflow in PS which does everything in a fully non-destructive way, which is how I work in most of my edits. PS does not have to be destructive pixel manipulation. And many of the adjustments were/are more flexible than in LR. In LR until version 4 you could not edit the blue channel curve individually to just raise the blues in the shadows... (as one example)

And now I'm done talking about this. Use whatever works for you or you believe in. I was just helping the OP with alternate workflows to address his concern.

Last edited by jklier; 09-25-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2012, 10:23 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: Non-destructive workflow and double raw conver

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I've been writing software since before the 90s and have been around cameras for a long time
I can't write any code (did play with Hypertalk years ago). But I am a co-author of three Photoshop plug-in's.

Quote:
Yes, anytime a non-destructive operation can be performed it's preferred, because it applies a math formula rather than intermediate data, and can thus be modified and repeated without loss of quality.
Agreed. That is just one small advantage of ACR/LR and other parametric editors.

Quote:
That said, PS has grown up and is offering 'adjustment layers' as an alternative to carrying out operations on a pixel layer. In addition it now has filters which can be applied to smart objects instead of plain pixel layers. Mathematically a curves adjustment layer in PS and moving a slider in LR/ACR is identical in quality and data manipulation. It also doesn't create any additional data or bloats the size of the file.
The vastly data is different for one. The processing is quite different at least in the ACR engine.

Quote:
quality improvements can be accomplished in the way the math formulae work as they're applied.
ACR/LR always applies the edits to the raw data in the best operating order no matter the user applied order. This isn't the case in Photoshop! With or without layers.

An Adjustment layer is not non destructive if you ever wish to print the data or use it outside of any software+display system that can read and preview the composite. As soon as you print, convert or do anything outside of this software, you have to apply the layer edits to the rendered master. On high bit data, this is a bit moot. The raw plus parmaetric edit is non destructive. You are just defining part of the rendering path.

Parametric editng is vastly faster than real time pixel editing. The time it takes to apply a preset in LR/ACR is less than the time it take just to open the rendered data (I'm using 5DMII raw captures).

LR/ACR and other such parametric editors provide JIT processing (you decide when you want to render 100 DNG's into RGB TIFFs in a fixed color space). Who remembers Live Picture? Photoshop from day one has been a one image at a time workflow.

LR has unlimited history that one never loses over the life of the document. Photoshop, not so much. Virtual Copies to spin off iterations from iterations with nearly zero overhead in storage or processing is useful.

What LR/ACR and other such editors kind of suck at is any local correction work that requires edge detail work or anything other than broad brush stokes if you will. Any kind of precise pixel editing retouchers deal with are folly in these products. Use Photoshop.

Smart Objects just bloat a rendered file with a raw that is now outside my DAM (LR) and a copy of the original which makes things messy for me (sync). I don't see the need to open a big honking rendered image plus a raw when I'll just spin off a virtual copy of the master with zero overhead, work with them as a smart object user would in ACR. When done, render out the TIFFs and combine or not. If you don't use Lightroom and only Photoshop +ACR, I guess a SO has more weight.

So yes, there's a significant difference in data, possibly quality and certainly workflow in how you factor in what you feed to Photoshop. When I'm done processing the raw and rendering a high bit, wide gamut RGB doc for Photoshop, I'm done with all parametric editing for that master.
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