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Software Photoshop, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, Painter, etc., and all their various plugins. Of course, you can also discuss all other programs, as well.

PercepTool 2

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  #11  
Old 12-12-2010, 11:05 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

I appreciate your candor. I clearly misunderstood your position re: highlights.

Just wanted to leave you with a silly notion -- what happens if you take that Photomatic image and use the luminosity from it, but use the color/saturation from the PercepTool HDR image?

Coming into this, looking at the HDR tools that were around, I really got fed up with the colors coming out of some of the other packages. You make me want to take another look at the effective contrast curve that I'm using to see if I can squeeze more stuff into the midtones, further away from the ends. Although you may find that our results are different if you do the blend in 32-bits rather than 16-. Comes from being in a different number/color space.

Thank you for the feedback. The danger with being vocal on such issues is that people might tap you to be a beta tester.

-Chris Russ
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  #12  
Old 12-12-2010, 11:38 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcr6 View Post
I appreciate your candor. I clearly misunderstood your position re: highlights.

Just wanted to leave you with a silly notion -- what happens if you take that Photomatic image and use the luminosity from it, but use the color/saturation from the PercepTool HDR image?

The whole is now better than the sum of its parts.

Coming into this, looking at the HDR tools that were around, I really got fed up with the colors coming out of some of the other packages. You make me want to take another look at the effective contrast curve that I'm using to see if I can squeeze more stuff into the midtones, further away from the ends. Although you may find that our results are different if you do the blend in 32-bits rather than 16-. Comes from being in a different number/color space.

At the rate things are going, PS and other apps may be fully 32 bit sooner than we think.

Thank you for the feedback. The danger with being vocal on such issues is that people might tap you to be a beta tester.

I have on occasion been called a beta nerd. Always willing to help make good things work better

-Chris Russ
Regards, Murray
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2010, 01:17 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

I am always on the lookout for plug-ins / scripts for improving tonal rendition.

Unfortunately I did not get far with Perceptool for two main reasons:
  • The installation requires fiddling with UAC, which involves rebooting, which no other plug-in that I have come across requires
  • The price -- $150
For $150 we are in overpriced, but capable, Nik software plug-in terroritory. The various Topazlabs tools and ContrastMaster or even the full Lightzone are much more competitively priced and have a support ecosystem. You can get the likes of ALCE or the various PSKISS tools (which use the GPU for extra speed) for 20% / 5% of the cost of Perceptool, and they install without too much hassle, and have more tutorials, which in my view are part of what I am paying for.

I have no affiliation with any of the above, I though that it might be helpful to offer the views of a potential customer.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2010, 01:24 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

JRC, the installation is quick and does not require any fiddling or reboot. Did you do a File>Scripts>Browse or some other method?
Regards, Murray
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2010, 02:37 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

I did (on Win 7 x64) and it came up with a dialogue box saying that I needed to turn off UAC.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2010, 03:28 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

jrp is right -- some windows systems are so locked down that even if we're launched from Photoshop we STILL cannot install. UAC has to be briefly turned off.

I *HATE* Vista and Win7.

In any case, once it is done you can turn UAC back on. I'm sorry it is that way, but it also shows that even though Adobe has supposedly been given permission to write files WITHIN ITS OWN FOLDERS, it still isn't allowed to.

Seriously. Our installer is just a Photoshop script. You'd think that File > Scripts > Browse would just work. But it doesn't.

re: Price. It takes a certain amount of return on investment to get a programmer to write something. I'd NEVER get the value of my time back if I sold it for $6 (like PSKISS). And I'm not the only guy that worked on this.

re: Value for the price. I guess you'll have to try it. The demo is good for a MONTH. No watermarks.
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  #17  
Old 12-14-2010, 06:40 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

Quote:
Q: Why 32-bit mode? A: Because out-of-gamut colors don't clip.
Ah, the bit depth of the image has zero to do with gamut clipping.

Higher bit depths are “useful” for wider gamut color spaces because the colorimetric distance between bits in a higher gamut doc is greater than a lower gamut doc. But this isn’t a gamut clipping issue, its a means of avoiding banding when editing wider gamut data.

As for the rest of the HDR discussion, I’ll sit back and learn...
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  #18  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:06 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

I don't pretend to know anything about this, but in the Chris Cox show I did he mentioned that it's not the 32-bit part that's important by itself, but that 32-bit uses floating point.

My head hurts already just from typing this.
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2010, 09:39 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

Andrew.

Actually the bit depth has EVERYTHING to do with gamut clipping. You see, in 8- and 16-bit modes, once you're at max value (255 and 32768, respectively) that's all the channel can hold. In 32-bit mode the normal working range is 0.0 ... 1.0, but in theory we can go all the way up to 1e38 and go negative as well (in practice, I've never tested 32-bit mode over 2048, and routinely use negative values to make the layer modes useful). But your values do not clip. This means that you can represent an extremely red value (say the equivalent of 290,10,1) without it being clipped in a channel (say to 255, 10, 1). This means that you can SHARPEN your highlights without clipping the luminance.

Banding is a side-effect of insufficient precision. Precision is why 16-bits is a better space than 8. BTW, in 32-bit mode, you have a 23-bit mantissa (the rest is used for the sign and the "floating" decimal point), which is wildly larger than Adobe's 15 bits in 16-bit mode and the paltry 8 in 8-bit mode.

Furthermore (and you can test this yourself), when you step down from 16-bits to 8-bits, Adobe adds 1/2 a bit of noise to prevent banding -- to break up the patterns that might appear. Going from 8 -> 16 -> 8 does not leave you with what you started.

Now, with the exception of some astronomy cooled-ccd cameras and some funky digitizers, most cameras produce AT BEST 12-bits (typically in the Red channel, and you're lucky to get 8 or 9 real bits of information in the Blue channel, with Green being inbetween -- silicon likes Red and Near Infra-Red, not Blue). So unless you want to represent a large dynamic range and protect yourself from going out of gamut or clipping, I'd really argue that Adobe's 16-bit is quite sufficient for the following reasons:

1) Half as much data == at least twice the processing speed (sometimes a lot faster depending upon the amount of RAM in your computer)
2) Still enough bits to represent anything you've got
3) Nearly all of Photoshop works in it
4) You can print

Although I'm still waiting on a better-than-8-bit display.

(BTW, our HDR does a pretty nice job in 16-bit mode, and doesn't use a 16-bit internal image, unless you're processing in 32-bit space.)

Reasons to go 32-bit:

1) Masochism.
2) Protecting your highlights (so you can process your image without losing them and decide later what to do with them)
3) Protecting your colors
4) HDR fidelity
5) Fourier processing. (Consider the carrot dangled.)

Since it is an obvious hole in Photoshop's functionality (just like CS was seriously lacking in 16-bit functionality), that's where I've put my effort. CS2 tried to make 16-bit mode an equal partner. It is only a matter of time before 32-bit floating point becomes a near-equal partner.

Reindeer will definitely be producing more tools to work in 32-bit mode.
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  #20  
Old 12-14-2010, 10:15 PM
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Re: PercepTool 2

Couldn't find a Fourier carrot, but here are some Mandelbrot cauliflower:

http://www.google.com/images?q=romanescu

But seriously, folks, is there any Fourier processing of interest to image retouchers outside of pattern reduction? And does 32 bit help there (beyond theoretical)? Does HDR introduce any regular patterns?
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