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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.

What PS can't do?

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  #11  
Old 02-28-2013, 12:21 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
You should watch this free video and then ask yourself if you can’t do what you wish with the tools you have (at least ACR or Lightroom):

http://mulita.com/blog/?p=1244
I ordered this video and am looking forward to it. Thanks for the link. Looks good.


If CrazyFly wants to do generic black and white conversions with a good range of adjustment techniques then ACR or Lightroom can work. If he's really "obsessed" with black and white conversions like he says, especially with a range of specific film types, then ACR and Lightroom may or may not not do the job for him for long. The main reasons being:
  • Color Response. Each type of film (Kodak Tri-X, Agfa APX, Ilford HP, etc.) has its own unique response to colors and renders colors into grays differently.
  • Contrast. Each film has different contrast, and in addition also has different contrasts in its highlight, midtones and shadows. Some films have the long part of their response curve in the midtones, others do in their highlights or shadows.
  • Grain. Each film has it's own grain structure, unique to it.
Neither ACR nor Lightroom supports different films, they just do a generic conversion to black and white, then you're on your own. Trying to create individual, accurate color response / contrast curves plus grain for each B&W film in ACR or Lightroom is a LOT of work -- if you could even do it accurately, which not many people can.

There is another factor as well -- feel. Each software package (Nik, Topaz) has its own unique rendering of Tri-X 400 for instance. They don't render Tri-X 400 exactly the same way, just like raw processors don't render raw files exactly like another raw processor does. They don't even render their default black and white conversions exactly the same, neither does Lightroom or ACR render exactly the same as Nik's default generic rendering.

I've worked on B&W images of mine where Nik did the best job (most of the time, actually), where OnOne did the best job, and where Lightroom did the best job (usually not).

Not to mention Nik has that fantastic U-Point technology, where you can pick a shade of gray (or a color), expand the selection circle, and within that selection circle only that shade of gray and shades close to it will be changed. Saves tons of time compared to masking

What I typically end up doing is rendering the black and white through Lightroom and Nik and comparing them, then finishing the image up in Photoshop or maybe trying OnOne depending on the image and the effect I want. Black and white is very custom so it's generally better to have a variety of rendering tools for it unless one tool genuinely does meet your needs.

Last edited by RobertAsh; 02-28-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2013, 03:09 AM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Robert, I attached 3 pics. One is the Tri-X 400 preset in Exposure 4. One is a preset (not plugin) of Tri-X 400, the collection can be had free here...http://www.presetsheaven.com/presets...for-lightroom/
And the 3rd comes closer to the second which is Exposure 4's preset for Tri-X 400 pushed 2 stops. You are right they are very different.

I looked at Topaz B&W and NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and I'm not seeing where there is a preset to create a specific film. Is it there and I'm just not seeing it?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20031027-ex4 tri-x.jpg (82.5 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 20031027-mikey g's tri-x.jpg (76.2 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 20031027-Silver Efex Kodak Tri-x 400tx pro.jpg (76.5 KB, 16 views)

Last edited by crazyfly1; 02-28-2013 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Edited photo attachment
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2013, 03:23 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Is the girl Monica Potter?
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2013, 10:25 AM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfly1 View Post
Robert, I attached 3 pics. One is the Tri-X 400 preset in Exposure 4. One is a preset (not plugin) of Tri-X 400, the collection can be had free here...http://www.presetsheaven.com/presets...for-lightroom/
And the 3rd comes closer to the second which is Exposure 4's preset for Tri-X 400 pushed 2 stops. You are right they are very different.

I looked at Topaz B&W and NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and I'm not seeing where there is a preset to create a specific film. Is it there and I'm just not seeing it?
CrazyFly, these are great examples, thanks for sharing.


Technically #2 (the middle one) isn't directly comparable with #1 and #3 because it's simulating Tri-X being pushed 2 stops. For an accurate comparison, either:
  1. #2 should simulate normal processing, not push-processing or
  2. #1 and #3 should simulate being pushed 2 stops also.
But the difference between #1 and #3 is very noticeable, assuming both products were left at their default values. #3 has noticeably better shadow detail.


I still need to buy Topaz, but in Nik SilverEfex Pro 2, here's how to see all their film presets:
  1. Go to the right-hand panel
  2. Look for the FILM TYPES section
  3. Click on the small arrow beside FILM TYPES to expand that section
  4. Right below FILM TYPES you'll see a drop list with the word Neutral in it
    • Neutral means "Nik's generic default black and white conversion."
  5. Click on the downward-pointing arrow beside the word Neutral. That will show you the list of films you can simulate.
You can float your cursor over each film and see the change to your image in real-tim. Very cool!!


Below Neutral you'll see 2 sub-sections. Click the small arrows beside them to expand those sub-sections:
  • Grain: Controls and fine-tunes grain
  • Sensitivity: Customizes color sensitivity (it reads the colors in your original image and adjusts the gray values for each color with that color's slider)
That entire right-hand panel is worth exploring. There are many very useful controls there to customize the look of your image. Plus you can save your adjustments as Custom presets and create your own look for a variety of images.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2013, 11:46 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Sorry but I don't buy this 'conversion matches film' idea unless someone can illustrate this scientifically. That would mean shooting the film type, doing a good job scanning the film (which itself has a major effect on the reneging) then taking a digital capture at the same time as the film was shot and processing such the two technologies very closely match.

IF I had a dime for every time I've seen a preset, plug-in or otherwise that says it produces Velvia or Tmax etc, when there's zero proof this process produces anything other than what someone wants to call a match, I'd retire. Cranking up Vibrance and adding some grain or noise doesn't make something captured digital equate to Velvia. If you, the image creator feels it does, great. But that's purely subjective.

And as someone that started shooting film 40 odd years ago, I find it funny and odd that people today want a film look. I spent a long time in a conventional darkroom, mixing exotic chemicals to process TechPan so a 35mm printed big would look like maybe it was shot 4x5 (which I also shot a ton). I guess it's just waxing nostalgic.

If you want TriX pushed 3 stops (can't fathom why), shoot TriX and push it 3 stops.

Quote:
There is another factor as well -- feel. Each software package (Nik, Topaz) has its own unique rendering of Tri-X 400 for instance.
Enough said, it's totally subjective and begs the question, which is 'correct'?
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2013, 01:01 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Andrew,

No one said matches film. What was said was --> simulates film. The plug-in companies put a lot of work and effort into coming as close as they can to film without actually displaying an analogue medium. That is do-able, and it can be done well. But nothing is perfect and none of the simulations claim to be perfect from what I've read in their materials.

And it's not totally subjective, it's partly subjective and partly objective.

Firstly, those plug-ins are guided by and used by good photographers who know their favorite films very well. Nik and Topaz aren't just snatching their looks out of thin air.

Secondly, you could drastically alter the way a film looked by the way you processed it. Time, temperature, initial in-camera exposure, even the developer formula you used could make the exact same film look smooth or grainy, contrasty or smooth-toned. So it really depends on which developer/time/etc. combination the plug-in companies are trying to simulate that determines what the looks is of their Tri-X or whatever.

That does not make the digital simulation's accuracy totally subjective, not at all. It does make it dependent on the assumptions the company is making regarding how the film was processed and which audience they want to appeal to.

Another key point that was made is that ACR and Lightroom alone will not do the job for critical black and white work, especially simulating films, without a lot of effort.

The final point that was made is that ACR and Lightroom are limited through the rendering they do. That gives them a certain look and feel. Other products do different rendering and have different looks and feels. Each of the products I've worked with work better on some images than others. Each image is different.

Each photographer needs to decide for themselves which looks and feels they like, which different products they like, and which simulated rendering of the film they like better.
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2013, 01:18 PM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertAsh View Post
Andrew,
No one said matches film. What was said was --> simulates film.
Even more subjective!
simulates
a. To have or take on the appearance, form, or sound of; imitate.
Verb
Imitate the appearance or character of


Quote:
The plug-in companies put a lot of work and effort into coming as close as they can to film without actually displaying an analogue medium.
You know this how? Is there some place where they have provided a side by side comparison of what they say they are simulating with the original?

Quote:
And it's not totally subjective, it's partly subjective and partly objective.
What isn't subjective IF it doesn't produce a simulation let alone a match?

Quote:
Firstly, those plug-ins are guided by and used by good photographers who know their favorite films very well. Nik and Topaz aren't just snatching their looks out of thin air.
They've done the tests I've proposed to come to this conclusion or it's again a subjective interpretation?

Quote:
Secondly, you could drastically alter the way a film looked by the way you processed it.
True, making an even larger fudge factor here in terms of the simulation.

IF 99 photographers believe the simulation is off but 1 think's it's spot on, it's what? Subjective without a basis to compare that was done from the original in which the simulation is supposed to represent.

As I said, if you the image creator think it's Velvia or Tmax fine. It's based on nothing concrete or scientific, it feels subjectively correct. Anyone can disagree. Now how does one prove the process?

Quote:
That does not make the digital simulation's accuracy totally subjective, not at all.
Just largely subjective.

Quote:
Another key point that was made is that ACR and Lightroom alone will not do the job for critical black and white work, especially simulating films, without a lot of effort.
Your proof to that statement, the means of which we can be convinced this is factual would involve what steps exactly?

Quote:
The final point that was made is that ACR and Lightroom are limited through the rendering they do. That gives them a certain look and feel.
Well I suspect based on the abilities of the user that's quite true.

Quote:
Other products do different rendering and have different looks and feels. Each of the products I've worked with work better on some images than others. Each image is different.
Subjectively and in your opinion I suppose you believe it to be true. Now convince a skeptic how he can form the same opinion.

Quote:
Each photographer needs to decide for themselves which looks and feels they like, which different products they like, and which simulated rendering of the film they like better.
They are entitled to their opinions yes, they are not entitled to their own facts until they can prove it. That's my point. Until someone produces a side by side comparison, it isn't even close to being a compelling argument based on facts but it is a compelling argument subjectively if we are to accept this blindly.

I have no faith based beliefs (that's just me) but I do have fact based beliefs formed using science and testing. You could be 100% correct but I'll only be convinced when more science, less religion is used to express the point. Can you do that?
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2013, 02:23 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Andrew,

Your "point" is effectively irrelevant. That isn't even what was being asked!

What was being asked was "what can plug-ins do that Photoshop cannot do?"

The simple answer (to hopefully avoid yet another long detour) is that they can do things like simulate film and create effects more quickly and easily - and with more variety - than most people can do in Photoshop.


Whether or not you or I like the simulations or not doesn't matter. What matters is:
  • Do the plug-in customers like what those plug-ins do? In my case, a strong yes.
  • Does using those products make customers' lives easier and do we like the end results?
And the answer based on product sales and industry popularity is --> yes. In my case, a strong yes.

I used to shoot Tri-X, Plus-X, HP 5 and other black and white films and I think Nik does a great job. You seem to believe otherwise, that's your subjective opinion and you're entitled to it.

If you don't like those products, don't use them. It's as simple as that. Again, that's your subjective opinion of their usefulness to you personally. Don't complain because other people do use them, get great results using them, and find them very, very well worth the money.

That is the main point here, at least my main point, which I felt answered the original post directly, and the original poster seemed to feel that way as well. Genuinely sorry for any inadvertent miscommunication from your perspective.

Last edited by RobertAsh; 02-28-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02-28-2013, 02:33 PM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Repairman, nope, she's a friend.

Robert, thankyou! I thought I'd looked everywhere and I would have bet money the film presets weren't there.
Photos 1 and 3 were from Exposure 4. Number 2 is from a preset from another collection. When I compared the E 4 version of tri-x 400 with the mikeyg version I thought they were not very close so I tried the pushed 2 stops in E 4 just to see if I could get closer. I'll add one of the same pic from NIK.
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  #20  
Old 02-28-2013, 02:38 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: What PS can't do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfly1 View Post
Robert, thankyou! I thought I'd looked everywhere and I would have bet money the film presets weren't there.
I understand. Been there, done that
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfly1 View Post
Photos 1 and 3 were from Exposure 4. Number 2 is from a preset from another collection. When I compared the E 4 version of tri-x 400 with the mikeyg version I thought they were not very close so I tried the pushed 2 stops in E 4 just to see if I could get closer. I'll add one of the same pic from NIK.
Cool. Am looking forward to seeing the results!
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