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LR4 beta: A few observations

Jan 11, 2012 9:23 AM

(Managed to post this first in the Lightroom 3 forum. Trying again ...)

 

I have given Lightroom 4 beta a spin on my last month of photos. Here are a few observations I've made so far.

 

1. The Clarity slider is now a totally different beast than before. The effect is much more pronounced and quite different. A lot more tonemappish:

 

Lightroom 3, Clarity: 100

C06083.jpg

 

Lightroom 4 beta, Clarity 100

C06083-3.jpg

 

 

2. In general, switching from process 2010 to 2012 seems to be a bigger change (to contrast/tones) than it was from 2003 to 2010. It won't be simple batch convert operation for me at least.

 

3. Several of the items on my wish list have come true! (RGB curves, local WB adjustment.) I also love that pick flags are global. The old behaviour really got me a number of times.

 

4. The WB picker now samples a larger area when zoomed out. It is still unclear exactly which area it is sampling. Sadly it doesn't seem to sample the entire enlarged loupe area. Perhaps it only samples the middle pixel (marked with a cross hair) but for some reason the sampled WB value varies with the scale of the loupe, even if the pointer is left over the exact same pixel.

 

5. There is still no way of applying sharpening in the slideshow module, which means I still have to export my photos and either re-import them or show them with a separate program (I use FastStone for this).

 

6. The contrast slider also provides slightly more oomph at 100 than before.

 

 

A few minor bugs/issues:

     - When using the new sliders Whites/Blacks, the history item says "White Clipping"/"Black Clipping". This is perhaps intended?

     - The "Noise" slider for local adjustments should perhaps be labeled "Noise reduction" since a higher value removes more noise. (Alternatively the slider/effect should be reversed.)

 

 

Anyone else with similar experiences?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 9:55 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Definitely agree with the last minor issue.

     

    And number 4 is also very interesting: It would be so much more helpful to have a subtle window (like the AF window in a camera) in the magnified view when selecting the WB so we can see which pixels are being used for the sampling.

     
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  • Victoria Bampton
    5,302 posts
    Apr 1, 2008
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    Jan 11, 2012 10:09 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Yes, on all counts.

     

    1. Clarity is stronger and now tone-mapped, so it is a different effect.  You'll need different values.

     

    2.  Definitely don't batch convert if you don't want to reprocess.  The new look is so different that the automated upgrade is a starting point at best.

     

    3.  Excellent!!!

     

    4.  It's sampling the area you can see in the loupe, so when you're zoomed out, you're sampling over a larger area which is useful for noisy images.

     

    5.  No, you're right. 

     

    6.  Yep, that sounds right.

     

    White/black clipping - yes, that's the 'proper' name for the sliders, there just wasn't enough space.

     

    Noise - yes, probably a space issue again

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 10:16 AM   in reply to Victoria Bampton

    @4 Thanks Victoria! That makes WB adjustments so much more predictable.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 10:16 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    David,

     

    Your comment on maybe reversing the slider for noise reminds me of a waffle iron I had with a light that lit when the heating element was active. It was labeled "ready", but I always figured it should have been "Not ready".

     

    Hal

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 10:21 AM   in reply to Victoria Bampton

    Victoria,

     

    Does what the White Balance picker pick also depend on the Scale slider? In other words, does it always average over the entire loupe, even when the loupe is made huge?

     

    Hal

     
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  • Victoria Bampton
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    Apr 1, 2008
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    Jan 11, 2012 10:25 AM   in reply to Hal P Anderson

    I believe so, although Eric would have to confirm that.

     
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  • Victoria Bampton
    5,302 posts
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    Jan 11, 2012 12:47 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Ooooooh, yes, that's not the understanding I had.  Eric will be back.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 5:06 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    A better test is keeping the location fixed and only vary the sample window size (use the scrollwheel) and compare the resulting temp and tint. In my test, I can confirm that the result temps and tints are different for different sample window sizes (expected). I traced through the code and confirmed LR is passing throught the sample window size correctly. The difference in appearance is largely due to the difference in tint values computed in the two cases.

     

    -Simon

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 5:17 PM   in reply to simonsaith

    So, Simon, that still leaves the question about the sample size open. Is it supposed to be the entire window or not?

     
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    Jan 11, 2012 5:20 PM   in reply to simonsaith

    My testing agrees with Simon's. The Loupe covers more pixels when the image is zoomed out, and it indeed seems to take into account all pixels in the loupe. On the other hand, David's test seems to contradict ours, and the images he posted are quite compelling. I don't know what to think.

     

    Hal

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 5:23 PM   in reply to slarti3

    Yes. Essentially the pixels you see in the WB sampler window is the area that will be used for WB computation. One could use the scale slider or the mouse scroll wheel to change the sampling window size.

     

    In davidnaylor83's example, the resulting tint values changed between the two sessions (10 -> 88), that could explain the signficant change in appearance. In theory, a larger windows size should minimize that. Maybe the WB computation is still sensitive to small variations in the sample averages.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2012 5:51 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    I did a quick test with an artificial TIFF image:

     

    wb_picker.png

     

    I cannot do the exact math, but the tool seems to be behave exactly as it is now supposed to.

    If the area is all gray, then I can use any location in the image, even close to the other color and I get the same WB. But as soon as the sample window gets polluted with the purple pixels, the WB changes.

    Sample window size also behaves as it should.

     

    So, this is perfect for me

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2012 12:13 PM   in reply to slarti3

    I agree with slarti3’s observation that the entire loupe area is being sampled. I also checked the affect zoom has the sample area.

     

    At 1:1 zoom view the loupe is mapped 1 pixel per box, allowing adjustment with the Scale slider from a 5x5 pixels to 17x17 pixels sample area. As you change the zoom view the pixels being sampled increase linearly, with 1:2 zoom mapping 2 pixels per box (10x10 to 34x34 pixel sample area), and the maximum 1:16 zoom view mapping 16 pixels per box (80x80 to 272x272 pixel sample area). This is a much welcomed improvement over the current White Balance eyedropper tool’s fixed 5x5 pixel area.

     

    I ran some White Balance tests using ColorChecker Passport images. Sampling the gray scale patches using the largest 272x272 eyedropper loupe and zoom setting produce very consistent readings. With LR3’s 5x5 pixel sample the readings vary all over the place due to sensor noise and minor surface irregularities in the ColorChecker patches.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 3:13 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    davidnaylor83 wrote:

     

    OK, I think I finally worked it out!

     

    Zoom level doesn't affect the actual number of pixels sampled, only loupe size does. So the number of image pixels sampled is always = the number of boxes in the loupe.

     

    The problem is, zoom level affects the view in the loupe. (Loupe shows display pixels, not image pixels.) However, the WB sample size is always the loupe size in image pixels.

     

     

    Was that even remotely comprehensible?

     

    That sounds like exactly what it's supposed to do.

     
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    Jan 14, 2012 3:19 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Zoom level have no effect on the WB sampling size. I thought there was a bug somewhere as reported.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 4:01 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    I think there is a bug. I created a large TIFF file with 10 pixel red vertical stripe down the middle and get the same behavior as davidnaylor83 discovered. There also appears to be a fixed loupe pixel sampling area, which is independent of zoom view setting (i.e. 5x5 up to 17x17 pixels at all zoom view levels). So this statement by Adobe is apparently incorrect:

     

    "White balance sample area is now zoom-level dependent."

     

    The reason I didn't pickup this behavior is because the ColorChecker patches I sampled are all neutral grayscale seperated by an also neutral colored black frame. The readings are now more accurate, but only because the sample area is increased up to 17x17 pixels (from LR3's fixed 5x5 pixels).

     

    ColorCheckerPassport.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 4:21 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    It is not dependent on the zoom level of the loupe view. It is dependent on the scale slider/zoom leve/window size of the WB sampler window! Sorry for the confusion.

     
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    Jan 14, 2012 4:22 PM   in reply to simonsaith

    simonsaith wrote:

     

    Yes. Essentially the pixels you see in the WB sampler window is the area that will be used for WB computation. One could use the scale slider or the mouse scroll wheel to change the sampling window size.

     

    I would definitely like to challenge that. Just did the same test again I conducted a few days ago.
    But this time I made the image larger than the display area.

     

    My conclusion: Simon's statements holds true for 1:1 zoom. But at 1:2 I can see that exactly 1/4 of the area gets sampled. The more you zoom out, the less pixels of the little preview window get sampled. Or in short: The sample window always has the same absolute size.

     

    So, definitely a bug in the program according to the beta specs.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 4:23 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Damn, posted too early.

     

    Never mind Simon. But the release notes could be adjusted to make it clear

    Thanks for the clarification.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 4:28 PM   in reply to slarti3

    "The sample window always has the same absolute size"

     

    Correct. I'll follow up with the documentation. Thanks all.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 7:18 PM   in reply to simonsaith

    Simon, any chance we could get a subtle rectangle overlay in the WB window? That way it would be much easier to see what actually gets sampled. The behavior would also be much more predictable.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2012 11:53 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    davidnaylor83 wrote:

     

    That would probably make the WB loupe very fidgety at small zoom levels like 1:8 and 1:16 though, so I still feel the best would be if WB sample size was dependant on both zoom level and WB loupe size.

     

    I agree. It would be more intuitive if what you see in the WB sampling window is what should be used for WB computation. I just fixed this so that the WB sample size is dependant on both zoom level and WB loupe size. The new behavior will be in the final release.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2012 12:08 PM   in reply to simonsaith

    simonsaith wrote:

    I just fixed this so that the WB sample size is dependant on both zoom level and WB loupe size. The new behavior will be in the final release.

    That is so cool! Thanks Simon!

     
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