My default preset I've built in LR3 uses auto-blacks and I find it works wonderfully (info here: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/downloads/bookexcerpts/lr3excerpts/lr3sa mple-21-autosliders.pdf).
It seems this ability is gone from the LR4 preset files? I've tried a number of things with a LR4 preset in a text editor and I can't get anything to work. When I create a preset using auto-tone, the first few lines are:
AutoBrightness = false,
AutoContrast = false,
AutoExposure = false,
AutoLateralCA = 1,
AutoShadows = false,
AutoTone = true,
No whites or blacks even mentioned? I tried creating an auto-shadows function (though I'm not ultimately interested in that) since that appears above, and couldn't get that to work either.
Black is set via Blacks, and older "Exposure" (light clipping) is now set via Whites.
I'm at work, I can't test. Did you try something like "AutoBlacks = true"?
Shadows is something like fill shadows (for values greater than zero). Lower than zero values of Shadows isn't the same as setting Blacks.
It appears to me that not "auto blacks" are gone but the option to not have "auto blacks'.
I understand that in LR4 auto blacks are always turned on; likewise highlights are always corrected.
So this should work for you. Others (myself included) regret that it is not possible to turn off such "auto" behaviour.
Hopefully you'll receive an authoritative answer from Eric Chan.
The most important thing I use Auto Tone for is to find the black-point, so the current operation of only setting Exposure isn’t all that useful. Is the intent to have Auto Tone do more than Exposure but Auto Tone can be tricky so it wasn’t ready for the beta or is Auto Tone going to be Auto Exposure, only, from now on?
"I understand that in LR4 auto blacks are always turned on; likewise highlights are always corrected."
I don't believe that's the case. I took a high-key photo that was also a little overexposed and it took -85 blacks to even get a little bit of black clipping, then I took a photo with a pretty normal exposure and it took -5 blacks to get a small amount of black clipping. When I use auto-blacks on the same two photos in LR3, the high-key one gets auto set to 56 and the normal exposure to 2, and they both look great at those levels. This has been a huge time-saver, the only auto setting I use and find to be very reliable, so I really hope LR4 has the option, even if it still takes a text edit hack of the presets.
Eric, in the "Develop basic sliders - truly zeroed?" thread (http://forums.adobe.com/message/4128876) you wrote:
"Actually, the new defaults in PV 2012 are the same as the old defaults in PV 2010 rendering-wise, with the minor exception of the (now auto-calculated) black point." (emphasis is mine).
You also wrote in the "Zeroed Defaults vs. Zeroed RAW File?" thread (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/948951):
"highlight recovery is always enabled in PV 2012".
It would be interesting to learn what these auto features do and whether they correspond to anything in LR3.
Dorin, the automatic aspect has to do with the endpoint (i.e., white point & black point) handling. The shape of the curve is calculated automatically to make transitions smoother as you approach clipping (to pure white or pure black). Otherwise you'd get the traditional digital "hard clip" which can be rather rough, esp. in the shadows.
Yes and no. The Whites and Blacks controls have enough range to stretch out the contrast of even very low-contrast images (e.g., ~1/2 stop of dynamic range) to pure white and pure black. This is actually an improvement over earlier Lr versions, where the range of Blacks was fixed (i.e., you could set Blacks in Lr 3 to its max value of +100 and still not get the darkest part of an image to get anywhere near clipping to pure black).
However, the new auto tone behavior will detect special cases like the "white wall" case you describe and probably not try to stretch out the darkest point automatically to pure black. (Neither would Lr 3 if the image was light enough to begin with.)
I've got the release version now and can not figure out how to create a preset that enables auto-tone for the black point only, any help?
In LR3 I would create a preset without auto tone, then use a text editor on the preset file to delete the "Shadows= " line and I would change the "AutoShadows = false" to true.