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Eruditass
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LR3 Fill Light vs LR4 Equivalent? With examples

Mar 1, 2012 6:33 PM

Tags: #develop_module #fill_light

The LR3 Fill light always seemed special in adding local contrast.  The way it seemed to add light based on the intensity of its original surrounding pixels as opposed to just global shadows was something I had hoped would remain in LR4.  It can add a good amount of contrast and brightness to the shadow areas, as opposed to LR4 which seems to never add highlights into the shadows, which works great with textures when used with restraint.

 

I did some extreme examples with the old fill light + blacks in LR3 compared to LR4 shadows + blacks:

 

http://imgur.com/a/ENAfu#0

 

I wasn't successful in recreating it with clarity, sharpening, exposure, tone curve, etc., but got close with tedious local adjustments.  Notice the texture of the brick and the highlight lines on the left side of the image.    It's local contrast things like this that made me appreciate (and hate) Fill Light.  But I'd like to have both, of course.  Switching to PV2010 robs me of the other great changes of PV2012.  Can't we just add the fill light slider back in?

 

Here's the RAW file:

http://www.mediafire.com/?c16mj0u35afx7o2

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 6:38 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    I'm going to add fill light back with presets.  My purpose isn't to try to perfectly duplicate fill light, but to more rapidly do sort of what fill light did with one click instead of four or five sliders.  Many images are good enough with a touch of fill and nothing else, so this will save me time.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 6:45 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    I downloaded your raw but there was no xmp/snapshots - ?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 6:49 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    I can get close enough for me with exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast, saturation and clarity.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 6:54 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    I'm planning to post my presets whenever LR4 is eventually released.  Maybe some others can make use of them.

     

    Like I said, this is just close enough.  You can't dupicate fill light exactly with the current sliders, nor could you make presets that would do that reliably since the new system is image-adaptive.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 7:03 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    ...I don't recall if I saved the metadata...

     

    You didn't.

     

    If you could save xmp for the PV2010 fill case you like best that would be helpful, e.g. snapshot.

     

    If you are using a custom camera profile, you may need to do Photo -> Update DNG Preview and Metadata too(?)

     

    ?

    R

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 7:14 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    In Lr4, you definitely need +exposure too, and +contrast.

     

    The other thing to note:

     

    Old clarity tends to exagerate local darkness, and halo the lights... new clarity does not.

     

    This is probably responsible for some of the effect you like in this one.

     

    Did you try comparing without clarity?

     

    PS - Still waiting for the xmp/snaphot.

     

    R

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 7:40 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    The LR3 Fill light always seemed special in adding local contrast.  The way it seemed to add light based on the intensity of its original surrounding pixels as opposed to just global shadows was something I had hoped would remain in LR4.  It can add a good amount of contrast and brightness to the shadow areas, as opposed to LR4 which seems to never add highlights into the shadows, which works great with textures when used with restraint.

     

    And with the local contrast came unnatural halos...which in many/most uses caused serious image problems. The halos issue removal fundimentally changes the way the PV 2012 works. It doesn't surprise me at all that you can't get the exact same results from PV 2012 in this image that you can get in PV 2010. That's the nature of the new tools...where in some images the halos caused by Fill Light and Clarity may have helped certain images, the removal of those defects will change how PV 2012 ends up looking.

     

    Personally, I've given up the attempts to "exactly match" the two process versions...it's really not worth the effort. They will never match EXACTLY because the way to tools "bite into" your image is different. So the real question is, can you get a really good process in PV 2012? If so, I would tend to ignore the differences in PVs. If you can't, then I would suggest simply using PV 2010 and take advantage of the way PV 2010 works on some images. Don't drive yourself nutz...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 8:51 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    I actually found that the Fill Light + Blacks combination didn't add unnatural halos very much, while PV2010 Clarity certainly did.

     

    Fill Light certainly added halos...in many/most images, it could cause problems. Sometimes it actually helped. I think your image is helped by the unnatural halos of Fill Light. That's what's really hard to duplicate in PV 2012.

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    I suppose I had made assumptions on the software architecture of Lightroom and that it was more of a philosophical reason to leave it out.

     

    No, it's really technical. The old Fill Light has been substantially changed in the new Shadows. Completely different algorithms...and the engineers can't really mix and match the processing versions. The intent of PV 2012 was to eliminate the bad side effects of Highlight Recovery and Fill Light.

     

    Yes, in this image, it seems like Fill Light actually helped your image. Not everything in PV 2012 is gonna be "better" but it's all very different.

     

    If you have an image where PV 2010 clearly works better, you can use PV 2010. You won't get the other newer image adaptive adjustments, but you can still get what you want. There are some images that I've decided to keep in PV 2010 because I can't get PV 2012 to do the same things. That's why Adobe kept the previous versions available.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 9:31 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    What I mean is I would have hoped each algorithm was encapsulated in it's own module with standard interfaces and the design patterns were modular enough to select any algorithm at the whim of the processing version execution thread.

     

    Uh huh...no...each image adjustment is a desecrate algorithm...one that can not easily be grafted onto a different set of processing parameters. The outstanding issues with Highlight Recovery and Fill Light were addressed and that includes removing the propensity for creating halos in Fill Light. And make no mistake, your image benefited from those halos which is why it's impossible to duplicate the effect in PV 2012. Again, if your image requires the PV 2010 algorithms, by all means, keep using it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 2:45 AM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator,

     

    My evaluation:

     

    Definitely had nothing to do with clarity (I set clarity to zero in PV2010 version).

     

    Seems like this is at least partly a limitation of the blacks/shadows combo - no way to get enough deep shadow fill in there without getting too much mid-shadow fill.This is abundantly clear by looking at the histogram.

     

    This is one of those cases where I could get get 2/3 of the regions toned similarly, but never 3/3 (shadows, mids, + highs).

     

    As I understand it, usually when people talk about Lr3's fill-light halos, they're talking about the masking artifacts that result in haloing at the "seams" (where masked and unmasked regions are merged). This problem has nothing to do with that kind of halo.

     

    I think you were right in the first place - the Lr3 fill-light algorithm liked to add a bit of light into those deep shadows that made for some awesome intra-shadow contrast that just can't be matched by the PV2012 sliders/algorithms. Also, the auto-shadow recovery is really working against you here - one needs to crank blacks so low and/or twist tone curve so hard to counter the auto-shadow recovery that there is no way to get enough light into those deep shadows afterward, even using the tone curve.

     

    Lr3 fill-light did indeed set a high bar - it will be greatly missed, assuming the PV2012 algorithm will never be tweaked enough to come close enough...

     

    FWIW, my best whack, without tone curve or locals:

    exposure     +0.40

    contrast       +80

    highlights     -100

    shadows      +80

    whites          -10

    blacks          -80

    clarity           +90

    (and of course B&W)

     

    I tried numerous other combos that would match better in some ways or in some regions but then not others...

     

    No way to even come close without using clarity.

     

    As you noted, the PV2012 locals can be used to get the job done, which is probably what I would do if this were a new pic, since I really don't want to be bouncing back and forth between different PV's for different photos, although I am mentally preparing myself for the possibility, since I too have found plenty of cases where it's impossible (or nearly so) to get as good results with PV2012.

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 10:53 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Lee Jay wrote:

     

    I can get close enough for me with exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast, saturation and clarity.

     

    Well then why didn't you post those "close enough" settings? .

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 11:54 AM   in reply to Eruditass

    There is no substitution for the old fill light tool. It was simply great. The new shadows adjustment makes photos look terrible.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:18 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    Thanks for your detailed evaluation.

    You're welcome.

     

     

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    I understand and remember the halos people are referring to now and agree it has nothing to do with this problem.  There is no masked area in the shadow regions that it is blending with.  As I recall, that haloing results in a bright then dark outline a couple pixels out from an object.

    Right.

     

     

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    Yeah, I don't want to be bouncing back to PV2010 very much either, both from losing the PV2012 advances and a workflow perspective.

    Check.

     

     

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    Out of curiousity, what other cases did you find hard to reproduce with PV2012?

     

    Certainly those where the shadow recovery and/or highlight recovery just won't permit the same kind of result. As I understand it, these problems will not be fixed, and I expect minimal improvement via tweakage, although I could be wrong... Also, there is sometimes a problem toning highlights when they are very bright, and at the opposite end of the histogram from other important stuff going on, - not even locals can recover them (Eric is aware of this problem and has expressed intent to fix or at least improve). Also, I get wicked shadow "halos" sometimes - mostly only notice it is on sunset shots when I have a very dark mountain in front of a medium dark mountain and crank the shadows up. The medium dark mountain glows around the very dark mountain, but not always - I have no idea what sets it off (Eric is aware of this problem but did not express any intent to fix one way or the other). Fixable using locals, but painstaking.

     

    There are probably others that I'm not able to recall at the moment. There was a period of adjustment to the new signature of look that I fought with more in the earlier days. Although not "fixable", I've mostly gotten used to it and mostly like it at this point, although I still do scrub some areas with local adjustments sometimes when they are not agreeing with me. Also, some problems I had in the beginning were due to the fact that some photos require a simple tone curve adjustment to supplement the "limitations" of the basics, and I was trying to do everything with the basics only at first. Also local adjustments that didn't translate well have lead me to some wrong conclusions. Also, I didn't fully understand how to use the basics to add punch that was sometimes missing in the earlier days, so those problems have mostly been solved through experience. But, I don't like the new clarity on most photos. Although not needed nearly as much in PV2012 as it was in PV2010, pleasing clarity is still a missing piece in the new PV for me (and on some photos new clarity is great...). Again, some things are just different, and not necessarily better or worse but take some getting used to, and I pretty much head for the improved locals and RGB curves nowadays without looking back if I can see my way to the results I want that way.

     

    PS - Some respondees in this forum are here to put out the flames and sweep the ashes under the rug, not to raise public conciousness about the issues (quite the opposite) - worth keeping that in mind when you read their posts.

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:29 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    There is no masked area in the shadow regions that it is blending with.  As I recall, that haloing results in a bright then dark outline a couple pixels out from an object.

     

    Fill Light actually did generate a mask to apply the lightening to a certain area of the shadows. The mask was not very accurate and could lead to strong halos when Fill Light was ramped up. However, it was this mask that could also generate a potentially good result with some images.

     

    The new Shadows adjustment works with some pretty exotic math to differentiate the tonal areas instead of the mask used in Fill Light. That is the main difference between Fill Light and Shadows. If you want more info about how the new image adaptive controls work, see this article: Magic or Local Lapacian Filters. Pretty high tech stuff, but the changes do mean that Shadows won't behave like Fill Light.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:47 PM   in reply to Aaronm87

    Aaronm87 wrote:

     

    There is no substitution for the old fill light tool. It was simply great. The new shadows adjustment makes photos look terrible.

     

    In my opinion, there are two kinds of photos:

    1 - Those where PV2012 controls work better than PV2010 fill.

    2 - Those where PV2010 fill looks better.

     

    Have you also experienced type-1?

     

    I mean, you have to be proficient with the basics (multiple sliders required in addition to shadows), and know when and how to use the tone curve to supplement. I'm not saying you don't I'm just saying...

     

    If you haven't experienced that also, then your case may have less credibility.

     

    Summary:

    ========

    Consider elaborating your case, since this train only moves forward...

     

    Finally:

    =====

    I want to applaud your courage for speaking up. - I'm sure you are aware that sometimes you will meet stern yet often cleverly subtle resistance when doing so.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:35 PM   in reply to Aaronm87

    Aaronm87 wrote:

     

    There is no substitution for the old fill light tool. It was simply great. The new shadows adjustment makes photos look terrible.

     

    If you're trying to use the Shadows adjustment 1-for-1 for Fill Light, then you are simply doing it wrong.

     

    There is no single adjustment in PV12 that replaces Fill Light, though I'm going to try to put it back with presets for those images that need a little fill as a starting point.  But I'm using no less than six of the sliders to do that.

     

    That's the bad news.

     

    The good news is, I haven't found an image yet where I can't get better results with PV2012 than I could with PV2010.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:46 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Lee Jay wrote:

     

    ...I haven't found an image yet where I can't get better results with PV2012 than I could with PV2010.

     

    How about the image in this thread? - can you honestly say your PV2012 results, settings for which you still haven't posted, are better than the PV2010 version? - I sure can't: not even close.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:52 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    This looks to be a B&W images of some bricks.  I'm not sure what he's after here so I didn't try the raw file.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 12:55 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Jeff Schewe wrote:

     

    However, it was this mask that could also generate a potentially good result with some images.

     

    It's the algorithm behind the mask that many still prefer, including me sometimes.

     

     

     

    Jeff Schewe wrote:

     

    The new Shadows adjustment works with some pretty exotic math to differentiate the tonal areas instead of the mask used in Fill Light. That is the main difference between Fill Light and Shadows. If you want more info about how the new image adaptive controls work, see this article: Magic or Local Lapacian Filters. Pretty high tech stuff...

     

    That sounds very impressive, but it's scant comfort for someone who just wants their photos to look at least close to as good in PV2012 as they did/do in PV2010.

     

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 1:03 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    http://www.mediafire.com/?bwmbt3rl81hthf4

     

    Take a look at the PV2010 snapshot - that clearly represents what he's after, and then see if you can come up with results that look even half as good using PV2012.

     

    Please post your settings afterward. Even Jeff acknowledged PV2012 results were not as good, although he did come up with some great "reasons" for it.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 4:31 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator,

     

    In my eyes, you have certainly made your point - Lr3 fill is simply way better than anything I was able to do with PV2012 in this case, without clarity or locals I mean.

     

    With PV2012 clarity at 100, the results were close to PV2010 without clarity, although still not as good in my opinion. With locals the results could be made as good or even better. With a brick floor, appying locals is not a problem, but with a complex architecture or something, locals could be very painstaking.

     

    Also, PV2012 clarity at 100 looks great for this photo, since it's a B&W where only local contrast and texture matters, but high doses of clarity are not suitable for most photos.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 2:45 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Please post your settings afterward. Even Jeff acknowledged PV2012 results were not as good, although he did come up with some great "reasons" for it.

     

    No, I said you couldn't "MATCH IT" with the PV 2012 global sliders...that's different. I didn't say the PV 2012 results weren't as good, they just didn't match. They can't.

     

    PV 2012 will require that users change the way they think about the controls. What used to work in PV 2010 won't work exactly the same because PV 2012 is different. For many/most images, these changes in the controls produce superior results (otherwise the engineers wouldn't have spent the time). For some images, PV 2012 can't match the results. They will be different. Is different automatically bad? Not to me...perhaps to the OP.

     

    The point I was trying to get across is that trying to match the results of PV 2010 in PV 2012 is really an exercise in futility. Because the controls are different the results will be different.

     

    I did download the OP's raw and looked at it. It's my opinion that it was the Fill Light mask which was helping him achieve a certain look. Is that the "best look" for this image? I don't know and I wouldn't pass judgement on the aesthetics of the PV 2010 rendering. Could I get the image to look good to my eyes in PV 2012? Yes. But it won't match his PV 2010 rendering.

     

    Again if you have an image that benefits from the way PV 2010 worked, then users still have that option and ACR/LR won't be removing that code (as far as I know). That's why they created the concept of Process Versions…to allow users who have rendered an image to their liking and want to maintain that rendering inspite of the changes in PV 2012. I see that as a good thing and something the team is very serious about. For PV 2012, they completely rewrote the controls for Basic-largely to get rid of undesirable side effects of the PV 2010 controls. For many/most, it's better. For some, maybe not so much...particularly if the rendering took advantage of the previous side effects.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 3:06 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Jeff Schewe wrote:

     

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Please post your settings afterward. Even Jeff acknowledged PV2012 results were not as good, although he did come up with some great "reasons" for it.

     

    No, I said you couldn't "MATCH IT" with the PV 2012 global sliders...that's different. I didn't say the PV 2012 results weren't as good, they just didn't match. They can't.

     

    Bingo, well said.

     

    Here's my attempt at a similar idea.  There were two PV2010 snapshots so I put mine somewhere in the middle.  The 20 Clarity one is the one on the left, mine on the right with PV2012.

    2010 2012 bricks.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 3:12 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    When things are different but better, people will get used to the changes. Its when things are different but not as good that will ultimately draw the most "complaints".

     

    It's not PV2010 fill's "desirable side effects" that are at issue here, it's the desirable main effects, which are being missed.

     

    Jeff - you may be able to snow a lot of people in this forum, but you can't snow me.

     

    By recovering shadows automatically, Adobe has chosen a tradeoff which benefits most photos, but others - not so much...

     

    PV2012 design and implementation @b1, as good as it is, also has some serious limitations that people are bumping into.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 4:33 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    We need the raw w/xmp, or a complete list of settings.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 3:30 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Jeff - you may be able to snow a lot of people in this forum, but you can't snow me.

     

    Again with the ad hominem attacks?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 3:34 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Good catch - sorry about that.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 5:15 PM   in reply to Eruditass

    Jargulator wrote:

     

    The LR3 Fill light always seemed special in adding local contrast.  The way it seemed to add light based on the intensity of its original surrounding pixels as opposed to just global shadows was something I had hoped would remain in LR4.  It can add a good amount of contrast and brightness to the shadow areas, as opposed to LR4 which seems to never add highlights into the shadows, which works great with textures when used with restraint.

     

     

    I don't think it's a coincidence the way PV2012 clarity works (significant local brightening in the shadows) - i.e. I think Adobe is aware that while PV2012 shadows may be smoother and in many ways more natural or have better technical quality, PV2010 fill had a punch to it that was not only good for textures, but in many other cases too. PV2012 clarity digs deep into the shadows and can supplement PV2012 "shadow fill" to add the missing punch. I just hope it's improved enough come final release so I am not so reluctant to use it. Even if it is improved though, sometimes one just wants the enhanced contrast in the shadows and not have "overclarified" mids/highs, or vice versa, so it's gonna be back to the locals again no matter how ya slice it..., sigh.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 7:07 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    In general if you care that much about tuning for specific tonal areas and specific image parts, local corrections are your friend.  With PV 2012 there is much more flexibility, as highlights & shadows are now available as local adjustments, and all the undesirable side effects of the PV 2003/2010 local exposure implementation are now fixed with PV 2012's local exposure.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2012 8:19 PM   in reply to MadManChan2000

    Thanks Eric.

     

    Shadows and highlight locals are my new friends, to be sure .

     

    Now that I think about it, defining the range of applicability based strictly on luminosity would be pretty limiting.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2012 2:04 AM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Although Lee Jay has not disclosed the settings used to accomplish the PV2012 version, there is no question in my mind - it entailed extreme clarity, which is fine for this black&white, but would never have been anywhere near acceptable for normal color photos where the same prinicple applies but extreme clarity would have ruined the photo.

     
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