Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

Lightroom improvement suggestions, Clarity slider and Print module

Mar 17, 2012 10:59 AM

Tags: #lightroom #module #4 #slider #print #clarity

A couple of nits to pick about Lightroom 4, addressing these will create a much stronger product:

 

1. The clarity slider now makes substantial structural and tonal changes, especially visible on smooth surfaces like skin. This makes is much less useful and usable than the earlier versions. Yes, it prevents halos, but the result is generally unacceptable for me anywhere beyond 15-20 depending on the image.

 

2. The print module still does not have a good way of placing text with precise control below the image on the template. I have a workaround, but it is, well, a workaround. The watermark feature has a great set of tools, why not enable them for the identity plate placement on the page? The watermark feature allows for placing the text outside the image with negative offsets but then it is not visible! Why have this option and then hide the text?

 

3. I would love to have multiple line text in the print module with a simple graphic line without doing all that in Photoshop and bringing it as a graphic identity plate. See example of workaround and one output from LR at:

 

http://www.keptlight.com/2012/01/print-to-file-for-lab-printing/

 

See what I would like to get direct from Lightroom, top left image at:

http://www.keptlight.com/shop/orchid-prints/

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 5:05 AM   in reply to keptlight

    I have to concur with "keptlight" the new clarity slider is dreadful...bordering on unusable. Please bring back the old algorithm or at least allow us to choose which one to use.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 5:31 AM   in reply to DV8OR1

    One vote in favor of keeping the new Process 2012 clarity slider unchanged.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 6:19 AM   in reply to dj_paige

    dj_paige wrote:

     

    One vote in favor of keeping the new Process 2012 clarity slider unchanged.

     

    +1

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 6:39 AM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    However, the main purpose of the clarity slider is to "clarify" things rather than muddy areas. That, the muddy look can be achieved in other ways, but the clear and crips view cannot be without the aid of the clarity slider.

     

    You're saying the new Clarity can't "clarify" things?  I beg to differ.  This was shot through a dirty shaded window on a hazy day, and the new Clarity certainly helped a lot.

     

    PV2012 Clarity.jpg

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 6:43 AM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    Thanks to all for chiming in. I brought to the attnetion of engineers at Adobe a technical problem. I can see why you may like the new clarity slider because of the way it creates a different look when pushed towards its high end. However, the main purpose of the clarity slider is to "clarify" things rather than muddy areas. That, the muddy look can be achieved in other ways, but the clear and crips view cannot be without the aid of the clarity slider. The alternative is not to use it at all for users who expect the clarity-based enhancement and rely more on sharpening tools. This version of LR upgrade has been underwhelming for me.

    I don't understand your point, but I agree with Lee Jay and his example, my experience has been that the clarity slider does very nice things to my photos. I haven't had a problem with it.

     

    Maybe you could show us an example where the clarity slider doesn't achieve the effect you think it should produce.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 7:48 AM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    Now, take a look at the third image where the new clarity is pushed to 100.

     

    As you've been told, the new Clarity is about twice as powerful as the old one.  Thus, this isn't a fair comparison.  If you push the old one to 100, push the new one to 50.  If you really want the old one at 40, put the new one at 20.

     

    The new one doesn't change saturation as much as the old one either.  If you liked that saturation change, you'll have to add saturation as you add clarity.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 7:59 AM   in reply to keptlight

    Fruits2 has a big nasty dark halo around the highlight on the Apple, making it look like a bruise.  This dark spot isn't present in the Fruits4 image.

     

    Yes, the tonality is different between PV2010 and PV2012, but this can be controlled.  I generally add around 10 Clarity at import (in fact, I have it as part of my CR defaults), which means my tone adjustments account for it.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 8:13 AM   in reply to keptlight

    i find the new clarity slider better then the old one. there are enough tools to deal with the tonal change.

    but then i rarely go over values of 25-35 with the new tool.

     

    the benefits are worth it.. imo.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 8:14 AM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    I guess we will agree to disagree on the merits of the new clarity slider. I was pointing out a significant change in the way clarity was implemented. You seem to have found a workaround and it works for you, that's great. I prefer to use the tools that remain in their own intended domains, which I find more predictable rather than making extra compensation for the tool that spills over into other areas, in this case the tonal shift.

     

    The tonal shift is currently unavoidable, but it has been minimized.  Given the advantages of more power and almost no halos, it's worth just getting used to it, just like all the other new controls in PV2012.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 8:43 AM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    Tonal shift has NOT been minimized but newly introduced. If you look at the original photo and the rim of the bowl, then look at the fourth image. You will see that the rim has no "clarity" added, in fact it has become less clear because the inside got darker for some reason. Now, one has to go in and lighten those areas. Take a look at the second photo you will actually see the rim "clearer" because the local contrast has been increased slightly by making the lights lighter and darks darker. That's how we gain clarity. In the fourth image that is lacking for me.

     

     

    but you also notice the dark halo in the second picture.

    and this is only one example. i found the new clarity much better then the old one for images who have fine detail.

     

    keptlight wrote:

     

     

    That is a good thing, more predictable tools rather than those that one had to guess as to their function. Sharpening is also much better. But the print module is also botched up:

    http://www.keptlight.com/2012/03/lightroom-4-printing-issues/

    http://www.keptlight.com/2012/03/lr4-print-issues-part-2/

     

     

     

     

    i normaly have printed from photoshop in the past.. so i have not noticed this.

     

    you should have a look at this thread (maybe he has the same problem):

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/984507?tstart=0

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 8:48 AM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    Tonal shift has NOT been minimized but newly introduced.

     

    It's been minimized given the new technique.

     

    Sharpening is also much better.

     

    Really?  To my knowledge, nothing has changed with sharpening in LR 4.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 9:01 AM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    -Agfaclack- take a look at the light hitting the rim in the original photo. That has been enhanced in the second photo by making lighter tones a little lighter, and darker tones a little darker.

     

     

    i see that.. and it IS maybe bad for this image. thought i found the halo of the old clarity not nice either.

     

    but it´s only one image. and the rim is a rather large feature.
    that does not mean there are a lot of images where the new clarity works better then the old one.

     

    i use clarity mostly to enhance the "microcontrast"... maybe that is why it does not bother me.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 12:08 PM   in reply to keptlight

    i will have an open eye for that in the future.

    can´t say much about it yet but i will look out for it.

     

    as i said i don´t use such high values for clarity and i have not noticed it in the past weeks that i used LR 4.

    what i noticed is that the halos are gone/reduced.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 12:59 PM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    The 2010 process is doing microcontrast,...

     

    That's a side effect of large radius USM.  Ideally, it shouldn't be doing that.  Sharpening and detail are for that.  Clarity is for local contrast.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 1:29 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    I must agree with keptlight on the new clarity, I think it should be definitely improved or changed in some way.
    It is kinda heavy. It darkens shadows on some photos too much and on the other hand it lights up whites/highlights too much. It's very visible on flash pictures with people. I´m talking about clarity around 40. I don't understand why the new clarity is so strong when others like shadows are not. So when someone wants the fill light LR3 effect you have to also fiddle with other sliders like blacks and maybe tone curve and such to have that effect. The same with the new clarity, you end up playing with blacks, shadows, highlights and contrast to overcome this strong effect. What I´m trying to say is that either way it slows down the processing.

     

    samples: top down: 0 ,40,100 clarity for you to to see that effect.

     

    IMG_7777_cr.jpgIMG_7777-2_cr.jpg

    IMG_7777-3_cr.jpg

    clarity brightening: 0,40,100

    IMG_7916.jpg

    IMG_7916-2.jpg

    IMG_7916-3.jpg

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 1:31 PM   in reply to keptlight

    keptlight wrote:

     

    I'm glad we found something to agree on. I think you are referring to LR 2012 doing large radius USM, or something similar to that. What LR 2010 does is more like a high pass sharpening with a modest radius to affect mostly the edge acutance. Thank you all for engaging in this conversation, I have developed enough samples to write a new post on my site.

     

    No, PV2010 does something like large radius USM.  PV2012 uses the adaptive tone mapping of the rest of the controls.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 1:45 PM   in reply to noalorama5

    Clarity of 40 is really a lot (equivalent to old Clarity 80).  I generally use around 20 with the old version and 10 of the new version.  Extreme examples like the one I posted above need more (that's 60 in the new version - beyond the capabilities of the old version) but most images need just a touch.  If you're using a lot on images that don't have a lot of haze or fog to cut through, you just aren't using it right.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 2:13 PM   in reply to Lee Jay

    Ok, I understand, but why is it so strong now, just for hazy pictures? In pv2010 it didn´t create such a big tonal changes even at those equivalent levels.

    Sometimes the new clarity is really good on some pictures, but sometimes really not. The point is, it looks worse to me now on these than older clarity with halos.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 6:59 PM   in reply to noalorama5

    noalorama5 wrote:

     

    Ok, I understand, but why is it so strong now, just for hazy pictures? In pv2010 it didn´t create such a big tonal changes even at those equivalent levels.

     

    That's correct - the new version creates larger global tonal changes than the old one did.  But it's more powerful and doesn't create halos.  You win some, you lose some.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2012 3:46 AM   in reply to keptlight

    I definitely support your observations with clarity, it is well described and you've made some valid points keptlight. I think the main problem is clearly visible with the samples we posted.

    If I remember I could use clarity in pv2010 to the point without halos, but now it changes highlights/shadows too much if you want to achieve the same microcontrast level as before as I see.

     

    Well, my opinion is: I think it is worth for Adobe to reconsider  the new clarity behavior/algorithm at least. Or better improve it. The way I see it, the new clarity is not necessarily an improvement  

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2012 8:00 PM   in reply to keptlight

    I like the new Clarity and wish it was a little stronger.  I like that the areas that are enhanced are not merely high-contrast edges, but larger and more subtle areas of the photo—wide-area contrast, not just micro-contrast.

     
    |
    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points