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Better process conversion, pretty please?

Apr 3, 2012 9:23 AM

I am a true believer in progress and development, and I trust the Lightroom engineers when they say the 2012 process version will give better image quality and ease of use.

 

My problem now is that I get different sliders in Develop depending on which photo I have selected. I would really like to batch upgrade my 14,000+ images, but obviously this is a bad idea since moving from process 2010 to 2012 will make many photos look quite different.

 

 

If I could wish for one feature in an upcoming 4.x release it would be a more intelligent process conversion. I.e. a process upgrade that takes into account the pixel values in the photo in process 2010 and then actively sets the sliders to match the look as closely as possible, not just based on some rough pre-determined slider conversion.

 

I know some things will be hard/impossible to convert without changing the look of the photo, such as the clarity slider. But most of the exposure, contrast, fill light, blacks, recovery, etc should be possible to reproduce with the new sliders + tone curve.

 

I wouldn't care much if this intelligent process conversion were much more CPU intensive, it could for instance be made an option and performed over night.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 9:38 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    nice wish.. but it will not happen.

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 9:40 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Any images you've previously processed in PV2010 to your liking, you should leave in PV2010.  Only upgrade those that are in need of help, and do those one-by-one.

     

    I doubt the conversion will get substantially better.  It's like mapping your Apple Pie recipe onto and ingredient set that includes Pears and Raspberries but no Apples.

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 10:09 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    In a perfect world I think your idea would be the solution of choice but as -Agfaclack suggested it's unlikely to happen anytime soon. At first I found the new sliders rather confusing and each conversion was taking me minutes rather than seconds as I fumbled with the options. All of this is simply because I was used to the old way and it wasn't immediately clear how to duplicate or improve on certain features with the new setup. That's something Adobe could have possibly helped with a bit more but the best information I found so far was a post on the forum by Jeff Schewe explaining the best way to work after which it all made sense.

     

    The one factor I couldnt avoid though after a day or two of regular use is that the quality is definitely better and I started by converting single files to see how they looked and more importantly how much more potential they had with the new process version. Some images converted very closely and others not so good...

     

    Much to my surprise after a week or so I eventually ended up converting the whole lot to the 2012 process version in one big jump and making the adjustments wasn't nearly as bad or time consuming as I imagined it would be. Sure this has involved some work and no doubt there are images that I'll come back to and tweak some more but on the otherhand I now have a common interface for adjustments across my entire collection and all future images will come in the same way, so I won't have to think about different process versions.

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 11:11 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    davidnaylor83 wrote:

     

    Replying "Won't happen" comes across as fairly arrogant. I didn't post because I'm expecting it to happen, I posted cause I want it to happen.

     

    If you understood the way PV2010 worked–actually PV2003 as well since the tone controls went back to the very begining–and the image adaptive optimized contrls in PV2012 you would understand that it's impossible to have a 1:1 mapping. The controls simply work different. Some of us experienced the fine tuning of the conversion during internal beta and I'll tell you that from where it started (zero PV conversion) to initial PV conversion to now, the engineers made huge strides. The success of the PV2010>PV2012 conversion depend on what adjustments you had in PV 2010 and how strong they were set. The single biggest difference in my exerience is Fill Light. Fill Light had some pretty strong artifacting as well as a more narrow tone adjustment. The new Shadows adjustment does NOT have the artifacting and a smoother longer range of gradation. PV2010 simply can't map well to PV2012. The adjustments are too different.

     

    It's been my experience that Highlight Recovery maps to Hightlights pretty well as do Exposure and Contrast. There wasn't a Whites adjustment before and the Blacks is also very different but produces less varied conversions. Clarity in PV2012 is very different...in addition to reducing the haloing, the strength of the PV 2012 is about 2x stronger...you'll note that when you do a PV conversion, Clarity is reduced...it kinda depends on the PV2010 setting as to when the PV2012 setting will adjust to. But in general, the PV2010 amount of Clarity gets cut in half...

     

    So, the bottom line here is that I think the conversion is as good as it's ever gonna get and it's up to the user to decide whether or not they want to update exisiting images with settings to PV2012. I have a few images where cnverting from PV2010 to PV2012 simply can not be adjusted to match the PV2010 looks. For those, I'll keep them in PV2010 moving forward.

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 11:45 AM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    David,

     

    There are 9 functions (sliders) in the basic panel applied to image data of 3 parameters (RGB - not 24 bit but probably at least 48 bit for internal processing).  I don't know, but I suspect they are non-linear functions, and are probably inter-dependent.  I can well believe Jeff when he says they can't provide an exact mathematical mapping from those functions in PV2010 to the equivalent functions in PV2012. 

     

    But - why would we want a batch conversion?  If the image is already perfect then there's no need to convert.  If it's not, then it needs further manual editing anyway. 

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 12:06 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    davidnaylor83 wrote:

     

    In what way are the new controls adaptive? What do they "adapt" to? Has Adobe said anything about this?

     

    The individual controls in PV 2012 are image adaptive meaning the adjustment and range of the controls adapt to your image. By default, PV2012 retains much more highlight and shadow detail than PV2010. Fill Light and Clarity were the two image adaptive controls in PV2010 (not sure is Highlight Recovery was). But now all the tone mapping in PV2012 adjusts the controls to the image. So they are much more flexible–which is why it's so hard to try to convert from PV2010's non-adaptive controls to PV2012's adaptive controls. There's some addition info on the Lightroom Journal in this article; Magic or Local Laplacian Filters (note, it's pretty deep stuff).

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 12:56 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    I guess one could imagine an Excel Solver (multivariate optimization) type approach where all the sliders are adjusted in an attempt to minimize sum squared error either between the two histograms or the two images at some downsampled size.  There might be many local minima leading one to want to use a genetic algorithm or a neural network, and it might be a difficult implementation, so I doubt it's worth anyone's trouble unless Adobe has a summer intern that needs an interesting project to work on for their education.

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 2:02 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    "Replying "Won't happen" comes across as fairly arrogant. I didn't post because I'm expecting it to happen, I posted cause I want it to happen."

     

     

    Plenty of expert people in the know have already said it's not going to happen. So, there you go, it's not going to happen. Onwards and upwards.

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 3:15 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Also not meaning to come across as arrogant, but if the conversion were accurate, what would be the point in batch converting? 

     

    I think your opening statement:

     

         "I trust the Lightroom engineers when they say the 2012 process version will give better image quality"

     

    may be an incomplete representation of the benefits of PV2012.  The improved processing means that the image quality may be better, certainly.  That means different.  PV2010 introduced things like better noise reduction, which might be uncontentious, in the "just do it" category.  But the changes to the basic panel in PV2012 are things like improved tonal mapping, highlight protection and so on, which not only may look better (=different) but also need subjective assessment. 

     

    So even if Adobe had been able to make the conversion so good that it would, as you said: "match the look as closely as possible" then it wouldn't be better; it would be the same.  So why convert if you are not then going to make further individual adjustments to each image? 

     
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    Apr 3, 2012 3:43 PM   in reply to CSS Simon

    Just my point of view. Why would you pay for an update that says its a new process that provides improved rendition and then all it provides is the same look as the previous process.

     

    If that is what happened then something would be wrong.

     

    If you wish to move forward then looking back will only hamper your progress.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 3:12 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    davidnaylor83 wrote:

     

    My final point is that it would be quite possible to have the new controls, a new default look for new photos, make it easier to get the most out of new photos all while having an intelligent reverse-engineering script that replicates the look of old photos.

     

    Do you write image processing code? You can't match one processing algorithm's results (looks) to an entirely different more advanced (and exotic) processing algorithm's results…ain't gonna happen.

     

    Really can't if you think about it…if you start with a given set of numbers (your raw image) and then run those numbers through a set of algorithms you get a set of results. The old PV 2010 algorithms are fundamentally different and only Fill Light was "image adaptive" meaning taking the image data into account when processing the results.

     

    In PV 2012, All of the Basic tone controls (except for Whites and Blacks I think) are image adaptive-meaning the range of the controls and the algorithms themselves work in slightly different ways based on the image analysis. The PV 2012 algorithms can NOT be made to match the PV 2010 results. It's really as simple as that. You can not expect two completely different sets of algorithms to be tweaked to get the same results. Sorry…

     

    If you like what you have in PV 2010, keep them that way. That's what 'm going for images I've "finished" over the years. Problem images that don't process well in PV 2010 I'm trying in PV 2012 and finding the new process can do a much better job. New images are being imported into LR4 as PV 2012.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 3:24 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Thread summary

     

    OP: Better process conversion, pretty please?

     

    Answer: You got it with LR 4

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 3:35 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

         "Problem images that don't process well in PV 2010 I'm trying in PV 2012 and finding the new process can do a much better job. New images are being imported into LR4 as PV 2012."

     

    Yes, that's what I'm doing, too.  If an image doesn't need any more processing, it stays in PV2010.  Any changes needed: it's PV2012, also for new stuff.  So all my processing now is done in PV2012. 

     

         "I just wish I could get the new controls throughout Lightroom without it changing the look of photos that I have already edited and decided how I want them to look."

     

    Well, if you're already edited them and decided how you want them to look, why do you need to edit them further?  Just leave them alone!  If you decide to edit them (and only if), and assuming you want to use the new controls, then convert to PV2012.  In my experience, most of the time conversion makes little or no visible difference.  But what the heck?  You're editing it because you want to make it different.  So having to adjust a (usually small) change introduced by the conversion is really neither here nor there. 

     

         "The point in batch converting would be to have one set of sliders independent of which photo I happen to come across and re-edit."

     

    But you don't need to batch convert!  Converting to PV2012 has no benefit unless you want to make further changes.  If, as you say, you happen to come across a photo you want to re-edit, then convert it.  But if you don't want to re-edit then there is no point in converting, and having any particular set of sliders that you aren't going to touch is rather academic.  

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 3:36 PM   in reply to CSS Simon

    But you don't need to batch convert!

    You absolutely shouldn't

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 3:59 PM   in reply to Scooby007

    I think this is going to be a judgement call for each indidual to make. In my case I started by converting single files in each group of images and most of the time the difference was very close with only a few images coming out substantially different in PV12.

     

    In the end I converted the whole lot and it wasn't such a big deal to go through all the images and adjust them to preference. No doubt I'll make a few more tweaks at times but I did that in Lightroom 3 as well. For me it just makes sense to bite the bullet and convert everything to the new process version for the better quality yields. I actually enjoyed the conversion process because I could see the differences I was able to achieve.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 4:10 PM   in reply to ashleykaryl

    ashleykaryl wrote:

     

    I think this is going to be a judgement call for each indidual to make. In my case I started by converting single files in each group of images and most of the time the difference was very close with only a few images coming out substantially different in PV12.

     

    In the end I converted the whole lot and it wasn't such a big deal to go through all the images and adjust them to preference. No doubt I'll make a few more tweaks at times but I did that in Lightroom 3 as well. For me it just makes sense to bite the bullet and convert everything to the new process version for the better quality yields. I actually enjoyed the conversion process because I could see the differences I was able to achieve.

     

    about how many images are we talking?

     

    you can´t tell me your convert everything to PV2012....   ... i mean... even when you have only a few hundred pics that makes no sense.

     

    i convert only images from the past to 2012 that i need for an actual project or that i have to print again.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 4:11 PM   in reply to -Agfaclack-

    I converted over 10,000 images.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 4:14 PM   in reply to ashleykaryl

    you converted and adjusted 10000 images by hand?

    so i guess you shoot big sets of 100-300 images that you could synchronize?

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 4:14 PM   in reply to -Agfaclack-

    Yes.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 4:16 PM   in reply to ashleykaryl

    The point is that the vast majority required little or no adjustment in real terms because they were the same or better than before the conversion.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 4:20 PM   in reply to ashleykaryl

    The set sizes of images varies from shoot to shoot. Sometimes just one or two images and sometimes 200.

     
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    Apr 4, 2012 7:09 PM   in reply to davidnaylor83

    Methinks the solution is a develop module that can use one proceess (e.g. 2010) up to a point, and then pick up the RGB at that point and and go forward with a different process (e.g 2012).

     

    Best of all worlds.

     

     

    Chuck

     
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    Apr 22, 2012 12:06 AM   in reply to ChuckTribolet

    Hi Chuck,

     

    Great Idea - I've been a big proponent of this idea for a long time.

     

    Build it into Lightroom, so user doesn't have to manage multiple photo copies to achieve and it would really open some doors.

     

    The ability to temporarily (meaning redoably) bake changes into an rgb intermediary (under the hood) would be very useful for a variety of purposes:

     

    * Seemless handling of intermediate external edits.

    * Co-editing an image with dual process versions.

    * Applying "layered" settings for sharpening, vignettes...

    * Plugins that can manipulate the rgb intermediary, which for all intents and purposes, it would be "non-destructive", since the image manipulations would be "replayable".

     

    Kinda like having one Lightroom image be a "smart (rgb) object" for a subsequent Lightroom stage of editing. This is doable now by the cleverest Lightroom users, but is usually too cumbersome to be practical...

     

    I implemented a very crude version of this in Dev-Correct/2012 (but it only goes one direction 2012 (as initial PV) -> 2010 (as final PV)) which also improves upon Lightroom's default process conversion.

     

    I may refine this some day to be more general purpose and automatic, and/or at least implement the other direction (2010 (as initial PV) -> 2012 (as final PV)).

     

    Rob

     
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    Apr 22, 2012 2:24 AM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Jeff Schewe wrote:

     

    In PV 2012, All of the Basic tone controls (except for Whites and Blacks I think) are image adaptive-meaning the range of the controls and the algorithms themselves work in slightly different ways based on the image analysis.

     

    Blacks and whites are image adaptive too.

     
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