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Why do my images look soft in Bridge?

Aug 28, 2012 9:12 AM

Hi, I'm a Photo Mechanic user, but I'm having problems with their latest release (PM5), so I thought I'd check out the latest version of Bridge to see if it can serve the same function. I'm having problems getting sharp previews. When I hit the spacebar to view an image full screen it looks blurred. If I click on the image it then becomes sharp (it stays the same size, just redraws itself and becomes sharp). Is this a bug or a feature? Thanks.

 

Mac Mini i7 2.7 16Gb Ram

OS X 10.8.1

Eizo CG275W

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2012 12:05 PM   in reply to elliot-n

    What you are seeing is the video card taking its sweet time to render the image.  Check to see if you have the latest drivers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2012 3:08 PM   in reply to elliot-n

    Don't think that is normal.  Two things to consider.  If you have thumbnails set to embedded (2nd toolbar 1st icon) then they might be soft depending on how critical you are.  The other options are HQ thumbnails, but take up a lot more HD space.

     

    Also, sometimes all the thumbs are fuzzy and you need to trash cache.  For one folder go to Tools/Cache/purge cache for xxx folder.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2012 8:00 PM   in reply to elliot-n

    Not normal.  Did you check you video card driver?  Go to advanced preferences and check use software rendering.  If your video card is underpowered that should help.

     

    I use embedded thumbnails only and have never seen this problem.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 12:54 AM   in reply to elliot-n

    Bridge isn't too good at doing sharp full-screen previews. It uses an odd algorithm to produce a cached folder of preview jpegs based on the longest side of the primary display. This can often mean that the cached preview has to be resized before it is displayed, which seems to defeat the object, in my opinion.

     

    Your case is an unusual one. Normally, camera images have to be downsampled for preview. In your case, they would actually have to be upsampled for your huge display (can you tell I'm jealous?). I would expect normal behaviour to be a preview the same as the original and a border around the preview, but if you are using Slideshow with Fit/Fill Screen, it may be making a hash of the upsampling. Try Full Screen with spacebar instead.

     

    Either way, I doubt there's anything you can do about it, unless your display driver is somehow at fault (not a Mac guy, so no idea).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 8:30 AM   in reply to elliot-n

    2560x1440 is a lot higher the most displays' resolutions I've ever come across. I use a 24" display which manages 1920x1200. Maybe my next display will break the 2000 mark.

     

    Bridge has been occasionally known to mess up previews, but purging the selected image, or directory, or entire cache, and restarting Bridge usually sorts it out. Try Slideshow set to Centred and see if that's any better. Like I said, I always use the spacebar, mainly because it's quicker/easier.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 10:01 AM   in reply to elliot-n

    elliot-n wrote:

     

     

    For culling images I've gone back to using Photo Mechanic, which sharpens both thumbnails and previews (if these settings are checked in the preferences). - As a photograpaher, I need sharp previews when reviewing a shoot so that I can check images for critical sharpness.

     

    Having Photo Mechanic sharpen thumbnails and previews doesn't this defeat the purpose of seeing what is sharp as shot?  If all images have the same degree of sharpening, or no sharpening at all, you are comparing apples to apples.  Seems like what you are doing is comparing images in PM that have been sharpened to those in Bridge that have not been sharpened, and then saying Bridge previews are soft.

     

    Everyone has their own workflow but I would prefer to compare as shot pictures before fiddling with them to make them better and then comparing them.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 11:31 AM   in reply to Curt Y

    Curt Y wrote:


    Having Photo Mechanic sharpen thumbnails and previews doesn't this defeat the purpose of seeing what is sharp as shot?  If all images have the same degree of sharpening, or no sharpening at all, you are comparing apples to apples.  Seems like what you are doing is comparing images in PM that have been sharpened to those in Bridge that have not been sharpened, and then saying Bridge previews are soft.

     

    Everyone has their own workflow but I would prefer to compare as shot pictures before fiddling with them to make them better and then comparing them.

    No, it's not what you think, Curt. I'm with Elliot on this one. Bridge's previews actually look softer than the original image in certain circumstances--which are determined by the original image size, the longest display resolution, and the display aspect ratio.

     

    What SHOULD happen is that the preview for a 3:2 or 4:3 image is created at the same HEIGHT as a widescreen display. But it isn't. It is actually created at the same WIDTH as the display, and then shrunk to fit the display height on the fly (and not very well). Madness.

     

    I created a suggestion to fix this on the Feedback website, but it's not proved very popular. Can anyone thinking this could be improved for photographers trying to assess image sharpness in Bridge (I would have thought an essential feature) please +1 the idea!

     

    http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/generate_monitor _size_previews_to_fit_in_bridge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 11:39 AM   in reply to Yammer

    Yammer,

     

    If reading correctly he says  "the preview image here is resolutely fuzzy", but the full scren image is sharp.  The preview should not have to be resampled?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2012 11:43 AM   in reply to Curt Y

    The way I read it, a full screen preview is soft. Clicking on the screen will change it to 100% preview, which is sharp. So it's the full-screen preview which is wrong.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2012 2:10 AM   in reply to Curt Y

    Curt Y wrote:

     

    The preview should not have to be resampled?

    Agreed. It shouldn't, but it is. Let me give an example ...

     

    Take a photograph which is 4200 x 2800 pixels (3:2) and a display which is 1680 x 1050 pixels (16:10). Bridge is set to "Generate Monitor-size Previews" for the best results.

    * Bridge creates a cache Thumbnail of 256 x 170 pixels (256 wide by 2/3 of 256)

    * Bridge creates a cache Preview of 1680 x 1120 pixels (display's longest side by 2/3)

    * If set, Bridge also creates a cache 100% Preview of 4200 x 2800 pixels

     

    Now, the full-screen cache preview (1680 x 1120) is taller than the display (1680 x 1050), so Bridge shrinks the preview to fit:

    * Height becomes 1050 (reduced to 93.75%) to fit display height

    * Width becomes 1575 (93.75% of 1680)

     

    It is this last stage which causes the preview to go soft. It would make more sense to generate a cache Preview which fits within the display size in the first place.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2012 7:27 AM   in reply to Yammer

    I don't dispute your data, but when I think of a preview I think of the smaller one you see in the preview window.  Typically those are about 1/8 the screen size.  A full screen preview is a different issue as due to the much larger size any image softness is much more noticable.  I rarely use them, but then I am not a comercial photographer looking for the "best" shot.

     

    I was wondering with Elliot's problem he says he gets a sharp full screen preview if he clicks on the image to change to 100%.  Why not make that the default view and perhaps then his images would be sharp?  Zoom changes with + and - and stays on last magnification used.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2012 8:24 AM   in reply to Curt Y

    Curt Y wrote:

     

    I don't dispute your data, but when I think of a preview I think of the smaller one you see in the preview window.  Typically those are about 1/8 the screen size.  A full screen preview is a different issue as due to the much larger size any image softness is much more noticable.  I rarely use them, but then I am not a comercial photographer looking for the "best" shot.

     

    I was wondering with Elliot's problem he says he gets a sharp full screen preview if he clicks on the image to change to 100%.  Why not make that the default view and perhaps then his images would be sharp?  Zoom changes with + and - and stays on last magnification used.

    It doesn't matter if the preview is in a Bridge panel or full-screen, they both come from the same cache jpeg, contained in the 1024 directory tree.

     

    On re-reading through the thread, it seems to me that there may be two issues here:

    1. Bridge is having intermittent preview rendering problems. I've seen this myself in the past. It is usually fixed by purging the image/folder cache and restarting bridge.

    2. The "Generate Monitor-size Previews" advanced setting may be causing the problem. The OP should try each setting (on and off), and purging a folder's cache to test the preview quality. Maybe a large display size is the problem; maybe a small cache preview is the problem.

     

    You cannot lock full screen (spacebar) into 100% mode, it always defaults to Fit. Clicking on full-screen changes to 100%. You can change the click zoom to 200%, 400%, or 800% using the '+/-' keys, and this setting 'sticks' from one session to the next.

     

    Setting Slideshow to Fill and using Ctrl-L is the best way to get representatively sharp full-screen previews, but they are cropped top and bottom, and only work well with Landscape format; Portrait format is far too cropped. So this is a poor workaround.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2012 9:49 AM   in reply to Curt Y

    Curt Y wrote:

     

    …when I think of a preview I think of the smaller one you see in the preview window.  Typically those are about 1/8 the screen size…

     

    That will depend, on course, on how your Bridge workspace is configured.

     

    In my case, the Preview panel just about fills one of my two 22" dual monitors by itself.

     

    In this example the image preview itself is 1224 pixels wide by some 818 pixels high.  That's on a monitor set a a comfortable 1280 x 1024 display resolution, so I would say the Preview window itself covers a bit over 3/4 of the screen size, or 76+% of my screen size.

     

    This is above and beyond the 1024 preview max the Bridge engineers were talking about here a few years ago.

     

    See screen shot below.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2012 9:52 AM   in reply to Curt Y

    Oooooooops!  Neglected to insert the image in my previous post.  Sorry.

     

     

    Bridge CS4 workspace.png

    See full-size image in new tab or window.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2012 4:18 PM   in reply to elliot-n

    Ok, here goes... one's man opinion...

     

     

    The reason the previews are soft has nothing to do with drivers or display card or anything. Chances are most will see this and not understand it when the image size and display resolution size are equal. In other words, take an image that is 1920x1200 and view on a monitor that is also set up with a screen resolution of 1920x1200. I think when either entering a slideshow or full screen preview, it isn't showing the full image but is using either Fit or Fill screen. I think this causes poor algorithms to be used. When one clicks once on the image to get 100% view, then the image and screen size are one to one and you do get sharp images. If you go to a slideshow pressing Control+L and click on the screen you not only get 100% but you pause the slideshow. So just press the spacebar to continue the slideshow. You will keep the benefit of the sharper 100% images.

     

    I just think when Bridge is either using Fit or Fill screen, even if it could theoretically do that 100% when a screen resolution and image size are equal, that Bridge will show soft images. But no, I do not think its a driver issue or cache issue or anything else. I don't even think in this case you need monitor sized previews. Clicking to get a 100% view forces the image to be read. So really its nothing to do with Previews now does it...??!

     

     

    Randal

     

    By the way, I do also notice on even smaller than 1920x1200 screen rez images that I have to click to get to 100% view. I also notice it is like the application frame, so to speak, is increasing one pixel taller. So is this a mismatch from monitor to program with resolution? I don't know...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2012 11:51 PM   in reply to randalqueen

    This was explained in replies 7, 12 and 16; Bridge resamples the cached preview on the fly, and this is causing varying amounts of softness, depending on the dimensions of the display. I first pointed this out a year ago in this forum, and set up a feedback bug-fix request here http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/generate_monitor _size_previews_to_fit_in_bridge

     

    As the title says, if previews were actually designed to fit the display in the first place, then they wouldn't need to be resampled.

     

    If you think something should be done about this, then please add your +1 to the list. I would have thought that this was essential for anyone reviewing a photographic shoot in Bridge (surely one of its best uses?), and assessing capture sharpness.

     

    I imagine that, years ago, most people would have been previewing a 4:3 image on a 4:3 display, but I guess that most are viewing 4:3 or 3:2 images on a 16:10 or 16:9 display these days, so either Bridge needs a better size cache preview or a better FIT algorithm. Unfortunately, Adobe doesn't come here much, so the feedback forum is our best chance.

     

    http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/generate_monitor _size_previews_to_fit_in_bridge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 17, 2012 3:29 PM   in reply to Yammer

    This was a problem going into CS3 and Bridge. I worked with some engineers at Adobe and we got this... but has now been swithed back to highly compressed jpg previews so you don't need such a large cache...

     

    Quote I wrote in an email to an Adobe team member...

     

    Gone is the "A new preference to enable High Quality Preview has been added to Bridge's Preferences > Advanced panel. When enabled, the preference addresses the problem of a soft or blurry preview appearing in the Preview panel and in Slideshow mode." which you so kindly made sure got into LR 3.2.1. Seems the softy previews are just back. Period.

     

    The work around to just click to force 100% view works in full screen or slideshow. Seems all we can do for now. Adobe seems to want a smaller cache. They got it but it had to be at some expense. There is no option for High Quality Previews any longer.

     

     

    Randal

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 17, 2012 11:59 PM   in reply to randalqueen

    I must admit your last post has me confused. I remember well when the latest version of Creative Suite improved Bridge's full-screen previews. I think it must have been CS4, but I can't be sure. I have always found a shoot run-through in full-screen was the quickest and east method of identifying blurred and out-of-focus shots, which are easily deleted with Ctrl-Del, and CS4 improved the quality by several degrees.

     

    However, I don't remember the quality ever going back a step. The softness I have been referring to is not due to the quality of the preview jpeg in the cache—that is fine, if you examine it directly from the cache folder with an image viewer—but the way Bridge resizes the cached jpeg to fit the screen.

     

    One way to do a direct A/B comparison to see this effect is to crop an image to the same proportions as the display: Duplicate an image, and crop one of them to match the display (16:10 in my case), then view them both in full-screen mode. The 16:10 image is sharp, and the 3:2 image is soft. An easier but less obvious way is to preview horizontal format images in Slideshow Mode with Shrink to Fill set: as the cached jpegs are shown at 100%.

     

    God, it would just be so much easier if an Adobe engineer was following all this!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 12:04 AM   in reply to Yammer

    ...I should add that, what might not be obvious, is that photos with different crops will appear to have varying amounts of unrepresentative softness as a result of this issue. So, you may actually reject an image which is perfectly sharp as a result.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 2:01 AM   in reply to Yammer

    I started using Bridge with CS3 and did in fact call up Adobe and then met with some of them about the situation with previews amongst other issues. Then I upgraded to CS4 in time and have been using that till recently, a week ago, I moved up to CS6. It was when I was reading a third party book about CS6 and Bridge that I saw mention of the cache size and how Adobe has gone back to compressing the images once more. Now if you find viewing the images in the cache folder in another viewer to still be sharp, then it would be the Fit to screen. Even if the images are compressed enough, it should still be the Fit to screen to blame as compressed images will have other flaws. When you have an image that is 1920x1200 and a screen resolution of 1920x1200 - it is odd the you still have to click on the screen to get to 100% view to see sharp images. At least that is my case. If I found some have no problems and others do have problems then I would think it would be time to look at hardware, and I say that because on my MacPro first gen (1,1) I have upgraded to an ATI 4870 that was flashed for a mac when it started its life as a Windows graphics card. Yes, I did change my ACD 23" to a 24" NEC PA241w as well last week.

     

    I am not trying to be confusing. I just know when Bridge 3.0 came out, the soft previews were a problem and I met with some folks in Fremont in Seattle and discussed how for a photographer, the image quality of Full Screen Preview was really a hindrance and as far as I was concerned, a poor decision. Then 3.2.1 came out and corrected the soft previews. Do I think Adobe could once again address and correct this, yes.

     

    Why would one want to do all these edits, whether in Lightroom or Photoshop only to try to use Bridge for presentation and really be crippled by the view? Truly it was only presentation that I was using Bridge for to avoid creating more catelogs or collections. I just wanted to view the finished image. Start off in LR, export and finish in PS, and then present in Bridge. They are killing my work flow.. LOL.

     

    What is the cause, can also be speculation but I do think there is an answer, just maybe so many have moved to LR that the demand is not there. I don't know.

     

     

    Randal

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
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    Sep 18, 2012 2:10 AM   in reply to randalqueen

    The work around to just click to force 100% view works in full screen or slideshow. Seems all we can do for now. Adobe seems to want a smaller cache. They got it but it had to be at some expense. There is no option for High Quality Previews any longer.

     

     

    Now it seems you've lost me

     

    Cache for Adobe Bridge is still building hugh files (mine is at this moment about 48 GB in size) and I use only 100 % preview on demand (but have set the option to keep 100 % preview in Cache)

     

    To my knowledge the option for preview quality has not been changed for the past 3 cycles. CS6 biggest change was the transition to 64 bit and a new cache database (again) they now changed to SQLite due to 64 bit conversion. I don't know much about difference between the previous SQ and current SQLite but for me the only change has been that I needed to (again) recache the lot because CS6 does not read the CS5 cache without problems and you could not copy the cache for CS5 to the CS6 folder.

     

    Not a big deal for me because I often refresh the cache file. Last time using flat view (view items from subfolders) overnight which did work pretty well. Every new version of Bridge (despite it's lack of much needed new feature development) is still acting better, faster and more stable then the previous.

     

    By default the option for always High Quality preview is selected under the Bridge Path bar (right checkerboard icon). But for me the most important setting that I always (first thing) set to on is in the Bridge preferences Advanced tab ' Generate Monitor-size Previews.

     

    This makes always good previews on my screen (a 30" Apple Cinema Display) Due to the big preview panel on my custom workspace and good and when in doubt I use tab for full screen preview that still provides sharp previews. Therefor I rarely need to zoom in on 100 % quality to check for correct placed sharpness.

     

    Did not read the whole thread thoroughly and believe someone already mentioned the monitor side preview option but to me that seems to solves the problem here. Changing this setting to on usually means you first have to purge cache on already cached previews.

     

    But to be honest, whenever having had severe problems with cache my first action since Bridge CS3 always has been to quit Bridge, dump the whole cache file manual from the user library and start over again with a complete fresh cache file.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 2:57 AM   in reply to Omke Oudeman

    Omke, I guess the higher the resolution your display, the less of a problem this is, as more accuracy can be afforded. I googled your display and I found 2560 x 1600 pixels.

     

    In your case, I am approximating that a monitor-size preview cached jpeg will be 2560 x 1706–7 pixels (they are located in the 1024 directory of the Bridge cache). These need reducing to 1600 tall to fit your screen when you press spacebar or CMD-L (with FIT to display), but as you say, your screen is pretty big anyway, and you might get a good idea from viewing the preview in a large preview panel.

     

    Maybe you need to "slum it" with lesser mortals with 18–22" screens running at lower resolutions to see the softening resizing effect clearly ;-)

     

    I know what Randal means when he says preview at 100%: if you preview at full screen, and then click on the image, you can then scroll through the folder at 100% using arrow keys. Unfortunately, this isn't much of a workaround for me as I can only see 20% of the image, and my steam-powered computer takes a few seconds to generate each 100% preview (which is then cached).

     

    As I keep saying (and no doubt am becoming boring with) a simple solution would be to generate a TRUE monitor-size preview, i.e. one which fits the display without having to be resized.

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
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    Sep 18, 2012 7:06 AM   in reply to Yammer

    Omke, I guess the higher the resolution your display, the less of a problem this is, as more accuracy can be afforded. I googled your display and I found 2560 x 1600 pixels.

     

    That are the default settings, correct. And I work on the default settings as I always tent to do so.

     

    In your case, I am approximating that a monitor-size preview cached jpeg will be 2560 x 1706–7 pixels (they are located in the 1024 directory of the Bridge cache). These need reducing to 1600 tall to fit your screen when you press spacebar or CMD-L (with FIT to display), but as you say, your screen is pretty big anyway, and you might get a good idea from viewing the preview in a large preview panel.

     

    It's not related to my 30" screen, I have a MacBook with a 13" display with default resolution 1280 x 800 and no matter what size I have the preview panel, (both apple Cinema and MacBook) the cached HQ previews are tack sharp.

     

    They should be so, otherwise to my opinion something is wrong with either the install (cache) or the set up (screen etc.) I heard about blurry previews before but I can't reproduce it nor have I seen it on my systems.

     

    Using full screen preview with space bar also provides a sharp preview on both screens but obviously you don't have as much detail on a 13" as on a 30". And yes, for exact view for critical sharpness details you still need a 100 % view.

     

    I know what Randal means when he says preview at 100%: if you preview at full screen, and then click on the image, you can then scroll through the folder at 100% using arrow keys. Unfortunately, this isn't much of a workaround for me as I can only see 20% of the image, and my steam-powered computer takes a few seconds to generate each 100% preview (which is then cached).

     

     

    While I have a 5 year old MacPro Dual 3GHz 8-core with 16 GB RAM (a bit old but not exactly steam powered I would think...) I agree with you on that one, if you do't have that many files and space is not really an issue the option to generate always 100 % previews might be doing the trick for you because reading the 100% preview data is a lot quicker then generating it on the fly. However, caching the imported files also takes a lot more time with 100 % preview

     

     

    As I keep saying (and no doubt am becoming boring with) a simple solution would be to generate a TRUE monitor-size preview, i.e. one which fits the display without having to be resized.

     

    I don't have enough technical knowledge for that but to me that seems impossible. With many different aspect ratio's for both camera's and displays )and not to mention people using cutting tools with free aspect ratios and different ppi settings I don't know how that should be working?

     

    But again, as long as I use Bridge (I already used it's predecessor File browser that came with CS1) I have never had problems with previews. Don't know when the option for Monitor sized previews was there (maybe already in version 1?) I have used it to great satisfaction

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 7:24 AM   in reply to Yammer

    Omke,

     

     

    I have in my preferences to keep 100% Previews in Cache, and to Generate Monitor Size Previews and under you checkerboard settings I have Always High Quality and Generate 100% Previews. None of that matters. The previews in full screen or slide show are soft. The only way I can get sharper previews is to click on the screen for 100% View and then I get them.

     

    I have checked this and that, purged cache, restarted, and am so frustrated. Nothing works. I am happy that you have solved the problem. I cannot. And Yammer is correct. I have my screen resolution and my images at 1920x1200 so I can get away with forcing a 100% view. But if my images were larger than this too would not work for me.

     

     

    Google soft previews and CS5 CS6 and yes, there are still so many with this same problem. Its sad.

     

     

    Thanks though for you input. It let's me know there are some who have no problem. Now the question is why? By the way Omke, have you tried a few images that are the same image size as your monitor and run thru them at full screen and clicked on an image to force 100% view and look to see if there is a difference. Sometimes its small but then after view 20-30 images it gets softer as you go. Hum. Does that make sense? But I always find I have to click to force 100% image.

     

     

     

    R

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 8:25 AM   in reply to Omke Oudeman

    Omke Oudeman wrote:

    As I keep saying (and no doubt am becoming boring with) a simple solution would be to generate a TRUE monitor-size preview, i.e. one which fits the display without having to be resized.

    I don't have enough technical knowledge for that but to me that seems impossible. With many different aspect ratio's for both camera's and displays )and not to mention people using cutting tools with free aspect ratios and different ppi settings I don't know how that should be working?

    It's dead easy! It's simple maths based on your system alone.

     

    Take your 30" display at 2560  x 1600...
    At the moment, your monitor-size cache previews are generated at 2560 pixels longest side. That's what they mean by "monitor-size": the longest side of the cached jpeg is made to be the same as the longest side of the display.

    Instead, the cached previews should be generated to fit the 2560 x 1600 display dimensions exactly, e.g. 2400 x 1600 pixels for a 3:2 landscape image, or 1067 x 1600 pixels for a 2:3 portrait image.

    That way, all cached jpegs are displayed at 100% (not to be confused with "100% Previews").

     

    randalqueen wrote:

     

    Thanks though for you input. It let's me know there are some who have no problem. Now the question is why? By the way Omke, have you tried a few images that are the same image size as your monitor and run thru them at full screen and clicked on an image to force 100% view and look to see if there is a difference.

    I'm not surprised at all that different people see different results. Without delving into the mathematics, I could easily imagine some systems' resize-to-fit being sharper than others, depending on the original image size and display size.

     

    The method Bridge uses to resize the cached jpeg to fit the display must look sharper at some ratios than others. For example, a 10% reduction could look sharper than a 9% reduction, depending on how many pixels are being lost.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 8:45 AM   in reply to Yammer

    Yammer, I agree that if you are upsizing or downsizing, one should see different results. But when the image is the same size as the monitor resolution, then how is that explained. And when I click on the img to get the 100% view, its as if the image moves up a full pixel on top. That makes it sharp. So something is causing this image to compress a full pixel height and cause the soft previews. It is so disappointing. I don't even think taking a screen shot of both full screen previews and full screen preview with the 100% click will show the differene if I were to post them. I don't want to blame the video card, the monitor, or the OS. But I do know we had this problem in CS3 and that Adobe has compressed the images in the cache. So that is where I start looking. Why would things be fine when I had the same monitor and CS4 and now moving to CS6 there is a problem. The only change to my system after moving away from CS4 was my video card. But why would clicking to force 100% work and yet the same preview that is the same size as my monitor resolution not work. I still think this points to a software issue, that being within Bridge.

     

     


    R

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 10:27 AM   in reply to randalqueen

    randalqueen wrote:

     

    Yammer, I agree that if you are upsizing or downsizing, one should see different results. But when the image is the same size as the monitor resolution, then how is that explained. And when I click on the img to get the 100% view, its as if the image moves up a full pixel on top. That makes it sharp. So something is causing this image to compress a full pixel height and cause the soft previews.

    Yes, that sounds very odd. It sounds to me that the cached jpeg is not truly monitor-sized. You can confirm this by looking in the cache folders directly. Find an image which displays this behaviour, and search for the filename in the '1024' directory tree. Is it exactly the same dimensions as your display? Can you also confirm that the display resolution is set correctly (I know, but you'd be surprised).

     

    Even if the cached jpeg is only one or two pixels out, that may be enough for the resizing to soften the preview. I have seen this before when websites incorrectly resize a photo and then stretch it to the correct resolution—just one pixel out and the photo looks bad.

     

    Also, we have been talking about soft previews, but none of us really know what the other means exactly. I'll see if I can do some screenshots, and we can compare notes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 11:45 AM   in reply to Yammer

    Yammer P wrote:

     

    Also, we have been talking about soft previews, but none of us really know what the other means exactly. I'll see if I can do some screenshots, and we can compare notes.

    I've provided an example. The following two images are crops of screen captures of the same image, which is 4288 x 2848 pixels. The cached preview is 1920 x 1275 pixels, based on my display dimensions of 1920 x 1200 pixels.

     

    Slideshow Fit / Spacebar preview: the image is shrunk to fit the display height. The olive branches and distant houses look soft.

    http://yphotography.co.uk/temp/bridge-fit.jpg

     

    Slideshow Fill: The image is shown at actual size and 75 pixels are cropped top and bottom. The details are noticeably sharper.

    http://yphotography.co.uk/temp/bridge-fill.jpg

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 12:55 PM   in reply to Yammer

    OK, just for comparing I provide 3 screenshots.

     

    Problem is you have to downscale the files for adding to this message. For those who are interested here is a link from We Transfer for downloading the real size PNG images (a zip file from about 10 MB in total). the link stays active for 14 days:

    http://wtrns.fr/okZoqVMroGAF3E

     

    Here are the downscaled images from my set up on a 30" cinema display:

    Nr 1 is from a DNG file that did not have any relevant ACR settings. Also I used the loupe for a 100 % view as you can see but this did not change the preview itself.

    BridgePreviewScreenshot-1.jpg

     

    Nr 2 is from the same set up but now a finished PSD file ( a bit older but still representable )

    BridgePreviewScreenshot-2.jpg

    And the last one is the same PSD file but now full screen after having used spacebar in Bridge:

    BridgePreviewScreenshot-3.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 1:02 PM   in reply to Yammer

    Yammer,

     

    Yes, I can see by your screen shots the difference. Which is the soft look I too suffer from. But I am working with images that are the same size as my resolution on my monitor. So my previews should already be one to one.

     

    I happened to have my cache from Bridge from CS4 and could look into both the 1024 folders and the Full folder. When I try to view in CS6 Bridge, I still have to hit the 100% View to get them sharp. I did not have to do this with CS4.

     

    So, does that mean this is a hardware issue with my new video card, or a software issue with Bridge. I skipped CS5 and CS5.5 and went from CS4 to CS6. So this is like going back to CS3 previous to the upgrade where they added the feature to:

     

    "A new preference to enable High Quality Preview has been added to Bridge's Preferences > Advanced panel. When enabled, the preference addresses the problem of a soft or blurry preview appearing in the Preview panel and in Slideshow mode."

     

     

    So now I am back to square one. I am even trashing my cache in CS6 and moving it to a new location, starting Bridge back up... letting it build a new cache while making sure I have Generate Monitor Size Previews and under the checkerboard settings I have Always High Quality and Generate 100% Previews.

     

    As I am building the cache I see it tell me how many thumbnails extractions and how many FULL SIZE extractions. So I feel the Preview images are 1920x1200. When I try to view either my folder of images as a slide show or just pressing the spacebar for a Full Screen Preview, I have soft previws or a blur to all the images. Once I click on the screen, I get sharp images. This is a display problem with Bridge. Maybe coupled with my hardware including the video card or monitor, or maybe just the way Bridge uses the Fit in View. I am at a loss why this happens now when I have not had to deal with this for so long. Granted, in thinking outloud, maybe the issue in Bridge 3 was not the same as this but when talking with Adobe engineers, they stated the way they were compressing the files, that gave the soft images. Then they included the Preference to enable High Quality Previews.

     

    Now, I would think that is still happening, as we have the 256, 1024, Data, and Full folders. With that inclusion of the Full folder, I would think that is the 100% Preview jpg in the cache and there should not be an issue with images that are matched to screen resolution. But hang on...

     

    ...what I now see is the Full Screen Preview is much much closer to the 100% View image display. So much closer that for the most part I would be hard pressed to point it out unless I was evaluating images for edits or deletes. So moving and building a new cache has helped but the images are still not the same or equal in display. But there is a difference. Better by rebuilding the cache and moving to another physical drive, but still there...

     

     

    R

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 1:05 PM   in reply to randalqueen

    Its getting to a long discussion and I forgot to reply on this one

     

    Google soft previews and CS5 CS6 and yes, there are still so many with this same problem. Its sad.

     

    Tried it but after 4 pages of other stuff I gave up, do you have some direct links from the meant discussions, Google seems client specific in the results...

     

     

     

     

    Thanks though for you input. It let's me know there are some who have no problem. Now the question is why? By the way Omke, have you tried a few images that are the same image size as your monitor and run thru them at full screen and clicked on an image to force 100% view and look to see if there is a difference. Sometimes its small but then after view 20-30 images it gets softer as you go. Hum. Does that make sense? But I always find I have to click to force 100% image.

     

    I really believe that the vast majority has no problems and that's no good for you I'm afraid, means Adobe has no priority for this

     

    Did not try to downsize my images, I use mainly full frame Canon (had the 1Ds3 and now working very happily with the 1Dx) and these provide more then 5000 pixels.

     

    And I use Bridge mainly for DNG files so no easy downsampling there. Finished files get all sorts of sizes but I only use Bridge for metadata tools (batching) and output etc so no sharpness check needed, done that before I start working on them

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 1:10 PM   in reply to Omke Oudeman

    Omke,

     

     

    I do all my work starting in Lightroom 4 then export to PS6. I use Bridge to show off my work via a slide show or manually showing the images full screen. If you are doing your work else where and only using Bridge for DNG files and batching meta data, what are you using to show or view your work when you want to view lots of images in a folder. I was trying to avoid building a collection in LR just to show some PSD files that Bridge should be able to handle.

     

     

    R

     
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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 1:36 PM   in reply to randalqueen

    I do all my work starting in Lightroom 4 then export to PS6. I use Bridge to show off my work via a slide show or manually showing the images full screen. If you are doing your work else where and only using Bridge for DNG files and batching meta data, what are you using to show or view your work when you want to view lots of images in a folder. I was trying to avoid building a collection in LR just to show some PSD files that Bridge should be able to handle.

     

    So many users so many workflows...

     

    Personally I also have Lightroom, Aperture and PS Elements installed but for me Bridge is far easier to get my work done.  About viewing multiple files, the preview window contains a max of 9 files but when in doubt I use 2 or 3 in view of the preview window to choose the one I want.

     

    Sometimes I use the Carrousel option in Bridge (cmd + B) and full screen to check a bit more. I merely deliver my files for publishing and don't have the need to view or present many files in a slide show. But if I need that I transfer them to my iPad which is very easy to carry around. (and to be honest, my office is not very tidy also so I rather visit clients then let them visit me...)

     

    So for me Bridge is the way to import files (Photodownloader: convert to DNG, rename and add copyright template) then sort and select.

    Next step is open in ACR with very basic settings (multiple files in filmstrip but also copy paste develop settings using right mouse menu on thumbs in Bridge content window

     

    And then open them in PS. I'm a big fan of Guy Gowan ( http://www.guygowan.com ) who has some very good ideas about handling files in a non destructive way using many layers with action scripts and changing them with actions (set to button mode). Selections based on channel masks etc.  and I created a lot of adjustment layers for easy brushing corrections.

     

    And when the files are finished I use Bridge for renaming, metadata, keywords, PDF contact sheets and also batching with tools menu.

     

    And after that I transfer them to my archive and use Canto Cumulus single user for DAM because that is one thing Bridge is not very good at

     
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