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jsnophoto
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Why am I getting ringing artifacts, fringing, and halos?

Dec 2, 2012 7:43 PM

Tags: #artifacts #lightroom_4 #halo #fringing #ringing_artifacts #local_adjustment_brush #halos #haloing

lightroomscrnshotwide.jpg

 

artifactsandfringing.jpg

 

 

halos.jpg

 

I am trying to bring back the sky in these photos without altering the bride in the foreground, or anything other objects, aside from the sky. Admittedly I didn't expose for the sky and the stop difference between the foreground and background is quite drastic. There are three pictures. First to show what the overall picture is and what we're dealing with (I've already "locally adjusted" the majority of the sky with method 2 below). Second picture is to show you a sample of the artifacts and fringing. The third picture shows a sample of the halo situation.

 

I have tried two things:

 

1) Gradient Filter - As most of you are already saying in your head, it is not appropiate in this scenario as it messes too much with the foreground (the bride intersects over some of the sky, so it would be neccessary to to drag it down over her), to the point where the drop in exposure is too intense to bring her back. So that doesn't work.

 

2) Local Adjustment Brush - Tried everything with this thing, from auto mask on and off for both the painting and erasing afterwords, different feathering, no feathering, different brush sizes, etc. Nothing I have tried leaves me with a satisfactory final product, that is to say, no ringing artifacts, fringing or halos around the boarder of the bride where she meets with the sky. I am completely lost with what I should do! There is very little information available in other forum posts, and most of the information available is basic at best with suggestions like: "Turn on/off the auto-mask". This is becoming a growing irritation as I have this photograph and another one where I screwed up on my exposure and just burried the sky.

 

Suggestions, and hopefully solutions please and thanks!

Hopefully someone has answers out there...

 

Jordan

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 8:23 PM   in reply to jsnophoto

    If you really wanna fix this in a heartbeat, I suggest using NX2 - a u-point or two in the sky tied to an adjustment or two, and the problem is perfectly fixed, in a matter of seconds.

     

    Or if you prefer, Photoshop + Nik plugin(s).

     

    However, Lr4 can fix this nicely too, without too much work.

     

    Secret?

     

    Do not use auto-mask - it just doesn't work very well.

     

    But notice: the foreground has no highlights, thus if you confine your local adjustment to (mostly) -highlights, you can brush around the bride (overlapping) without affecting her.

     

    I sometimes use (the minus sign means: negative):

    -exposure (a small amount)

    -highlights (a large amount, or as much as is necessary)

    -contrast (a medium amount)

    for this type of thing.

     

    Also, for this picture, consider dropping global contrast, if you haven't already got it down as much as you care too. Ditto for highlights (negative).

     

    And drop exposure down too, and bump shadows up, and take the blacks down.

     

    If you do those things, you may even find that the locals in the sky are completely unnecessary.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 8:31 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Do not use auto-mask - it just doesn't work very well.

     

     

    Actually, it works very well for what it was designed to do, subtle adjustments based on the color/tone under the cross hars of the brush. The OP is trying to use iifor massively EXTREME adjustments (note, a -4.00 exposure, a plus 100 contrast and a -100 highligts, shadows and clarity are all massive adjustments...).

     

    It would be useful to see what the basic panels settings were and what the default was. I suspect that this shot may actually be able to saved by adjusting the global settings for optimal sky and then selectively lightening the bride. But either way, what the OP is trying to do is stuff a ton of dynamic range and it may simply not be possible to do it in Lightroom. You may need to process two images into Photoshop cna blend the two more accurately in layers with a mask.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 9:35 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Jeff Schewe wrote:

     

    Actually, it works very well...

     

    Defend much?

     

    In my opinion, the auto-mask feature is one of the worst implemented features in the Lightroom development toolkit.

     

    * Does it have potential? yes

    * Was it a bad idea? no

    * Is it nevertheless useful in very limited circumstances? yes.

    * Was it well done? - everyone is entitled to their opinion, but in my opinion: no, actually: not.

     

    What it's not good for: adjusting something near something else when you care about the quality of the result. Unless of course you are making a postcard, or a web pic, and it's not cropped much... - then it doesn't matter.

     

    Don't get me wrong folks, I think:

    * Adobe is a great company

    * Lightroom is a great product.

     

    I just don't think the auto-mask feature works very well.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 9:54 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Defend much?

     

    In my opinion, the auto-mask feature is one of the worst implemented features in the Lightroom development toolkit.

     

    It might be useful if one actually knew how to use the tool...Auto Mask was based on Photoshop's Background Eraser (do you know how that works Rob?). The fact that there's no way to modify the range of the adjusted tone/color under the + cursor is a limitation-but one built into the Background Eraser as well. Ya just gotta learn how to use the toolset.

     

    The key to using Auto Mask is to understand it's strengths and weaknesses...but the amount of adjustment the OP was trying to do was simply way out of line and not what Auto Mask was designed to do...that kinda stuff needs to be done in Photoshop where the exact selection mask can be made. The bottom line is what the OP was trying to do was beyond the capability of LR to correct.

     

    And yeah, I do "defend" a lot when the accusation is irrational and way out of line.

     

    Auto Mask works well when you use it within the concept of what the tool was designed to do...try to do stuff (like the OP) that is way beyond the intent of the tool...then you end up like the OP. Can't be done in LR. Move on, find the right tool and get over it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 9:56 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    I just don't think the auto-mask feature works very well.

     

    Just thought I would pile on...if you don't think Auto Mask works well, I would suggest you don't know how to use it. Wanna learn how to use it? It only takes a bit of effort (and trial and error). Really, it's not that hard...I use it all the time successfully. Hum, I wonder what I know that you don't?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 9:58 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    I know how to use it, but thanks.

     

    Still, kudos for making it sound like I'm the problem, instead of the infallible, uber-in-every-way Lightroom, made by the never-do-anything-wrong Adobe.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 10:08 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob Cole wrote:

     

    Still, kudos for making it sound like I'm the problem, instead of the infallible, uber-in-every-way Lightroom, made by the never-do-anything-wrong Adobe.

     

    Did you even look at the local adjustments the OP was trying to do? Way *******' over the top bud (a -4.00 exposure? Like that's gonna work)...that kind of change would be tough to do even in Photoshop (unless you were an expert at selections and masking).

     

    Oh, and yes, you do seem to be more of a problem than a solution...just sayin'. You wanna help the OP or just slam Adobe? Auto Mask is useful within the intended design of the tool–which is far less strong than what the OP was trying to do. And I'm not real sure you do really know how to use it (otherwise you could be helping the OP and his intended result).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2012 7:17 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    I don't think being honest about the auto-mask feature is a problem.

     

    Mastering Lightroom involves two things:

     

    1. Knowing it's strengths and how to fully harness them.

    2. Knowing it's weaknesses and how to compensate.

     

    But I guess that would be true of any software, unless it had no weaknesses, but I've never experienced such software yet.

     

    PS - I've already commented about the OP's specific concerns.

     

    PPS - I have not, in any of my posts, slammed Adobe.

     

    My apologies to Jordan and other fellow forumers for allowing myself to stray from the topic.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 11:30 PM   in reply to jsnophoto

    Jordan,

     

    Consider posting a link to a raw, or email to me directly, if you want me to take a shot at it. I don't have a lot of Photoshop experience, but I do have lot of Lightroom experience.

     

    If you decide to take me up on my offer, please include a snapshot of your best whack (either dng or zip of raw+xmp), say with the extreme locals or whatever, so I know what to aim for.

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2012 8:02 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob, that's the best suggestion offered so far in this post!

     

    I agree with Jeff that the Locals Jordan is applying are way over the top and causing the artifacts. We've also discussed the interaction between Local and Global controls here:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4612100#4612100

     

    Dynamic range can be "lost" in the image since LR applies the Locals before the Globals,which can occur when using +Exposure Local and -Exposure Global. Also note that many of the controls are not simply "additive" (Adjustment Brush + Graduated Filter + Global) due to this interaction, as outlined at the above linked post.

     

    If the OP can post the raw file I'm sure we can provide some more useful suggestions. "A raw picture file is worth a thousand words!"

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 3, 2012 4:52 PM   in reply to trshaner

    trshaner wrote:

     

    Rob, that's the best suggestion offered so far in this post!

    Thanks Todd.

     

     

    trshaner wrote:

     

    Locals Jordan is applying are way over the top

    Indeed, the statement I made in the first post:

     

    "If you do those things, you may even find that the locals in the sky are completely unnecessary."

     

    is probably incorrect. Such extreme locals indicate the sky is really badly blown out and slammed up against the right wall...

     

     

    trshaner wrote:

     

    the Locals Jordan is applying are way over the top and causing the artifacts.

     

    Whether the inevitable seam (the jaggies and halos..., that comes with using auto-mask) matters much in any given situation depends on:

     

    * strength of adjustments

    * prominance of location within image, and proximity to main subject...

    etc., and

    * whether it will be viewed at full resolution.

    * quality desired

    ...

     

    I mean even with the extreme adjustments applied by OP, it looks OK at reduced viewing sizes. - kinda reminds me of the Lr3 fill-light artefacts: some people have never even noticed them, because they don't view at full-rez or just don't have high quality standards... And for some people, the artefacts were so bad that they had to use a different tool to process when more than a little fill was needed. It is for this reason I say:

     

    Do not listen to me about auto-mask: you may not agree, and it may work OK for you. In some (albeit few) cases it works well-enough for me too. Likewise, you may find it doesn't work as well for you as it seems to work for Jeff Schewe. Practice makes better, but all the practice in the world won't overcome the basic limitations of auto-mask - i.e. the jaggie-haloey "seams" between masked and unmasked regions.

     

     

    trshaner wrote:

     

    We've also discussed the interaction between Local and Global controls here:

     

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4612100#4612100

     

    Dynamic range can be "lost" in the image since LR applies the Locals before the Globals,which can occur when using +Exposure Local and -Exposure Global. Also note that many of the controls are not simply "additive" (Adjustment Brush + Graduated Filter + Global) due to this interaction, as outlined at the above linked post.

    Thanks for the very relevant reminder. As edited above, from the best I can tell (global settings have not been revealed), it would be a minor factor in this case, since local exposure is negative.

     

     

    trshaner wrote:

     

    If the OP can post the raw file I'm sure we can provide some more useful suggestions. "A raw picture file is worth a thousand words!"

     

    Indeed, even if I couldn't do well enough in Lightroom, it would be fun to see what a u-point or 2 could do. U-point auto-masking has it's own set of limitations - e.g. there may be bleeding (generally controllable via what I call "anti-points"), but there will never be a seam.

     

     

    The proof is sometimes buried deep in the pudding! .

     

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2012 1:54 AM   in reply to jsnophoto

    jsnophoto wrote:

     

    @ Rob Cole - Could I get your email address from you? Don't know where I can host the cr2 file and then link it? Email works better anyways. I will try and play around with it and see how close I can get it to what I'm after and I'll also try playing with the global settings you have suggested to see where that gets me. In the meantime, your email, and I'll send you the raw.

     

    Jordan

    I sent you my email address via PM.

     

    Regarding high-contrast scenes (that are overly contrasty - i.e. needs dimming of highlights and preservation or opening of shadows)

     

    99% of the time, I prefer:

    -blacks

    +whites

    +shadows

    -highlights

    (and negative contrast if it's a high contrast scene that needs to be less contrasty, bump vib/sat & clarity if reduced contrast results in lost pizazz)

     

    But every so often I come across a photo that seems to beg for

    +blacks

    -whites

    (and relatively smaller values for shadows & highlights)

    (contrast could be negative *or* positive, even on already very contrasty scenes, because the above-mentioned blacks/whites combo reduces effective global contrast).

    Again, clarity can be a viable cruch in this case, and often wb/color may need to be touched, maybe even tone curve.

     

    I can't tell yet which general case your pic falls under (if either), but I just thought I'd throw that out there for ya.

     

    Also, consider trying Auto-tone (you may have to adjust exposure a little or a lot afterward, and maybe the others too, but it often excels at giving you a full-histogram to work with, with minimal clipping).

     

    Standing by for email.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2012 4:36 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    After looking at the posted picture I believe Rob is correct, "Such extreme locals indicate the sky is really badly blown out and slammed up against the right wall."

     

    This is also causing the foreground subject to lose edge micro-contrast (spherical flare & other lens aberrations), and why the Auto Mask is so badly artifacted. Because of this  any raw editor's auto mask feature will probably have similar artifacting. In addition the sky area probably requires using maximum -Highlights, which means the Local Highlights control will have minimal effect. As the OP has discovered -100 Local -100 Global = maybe -110.

     

    To darken the sky I would also try using the sliders in the B&W mix panel. This won't help sky areas that are 100% clipped, but may improve the overall appearance.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2012 5:39 PM   in reply to trshaner

    trshaner wrote:

     

    why the Auto Mask is so badly artifacted... any raw editor's auto mask feature will probably have similar artifacting.

     

    Not NX2, where there is *ZERO* of such artifacting.

     

    (as I said previously, NX2 has it's own limitations, but the jaggie-haloey auto-mask seams is not one of them)

     

    It's the jaggie-haloey seams that are at the root of the "artifacting".  - right? (yes I know, if you have radically different adjustments on the different sides of the seam, it will look even worse, but still, if there wasn't such a seam, there would be no such artifacting).

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2012 6:29 PM   in reply to jsnophoto

    That image is not really blown out. The sky is just fine but a little fill flash would have done the trick on site ;-). It's actually fairly easy to process with the standard tools to look like the above with no artefacts. Just show shadows+ and highlights- and a small amount of brushing with the auto mask turned off followed by a little curves to restore the blacks. Noisy though on the bride which is to be expected. I'll send you a PM with a link to download a lossy dng where you can see all the adjustments I did.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2012 6:49 PM   in reply to Jao vdL

    Jao vdL wrote:

     

    That image is not really blown out. The sky is just fine but a little fill flash would have done the trick on site ;-). It's actually fairly easy to process with the standard tools to look like the above with no artefacts.

     

    Agreed...the OP didn't include a snapshot of the adjustments he made so I can't really tell what his global settings were that lead to the -4.00 exposure and the other over the top local brush settings. But the halo producing local adjustments shown in the first post are not optimal. The global adjustments to preserve the sky and increase the drama was pretty easy to counter using a touch of +exposure in a local brush...no auto mask needed. Also interested in finding out how the OP made the B&W conversion. I played a bit with the B&W colors and got a decent (improved) color to B&W conversion.

     

    Again the auto mask works well for those things it was designed to be used on...along really high contrast edges, not so much.

     

    As far as **** this in Photoshop, I would bring the image in as a Smart Object and do a dual process for the sky and the woman and then use a layer mask to carefully set the perimeter of the woman...no too difficult but some work needed to get the mask optimal.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 4:12 AM   in reply to jsnophoto

    Hi Jordan,

     

    Well, this photo was readily adjustable (for my taste anyway - working sans reference snapshot) just using Lr globals and a few relatively minor locals (no tone curve):

     

    http://www.robcole.com/Rob/Personal/Pictures/Pictures.cfm?rootDir=/Rob /LrForumSupport/photos&openDir=Jordan-the-auto-masker&openFile=untitle d-55.jpg

    (you may have to context-click (i.e. right/ctrl-click), then choose "open in new tab" or window; hint: keep clicking "Next" to compare versions)

     

    Adobe Standard

     

    jordan-the-auto-masker.gif

     

    However, if you still did want to isolate the sky for further special treatment, you'd be sorta back where you started (with the automasking problem), except that it's easy enough to do without automasking, if you use the formula given in my first post (which won't affect overlapped regions).

     

    Summary (as I see it):

    --------------------------

    Photo needed large reduction in exposure to drop the mids which made room for large -highlights value to drop the left side of those highlights down, which even created a little room on the right side of the highlights for +whites to max out dynamic range. Strong shadow value to bring up the bottom end.

    Plenty of left blacks allowed nice blacks and darks without raising contrast too much, which I wanted to avoid to keep from compressing the highlights too much (and overdarkening darks).

     

    Personally, I like it just the way it is, with darker bride (and sand...) against bright sky, i.e. contrasty. But it could easily be tweaked a bit to open shadows more and light the bride some more if desired.

     

    Version 2 (brighter), in case you really didn't want it as contrasty as I was imagining (favoring more illumination of bride...):

    jordan-the-auto-masker_2.gif

     

     

    And I couldn't resist one more that really makes the bride look better, IMO:

    Note: this one includes a custom tone curve (not shown) -

    jordan-the-auto-masker_3.gif

    Anybody wanna buy a used flash?

     

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 3:43 AM   in reply to jsnophoto

    jsnophoto wrote:

     

    please either post an overview here of what you did, or the raw file with adjuments made so I can just import it into LR and look at the slider values... If that's even possible? A PDNG file?

     

    I think Jao has the right idea with the lossy DNG - it behaves just like the original raw, but is much smaller (image detail quality not quite as good of course, but highlight and shadows, even near clipping, have same behavior, so perfect for demo'ing settings - you can even sync the settings from lossy DNG to (lossless) CR2 and get the same result, with slightly better quality of course).

     

    Only thing, you must save xmp, or the other party will not be having what you had. It's also a good idea to take a snapshot, and give it a good name, before saving said xmp.

     

    PS - If you decide to go with CR2, just make sure you roll it up in a zip file with a freshly saved xmp sidecar file.

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 5:49 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Since Rob pretty much covered the Basic Panel Global control options I thought I'd look at the Tone Curve – It does a very good job on this high-contrast image. I also chose to push the Highlights and shadows to -100, +100 to maximize PV2012's "magic." I made no attempt to convert the image to B&W, which can now be easily accomplished using the B&W mode and sliders or the desaturation approach in Color mode.

     

    I also turned on Lens Profiles and checked Color Aberrations, but there was still a pretty bad Axial CA around the bride. I used the Defringe Tool (Purple Hue 32/72, 6 Amount), which neutralized it nicely (1:1 view On/Off compare). I also added a +5 Rotate to straighten the image, and of course Constrained to Crop.

     

    (NOTE: No Local Controls were used.)

     

    You can download the DNG with settings here:

     

    https://www.yousendit.com/download/WUJhYnU0YXl0QTF4Tk1UQw

    Auto Mask Failure.jpg

     

    Message was edited by: trshaner Added note - No Local Controls used.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 6:38 AM   in reply to trshaner

    Thanks Todd,

     

    You certainly got those shadows filled - a bit too much "shadow magic" for my taste.

     

    I think the shadows look better when left a little dark - looks more natural, since she does have fully bright sunlight coming from behind. It seems natural that she would be less than fully lit in the front. It looks very nice though...

     

    Thanks for sharing.

     

    Rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 6:56 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob, I was trying to show how much recovery you can get using only the PV2012 Global controls. It also adds a high-key look to the image, which previously could only be achieved using flash fill. Jordan can set the Shadows control to whatever suits his tastes. The point is this can be done without using ANY Local controls, so no Auto Mask issues. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 7:29 AM   in reply to trshaner

    Gotcha - defining the envelope...

     

    Cheers,

    Rob

     
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