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The biggest issue with Camera Raw right now is that it's a Photoshop plug-in. It really needs to be made a standalone application, escaping the restrictions of the modal dialog, gaining scripting support, etc. Camera Raw is the product; Photoshop is secondary at this point. Photoshop is basically a plugin for Camera Raw.
At this point, there are only a few reasons I generally take an image into Photoshop: retouching for dust or whatever; LAB mode adjustments; Merge to HDR; and resizing, sharpening, and saving as JPEGs. It's gotten pretty rare that I need anything else from it. I save most of my edited pictures as DNG now, even; no sense in going to a PSD or whatever just to hit "save" and get a file 8 times as big.
So, my wishes for Camera Raw 4:
1. LAB color mode curves. Operating on the image after the regular curves. This sounds non-trivial, since it would mean implementing LAB color in Camera Raw, but man, it would rule.
2. Individual-channel RGB curves. Not that important, but would be nice to have the option.
3. Ability to healing-brush out dust or whatever. This would have to be non-destructive, of course, and saved as metadata in a DNG file, which may or may not be practical. But it would be nice to be able to remove some dust and still have the option to go back and change some RAW conversion settings without re-doing the retouching.
4. Integrated "Merge to HDR".
With all of the above able to be applied non-destructively, I think I'd be in photographic heaven.
Support for Pentax *ist DL... (still)
Support for D70s and CS8-I tried the Bridge and won't use it, therefore no CS2 for me.
Jon, James and other of similar mind
Please read the header message before posting!
may i suggest you -bee- a little more agressive deleting off-topic posts?
I would really like to see an option to display the camera metadata within ACR (f-stop, shutter speed, timestamp, etc.). This information is visible within Bridge and within Photoshop (after raw import). But I sometimes open files without going through Bridge, when I would like to see the metadata during the raw phase adjustments.
Perhaps ACR already has a function for displaying this info, but I have not found it.
Julian: FYI, some of the metadata (ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, and focal length) is currently displayed in the ACR title bar.
I am extremely pleased with ACR, and the subtle UI - I keep discovering hidden gems. I come from a nikon capture background and appreciate an app that always works, and works fast.
One feature (pioneered?) in NC is a more powerful curves tool, that features a dynamic histogram. There is one curve control for RGB and another for LCH. Each curve tool combines the capabilities of the photoshop curve and levels tools, and work on individual and combined channels. The Chroma and Hue channel tools are very effective for making subtle precise adjustments. I find this very useful. As mentioned by freelancer, a LAB curve would also be nice.
Perhaps this is already possible and I am unaware of how to do it, but while making edits, I would like to be able to save the current state, other than by saving all the settings to file, so I can return to that point if the adjustments do not work out. A multi-undo would also work.
I would like to be able to toggle between the current magnification and 100% with a single keystroke and a single mouse click, rather than the alt-ctl-0 or double mouse click, as I do this all the time.
Thomas - thanks for this awesome software - Rory.
Thanks for the reply, Thomas. I'm embarassed to admit that I never noticed that info in the title bar. It would be nice, however, to have access to more of the metadata (white balance setting, time stamp, etc.) from within ACR.
I want to put my vote in for a shadow/highlights type feature in ACR.
With the RAW improvements in CS2 (specifically crop, rotate and curves), there are now a high percentage of my images that I can finish without going into PS. When that happens, that's a HUGE productivity improvements for my workflow. If I can finish most of the images in ACR and then just run image processor to make JPEGs from the RAWs, it saves soooo much time and storage.
But, I find that there are a tremendous number of outdoor direct sunlight images that benefit from a little shadow/highlights. Since I can't do that in ACR, I have to bring my images into PS to do it. It really slows down my workflow. Double the image files to deal with. Assigning new filenames to each one. Double the storage. It's doable, but soooo much less efficient than if I had that one function in ACR.
Before I get a ton of emails about how shadow/highlights isn't a normal image transformation feature like a curve or even an exposure adjustment. Heck, it isn't even available in an adjustment layer in PS yet. But, I expect that Adobe could solve that problem if they really wanted to. It's certainly doable - the technical problem is just figuring out how to make it fast enough to work like an adjustment layer without actually batch modifying the stored date and saving the result (like most filters do).
I wonder if you can manage one post without writing "Heck", followed by a comma. :D
A pet favourite of mine: more keyboard shortcuts to minimise mousing on Windows please.
I'm also wondering, why are there no scroll bars in ACR? If I'm zoomed in, why do I have to change tools to the "hand" tool just to scroll the image? Why are there no scroll bars? It's not a big deal, but a UI inconsistency I've noticed from day one and I'm puzzled why ACR would be different than everything else in this regard?
Generally, I see no scroll bars in any preview panes (such as when applying filters), and ACR's window is just that, a preview box. I don't see it as being "different", quite the opposite: it's consistent.
Maybe it's consistent with other filter preview panes in PS. But, still why no scroll bars? And, why make us select a tool just to scroll?
Holding down the Spacebar causes the active tool to become the Hand Tool. It's the same in Photoshop
>still why no scroll bars?
So that this thread doesn't become burdened with commentary I will be doing a tidy up tomorrow. Posts number 7,10,11,13 and this one will be deleted.
Thanks for your participation and co-operation
>Posts number 7,10,11,13 and this one will be deleted.
12 contains a direct quote from 11.
Thanks, 12 stays as it addresses the point made in 9. However, the quote goes.
FYI, the reason there are no scrollbars in Camera Raw is that current OSes often draw scrollbars using bright, saturated colors. These bright, saturated colors right next to the image area really throw off users's attempts at color correction. Camera Raw has been prototyped both with and without scrollbars, and I very much prefer it without for this reason.
Thanks Thomas, that's the first real answer I've seen to this question. I can understand that logic.
On the UI front, I've been using ACR for nearly a year and processed over 10,000 RAW photos. I wish there was a way to make the space bar shortcut more discoverable in the ACR UI so more users know about it. I now realize that it's a convention used elsewhere in PS, but I used ACR for nearly a year, read two books on ACR and still didn't realize this shortcut existed. Food for thought.
Thanks Ian. I've downloaded those before and looked at them and gotten some new shortcuts out of it, but obviously my brain doesn't retain them all.
This whole issue has probably gotten more airtime than it deserves already, but the point I was trying to make it that real "UI discoverability" means a normal user using the product can "discover" things like this without having to download and study a separate PDF. I'm not a UI designer, but there is a bunch of open whitespace in the ACR dialog where hints like this could be provided to the user to help make them more discoverable. I'm sure there are other ways this could be accomplished too.
A new feature request. When I have a single image open in ACR, I'd like to be able to set the rating and/or delete the image just like I can do when I have multiple images open in ACR.
The specific workflow issue that happens for me is that when I am first browsing through my newly downloaded images in Bridge, I may open a few single images in ACR to find out how good they are (e.g. to look at it closer). I may find out it's either really good (high rating) or really bad (I want to delete) and I can't do either while I'm there in ACR. I have to hit Cancel or Done and then do the operation in Bridge.
It's not a big deal, but the brain gets trained to do it in ACR when you have multiple images open so it feels strange to not be able to use the same workflow steps when you just have one image open.
Also, any chance of being able to assign labels in ACR just like ratings?
"Also, any chance of being able to assign labels in ACR just like ratings?"
The Bridge command key shorts for labels work in Camera Raw also.
>The Bridge command key shorts for labels work in Camera Raw also
I guess I'm discovering the theme here - study and learn the shortcut keys.
It's funny but a lot of people seem to have problems finding things in ACR that are identical to Photoshop.
I'm fairly new to Photoshop and am just really getting to grips with all the short-cuts in it but I've suddenly realised I've been using them in ACR without even noticing. Maybe having used something for so long gets you programmed into using it a certain way then something that seems different (like ACR) comes along and you suddenly expect it to work very differently.
Mind you I'm using it for fun and therefore can afford to poke a few buttons that might otherwise screw things up, also I'm probably so much slower than you guys that I'm thinking what most of the short-cuts are before I press them.
Maybe it's me but I generally expect applications written by the same people to work in the same way (OK don't get me going about Microsoft Office) so I just assume it'll all work.
However there are a couple of things I always do that seem to help me. Read the manual, read the help files/tutorials, get a good book on the subject (like Bruce's) and then listen to people who know how to use it.
I know this isn't adding a vast amount to the thread but I thought I'd add my tuppence worth just for good measure. So remember, if in doubt, have a go - you never know, the programmer might have had the same idea as you!
Here's my wishlist for ACR. I'll list the feature first and then in a separate section afterwards, I'll explain why I want it.
2) Multi-instance and modeless behavior for ACR so I can truly have ACR open, Bridge open, PS open and work in all three and even open another ACR window.
3) The ability to open one image into PS and keep the rest going in ACR when you have multiple images open in ACR.
4) The point locator feature for curves like curves has in PS so you can find out what tone area on the curve a given area in the photo is, just by clicking/dragging over an area on the photo.
5) White balance assist to make it easier to get skin tones right when there are no good grayscale references in the photo.
6) An ACR pref to have a suffix automatically added to each filename when it goes into PS so after editing it in PS, I can just hit Ctrl-S and not have to manually add a suffix onto every single image I edit in CS.
7) A drag/drop bin for recently used saved settings in ACR and shortcut keys for cycling through a preview of those settings (described in more detail below).
8) A pref to allow the Save Images folder in the Save dialog in ACR to default to the directory of the RAW files rather than the last directory used.
9) More sophisticated sharpening in ACR (like smart sharpening).
10) Ability to set label or rating when only one image open in ACR.
11) Ability to delete and close when only one image open in ACR.
12) An easier way to see how a rotated image looks. There is no way in ACR to see the straight version of an image you've rotated slightly.
13) Shortcut keys to cycle through saved curve settings.
Here's the explanation for why I want each of these:
1) Shadow/Highlights. A significant percentage of my images need no other adjustments in PS except shadow/highlights and it's a big workflow savings to be able to finish a picture in ACR instead of having to take it into PS.
2) Multi-instance and modeless. The CS2 behavior is better than it was before because you can set it up for Bridge to host ACR and still be able to use PS. But, I often open many images in ACR and the current design still forces me to serially finish all those images in ACR before I do anything else becuase I'm blocked from going back to either Bridge or PS (depending upon who's hosting ACR) and I can't open any other images in ACR. This forces a serial workflow when sometimes I'd like to be able to be in the middle of one workflow (a hundred images open in ACR), but go do something else in Bridge and PS for a short period of time. I can't do that today.
3) The ability to open one image from ACR into PS while keeping the other images in ACR. When I see the preview in ACR, this is often the first time I've seen my images at any decent size. I often find I want to take a few into PS just to see how well they fix up with certain changes or to see if they benefit from things I can do in PS and can't in ACR, without discarding all the other images I have in ACR at the time. So, again, I am forced to serially finish all the image I have in ACR before I can take any into PS. I'd like to be able to open the selected images in PS and keep the others in ACR.
4) The point locator feature that PS has in the curves dialog is very valuable for finding out where on the curve a given feature in the photo is. I'd like that feature in the PS curves.
5) White balance assist for skin tones. One of the hardest things in ACR is getting the white balance right for skin tones when there is no easy gray reference in the photo. I don't know how it would work (I think this is an area for your invention and cleverness), but I'd like some sort of white balance assist that helps me pick a white balance that leads to a pleasing skin tone. I'd be willing to tell ACR where the skin tone is by pointing at it.
6) I add a suffix of "-edited" to ALL images that I open in PS from ACR. That means I have to type that suffix on every image when I hit the Save command in PS. I'd like a preference in ACR to automatically append a suffix onto the filename when it goes into PS to save me that typing on every single image. I've even tried to figure out if I could write a script in PS to do this for me (if file extension is a RAW file extension when user hits save, then add default suffix to the filename before Save dialog comes up), but I haven't figured out whether it can be done via script or not. I know that others save their PSD or JPEG files to a different directory than their RAW files (I keep all of mine in the same directory so this isn't an issue for me), so I imagine they'd like the ability to specify a default relative path also to save having to point every PSD they save in PS to a new directory.
7) Drag/drop bin for RAW settings. In a workflow of processing 200-800 RAW files, I'd like the ability to easily and temporarily save a small number of RAW file settings (10 would do). I know you can do it in the pull right menu in ACR today, but that's too much typing and clicks to make it worth it. I'm looking for something that allows me to pick a bunch of files from a shoot, identify a representative "sunny" shot and drop it's settings into a bin that I quickly label sunny. Then, when other sunny shots come up, rather than having to scroll around to find that image or go back to bridge to find that image, I just drag it out of the bin an drop it on the selected images. I don't want it to persist globally because then they pile up and I have to clean them up. I do need them to persist between ACR sessions as long as Bridge or PS is still running because I often process my RAW files in many ACR sessions. The whole point is to make an easy place for me to deposit a small number of saved settings so I can easily (very few mouse clicks or keystores) use them again while processing the same shoot. It's all about speeding up the workflow and letting me re-use work I've done earlier in the workflow. In my experience, this happens most often for white balance and curves since I'm more likely to tweak exposure on nearly every shot anyway.
8) When I hit Save Images in ACR, it remembers the previously set directory. In my workflow, I want it to default to the directory of the first image I'm saving. The way it is now, it is NEVER the right directory so I always have to change it. It could be smart enough so my normal workflow never has to change it. Even better, I'd get to set a pref that was a relative path from where the first image is located. So, when I'm saving JPEGs, I could have a default path of ./JPEG (a sub-directory under where the RAW files are located). Other people would want ../JPEG (a sub-directory at the same level as where the RAW files are stored).
9) In the spirit of getting as much of my work done in ACR as possible, I'd like to see a unification of the sharpening functionality so that ACR can do smart sharpening with all the same features. That would again keep many of my images out of PS and drastically improve my workflow.
10) I'd like the ability to set a label or rating when there's only one image open in ACR. Because you can do this when you have multiple images open in ACR, I'm programmed to set this in ACR, but that workflow programming is busted when I only have one image open.
11) I'd like the ability to delete an image from ACR when there's only one image open in ACR. Just like with labels and ratings described above, I'm programmed to want to delete a ruined image when I see it up close in ACR and determine it's no good. In this case, I think I'd like to just hit the trash can icon and have the ACR window close and have the image deleted in one single step.
12) When I straighten an image in ACR, there's no good way to see how the rotated version looks at full size. All you get to see is a thumb in ACR (if you have multiple images open) or a thumb in Bridge. To see whether it rea
> Here's my wishlist for ACR. I'll list the feature first and then in a separate section afterwards, I'll explain why I want it.
if i read you correctly, you'd like ACR to be a separate product that has all the features of photoshop .. is that correct? :-)
Kudos for having the patience and stamina to read through all that, Nunatak.
I suppose it's stupidly simple, but I've just been doing detailed corrections in ACR on over 400 images from a theatre shoot and stupidly hit Cancel. So I lost a couple of hours work, when what I really meant to do was simply to cancel changes on one image.
Is there a sensible way of reducing the risk? Current thoughts are:
- to have a counter of the images currently open in ACR and then re-label the button to "Cancel changes to x images"
- to have a "do you really want to cancel the changes on X images" as a default pop-up
I suppose, the same thing could apply to the rather ambiguous "done". Done what I ask? How about "Apply changes to all images"
I think this would have helped me + it would be more consistent with the Save and Open issues.
Otherwise thanks for a wonderful tool
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In future, please do not include the url as part of your signature. If you must provide the url then do so as part of your personal details.
> So I lost a couple of hours work, when what I really meant to do was simply to cancel changes on one image.
I've had this same problem before. I have now taught myself to think carefully about what button you are pushing before doing so. I like the direction of the changes you suggested. That would make it so you could just pick the button you want without having to think so much and without it being as likely you would make a mistake. I wonder if it would also be useful to have a button for "Cancel changes to this image" since that is often the cause of the confusion and is something we are trained to look for in a dialog-looking UI.
> Kudos for having the patience and stamina to read through all that, Nunatak.
And commendations in turn for (evidently) having neither the stamina nor patience to read through all that, thereby neatly avoiding the (probable) irritation of having to summon the stamina and patience to read through all that -- further, for having publicly, albeit gratuitously, commended the other fellow for having had the stamina and patience to read through all that, thereby contributing the usual impressive wealth of detail in the service of understanding both Adobe Camera Raw and forum participants' near-mesmerizing reactions to other participants' messages. Surely I'm not alone in thinkinf: gosh all heck, it just can't get much better than this.
[N.B.: For enrichment purposes, I have left uncorrected at least one obvious typo.]
Well said that man. It hit's the spot with me. I thought the same thing but considering some of the posts I'd seen...
> I wonder if it would also be useful to have a button for "Cancel changes to this image" since that is often the cause of the confusion and is something we are trained to look for in a dialog-looking UI.
it would certainly be helpful to have something in the UI which indicates a global vs. a local cancel. e.g. "cancel all windows" vs "cancel this window".
a similar issue came up when the escape key was hit.
perhaps another solution is to have a "training mode" and a "power user mode". this could be set by way of a flag in the preferences, and will turn on or off an alert box (a nag) before proceeding.
just a thought ...
>4) The point locator feature for curves like curves has in PS so you can find out what tone area on the curve a given area in the photo is, just by clicking/dragging over an area on the photo.
As it turns out this feature exists already. I just discovered it by accident. If you hold down the control key and move the mouse around the image, you get the point on the curve for that image tone in ACR. I only discovered it because I was zooming (Ctrl+) and noticed I had a point on my curve for the current tone while zooming (because the Ctrl key was down).
I guess this is another vote for increasing the discoverability of these gems, but I'm glad they are there.
>And commendations in turn for (evidently) having neither the stamina nor patience to read through all that, thereby neatly avoiding the (probable) irritation of having to summon the stamina and patience to read through all that ...
tsk. tsk. sarcasm begets sarcasm. :-)
> As it turns out this feature exists already.
Bruce Fraser's "Real-World" ACR-for-PSCS2 book is a fantastic resource for learning about those kinds of ACR features and for digging into the subtleties of the program. That book is worth its weight in gold...