16 Replies Latest reply: Mar 6, 2012 12:58 PM by Tony.S RSS

    Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment

    Tony.S Community Member

      Many of my images require a big boost to the shadow areas, which I've typically done using a hefty dose of PV2010's Fill Light. Getting results I like using PV2012 is often helped by a judicious application of Clarity, which brings out shadow detail nicely.

       

      However, PV2012's Clarity seems to amplify luminance noise in deep shadow regions pretty aggressively. When I use Clarity in PV2012 to boost shadow detail, I often find myself having to increase the level of Noise Reduction beyond what I'd used in PV2010.

       

      Can anything be done to make PV2012's Clarity adjustment more noise-intelligent, so that real image features are enhanced, but noise is not?

        • 1. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
          Lee Jay Community Member

          I suspect this is all about black point.  You might have to drag it to the left using blacks.

          • 2. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
            Tony.S Community Member

            Clipping deeper into the blacks does help hide the increased noise -- but that tends to negate some of the benefit I'm trying to achieve, which is to reveal more shadow detail.

             

            The noise in shadow areas which I find most problematic after increasing Clarity is single-pixel and multi-pixel bright specks. These are the last to disappear when dragging the PV2012 slider to the left ... so by the time they're gone, a lot of desired shadow detail can be lost.

             

            If making Clarity more noise-intelligent is not possible or practical, perhaps another approach might be to give the user more control over how much Noise Reduction is applied to the shadows vs. how much is applied to other regions. I'm guessing that LR already does this automagically to some extent -- but for situations like my images, where I'm pushing the shadows pretty heavily, it would be great to have more control ... e.g., use luminance NR = 25 for the highlights, 75 for the shadows.

            • 3. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
              Lee Jay Community Member

              That sounds like impulse noise ("salt and pepper noise", it's sometimes called), and LR doesn't do a great job at getting rid of that, while it does do a great job getting rid of other kinds.

              • 4. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                Tony.S Community Member

                LR3's noise reduction is the only NR I use for my production images, including those in which I've boosted the shadows quite a bit.

                 

                I'm afraid that unless something changes in LR4 (either better noise discrimination in Clarity, or a new feature to permit extra NR for the shadows,) I'll have to revert to my LR2 workflow, which included the use of 3rd-party NR software.

                • 5. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                  areohbee Community Member

                  HI Tony, (long time no post ).

                   

                  I know exactly what you mean. Clarity clarifies fine detail as well as coarse "detail" (for lack of a better word).

                   

                  I too would like more control over its effect.

                   

                  I mean, the effect that is offensive when illuminating dark dancer parts is the same effect that is most wanted when trying to bring textural detail out of the rocky mountains.

                   

                  Maybe Adobe can tweak algorithm for some overall improvement, but unless Adobe surprises me/us come Lr4-final, the only recourse I can think of is:

                   

                  * Local cleanup by way of a brush.

                   

                  But then, I'm sure you already thought of that...

                   

                  Rob

                  • 6. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                    Jeff Schewe Community Member

                    Tony.S wrote:

                     

                    ...or a new feature to permit extra NR for the shadows,) I'll have to revert to my LR2 workflow, which included the use of 3rd-party NR software.

                     

                    Note, there is the noise reduction brush which when combined with automask can add more noise reduction in the shadows.

                    • 7. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                      areohbee Community Member

                      My experience is that automask mostly skips over stuff that is not sufficiently dark and so is mostly ineffective. It is probably more accurate to say it actually makes things worse.

                       

                      I wouldn't mind having a little more control over that automask too, now that we're on the subject.

                       

                      e.g. if one could set a threshold or two, it might just work.

                       

                      Rob

                      • 8. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                        Tony.S Community Member

                        Rob and Jeff: Agreed, local adjustment is a useful technique for a small number of images -- but it would be impractical for my normal production workflow, where I deliver hundreds of images from each shoot.

                        • 9. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                          Lee Jay Community Member

                          Tony.S wrote:

                           

                          Rob and Jeff: Agreed, local adjustment is a useful technique for a small number of images -- but it would be impractical for my normal production workflow, where I deliver hundreds of images from each shoot.

                           

                          Realize that noise and noise processing shouldn't be any different in LR 4 compared with LR 3.  Just the tone controls and CA removal are different.

                          • 10. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                            areohbee Community Member

                            Gotcha.

                             

                            Seriously though - try a custom camera calibration profile.

                             

                            You may find that if you can pre-finesse those shadows, then you may need far less clarity to get the job done.

                             

                            (I find Advanced Color Editor helpful)

                             

                            eh?

                             

                            Rob

                            • 11. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                              Tony.S Community Member

                              Lee Jay wrote:

                               

                              Realize that noise and noise processing shouldn't be any different in LR 4 compared with LR 3.  Just the tone controls and CA removal are different.

                               

                              Understood.

                               

                              I believe what's changed for me is that PV2012 often calls for the use of Clarity to achieve the results I want -- and that use of Clarity makes the shadows noisier, which drives needing more NR.

                              • 12. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                                Tony.S Community Member

                                Rob Cole wrote:

                                 

                                ... Seriously though - try a custom camera calibration profile. You may find that if you can pre-finesse those shadows, then you may need far less clarity to get the job done ...

                                 

                                I understand how using a custom tone curve to boost the shadows could reduce the amount of Clarity needed to bring out shadow detail ... but why do you suggest doing this via a custom calibration profile, rather than as a custom point curve created using LR4's normal controls?

                                • 13. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                                  areohbee Community Member

                                  Because the tone curve in the cam-cal profile is applied before the PV2012 sliders, and the reglar point curve is applied after.

                                   

                                  I recommend using both curves, in addition to the basic sliders.

                                   

                                  In Lr3, I used cam-cal profiles mostly for color adjustment. I think for Lr4 I will be creating a few for toning as well. Although I haven't done this yet, I fully anticipate doing it. I have noticed marked differences in basic slider behaviors and capabilities depending on which of my present profiles I have selected.

                                   

                                  R

                                  • 14. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                                    Tony.S Community Member

                                    Rob Cole wrote:

                                     

                                    Because the tone curve in the cam-cal profile is applied before the PV2012 sliders, and the reglar point curve is applied after.

                                     

                                    I recommend using both curves, in addition to the basic sliders.

                                     

                                    In Lr3, I used cam-cal profiles mostly for color adjustment. I think for Lr4 I will be creating a few for toning as well. Although I haven't done this yet, I fully anticipate doing it. I have noticed marked differences in basic slider behaviors and capabilities depending on which of my present profiles I have selected.

                                     

                                    R

                                     

                                    Thank you for the suggestion and the clarification. I will certainly try creating a custom cam-cal profile for my dark dance scenes, to boost the shadows before the image-aware slider adjustments kick in.

                                    • 15. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                                      areohbee Community Member

                                      Tony - A penny for your thoughts on the newest clarity?

                                       

                                      Mine: Although the brightening is gone which may have benefited you, the noise handling seems much better to me - far less grungy-ness. eh?

                                       

                                      Rob

                                      • 16. Re: Shadow noise amplification with new Clarity adjustment
                                        Tony.S Community Member

                                        Rob: From my limited testing with LR4 release version, Clarity appears unchanged from the beta. In shadow regions, I still get very nice brightening of shadow detail, with amplification of bright speckled noise.