8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2016 7:12 AM by cd__

    Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls


      For achieving a quicker editing workflow, I'd like to start with the image as it was rendered by the camera's RAW processing engine. Otherwise there's a huge overhead in trying to recreate the look one already got in the jpeg within Lightroom over and over for each image. I'm looking for some kind of automation.


      Of course, I could simply use Capture NX-D and save as 16 bit TIFF file and start editing from there, but I'd like to use the advanced raw conversion of ACR while maintaining the look of the image as seen in the camera. My plan is to map colors via ACR profiles and to then apply develop presets for settings like sharpness, contrast and so on.


      Unfortunately I fail for the monochrome picture controls, which is most important for me. I've got a monochrome profile from Adobe Monochrome Profile for Nikon d610: Nikon FX SLR (DF, D1-D5, D600-D800) Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review, but one I apply that profile, there's no way to change color mapping in order to simluate e.g. a red filter set in the picture controls. So I thought it could help to create another ACR profile which does not represent the neutral b&w look but the look which is achieved when applying the red filter in the picture controls.


      Problem are:

      a) I have no clue how to create a custom b&w profile

      b) I have no clue how to exchange the default calibration target in Adobe DNG Profile Editor against a red filtered one


      A manual adjustment of the monochrom profile I have to match the red filtered result seems hopeless to me.


      Any experts here who can help me out?


      Best regards,


        • 1. Re: Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          There really isn't any way for Camera Raw to display the image as it was taken in the camera. Camera Raw, by design, does not read most of the camera settings. This includes the profile chosen, as well as many of the other settings including black-and-white. It's usually best to create black-and-white images in Camera Raw using the adjustment tools available to you there. Adobe does provide a tool you can use to create profiles. If you do a Google search for "Adobe DNG Profile Creator" you should find a link to the free program that you can download. On that link you will also find another link to enable you to download help documents for the program.

          • 3. Re: Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls
            cd__ Level 1

            As you can read in my initial post I already mentioned using the DNG Profile Editor. It boils down to the how-to-use-it.

            • 4. Re: Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls
              cd__ Level 1

              @JimHess: As I can batch-apply presets to my images (and I usually do not change picture controls that often during a shoot), it's no problem that CameraRaw does not evaluate these settings.


              As I told ssprengel already, I mentioned Adobe DNG Profile Editor in my initial post. What I need to clarify here, it the how-to-use-it. Please read my post carefully, it should explain where I see the problems in the toolchain I need to solve.

              • 5. Re: Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls
                ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                We don't have your camera so are just guessing what you're even talking about, but I think what you are saying you want is change what colors translate to darker and lighter grays in a monochrome conversion.  The normal way to do this in ACR is by setting B/W mode then adjusting the HSL sliders, but you don't want to use B/W mode and the HSL sliders, and because you have found a custom-built camera profile that can produce a monochrome result, you want to see if there is any way to change the camera profile to change the RGB mix so the monochrome conversion emphasizes different colors.


                So far you've tried or maybe don't know how to use the DNGPE to change the monochrome conversion of the one profile you've downloaded.  If changing the Shadow Tint and Red, Green and Blue Saturation and Hue sliders doesn't affect the color mixing then using the DNGPE isn't going to help.


                You might try dcpTool, which you can Google for information about, to decompile a camera profile into an XML text file, then you can examine the numbers and make adjustments using a text editor, then recompile that XML file back to a camera profile file to apply to an image.  It's not WYSIWYG like the DNGPE and I don't know if the math used can even change the RGB balance like you seem to want, but it's another thing to experiment with.


                It might be useful to compare decompilations of the monochrome profile and a standard profile to see what set of numbers are used to make the monochrome conversion happen.  I would guess it's either in the input or output matrix not the large profile matrix.

                • 6. Re: Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls
                  cd__ Level 1

                  Well, the general solution to my problem should be applicable to any camera -- with modifications of course.


                  But anyhow, basically you understood quite precisely what I intend to do, Just the reason for my intention might not be that clear: I want to start in Lightroom as close as possible with the image my camera saves as jpeg-thumbnail (inside the raw file). That way I can save a lot of time when editing my pictures -- I optimize the look already in the camera as good as I can and can make local adjustments later in Lr or Ps.


                  For that purpose the idea of using ACR profiles came on my mind. But I failed using them when I tried to mimick the red filter in the Nikon Picture Controls, since the Monochrom Profile I found on the internet of course does not include red filtering.


                  So -- as a first step -- I'm looking for ways to create such a monochrome profile INCLUDING red filtering.


                  Best regards,


                  • 7. Re: Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls
                    ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I am able to use the Camera Calibration Hue/Sat controls in the Camera Raw Filter within Photoshop to create something close to the Monochrome plus Red-filter treatment starting with the color JPG from this site:

                    Filter effects Y/O/R/G [Monochrome only]


                    To get Monochrome I adjusted the global Saturation control to -100, then adjusted the Camera Calibration Hue/Sat controls to make the image look very similar to what the [R: red] version on the Nikon page:

                    There wasn't a link to the original raw file on the website so maybe it only works with JPGs.  It's also possible that what Nikon is doing with their red-filter is also only applicable to already-converted-to-RGB pixels in which case using a customized camera profile with raw files could be useless.


                    Now, the way I convert color to monochrome with the ability to control what colors are lighter and darker, for example a red-filter lightens reddish colors and darkens the opposite, I use the Convert to Grayscale in the HSL tab where increasing the Mix of the reddish colors and decreasing that of the opposites will also make a similar look without adjusting the Camera Calibration at all and with a lot more finesse--the relative brightness of the magenta flowers compared to the lightness of her skin and the darkness of the green leaves--than using just the three sets of RGB adjustments in the camera calibration area.

                    For comparison, here is the default HSL-mix for Grayscale conversion which generally increases the contrast, slightly:

                    as compared to a mere desaturation operation:


                    Now this is just one image and I was mostly trying to make her face similar to the Nikon example so other areas may not be as close, and I am starting with a JPG not a raw image so perhaps either the Camera Calibration or HSL-Grayscale conversion aren't as applicable with what you're working with but it's the approach I would take.


                    If the Camera Calibration adjustments do work with a raw file it'd seem like you could modify a color profile using the DNG Profile Editor with the same mix of slider adjustments to get most of the way and only set the Sat -100 in the Basic panel and then have all the other controls at your disposal.

                    • 8. Re: Using ACR profiles to simulate Nikon Picture Controls
                      cd__ Level 1

                      Thank you for your detailed explanation! Following your example I get a similar look for some images, but other images deliver different results.


                      I still think, creating a profile should deliver more consistent results.


                      Anyway, since I've no clue how to create one I'll have to come up with a different approach, maybe automatically creating HSL-profiles for the B&W conversion. If I succeed I'll let you know!


                      Best regards,