19 Replies Latest reply on Sep 30, 2008 10:36 PM by (Jeff_Schewe)

    Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?

      Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?

      I have heard the it actually interpolates (as in adding) data that is not original information. In other words it, sort of, manufacturers information. Because of this, a while back, I backed off the effect for the most part (but do a lot of fill light) and have instead preferred to mask in another raw file either taken down more in exposure in raw, or an actual bracketed exposure (darker) to recover key highlight information.

      BUT, since I am going through an inventory of everything I know (or don't) about ACR, I want to double check this idea.
        • 1. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
          Level 1
          >I have heard the it actually interpolates (as in adding) data that is not original information.

          Wrong...it uses data that IS there to derive some sort of useful textural and color information after the first clipped channel. Most converters stop trying to get data beyond the first clipped channel, Camera Raw tries to make some use of the data but doesn't "create" data that isn't there to start with.

          As with anything in Camera Raw, all the controls can be OVER USED...so use and adjustment with a measure of, well, discipline (meaning, if it hurts to do that, don't do that).
          • 2. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
            Bill_Janes Level 2
            >Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?

            It is a valuable tool, but you have to understand how it works. In previous versions of ACR, you did highlight recovery with the Exposure slider, using negative exposure values. Exposure darkens the whole image in a linear fashion and tries to reconstruct a blown channel (usually the green channel because of the peculiarities of white balance)from the luminance data in the intact channels. If all channels are blown it won't work. In any case, the recovered highlights may not have accurate color information, but often this is not a problem because the highlights are often neutral or of low saturation.

            Recovery preferentially reduces the highlights in a non-linear fashion.

            See this link on the Luminous Landscape for more details.
            • 3. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
              dorin_nicolaescu Level 5
              I do like the Recovery slider.

              Most people expect too much from it, that's why Recovery is often underestimated. People compare it to Shadow/Highlights of Photoshop, which it is not.

              However, having said that, I am missing the ability to give highlights the richer tonality I used to do with shadow highlights. Just a little, staying away from giving the image an artificial processed look.

              Would like to have and additional control, or an expansion of Recovery's abilities to match the power of its Photoshop sister.
              • 4. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                When you couple recovery with the exposure slider and then include curve adjustments, seems to me that you have quite a bit of control.
                • 5. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                  Mathias Vejerslev Level 2
                  I think you'll like the new seletive adjustment tools in ACR 5.0...
                  • 6. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                    dorin_nicolaescu Level 5
                    > I think you'll like the new seletive adjustment tools in ACR 5.0...

                    I don't know if it was to me, but I do. I just would prefer to do thing parametrically with one slider instead of painting and using a bunch of sliders. And it is possible, since Shadow/Highlights can do it.
                    • 7. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                      Level 1
                      > And it is possible, since Shadow/Highlights can do it.

                      Uh, Shadow/Highlight has more than one slider, right?

                      :~)

                      I think a lot of people forget there are other panels in Camera Raw that allow for a lot of power and flexibility (and yes, more sliders :~). Both Recovery and Fill Light often produce results that need to be "adjusted" with curves, either points or the parametric editor. The Basic panel is, well, basic ya know?

                      Trying to compare Recovery and Fill Light with Photoshop related tools is fundamentally flawed because Photoshop doesn't work with linear gamma (normally) and Photoshop doesn't often encounter images where one of the 3 channels is clipped and try to do anything with the remaining channels. That's what Recovery's job it. If you find the results unnatural then it's your job to modify Recovery with curves...if you find yourself doing the same things over & over, make a preset.
                      • 8. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                        "When you couple recovery with the exposure slider and then include curve adjustments, seems to me that you have quite a bit of control.
                        "

                        Make life simple - I would like just one slider!!!
                        • 9. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                          Level 1
                          >Make life simple - I would like just one slider!!!

                          You want power, control and flexibility? It will take more than a single slider...
                          • 10. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                            Level 1
                            """When you couple recovery with the exposure slider and then include curve adjustments, seems to me that you have quite a bit of control.
                            "

                            Make life simple - I would like just one slider!!!

                            "You want power, control and flexibility? It will take more than a single slider..."

                            """

                            Then let God decree that they may all be placed together in one place. :-) :-)
                            • 11. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                              Rob Keijzer Level 1
                              That may well be like the typewriter with all the characters on one single key. No typing experience needed!

                              Rob
                              • 12. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee
                                Anurag, most of the tone mapping controls you need are right there in the Basic tab, all in one place.
                                • 13. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                  Level 1
                                  > That may well be like the typewriter with all the characters on one single key. No typing experience needed!

                                  In a similar vein, what I want in CR6 is a global setting called 'Photographer's
                                  Intent'. When this is activated, you can go in and 'frob' any particular slider
                                  or other control in CR and it will automagically do whatever you intended in one
                                  easy step.

                                  -X
                                  • 14. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                    Tim Lookingbill Level 1
                                    A definition slider for the entire image would be nice.

                                    It would be similar to what the highlight portion of the HIghlight/Shadow tool does and a bit like contrast sharpening using large radius and small amount in USM for the shadows but with narrower roll off. Maybe a midrange portion added to the H/S tool.

                                    Bird plumage, grass, pebbles and rocks in shadows transitioning to midrange are where this would be needed. It's hard eliminating that flat foggy look in shadows when tones are so close to each other and very few levels are available to bring this kind of definition out. It's usually a tight squeeze between two points along a curve to bring this out. Blend if doesn't do much good either.

                                    Someone on another forum site edited in 5 minutes a posted jpeg of a rather flat and unsharpened midday shot of a pelican using something called PWPro and I couldn't duplicate the haloless definition he achieved using all the tools in CS2 without having to use a convoluted sequence of masks which would have taken longer.
                                    • 15. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                      JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                                      But you are talking about CS2. Have you used Photoshop CS3 and ACR 4.5 or 4.6?
                                      • 16. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                        Tim Lookingbill Level 1
                                        I'm talking about a jpeg rendering using CS2 Highlight/Shadow, curves, USM on Blend if layers.

                                        If there's already a definition slider now in CS3 ACR 4.5 I didn't see it when I demo'ed it a couple of months back. I can't remember if Clarity and Vibrancy were the tools to use for that purpose. I hadn't come across the pelican image back then. Being fairly new to raw processing I've found all my raw shots have no tonal distribution consistency shot to shot no matter the exposure where sometimes you get this definition without too much PP and other times not. I'm talking about landscapes, not studio shots.

                                        I went back fiddling with the Highlight/Shadow tool on this pelican shot and found I had to clip the black point to .1-.2 to get definition in the 20, 30, 40 RGB shadow area in AdobeRGB. The shadow amount, radius and tone width in H/S only lightens these shadows which brings back the flatness. I got better results but it took so long going back and forth adjusting sliders and black clipping and contrast where one kept affecting the other that I was into it for about 20 minutes before I arrived at a more defined rendering better than the PWPro version.

                                        Whoever designed the H/S tool is a genius in trying to get this defined look without the oversharpened glowing halo or overly crispy appearance. You can't do it with curves.

                                        This tool NEEDS to be in ACR! If it already is in versions above ACR 3.7, what's it called?
                                        • 17. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                          Level 1
                                          >If it already is in versions above ACR 3.7, what's it called?

                                          If you haven't used Camera Raw 4.1 or above, you haven't a clue about the benefits of 4.x. Yes, there's Clarity, there's also a separate Exposure and Highlight Recovery and Fill Light sliders which combine to be much better (for raw files) than Shadow/Highlight in Photoshop. Seriously, if you are comparing Camera Raw 3.x in Photoshop CS2, you are using real old tech for the comparisons.

                                          Shadow/Highlight is an interest tool, for sure. It basically multiplies the highlights (to make them darker) and screen the shadows (to make them lighter) but what you can do to a gamma encoded image is far less than what you can draw out of the linear encoded image.

                                          And, if you haven't used CR 4.1 or above for capture sharpening, then you are not using the state of the art for image capture sharpening.

                                          >A definition slider for the entire image would be nice.

                                          Doode, the entire Camera Raw 4.x tool set is designed to obtain optimal definition. Not, it's not in a single "idiot-proof" slider...but all told aside form local corrections (coming in Camera Raw 5) the ease and power of working in Camera Raw vs Photoshop makes working in Photoshop seem really old fashioned.
                                          • 18. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                            Tim Lookingbill Level 1
                                            Well I'll have to give ACR 5 a look see because I guess I didn't spend enough time with ACR 4.1-4.5 to notice these tool's affect on definition in the shadows. 30 day trial ran out on CS3 because I was busy trying out and comparing other raw converters. You DO realize how many there are.
                                            • 19. Re: Do you like the RECOVERY slider in ACR?
                                              Level 1
                                              >You DO realize how many there are.

                                              Yep, but the question then becomes how many GOOD ones are out there, and how many can you become EXPERT in (with a 30 day trial)?