23 Replies Latest reply on Nov 7, 2009 2:22 PM by MadManChan2000

    The new sharpening concept

    Marco N. Level 1

      Lightroom 3 has likely introduced the new Camera Raw sharpening algorithm.

       

      Before discussing if it is better or worse the obvious thing is that it is very very different from previous and the difference seems first in its philosophy whick now is aligned to other raw converters like C1 or DPP.

       

      Is the Bruce's capture sharpening philosophy overtaked?

       

       

      Below an example of the new and the old algorithms with my the best setting

       

      http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3060/4038596892_40e7f47623_o.jpg

       

      Ciao

      Marco

        • 1. Re: The new sharpening concept
          MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

          Hi Marco, the LR 3 beta's sharpening methods are still very much based on the concepts and workflow proposed by Bruce. It's just the underlying implementation that has changed.

           

          Eric

          • 2. Re: The new sharpening concept
            Jeff Schewe Level 5

            MadManChan2000 wrote:

             

            It's just the underlying implementation that has changed.

             

            Read: improved over what could be done in the LR 1.4 and ACR 4.1 timeframe (which is where the LR 2.x capture sharpening came from).

             

            Also note that the "improved" sharpening is also tied directly into new and improved demosiacing found in LR 3 beta as well as substantially improved color noise reduction. The luminance noise reduction isn't done yet which when that is added will improve overall IQ even further...

             

            The ACR/LR elves keep working to bring the best IQ capable...

             

            :~)

            • 3. Re: The new sharpening concept
              Tim Lookingbill Level 1

              I take it from Marco's image sample of the new sharpening that the clay like texture of the old sharpening that I currently get with my Pentax PEF's in ACR 4.6 has been fixed in newer versions of ACR as well.

               

              Which version of ACR would that be?

               

              Mind you I've accepted this look because it doesn't show in prints but is only an annoyance while editing the image at 100% view on an extremely sharp LCD.

               

              Those are some righteous elves they've got working for Adobe. That sample clearly shows a BIG improvement.

              • 4. Re: The new sharpening concept
                Tim Lookingbill Level 1

                And just so I'm clear on these new improvements, is the clay like texture of Marco's version on the right caused by sharpening or the demosaicing algorithm or a combination of both?

                • 5. Re: The new sharpening concept
                  Jeff Schewe Level 5

                  Tim Lookingbill wrote:

                   

                  Those are some righteous elves they've got working for Adobe. That sample clearly shows a BIG improvement.

                   

                  Yeah, ya know it really doesn't surprise me, does it surprise you? Really?

                   

                  The guys that work on Camera Raw/Lightroom really don't "need" to be doing this stuff–they do it because, well, they can't help themselves...really, they can't.

                   

                  If you can prove to them that something they are doing needs improvement, they will bust their gut to make the appropriate changes. Note however it's not all that easy to prove ANYTHING to them...ya gotta be right (first off) and ya gotta explain in language they can understand, exactly why what they are current;y ding is something south of optimal.

                   

                  If you can do that, you can make major changes, really, you can.

                   

                  (good luck getting to that point thought)

                  • 6. Re: The new sharpening concept
                    Tim Lookingbill Level 1

                    Jeff,

                     

                    Couldn't tell if you were talking out of the south side of your Chicago mouth again as usual with that last reply, but I actually meant that last quote you plucked out of my previous statement as a compliment to Adobe so you can ease up on those flippant sounding responses that don't enlighten anyone.

                     

                    Frankly I don't know what the hell your point was with that last reply.

                     

                    So, could someone tell me which version of ACR implements this non-clay like appearance to 100% view previews? I'm not really all that interested in whether the demosaicing algorithm or sharpening is the cause. I was just curious.

                     

                    And since I don't spend a lot of time here for obvious reasons, just want to let Adobe employees know I am an Adobe Camera Raw die hard and push this software on other forums as being the best Raw converter on the market with a long list of reasons. I thought I'ld add this one to the list.

                    • 7. Re: The new sharpening concept
                      Jeff Schewe Level 5

                      Tim Lookingbill wrote:

                       

                      Couldn't tell if you were talking out of the south side of your Chicago mouth again as usual with that last reply, but I actually meant that last quote you plucked out of my previous statement as a compliment to Adobe so you can ease up on those flippant sounding responses that don't enlighten anyone.

                       

                      Frankly I don't know what the hell your point was with that last reply.

                       

                      Wow, talk about being predisposed to be offended...I guess anytime I respond to you I should be walking on eggshells huh?

                       

                      The point of my last post was that those "elves" at Adobe are driven to substantially improve image quality. And that if anybody can prove to them that something needs to be done, they will do it. They are driven...and it shouldn't surprise anybody that big improvements are being made.

                      • 8. Re: The new sharpening concept
                        Tim Lookingbill Level 1

                        Ok, you got me there. Sorry for misreading your statement. Just noted the pronounced difference in the wording in your reply to Marco over your first response to mine.

                         

                        Your mentioning new demosaicing algorithms and color noise reduction in Lightroom Beta 3's rendering engine to Marco offered insight I wasn't aware you had, so I thought you'ld know whether ACR had it as well. I still don't know and I wish someone would tell me which version ACR has this new rendering engine which from my understanding is usually the same between the two.

                         

                        And I don't think I said I was surprised about Adobe's capabilities. Happy? Yes! So you did some misreading of my response as well.

                         

                        We'll call it even.

                        • 9. Re: The new sharpening concept
                          Jeff Schewe Level 5

                          Tim Lookingbill wrote:

                           

                          Your mentioning new demosaicing algorithms and color noise reduction in Lightroom Beta 3's rendering engine to Marco offered insight I wasn't aware you had, so I thought you'ld know whether ACR had it as well.

                           

                           

                          At the moment, only Lightroom 3 beta has the new stuff. None of the current ACR versions have this, so users will need to look towards Lightroom 3 beta as to what you can expect Camera Raw will end up getting–and make no mistake about it, eventually, both Lightroom and Camera Raw will end up in lock-step as it relates to rendering. There will prolly be an ACR 5.x version released that will offer the rendering (although not the settings and UI) to be found in LR 3 GM when it ships.

                           

                          But eventually, the then future current version of Lightroom (3-whatever) and the then current future version of Camera Raw (6-whatever) will offer rendering and functionality equivalency. Note, there will prolly still be some oddities and differences between LR 3 and ACR 6 when the respective versions ship.

                           

                          As for the insight I do or don't have, it would be useful to presume I do indeed have an inside track (since I've been actively involved in image sharpening and related image quality issues since, well about LR 1.4 or so). I know a lot of people think I'm just a big blow hard but in point of fact I do kinda have pretty tight internal relations with both the Camera Raw and Lightroom teams...heck I even went out to Mill Valley to attend one of the Camera Raw engineer's recent wedding (and shot the heck out of it).

                           

                          Really Tim, I am rather connected...not only at Adobe but other companies as well–not so much at Apple. It seems Apple thinks I'm personally responsible for Aperture's failure in the marketplace when compared to Lightroom :~)

                          • 10. Re: The new sharpening concept
                            Tim Lookingbill Level 1

                            Thanks, Jeff, for the confirmation.

                             

                            So it's going to be a while for ACR to render the same as in Marco's sample.

                             

                            I do notice in competing Raw converters that they seem to render similarly to the new Lightroom rendering shown above but are very slow with every tweak to their tools to the point I couldn't tolerate it on my 2004 G5 1.8ghz iMac. ACR is a joy compared to what I went through with the others.

                             

                            I'm assuming then that I'll probably need faster hardware when ACR gets this new rendering engine since I was told a while back when I brought this ACR clay like texture issue up that these other Raw converters are slow because they are rendering pixel for pixel and that ACR uses a different algorithm/preview caching scheme to display the preview much faster.

                             

                            I might be misremembering and misunderstanding what was actually said but this clay texture hasn't been that big of a deal for me since I prefer ACR's speed, color engine and interface simplicity over the other Raw converters.

                             

                            I still haven't tried Apple's Aperture, but then I'm not forking over another $200 plus for another Raw converter when I've got ACR.

                            • 11. Re: The new sharpening concept
                              MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                              Hi Tim, as Jeff noted, when LR 3 ships there will be a CR release that offers rendering parity, just like what happened when LR 2 shipped. We don't have a corresponding CR at the moment, though, since LR 3 is just a beta ...

                               

                              Eric

                              • 12. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                01af Level 1

                                MadManChan2000 wrote:

                                 

                                ... when LR 3 ships there will be a CR release that offers rendering parity, just like what happened when LR 2 shipped. We don't have a corresponding CR at the moment ...

                                 

                                Umm ... when examining an .XMP file after Lightroom 3.0 Beta has written settings to it then you can see a new Camera Raw Settings tag called crs:RenderVersion, and its value is "5.7". The well-known tag crs:Version is "6.0". I guess the introduction of the new tag was required to enable the raw conversion engine to support more than one rendering algorithm, currently known as "Process 1" and "Process 2 (latest)".

                                 

                                Maybe, just maybe, the fact that crs:RenderVersion is set to 5.7 means something ...

                                 

                                -- Olaf

                                • 13. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                  ACRFREAK

                                  What sucks about this is that die hard ACR fans like myself who are trying to get every ounce of quality out of their shots have to aquire LR (I have) so that we can get the newest goodies (LR Beta stuff) and then have to wait for ACR to catch up. That is an irritation.  I don't like using LR and prefer Bridge and CS4.  Why not keep ACR in the forefront for its customers?

                                  • 14. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                    01af Level 1

                                    ACRFREAK wrote:

                                     

                                    What sucks about this is that die hard ACR fans like myself who are trying to get every ounce of quality out of their shots have to aquire LR (I have) so that we can get the newest goodies (LR Beta stuff) and then have to wait for ACR to catch up. That is an irritation.

                                    That's just a typcal case of selective perception on your side. Sometimes it's the Camera Raw users who are a few weeks ahead of the Lightroom users, sometimes it's the other way around. And unlike Lightroom users who have no way to take advantage of an ACR beta version, we all can download, install, and use Lightroom 3.0 Beta and take advantage of the new raw conversion engine even when we don't use Lightroom otherwise.

                                     

                                    What really sucks are fools who complain about a gift horse for not getting a better horse. Being a Photoshop+Bridge+Camera Raw user myself, I also wish we had Camera Raw 6.0 Beta for use with CS4 ... but alas, this time it's the Lightroom users who get the tasty morsels early. No reason to be irritated. Instead, look forward with joyous anticipation to what Camera Raw will bring in the near future! And until then, use Lr 3.0 Beta if you can't wait.

                                     

                                    -- Olaf

                                    • 15. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                      Tim Lookingbill Level 1

                                      What I'ld like to know about this new rendering engine is if it will require beefier faster hardware to run. Does this new engine slow things down or has Adobe's elves come up with a clever preview generating scheme for this as well.

                                       

                                      Like I said before, the other competing Raw converters have almost a 3 second delay with each small tweak to any of their tools on my system but ACR is almost immediate and seems to implement a more sophisticated preview caching scheme. 

                                      • 16. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                        Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                        Tim Lookingbill wrote:

                                         

                                        What I'ld like to know about this new rendering engine is if it will require beefier faster hardware to run.

                                         

                                        I've not noticed any speed hits with global adjustments, no. Local adjustments however can really slow things down if you add too many. But that's not directly related to the demosiacing that's a function of needing to render a ton of parametric edits on top of each other.

                                        • 17. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                          Robbie Roberts, Jr.

                                          Be careful what you wish for.

                                           

                                               When LR 2.0 was released I rushed out and bought a copy based on all the rave reviews it was getting. Big mistake because LR 2.0 was not ready to be released as a pay version even after an extensive free beta period. Those of us who were early adopters spent the next several months working with what was in fact just another Beta (albeit one we paid for).  Adobe took all the problems from the paying Betas and incorporated the fixes into ACR5 so that by the time CS4 came out (along with ACR5) most of the headaches had been resolved.

                                           

                                              From having been burned in the past my advise is to enjoy the LR3 beta as an experiment only and even after the paid version of LR3 ships to hold off on buying a copy.  I'd wait at least until the 3.1 release before moving forward (while other poor folks work out the bugs) and if you want to save some money then I'd hold off until CS5 ships (along with ACR6.0) because Adobe doesn't reward their paying Beta testers by giving them a discount on the new version of Photoshop and ACR but rather gives a discount only for those who upgrade their Photoshop and Lightroom at the same time.

                                          • 18. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                            Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                            Robbie Roberts, Jr. wrote:

                                             

                                            Adobe took all the problems from the paying Betas and incorporated the fixes into ACR5 so that by the time CS4 came out (along with ACR5) most of the headaches had been resolved.

                                             

                                            Simply untrue...while Lightroom 2.5 and Camera Raw 5.5 got some memory related bugs worked out, Lightroom 2.1 resolved most of the raw processing issues. Also note that Camera Raw 4.6 (for CS3) was also released at the exact same time as Photoshop CS4/Camera Raw 5.0. Ironically, Camera Raw 4.6 had some bug fixes that Camera Raw 5 had to wait for version 5.1 for...

                                             

                                            So, I'm pretty sure your speculation is based on faulty information (and/or a poor memory).

                                             

                                            In ANY event, Lightroom 3 Beta, is a beta and all caution should be taken. Use at your own risk and on only copies of your main library of images. As to whether or not 3.0 GM will be stable at the point of release, that's yet to be seen.

                                             

                                            And, what exactly does your post have to do with the sharpening?  Not much huh?

                                            • 19. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                              Robbie Roberts, Jr. Level 1

                                              Jeff Schewe wrote:

                                               

                                              Robbie Roberts, Jr. wrote:

                                               

                                              Adobe took all the problems from the paying Betas and incorporated the fixes into ACR5 so that by the time CS4 came out (along with ACR5) most of the headaches had been resolved.

                                               

                                              Simply untrue...while Lightroom 2.5 and Camera Raw 5.5 got some memory related bugs worked out, Lightroom 2.1 resolved most of the raw processing issues. Also note that Camera Raw 4.6 (for CS3) was also released at the exact same time as Photoshop CS4/Camera Raw 5.0. Ironically, Camera Raw 4.6 had some bug fixes that Camera Raw 5 had to wait for version 5.1 for...

                                               

                                              So, I'm pretty sure your speculation is based on faulty information (and/or a poor memory).

                                               

                                              In ANY event, Lightroom 3 Beta, is a beta and all caution should be taken. Use at your own risk and on only copies of your main library of images. As to whether or not 3.0 GM will be stable at the point of release, that's yet to be seen.

                                               

                                              And, what exactly does your post have to do with the sharpening?  Not much huh?

                                               

                                              My mistake. I should have quoted  ACRFREAK so as to put my comments in context.

                                               

                                              Glad to see you're following along on this sharpening discussion because I think you can help influence the development of the product in a positive way.

                                               

                                              Also, I've been reading your books and I've found them very informative.  Keep up the good work.

                                               

                                              Regards.

                                              • 20. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                                ACRFREAK Level 1

                                                Hey Olaf,

                                                 

                                                I don't think your "fools who complain" comment was necessary.  Being a long standing, dedicated ACR fan, advocate and teacher who does not want to wait for tools that are already out in LR does not constitute a fool in my book.

                                                 

                                                It might be better to release both at the same time.

                                                • 21. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                                  01af Level 1

                                                  ACRFREAK wrote:

                                                   

                                                  I don't think your "fools who complain" comment was necessary.

                                                  Umm ... you're right. Sorry!

                                                   

                                                  Still I feel your lament about Lightroom 3.0 Beta not being complemented by ACR 6.0 Beta (or whatever the version number would be) is inappropriate, even though I'm with you regarding the wish-we-had-the-new-raw-conversion-engine-in-Camera-Raw-right-now part.

                                                   

                                                  .

                                                  ACRFREAK wrote:

                                                   

                                                  ... who does not want to wait for tools that are already out in LR ...

                                                  There are no tools "already out in Lr". It's a beta, not a release version. You know what "beta" means in the context of software releases?

                                                   

                                                  .

                                                  ACRFREAK wrote:

                                                   

                                                  It might be better to release both at the same time.

                                                  I am pretty sure exactly that is going to happen when the time has come.

                                                   

                                                  -- Olaf

                                                  • 22. Sharpening Problems in LR3 beta windows 64 bit
                                                    shutterbugwed Level 1

                                                    Perhaps it's just the windows version, but there seem to be some problems with the sharpen tool in the win 64 bit version.  First of all sharpening produced the effect of looking at the picture through a bead-textured glass pane.

                                                     

                                                    Secondly, I can't figure out how to activate the luminance noise correction slider.  It remains dormant. Can anyone shed light on this for me?

                                                    • 23. Re: The new sharpening concept
                                                      MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                                                      For #1: can you please post an example image, along with the sharpening settings you used?

                                                       

                                                      For #2: this is as-designed. Please see the release notes.

                                                       

                                                      Eric