17 Replies Latest reply on Sep 2, 2010 5:44 PM by Hudechrome

    Straighten Tool in RAW

    Hudechrome Level 2

      I decided to try the straighten Tool in RAW and am perplexed as to it's "Marching Orders". When I apply the tool, even to a line that is perfectly straight, it does not indicate a rotation, but it auto crops the image to some unintelligible proportion. The Right hand edge stops where I stopped the tool, but the left hand edge crops to some arbitrary place inside the original.


      For what reason? Also, I notice that after applying, the Crop Tool lights up, with the four corners indicated according to where the Straighten Tool set the new proportions. However, I cannot drag the edges back to their original positions nor anything in between.


      So why do I even want to use it and why did anyone spend any software time to come up with this nonsense? (Scratching head )

        • 1. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
          Hudechrome Level 2

          To make the point clear, open any image in RAW. Grab the straighten tool and run it along a known horizontal, like the bottom of the image, all the way from left to right. Release the mouse button and watch what happens.

          • 2. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
            Hudechrome Level 2

            Ok, what happened is the drop down menu under the crop tool didn't drop down. And the reason seems to be that, if you have applied the Straighten Tool, then Ctrl Z that step, whether you right click or left click the Crop menu arrow, the crop reverts to whatever you did with the Straighten tool. IOW, you cannot roll back to a clean starting point once you have applied the tool. No Clear box seems to be available to clear it so your only recourse is to cancel and start over.

            • 3. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
              ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              How does this information about a menu not dropping down nor a crop unable to be reverted have a bearing on the previous behavior of an odd crop being applied for a straight line?  Are you saying that some old crop was getting reinstated for a horizontal straighten operation?


              I could not recreate the issue using the straight-straighten-line instructions, previously, and am wondering if you have revised instructions based on this new information.

              • 4. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                Hudechrome Level 2

                Good point. Open a new image, the go to the crop tool and drop down the menu. Choose, say, 4x5. Then apply the Straighten tool. It crops to 4x5. Attempt to change that proportion by dragging on the crop edges. You can't. Further, Ctrl Z will not get you back. Clicking Crop or Straighten after Ctrl Z will revert the image to the cropped version.No Clear capability of any former adjustments seems available, as in the Adjustment Brush, which also will not clear simply by using Ctrl Z. And while you are at it, with 4x5 selected, try to change that to Normal on the now compromised image. Can't be done.


                In Photoshop, History takes care of these problems. No such finesse is available in RAW, and needs to be.

                • 5. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                  ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Two things:


                  First:  just like Photoshop, Ctrl-Z only jumps back one step and pressing it, again, does a redo.  Ctrl-Shift-Z and Ctrl-Alt-Z are the way to step back and forth, more steps...on Windows at least.


                  Second:  Setting the crop ratio is not an "operation" that can be undone and redone, it is a persistent setting so dragging or straightening once you have set it does not change the ratio to something else and pressing Control-Z doesn't revert back to the previous crop ratio setting.


                  Is the behavior you're describing inconsistent with these two statements and so you feel there is a big, or are you just disagreeing with the persistent nature of a crop setting?

                  • 6. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                    Hudechrome Level 2

                    I understand that the behavior of Ctr-Z in ACR behaves as a conventional Windows behavior, and it is that to which I take exception. With the increasing complexity and interactions available in ACR, and with the fact that subsequent PS adjustments may no longer be required, a systematic undo (history states) is becoming de rigueur in ACR. It isn't available, so cropping and straightening will have to be a PS adjustment in CS5.


                    I also urge that crop and straighten be separate operations. I suspect that isn't as easy as in PS but nevertheless, is advisable. Lacking that, don't even offer those tools in ACR. Even if I want to crop to 4x5, i may not want to crop it symmetrically, and in fact, the best crops to a different rectangle often starts at one edge. So having the tool decide is completely unacceptable.


                    But then, I'm probably in the minority!

                    • 7. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                      ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      In the Windows apps I use them in, Ctrl-Z is undo and Ctrl-Y is redo, multiple steps in their respective directions.  Ctrl-Z does not behave this way in Photoshop or ACR.  Ctrl-Z in PS or ACR does an Undo, once, and doing Ctrl-Z, again, undoes the undo, so is effectively a redo so pressing it repeatedly merely jumps back and forth between the last two states.  In Photoshop and ACR (and probably other Adobe apps) you have to use Ctrl-Alt-Z to undo multiple steps back and Ctrl-Shift-Z to go forward multiple steps.  So I disagree that ACR's Ctrl-Z works the same as Windows' Ctrl-Z.


                      It apparently does not make sense to you that the crop-ratio is a setting, not an operation contained in the history states to be undone.


                      I think a reason that ACR does not allow rotation of the canvas (as Photoshop does) is that you can't fill in the whitespace with anything else--with painting or using the fill-bucket or whatever as you can in Photoshop, so the crop is constrained to the image extents and thus crop and straighten are inextricably linked. 


                      Straighten rotates the cropbox around its center unless that would make the crop go off the side of the image, in which case the cropbox is moved to keep this from happening.  If there is no existing cropbox, one that surrounds the entire image is created before the straighten is performed.  You just have to move the cropbox by dragging it where you want it if the initial default placement isn't acceptable.


                      ACR's operation makes perfect sense to me, although I'd rather that "canvas" rotate and the cropbox stay square with the screen edges as it does in Lightroom and Photoshop.


                      Are you new to ACR or have you used it for many years, and decided, this evening, to finally describe what you don't like.

                      • 8. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                        Yammer Level 4

                        I have noticed that, after using the straighten tool, a slanted crop box appears but it does not take advantage of the whole sensor frame. I usually have to grab a couple of corners and pull it out a bit further, to get the biggest image possible. (this is with a Normal crop ratio, by the way)

                        • 9. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                          Hudechrome Level 2

                          Well, it may have been a hangup for which a reboot of the computer repaired. Now I get the crop dialog box in the middle anytime during crop or straighten, I can move the ends and corners ok and I can move the crop box around. Ctrl Alt Z also works correctly


                          I am not new to PS or ACR, but I have never used the crop straighten tools in ACR (also true of many other tools in PS) so once in a while, I'll play with the unused tools to acquaint myself with their operations. Nothing else was amiss in any other operation so I didn't think of reboot, although I did start/stop PS and Bridge as well as check prefs for something set wrong or missed.


                          I also concluded that the lack of fill in white space precludes ACR from rotating the canvas or extending the corners past the image area.


                          I understand that the crop ratio is a setting  and certainly do not confuse history states with crop ratio setting. History states will allow you to go back to an earlier settings chnge in any tool I use in PS. ACR is severely limited in that regard. The adjustment brush definitely needs  history state capability.


                          Overall, ACR is both elegant and clunky, a rather surprising combination,imo!


                          I had a couple of power outages last week, the second occurring while booting up . Win 7 seems to handle that well, but then it went into chkdsk during the next day's boot-up and perhaps I have some corrupted data floating around. I'll have to do a careful check before going on with my work today.


                          Thanks for the feedback.


                          Oh, one other note: The drop down menus take a second or two to appear in ACR whereas in PS it is instantaneous.


                          Message was edited by: Hudechrome

                          • 10. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                            Yammer Level 4

                            Hudechrome wrote:


                            I am not new to PS or ACR, but I have never used the crop straighten tools in ACR (also true of many other tools in PS) so once in a while, I'll play with the unused tools to acquaint myself with their operations.

                            Well, until (I think) ACR 5.1, it wasn't advisable to use the straighten tool, as there was loss of quality in the old algorithms. For that reason, I always cropped in Ps. However, now I always straighten and crop in ACR, as it's better quality and easily reversible.

                            • 11. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                              Hudechrome Level 2

                              I'll likely leave it alone. The vast majority of my straightening has to do with misalignments in architectural shoots where I am hand holding, and usually, the Straighten function is only a start. Sine the original always remains just that in RAW, I am less concerned about any image losses in PS. When in doubt, dupe! (In professional audio in the 50's we called it a "safety".)

                              • 12. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                                Hudechrome Level 2

                                Just a little update.


                                The Targeted Adjustment, utilizing Parametric Curves, is one helluva tool!

                                • 13. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                                  IMO ACR needs a perspective crop, like in Photoshop.


                                  That said, I have a more fundamental question...  Why is it imperative that ACR attempt to do all the stuff that Photoshop already does?  Did someone write a book saying this a good thing?  Is there something wrong with Photoshop proper?


                                  Yes, I know all about Lightroom.


                                  Maybe I'm just a stick-in-the-mud. 



                                  • 14. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                                    Hudechrome Level 2

                                    Welcome to the mud.


                                    I'll show you my........NO!


                                    If LR operates the same with respect to crop and straighten, then I don't want LR either. As PS advances (in time!) it seems to get more and more ever so casual about stuff like this.


                                    Look, I expect PS to do more for me than I could ever do in the darkroom. And it has, in spades. Please guys, don't chip away at that. (I just recently spied my old Besler CB-7 enlarger in storage, and for the first time, looked wistfully at it!)

                                    • 15. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                                      ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      I am pretty sure Adobe has decided that it is important that LR and ACR perform the same image adjustment parameters to simplify the RAW engine implementation and make XMP metadata cross-product.  It took some time but with LR3 and ACAR 6.2 I think this has been accomplished.  This does not mean that LR has to add a random-tile dither to 8-bit output, it just means that if ACR gets a UI-element to turn it on and off on an individual image basis, that LR does too.


                                      I think the manual horizontal and vertical perspective corrections of the lens-correction module can be combined to accomplish the same thing as the drag-the-corners-independently perspective crop in Photoshop, but it is much more difficult to tinker with two sliders than drag corners if there is a rectangular object in the image, so each method has its strengths.


                                      I guess one non-equivalence is that the perspective-crop in Photoshop can produce independent scaling of the horizontal and vertical dimensions whereas the perspective sliders cannot, so it may not be possible to constrain the independently-dragged corners in a way that is equivalent to various slider positions, and so introducing independent horizontal and vertical scaling sliders in the lens-correction module would be required, too, and maybe this will come with time, or maybe it has been decided against until they've run out of other things to add to a new version to get us to pay every 18 months.

                                      • 16. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                                        Lawrence, do you know about the following?


                                        1.  Select the measurement () tool in Photoshop proper.




                                        2.  Drag a line along the edge of something you want to be straight.


                                        3.  Choose Image - Image Rotation - Arbitrary...


                                        4.  Note that the Angle is pre-set to the angle it will take to make the line you drew with the ruler in step 2 either horizontal or vertical, whichever's closer.



                                        • 17. Re: Straighten Tool in RAW
                                          Hudechrome Level 2

                                          Kinda. Nice to revisit it. If it were not buried with the eyedropper, I would probably use it more often.


                                          A great Photoshop quiz would be to list all the tools behind each icon in the toolbox! I would fail miserably!


                                          Quick! No fair looking:


                                          Which Tool(s) is only a single item? How many of these are there?