18 Replies Latest reply on May 29, 2012 8:27 AM by Kieren13

    No brightness control in ACR 7

    RASouthworth Level 3

      ... is a problem IMO.  I understand I can switch to the Tone Curve panel and accomplish the same function by tugging on the curve center, but I miss the convenience of tweaking an image directly from the Basic panel.

       

      I'm curious as to why Adobe eliminated the control and whether anybody else shares my opinion that it was a mistake to do so.

       

      Richard Southworth

        • 1. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
          dorin_nicolaescu Level 5

          Because now Exposure does pretty much the same. And when it doesn't, a bit

          of Whites would help it.

          • 2. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
            Jeff Schewe Level 5

            RASouthworth wrote:

             

            I'm curious as to why Adobe eliminated the control and whether anybody else shares my opinion that it was a mistake to do so.

             

            They eliminated it since Exposure and Brightness were essentially the same thing in PV 2010 the only difference was Brighness had a strong roll off on the highlights. Exposure in PV 2012 is more like a "super" brighness control with image adaptive adjustments for improved highlight and shadow control. And no, I don't think it is a mistake...but you do need to learn how to use the PV 2012 controls. I suggest using them in the order they are presented and be sure to use the proper Contrast before trying to adjust Highlights and Shadows. Once you get used to the new controls I think you'll find you need less curves adjustments...

            • 3. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
              areohbee Level 5

              I recommend NOT using the tone curve for general brightening - it will make the picture look more "washed out" than if you accomplish your brightening objective using the basic controls instead.

               

              If brightening by way of Exposure and/or Whites makes the top end too bright, just drop the highlights.

               

              The results are better albeit more slider finessing...

               

              Cheers,

              Rob

              • 4. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                RASouthworth Level 3

                If so then Adobe is becoming loose with nomenclature, e.g. "exposure" always meant to me each and every element of the image was changed proportionately (ignoring clipping and recovery), i.e. add 1 stop and all linear ccd values were doubled.  And I've always assumed brightness was significantly different from exposure in that it was equivalent to moving the mid-point of the tone curve vertically with the min and max points anchored.  Apparently art has triumphed over precision, at least as far as terminology is concerned.

                 

                Richard Southworth

                • 5. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                  areohbee Level 5

                  Hi Richard,

                   

                  Adobe toyed with the idea of calling it Exprightness, but then decided that would make people even more confused - .

                   

                  After a few weeks (or months ;-}), you won't miss the brightness control - the new ones allow even more control over how bright where, before the curves...

                   

                  You can really make things bright in Lr4 if you want, without losing midtone contrast or highlight detail...

                   

                  Cheers,

                  Rob

                  • 6. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                    MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                    Yes, digital Exposure (in the camera) generally involves doubling the values -- until you clip.  Then you have a sharp cutoff, which is very non-linear.  Current sensors work that way, because they have to (not because it makes images look good).  When we implemented our Exposure control in PV 2012 in software, we saw no reason to mimic that undesirable characteristic.  Instead, we took our inspiration from the much gentler highlight rolloff (also non-linear) that film provides (the term "exposure" was used for many years in that context too).

                     

                    Thus, both analog and digital exposure have non-linear characteristics in the highlights:  we opted for the route that we feel leads to better-looking output.

                    • 7. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                      RASouthworth Level 3

                      Eric,

                       

                      Thanks for the reply and all sounds reasonable, where do I go to access this information in written form?  Or do I have to wait for Jeff's next book?  I've tried the help screens but so far they link to a dead website.

                       

                      Richard Southworth

                      • 8. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                        Bill_Janes Level 2

                        MadManChan2000 wrote:

                         

                        Yes, digital Exposure (in the camera) generally involves doubling the values -- until you clip.  Then you have a sharp cutoff, which is very non-linear.  Current sensors work that way, because they have to (not because it makes images look good).  When we implemented our Exposure control in PV 2012 in software, we saw no reason to mimic that undesirable characteristic.  Instead, we took our inspiration from the much gentler highlight rolloff (also non-linear) that film provides (the term "exposure" was used for many years in that context too).

                         

                        Thus, both analog and digital exposure have non-linear characteristics in the highlights:  we opted for the route that we feel leads to better-looking output.

                         

                        This makes sense for most situations, but it can complicate ETTR rendering. If one is dealing with a relatively low contrast scene and increases the exposure by 2/3 stop to get a better SNR without encountering any clipping, a linear exposure correction of - 2/3 EV would normalize the image.

                         

                        The use of the exposure and brightness controls are discussed by Thomas Knoll in the LuLa ACR turorial (CR09, 5:27). He first adjusts the white point with the exposure slider, and if this affects the midtones, he uses the brightness to correct them. He mentioned that with Lightroom (? LR3 at that time), some users set the midtones with the exposure control and then set the highlights with recovery. Setting the midtones with exposure to place them on the linear portion of the characteristic curve is what is usually done with B&W negative film. One then hopes the highlights and shadows are compressed by the toe and shoulder of the characteristic curve, perhaps altering contrast by varying the development. With ACR7, the exposure control can be used to set the midtones and the white and highlight controls can be used to set the white point and control the highlights, similar to the process with film as you suggest.

                         

                        However, with ETTR, one places the highlight just short of clipping by adjusting exposure, which is a linear function. A linear exposure control would  be useful to linearly decrease the image luminance values. I presume one can always fall back to PV2010, but there is no guarantee that it will be included with future versions.

                        • 9. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                          MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                          Bill, turns out the new math in PV 2012 in ACR 7 / LR 4 does not complicate ETTR, because "normalizing" the exposure (e.g., dropping it by 2/3 of a stop, 1 stop, or whatever) still works as expected.  As the data gets farther away from the highlights, it becomes more linear just like a regular digital exposure.  ACR 7 / LR 4 "knows" where the clipping point of your image data is, so it can adjust automatically.  This makes it possible to, say, bracket exposures, normalize them afterwards with Exposure, and have them look nearly identical (clipping and noise excepted, of course).  We paid special attention to ETTR workflows in developing the new Exposure math and I believe it works well in that context.

                          • 10. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                            Noel Carboni Level 7

                            MadManChan2000 wrote:

                             

                            When we implemented our Exposure control in PV 2012 in software, we saw no reason to mimic that undesirable characteristic.

                             

                            All I can say to this is BRAVO!

                             

                            I'm recovering FAR more highlight information with ACR 7 than I was ever able to do before.

                             

                            -Noel

                            • 11. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                              ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              PV2012 has the same not-guaranteed-to-be-in-future-releases probability as PV2010, so you can choose whichever one you want.

                              • 12. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                                judy04 Level 1

                                I don't see this at all (re PV10).   I was using EXP and black like in levels with alt to adjust the upper and lower exposure.   Then brightness was like dragging the center triangle (still levels).   My whole work flow is confused by the new method.   How do I learn to convert?  (ie where)

                                • 13. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                                  Kieren13

                                  I was taken aback at first by the new control line up in Basic. The names suggested something similar to Parametric Curves. That, and my approach in ACR6.x involved a lot of playing off Exposure and Brightness against Recovery, Fill Light, and Blacks. My previous setting did not migrate well at all, so for the folders (copies) I'm using to demo CS6 I reset everything to ACR defaults, removed all settings, and flushed the caches. My initial puzzlement with the new approach is gradually giving way to some appreciation. I agree that highlight recovery works quite well compared to Recovery in 6.x. The Basic controls all seem pretty gentle in their effects, which I think will be good for fine tuning once I get a bit more intuitive about the relative range of each control.

                                   

                                  I'm going to work with CS6 some more, and do comparisons of the results between ACR 6.x and 7.x. It will be interesting to see which does a better job on difficult images, and if they can come close to matching results for the same images. I expect that this will give me a sense of how to use the new line up of controls as comfortably as with the old.

                                  • 14. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                                    judy04 Level 1

                                    |  The use of the exposure and brightness controls are discussed by Thomas Knoll in the LuLa ACR turorial (CR09, 5:27).

                                     

                                    This is not real helpful as you have to pay for this video.   Surely there's something available to read for the new controls since we *paid* for LR4 and since they don't "do" manuals anymore, they should put up something online.

                                     

                                    HELP!!!    Reference please from somebody!!

                                    • 15. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                                      RASouthworth Level 3

                                      The closest thing to free help is the Lightroom 4 help pdf, http://help.adobe.com/en_US/lightroom/using/lightroom_4_help.pdf

                                       

                                      ACR and Lightroom are tightly sync'd, have AFAIK exactly the same functionality.  At least there is some instruction on how/what for the controls.

                                       

                                      Richard Southworth

                                      • 16. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                                        Kieren13 Level 1

                                        Richard-

                                         

                                        Thanks very much for that document link. It is very informative.

                                         

                                        Kieren

                                        • 18. Re: No brightness control in ACR 7
                                          Kieren13 Level 1

                                          Thanks for those resources, Mr Chan. They are much appreciated.