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Author Topic: Genuine Fractals plug-in issues  (Read 8923 times)
bjanes
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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2008, 02:29:03 PM »
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My workflow is to take my file and uprez with each method (with PS CS3 (bicubic or bicubic sharper), Blow up, and GF) and then use PK Sharpener as I usually would on the uprezzed files.
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Another approach is the use of a deconvolution algorithm such as the Adaptive Richardson-Lucy Iteration rather than or in addition to the unsharp filter. Whereas sharpening merely creates the illusion of sharpness, the R-L algorithm actually restores sharpness. See [a href=\"http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/image-restoration1/index.html]Roger Clark's[/url] web site. Roger reports that he can get 2x (linear, 4x area) larger prints with this method. Disadvantages of the R-L are increased compute time and increased noise.

The smart sharpen filter of Photoshop is another deconvolution algorithm if you can figure out how to use it.

Bill
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 02:30:05 PM by bjanes » Logged
dandeliondigital
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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2008, 09:08:21 PM »
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You can print out an 8x10 section of each, no need to output both to an enormous print.

And in the end, there's no substitute for real data. These products are crutches or to be used when there's a gun to your head.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169527\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Andrew,
Good points. In fact I usually do print out test strip like examples that I compare side by side, if the project warrants that.

Massaging and squeezing pixels to give up their inner selves is our game. I guess I should have mentioned that a lot of the images I might be using the "hamburger helper" on are in fact synthetic images to start. We create machine art with fractal programs, and synthetic art with Studio Artist, and for more traditional looks it's the wild and wooly Painter X with millions of pixel dripping choices at hand, and of course Photoshop and all the tools. Sometimes the image began as any and all of the above and not always at the right size or resolution. I should have made clear I am not simply uprezzing digital photographs or worse yet jpgs with the intent of faking great, crisp highly detailed photographs. Digital art is an interesting area to work in and the tools mentioned sometimes make effects that are successful.

As far a photography goes, I have shot traditional film from half frame Tri-X all the way up to 8x10 Fujichromes, but that is like a ghost in the machine now. I have also done Photoshop retouching (10-12 long years ago) when the files were provided in CMYK and were already sharpened by? at? the scanner. We have come a long way! Retouching those sharpened CMYK drum scans was quite interesting, and so backwards. After reading Real World Camera Raw, Image Sharpening by Bruce Fraser, and your book Color Management for Photographers, I must say I owe a lot to you all (would that be the Pixel Mafia?) and in the end, it's a vision thing.

So long for now, TOM
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John.Murray
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2008, 09:20:59 PM »
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Pixel Mafia???

hehe . . . .
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digitaldog
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« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2008, 09:44:46 AM »
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A synthetic image is going to be even more an apples to orange test but yes, print em out.
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Andrew Rodney
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George Machen
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2008, 11:43:48 AM »
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... The smart sharpen filter of Photoshop is another deconvolution algorithm if you can figure out how to use it.
Here's Forensic Photoshop's summary take on it:

"Monday, October 15, 2007
Smart Sharpening - Fixing focus issues the easy way
In the Forensic Photoshop work flow, the first step after acquiring the image is to address issues of focus. One of the easiest ways to deal with focus is with Adobe's deconvolution filter, also known as Smart Sharpen. Here is a quick overview of the settings:

"Filter>Sharpen>Smart Sharpen

"There are two ways of working with the Smart Sharpen interface, Basic and Advanced. The Advanced mode has the same settings as Basic and allows you to fade the effect in the shadows and/or highlights.

"Amount: Like Unsharp Mask, a higher value increases the contrast between edge pixels, giving the appearance of greater sharpness.
Radius: How far out do you want to apply the effect? The greater the radius value, the wider the area that will be subject to an increase in contrast. Enter too large a number and you will have noticeable halos.
Remove: Offers a selection of three ways to find and minimize the blur, thus sharpening the image:
Gaussian Blur - This option works like the Unsharp Mask filter and is the fastest.
Lens Blur - This option does a great job looking for edges and detail and thus produces finer sharpening of detail.
Motion Blur - Got camera or subject motion blur? This option looks for it and reduces the effect. Be sure to measure the angle of blur with the Measure Tool, if you plan to use the Motion Blur option. (Make note of the measured value in the Options bar before entering the Smart Sharpen interface, and then input it into the Angle control field).
More Accurate: Processes the file twice for better removal of blur and enhanced sharpness. Be warned, this option can double processing time.

"From the Advanced Settings:
Fade Amount: This adjusts the amount of sharpening in the highlights and/or shadows. Fade it all the way (100%) to conceal the sharpening. No fade (0%) gives maximum sharpening. Think of it as a Blending Mode's opacity slider in reverse.
Tonal Width: This controls the range of tones that are modified by Smart Sharpening. The lower the setting the more subtle the result.
Radius: The slider works like Radius in Basic mode and controls the size of the area around each pixel that is used to determine whether a pixel is in the shadows or highlights.

"Now that you've seen how each of the settings works, give it a try on your images. Input your images. Then correct the focus. Then look at contrast, lighting, and colour. Then deal with noise. Then sharpen edges and detail. Interpolate if necessary and add a final touch of sharpening before you print or archive.

"There are some photographers who advise moving into LAB mode before using Smart Sharpen. I tend to agree, but with certain exceptions and it depends on the image. Mostly, I would convert to LAB mode during the final sharpening step, not necessarily at the focus correction step. Try it for yourself and see if you can tell the difference."
— <http://forensicphotoshop.blogspot.com/2007/10/smart-sharpening-fixing-focus-issues.html>


... about which they also had to say elsewhere:

"Almost all images are soft upon arrival into Photoshop. In class, we used the Smart Sharpen filter to address our focus problems. We saw that choosing Gaussian Blur as our removal method turned the filter in a fancy Unsharp Mask filter (remember the modern art masterpiece we created as a result of complimentary colour fringing at the edges). We also noted that in order to use Motion Blur as our removal method, we had to first determine the angle of the motion and put this value into the angle box. With these things in mind, we chose to use Lens Blur as our removal method, fixing focus with Smart Sharpen, Photoshop's built-in deconvolution filter. We also noted that there were some plug-ins that could help us out; namely Optipix <http://www.reindeergraphics.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=51> and Clear ID <http://www.oceansystems.com/dtective/clearid/index.html> (both written by Chris Russ <http://screen-online.de/blog/archives/000016.php>)."
— <http://forensicphotoshop.blogspot.com/2007/11/leva-pre-conference-training-post-game.html>
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bjanes
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« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2008, 08:03:16 AM »
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Here's Forensic Photoshop's summary take on it:

"Monday, October 15, 2007
Smart Sharpening - Fixing focus issues the easy way
In the Forensic Photoshop work flow, the first step after acquiring the image is to address issues of focus. One of the easiest ways to deal with focus is with Adobe's deconvolution filter, also known as Smart Sharpen. Here is a quick overview of the settings:

[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

George,

Thanks the information on the general purpose of the smart sharpen controls. The problem is to choose the right settings among hundreds of combinations in a rational way rather then by trial and error with real time on screen feedback. As you know, the trick of using deconvolution methods is to determine the point spread function that is used in the deconvolution to undo the blurring. In the case of motion blur, this can be relatively simple. In the case of defocus, one method recommended by [a href=\"http://www.focusmagic.com/]Focus Magic [/url] is to examine a point specular highlight and determine the diameter of the blur circle in pixels and use this for the deconvolution. I'm not sure how you would do this with Smart Sharpen.

Of course, the image may have more problems than defocus, such as the image softening introduced by the camera's blur filter. Bruce Fraser's work flow uses the unsharp filter with a radius determined by the camera resolution and amount determined by the strength of the blur filter to restore the appearance of sharpness (sharpening for source). Jonathan Wienke and others have reported very good results for source sharpening with deconvolution (Jonathan uses Smart Sharpen).

Bruce Fraser wrote a whole book on sharpening, revolving mostly around the unsharp mask. Its optimal use is pretty complicated. He discussed the Smart Sharpen filter, but was not enthusiastic about it--perhaps he hadn't yet figured out how to use it to the greatest advantage. What would be most helpful would be a source describing these newer methods and similar to Bruce's book.

Bill
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walter.sk
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« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2008, 10:42:31 AM »
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The problem is to choose the right settings among hundreds of combinations in a rational way rather then by trial and error with real time on screen feedback. As you know, the trick of using deconvolution methods is to determine the point spread function that is used in the deconvolution to undo the blurring. In the case of motion blur, this can be relatively simple. In the case of defocus, one method recommended by Focus Magic is to examine a point specular highlight and determine the diameter of the blur circle in pixels and use this for the deconvolution. I'm not sure how you would do this with Smart Sharpen.

Of course, the image may have more problems than defocus, such as the image softening introduced by the camera's blur filter. Bruce Fraser's work flow uses the unsharp filter with a radius determined by the camera resolution and amount determined by the strength of the blur filter to restore the appearance of sharpness (sharpening for source). Jonathan Wienke and others have reported very good results for source sharpening with deconvolution (Jonathan uses Smart Sharpen).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169943\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The controls in Focus Magic are simple, and with a little practice it becomes easy to choose the optimum blur width to use for an image.  The before/after preview windows in FM show the result (for OOF blur, which includes softening by the AA filter) at 100%.  You can click on the least blurred part of the image and FM will suggest what the blur width is, in pixels.  You can also reduce or increase the application of the effect to more than or less than 100% (almost never needed, in my experience) and view the change.  You can also click on other areas of the image, where because of depth of field or lens softness at the edges, you can try another blur width , then navigate to a the least blurred spot and see what the higher blur width setting does there.  You can then choose one or the other, or find a compromise in between and see the results immediately in FM's preview windows.

You can even make one or more broad selections, feathered, and use different blur widths for different parts of the image.  I have found FM much more intuitive and accurate than Smart Sharpen.  While the processing time for FM is longer than that of Smart Sharpen on my computer, the confidence with which I can use it is much greater than what I have experienced with Smart Sharpen.

Also, the reults of FM can be altered by the Fade control, either leaving it as is but selecting the Luminance blend mode, and/or reducing the effect of FM using the percentage slider.

Alternately, if you use FM on a layer above the background you can fade the opacity as well as the blend mode.

I use the 1DMkII, shoot RAW and convert to 16bit Tiffs in Prophoto RGB.  I use Focus Magic as part of my workflow, and most often do not need to use other sharpening methods unless I uprezz.  I do my uprezzing on the fly using Qimage and have printed up to 24x36 with Qimage's Smart Sharpening after interpolation by Qimage's Hybrid method.  Using Qimage's Smart Sharpening at settings from 2 through 5 depending on the amount of small detail in the image, piggybacked onto the use of Focus Magic on the original processed file, produces prints that draw comments on the sharpness, with no artifacts of sharpening visible to the naked eye.  I suspect if you used a loupe you could find artifacts but I put a sign over my images in exhibits saying "No Loupes."  (Just kidding, of course.)

I print on an HP Z3100, and Qimage gives me more intuitive control over the prints and layouts than CS3 does.  I have not printed from Photoshop for many years, thanks to Qimage.  I do adjusting of the softproof duplicate in CS3 if needed, and send that to Qimage.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 10:47:54 AM by walter.sk » Logged
George Machen
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« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2008, 11:30:28 AM »
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... the trick of using deconvolution methods is to determine the point spread function that is used in the deconvolution to undo the blurring. In the case of motion blur, this can be relatively simple. In the case of defocus, one method recommended by Focus Magic is to examine a point specular highlight and determine the diameter of the blur circle in pixels and use this for the deconvolution. I'm not sure how you would do this with Smart Sharpen.
- Am I correct that that Motion Blur's Remove option otherwise essentially is the same deconvolution as the Lens Blur option, except that the latter's effect is radial-equi-omnidirectional (to try compensating for bokeh), and the former's is linearly biased solely in the direction of the chosen angle?

- Using the Focus Magic estimation procedure, couldn't one zoom-in on a found small specular in an image, count the number of visually apparent bokeh pixels radiating around it, and insert that value in the Radius field? In other words, isn't Smart Sharpen's roughly-judged point spread function value supposed to be entered into the Radius field?

- I discovered another procedure I've never seen mentioned elsewhere, that may more accurately converge upon the optimum setting for point spread function (assuming I'm right that it's entered as the Radius value):

In this illustrative example, for purposes of clarity, choose a low-res JPEG, from which Smart Sharpen will bring out ugly artifacts. Moreover, choose the max 500% Amount, which of course can be dialed-back later.

Also, to accentuate things for this purpose, zoom-in to, say, 200% (notwithstanding that more realistic evaluation-guesses of regular USM on a computer screen, that we all know overstates any kind of sharpening - both accutance & bokeh-reduction, better might be viewed at, for example, 50% if going to press).

1) Using Lens Blur, observe that at a clearly too-large value of Radius for this particular image, such as 1.0 pixel, the noise & artifacts become worse when the More Accurate checkbox is enabled. Makes sense, considering that doing so applies the deconvolution twice.

2) But decrease the Radius value in 0.1 pixel increments, each time toggling the More Accurate checkbox, and at some point something very interesting happens: Below a certain Radius, the More Accurate setting drastically *reduces* the artifacts, yet the image still looks more focused.

I suspect that at this Radius point, the image's native point spread function has been reached!

How about you all giving this procedure a try, and let us know your findings back here?


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... Bruce Fraser's work flow uses the unsharp filter with a radius determined by the camera resolution ...
Bless his soul, poor Bruce as far as I know apparently never overcame his propensities toward what Ken Rockwell characterizes as a "Measurebator": While image resolution certainly enters into it, good retouchers know that for any given image resolution, the particular fineness of detail in the image *content* significant area of interest is the paramount determinant of Radius. Whether in so-called capture, creative, or output sharpening, one would be a damn fool to apply the same Radius to, say, a glass of beer or wine effervescence as to furniture fabric with subtle intricacy. When the desired appearance of the subjectmatter detail sharpness is attained, the image resolution automatically has been taken into account along with it, without even thinking about it, as a matter of course.
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bjanes
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« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2008, 03:23:12 PM »
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Bless his soul, poor Bruce as far as I know apparently never overcame his propensities toward what Ken Rockwell characterizes as a "Measurebator": While image resolution certainly enters into it, good retouchers know that for any given image resolution, the particular fineness of detail in the image *content* significant area of interest is the paramount determinant of Radius. Whether in so-called capture, creative, or output sharpening, one would be a damn fool to apply the same Radius to, say, a glass of beer or wine effervescence as to furniture fabric with subtle intricacy. When the desired appearance of the subjectmatter detail sharpness is attained, the image resolution automatically has been taken into account along with it, without even thinking about it, as a matter of course.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169975\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ken Rockwell doesn't bother to use raw or a tripod and is generally laughed at in these forums, even though he does make some good points. If you read Bruce's book you would see that he combines sharpening for source and content into capture sharpening. For his rationale of sharpening for image source refer to p. 165 of his sharpening book, where his reasoning is convincing to me. Sharpening for image content comes next in the work flow and it does take the image characteristics into consideration.

In Bruce's output sharpening, the image content is irrelevant and he states that "creativity at this stage is not only unnecessary but should be discouraged." The determining factors are the final output resolution (in terms of PPI on the paper), paper type (glossy, matte, etc) and the type of output device, with contone printers needing less effect than an inkjet error diffusion printer or halftone process.

IMHO, it was Bruce's "Measurebation" combined with logical analysis that took into account the properties of human vision that set his work apart from guys like Rockwell.

Bill
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 03:28:01 PM by bjanes » Logged
dwdallam
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« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2008, 03:14:05 AM »
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I didn't hear anyone mention High Pass Filter method of sharpening. Why not? It's suppose to overcome the sharpening + increased noise problem. It might be me, but It also seems to give an image a "sheen" like melted glass smoothness.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2008, 11:27:51 AM »
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It might be me, but It also seems to give an image a "sheen" like melted glass smoothness.
That's precisely what I don't like about HPF sharpening.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2008, 03:15:23 AM »
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That's precisely what I don't like about HPF sharpening.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=177738\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
So it's not just me. It does indeed give a sort of liquid look to the image. I'm not so sure I'm down on that look however.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 06:27:52 PM by dwdallam » Logged

Henry Goh
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« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2008, 06:33:07 AM »
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When I first submitted to Alamy I had a D100 and a D70.  Due to the smallish native files, I used GF V3 and later V4 to uprez.  I also bought and used Photozoom Pro 2, and a whole host of software targeted at those who just wished they had bigger files. Later when PS CS2 came along, upsizing directly in one go was as good as GF, at least to my eyes.

Recently when prices became more than reasonable, I bought a demo D2X and followed by a new Canon 5D.  Now to upsize those files to meet Alamy's requirements, I only have to increase size slightly, less than 30%.  I kept thinking to myself, if I'm selling images and getting paid, then why am I being such a miser, so I went out and bought a Canon 1Ds MKIII and now have native size files larger than what Alamy is asking for.  I'm done with upsizing because my task must surely be to worry about competing for sales with the few million other images on agency sites than to spend time tricking QC to accept borderline images.

I would seriously give it thought about looking at the whole process as a business that has to begin with the best quality capture one can achieve.

Just my 2˘

Henry
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