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Author Topic: Nik plug-ins for Aperture and CS3  (Read 14332 times)
Hellstan
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« on: September 28, 2008, 04:41:06 PM »
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I just tried, finally, NIK software BW, Viveza and Sharpener.
I say : wow!
NIK BW for Aperture is really doing marvels to me.
And Viveza tool for localized adjustments without having
to work in layers and CS3 is an absolute stunner.
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Richard Marcellus
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2008, 07:11:26 PM »
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I really like the NIK plug-ins as well. I picked up the complete bundle for Aperture with the new lower price after playing with the trials. I have been using Viveza and Color Efex Pro on a lot of my images. There are a couple of filters in Efex that I really like and they are easy to dial in. Having the control points to reduce or eliminate the filter's effect is very nice. I use this with the Gradient filters to stop darkening the tops of trees or other vertical elements like buildings. I am saving a lot of time compared to doing these sorts of things more manually in Photoshop.

Richard


Quote from: Hellstan
I just tried, finally, NIK software BW, Viveza and Sharpener.
I say : wow!
NIK BW for Aperture is really doing marvels to me.
And Viveza tool for localized adjustments without having
to work in layers and CS3 is an absolute stunner.
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CatOne
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 05:46:40 PM »
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Agreed... they are fantastic.  I'm afraid to admit that I don't use Photoshop often enough to retain the knowledge of the fine art of masking and local selections.  The workflows and key combinations are _so_ complicated with the interface that I cannot get good results without spending _hours_ re-learning things.

Viveza does a great job with local corrections.  And Sharpener Pro gives fantastic output.

I have experimented with Color FX Pro a bit, and gotten some results that were "neat," but I'm not yet sufficiently well versed to have done much more than tinker yet.

Oh... and I really wish the noise plug-in was nondestructive.  Given it's supposed to be done first in the workflow, rendering a RAW to a TIFF as step 1 and going from there... yuck.  But I guess that's an enhancement request for the Aperture team at Apple... wonder if they've heard that one before?  
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digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 06:30:08 PM »
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Quote from: CatOne
Oh... and I really wish the noise plug-in was nondestructive.  Given it's supposed to be done first in the workflow, rendering a RAW to a TIFF as step 1 and going from there... yuck.  But I guess that's an enhancement request for the Aperture team at Apple... wonder if they've heard that one before?  

Every one of the Aperture plug-in's are "destructive" in that they are applied after Raw rendering. The only way around this would be for Aperture to open its Raw processing engine (like Bibble does). Lightroom, same deal.
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Andrew Rodney
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CatOne
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 06:48:18 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Every one of the Aperture plug-in's are "destructive" in that they are applied after Raw rendering. The only way around this would be for Aperture to open its Raw processing engine (like Bibble does). Lightroom, same deal.

Yep.  So not that much different than doing editing in Photoshop, where Aperture is just ACR with DAM functionality.

Of course, Aperture + Nik Plug-ins is way more friendly for the photographer that doesn't have 15 years with Photoshop to use ;-)
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Richard Marcellus
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 09:09:43 PM »
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Quote from: CatOne
Yep.  So not that much different than doing editing in Photoshop, where Aperture is just ACR with DAM functionality.

Of course, Aperture + Nik Plug-ins is way more friendly for the photographer that doesn't have 15 years with Photoshop to use ;-)

I find that I am getting a bit lazy about "manually" using Photoshop to do the sort of work that Viveza does so well. It would really take me quite a while to mask something as well as Viveza does with a few clicks. I also find Color Efex to be really quick for getting certain looks. Sure it could be done in Photoshop, but it would take me much longer. I also love being able to quickly use the control points in Efex to limit the effects of the color filters.

The down side of this is that I am losing my Photoshop skills, so when I do want to use the program for something more complex, I am much slower at it.

I would like to do all of these things nondestructively, but I wonder if our computers are fast enough to do this on-the-fly. I had thought that the Aperture SDK would allow 3rd party apps to be passed the raw data, but no one seems to have taken advantage of it so there must be some catch.

Richard
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digitaldog
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 08:20:45 AM »
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Quote from: Richard Marcellus
II had thought that the Aperture SDK would allow 3rd party apps to be passed the raw data, but no one seems to have taken advantage of it so there must be some catch.

I'm almost positive that's not the case. Neither Apple nor Adobe have opened up the Raw processing pipeline to others.
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Andrew Rodney
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CatOne
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 10:07:53 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
I'm almost positive that's not the case. Neither Apple nor Adobe have opened up the Raw processing pipeline to others.

In theory there is access to the RAW data.  Or, at least, I read a review which said there was.  So you would be able to write your own RAW converter, for example.  Thing is, the output of the plug-in would be a TIFF, so you're effectively taking the place of Aperture's conversion step.  And then you have still done something destructively... you're not creating an "adjustment brick" as it were, which is really what I'd like to see.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 11:11:25 AM »
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Quote from: CatOne
In theory there is access to the RAW data.  Or, at least, I read a review which said there was.  So you would be able to write your own RAW converter, for example.  Thing is, the output of the plug-in would be a TIFF, so you're effectively taking the place of Aperture's conversion step.  And then you have still done something destructively... you're not creating an "adjustment brick" as it were, which is really what I'd like to see.

I'd love to see this review. I'm quite certain that all processing happens AFTER Raw conversion on a rendered image, pixel based image. This isn't as far as I know parametric editing happening in the Raw pipeline.
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Andrew Rodney
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 12:36:20 PM »
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Andrew, I'm pretty sure I read that the plug-in specification does allow access to the raw pipeline, though no existing plug-ins actually takes advantage of this.
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drm
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2008, 03:49:45 PM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
Andrew, I'm pretty sure I read that the plug-in specification does allow access to the raw pipeline, though no existing plug-ins actually takes advantage of this.

You can request the RAW data, or you can request a processed file in several formats, but there is no way of providing Aperture with instructions to render a preview (or output) based on whatever adjustments your editor might make.

Think about it: there are many barriers to overcome here. There are all sorts of usability and performance issues, and I think the idea that you could specify an API which would allow Aperture - or Lr - to somehow marshall the collected manipulations of an unpredictable set of 3rd party plugins is a big stretch.

You might, as with Bibble / Noise Ninja, see tight integration of selected 3rd party partners, but a free for all just isn't going to happen. I'm not sure it would be desirable, either.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2008, 03:53:00 PM »
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Quote from: drm
You can request the RAW data, or you can request a processed file in several formats, but there is no way of providing Aperture with instructions to render a preview (or output) based on whatever adjustments your editor might make.

Think about it: there are many barriers to overcome here. There are all sorts of usability and performance issues, and I think the idea that you could specify an API which would allow Aperture - or Lr - to somehow marshall the collected manipulations of an unpredictable set of 3rd party plugins is a big stretch.

You might, as with Bibble / Noise Ninja, see tight integration of selected 3rd party partners, but a free for all just isn't going to happen. I'm not sure it would be desirable, either.

That's exactly my understanding of this too. Bibble has incorporated the "plug-in" within its core Raw processing engine (its not a plug-in). As far as I know, that's about the only such product that does this today.
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Andrew Rodney
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CatOne
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2008, 07:17:25 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
I'd love to see this review. I'm quite certain that all processing happens AFTER Raw conversion on a rendered image, pixel based image. This isn't as far as I know parametric editing happening in the Raw pipeline.

I read it here:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_p...cid=7-9308-9356

Specifically:

"First, an image editing plug-in can request and receive the RAW image from Aperture: when you select a RAW photo and choose an image editing plug-in, the plug-in can ask for RAW data rather than a finished TIFF or PSD. Yes, this means what you think it means: Apple has provided a mechanism for alternate RAW converters to be used within Aperture. It's still not possible to send from Aperture a RAW file in its RAW form to an external RAW converter, such as Camera Raw in Photoshop. But it now is possible for someone else's RAW converter to live and work within Aperture. This is potentially very cool, but the coolness of this will be realized only if developers choose to implement RAW converters as image editing plug-ins for Aperture, and as of this writing there are none announced that we know of."

My development skills are rusty, and my OS X development skills with Cocoa are { }  

However, this is mentioned (if _extremely_ briefly) in the Developer Document for Aperture plug-ins:

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/A...perture_001.pdf

"<key>supportedRAWExtensions</key>
<array>
<string>cr2</string>
</array>
<!-- Optional. If your plug-in reads the RAW master data from images
but only supports certain raw formats, providing a list of file name extensions
here will disable your plug-in if the user has selected any images that
aren't RAW or are RAW but do not have one of the extensions listed here.
Note that Aperture will still pass images that do not have any extension at
all to your plug-in, regardless of the extensions listed here. -->
"

So in theory a plug-in should be able to read the RAW master data in, and then save it out as a TIFF file.  So I'd think you could, say, build an edit plug-in for a Foveon-based camera and jam it in the pipeline, though it might be ugly.

Also, since there aren't many (any?) examples of these types of plug-ins in existence... maybe the demand isn't so good or writing them isn't so easy.

And it's not an edit brick that can operate seamlessly and non-destructively, which again is what I'd like, and is the advantage to LR's local corrections over Aperture's dodge & burn right now.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2008, 07:36:08 PM »
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Quote from: CatOne
<!-- Optional. If your plug-in reads the RAW master data from images
but only supports certain raw formats, providing a list of file name extensions
here will disable your plug-in if the user has selected any images that
aren't RAW or are RAW but do not have one of the extensions listed here.
Note that Aperture will still pass images that do not have any extension at
all to your plug-in, regardless of the extensions listed here. -->

My read on this is "if your plug-in is a Raw converter, we'll pass the data and you can render it." Which is a lot like saying, "we'll hand off the Raw, you process it". I could be wrong, but again, I'm pretty darn sure that Aperture doesn't allow anyone to get into their Raw engine like Bibble does (well, Bibble licenses the technology and does the heavy lifting within their pipeline). Think I need to ping Eric Hyman there and ask him what's going on in terms of Aperture. But again, Apple appears to want to give users the idea they are doing something differently in terms of processing than handing of rendered data in Photoshop. I don't think that's at all what they are doing.
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Andrew Rodney
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CatOne
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2008, 07:44:02 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
My read on this is "if your plug-in is a Raw converter, we'll pass the data and you can render it." Which is a lot like saying, "we'll hand off the Raw, you process it". I could be wrong, but again, I'm pretty darn sure that Aperture doesn't allow anyone to get into their Raw engine like Bibble does (well, Bibble licenses the technology and does the heavy lifting within their pipeline). Think I need to ping Eric Hyman there and ask him what's going on in terms of Aperture. But again, Apple appears to want to give users the idea they are doing something differently in terms of processing than handing of rendered data in Photoshop. I don't think that's at all what they are doing.

Correct.  The Aperture integration is not like the Bibble integration.  That would be nice -- basically "interpret this for me and I'll do the rest of the workflow non-destructively."

I don't think Apple is trying to give users the idea that they're doing anything differently than the handling of rendered data in Photoshop.  The issue with Photoshop is, that it's a complete pain in the ass.  Seriously, I have a master's in EE and Photoshop is _such_ an obtuse tool, which is _so_ difficult to learn, that it's ridiculous.

I think really it's almost hazing.  People that have spent a year of their life learning it think others should do the same, or they're not Photographers.  That, or Adobe just keeps it complicated so Scott Kelby, Martin Evening, et., al., can make a living teaching classes and selling books  

But seriously, absent a non-destructive workflow that includes the plug-ins as well, the Nik plug-ins are still fantastic... they are _very_ powerful and quite easy to use.  The ease of corrections with Viveza versus creating layer masks, etc., is just no contest.  Control point here, control point there, copy one here, add another there to subtract... done.  I recall learning how to merge a couple photos as an HDR in Photoshop... and it seriously took me 2 hours to try and find how to merge the photos.  I had to ask for help.  Then I learned if you hit control-option-tilde while holding a margarita in your right hand between your thumb and middle finger that it would create a selection based on the upper 127 pixel values... really, that's NOT acceptable  
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digitaldog
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2008, 08:24:43 PM »
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Quote from: CatOne
The issue with Photoshop is, that it's a complete pain in the ass.

Agreed. Its quite useful not to have to open a big fat, pixel based image into Photoshop to run a plug-in. So its useful. Its just not as useful as I'd like (processing within the Raw pipeline).

Speed aside, there's some seriously good reasons to want to process this using metadata instructions on linear encoded data. Bibble is quite impressive in how they handle all this. I've done three Raw Iron Chef presentations at the PPE show where, for at least two, Apple, Adobe, Phase and Bibble have worked to impress 6 different Raw shooters. All did well, but the impressions from nearly all the chef's towards Bibble has been universally impressive. I'd really like to see the competition open the Raw pipeline, even if they control it fully with cooperation from 3rd parties.
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Andrew Rodney
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ericaro
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2008, 07:52:32 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Agreed. Its quite useful not to have to open a big fat, pixel based image into Photoshop to run a plug-in. So its useful. Its just not as useful as I'd like (processing within the Raw pipeline).

Speed aside, there's some seriously good reasons to want to process this using metadata instructions on linear encoded data. Bibble is quite impressive in how they handle all this. I've done three Raw Iron Chef presentations at the PPE show where, for at least two, Apple, Adobe, Phase and Bibble have worked to impress 6 different Raw shooters. All did well, but the impressions from nearly all the chef's towards Bibble has been universally impressive. I'd really like to see the competition open the Raw pipeline, even if they control it fully with cooperation from 3rd parties.


I saw a Bibble5 demo at Photoexpoplus and was VERY impressed. The speed was stunning . Also, the quality of highlight recovery surpasses anything I have seen in PS. I am waiting for the official release. Louis B
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digitaldog
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2008, 07:31:23 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
My read on this is "if your plug-in is a Raw converter, we'll pass the data and you can render it." Which is a lot like saying, "we'll hand off the Raw, you process it". I could be wrong, but again, I'm pretty darn sure that Aperture doesn't allow anyone to get into their Raw engine like Bibble does (well, Bibble licenses the technology and does the heavy lifting within their pipeline). Think I need to ping Eric Hyman there and ask him what's going on in terms of Aperture. But again, Apple appears to want to give users the idea they are doing something differently in terms of processing than handing of rendered data in Photoshop. I don't think that's at all what they are doing.

This from the fellow who writes Bibble (I asked him about my ideas above):

Quote
Correct, for the most part apertures plug-in arch lets you do things after raw processing.  There is a way for the plugin to get a hold of the origianl raw file, but then it must process it itself. There is not way to get into the pipeline.
 
Bibble allows plugins to operate at any point of our plugin and is the only program to offer anything near that power.

Really looking forward to getting my hands on the new version of Bibble!
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Andrew Rodney
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