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Author Topic: What about slide show sharpness?  (Read 4365 times)
jamesn
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« on: February 12, 2010, 06:27:41 PM »
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I haven't previously used Aperture.  I've been using a copy of iPhoto '08 for several years.  I've shot everything in RAW for the last several years and process it in
DXO on my Mac Pro (3 1/2 years old with 7 gigs of RAM).  I then load the jpegs into iPhoto '08.

I downloaded Aperture 3 today, and it certainly is impressive in what it can do for improving existing jpegs.  I think I could do most touch-ups with Aperture
instead of Photoshop 3.  Because of some glitch, I couldn't load or link to my 37,000 images from iPhoto but I did export about 4000 images as full jpegs into
a separate file and then imported these images into  Aperture.  Touch-ups are an order of magnitude better that trying to use iPhoto to do the same.

HOWEVER, perhaps unlike most of you, I'm an amateur and aside from a fair amount of print making and a few thousand images uploaded to a new Picasa account
    http://picasaweb.google.com/jamesn88888          I enjoy a lot of my images via slide shows on my 23" Apple monitor, usually sequenced at 3 seconds per slide.

Comparing slide shows of identical jpegs run with iPhoto '08 and then with the files uploaded to Aperture 3 there is a very subtle loss of definition with Aperture.  It's not so
obvious when viewing relatively large detail but is is very noticeable when running slides containing small detail.  When both of these programs are just used to display static images full screen, I note no difference in readability.  Any suggestions of the cause of this phenomenon or solutions?  Have any of you noticed a similar effect?  I really like what Aperture can do in improving the final quality of the photo files but I don't want to have to maintain Aperture and also have to transfer everything I do from now on into iPhoto also.  

I'd appreciate any input.
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Richard Marcellus
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 09:28:46 PM »
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Quote from: jamesn
...
Comparing slide shows of identical jpegs run with iPhoto '08 and then with the files uploaded to Aperture 3 there is a very subtle loss of definition with Aperture.  It's not so
obvious when viewing relatively large detail but is is very noticeable when running slides containing small detail.  When both of these programs are just used to display static images full screen, I note no difference in readability.  Any suggestions of the cause of this phenomenon or solutions?  Have any of you noticed a similar effect?  I really like what Aperture can do in improving the final quality of the photo files but I don't want to have to maintain Aperture and also have to transfer everything I do from now on into iPhoto also.  

I'd appreciate any input.


At what resolution do you have your Previews set?
Look in Aperture > Preferences then click on the Previews tab and select the resolution and jpeg quality you want.
Aperture uses these Previews for creating slideshows. For max quality set this to your display resolution.
If you change the resolution you need to remake the previews of the pictures that are already in your library:
Photos > Update Previews for Project.

Richard
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jamesn
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2010, 08:19:54 AM »
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Quote from: Richard Marcellus
At what resolution do you have your Previews set?
Look in Aperture > Preferences then click on the Previews tab and select the resolution and jpeg quality you want.
Aperture uses these Previews for creating slideshows. For max quality set this to your display resolution.
If you change the resolution you need to remake the previews of the pictures that are already in your library:
Photos > Update Previews for Project.

Richard

Richard,

Thank you so much for your input.  I haven't used Aperture before and I hadn't gotten through the 900 page
pdf manual.  Your advice fixed my problem.  The resolution for previews was set at half size about 70% quality
that the programs apparently comes preset for.  Changing the resolution in preferences and rebuilding the
previews made all the difference in the world.

Apple makes some wonderful software, but they certainly don't make much effort to pre-answer the obvious
questions.  After reading your helpful information, I tried looking through the 900 page manual and found the
beginning of the useful information starting on page 237 under "Previews".  It took me several minutes of
searching to come to this.  I had been searching for the words "Slide Show" which are in abundance but was
not able to find a single reference to how to maximize the quality of slide shows.  Surely I can't be the only
person upgrading from iPhoto who didn't think that slide show quality had to be pre-chosen for maximum quality.

The out-of-the-box slide show performance of Aperture seems to be similar to viewing a slide show on
Flickr-  the relatively small "large" jpeg is pumped up to screen filling size.  Fortunately, with Aperture
this can be fixed if you are able to find the instructions.  I was ready to drag Aperture to the trash.  I wonder
how many sales Apple might be missing on Aperture by not providing some helpful tips for first time users?

Jim

  Jim
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jamesn
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2010, 09:11:07 AM »
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In re-processing my previews I note that setting maximum quality and to 1920 x 1920 (my 23" display is 1280v1920) results in a much better slide show quality bukt not as good as choosing the "don't limit" in the photo preferences.  I don't know how much more this will add in heft to my hard drives but I guess it's worth it.

Jim
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jamesn
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2010, 11:29:36 AM »
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Well, I finally updated my previews of the initial  images that I had exported from iPhoto '08
into a separate file and then imported into my copy of Aperture 3.  

Using the import settings that came already selected on the trial software, the total size of my
Aperture 3 trial library was a little over 25 GB.  The quality of the slide shows did not equal
the quality of the slide shows of the identical jpegs included in my iPhoto '08 library.

I therefore re-processed all of the previews to the "don't limit" in the photo preferences.  The total size
of my Aperture 3 trial library grew from 25GB to 41.37GB, an increase of 17 GB.  With 3926 jpegs in the library that means the average additional size added to each preview was 4.33 Megabytes.  Inasmuch
as the original jpeg images that I imported into Aperture 3 were more in the neighborhood of 1.7 to 3.5 Megabytes each (I have DXO output most jpegs @ 90% quality- fine for my purposes), this is an extreme measure to take in order to be able to use Aperture 3 the same way that I used iPhoto '08.  In comparing slide shows between the two applications I still get the feeling that
there is a very slight loss in acutance when viewing the slide shows.  iPhoto still wins out.

I think that I'm better off staying with iPhoto and continuing to do the RAW processing with DXO and slight file modifications with iPhoto.  More elaborate changes can continue to be done using Photoshop 3 and Viveza.  It's a shame, because I really like the image processing abilities that are contained in the new Aperture.
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jamesn
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2010, 02:22:45 PM »
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I think I've solved my problem with a Google Search.  I came across a free slide show generator
(contributions requested) that shows much higher quality slide shows than either iPhoto or Aperture 3.

You click on a folder of jpegs and it almost immediately generates thumbnails and within a few seconds
I can be viewing a full screen, tack sharp, slideshow of all of the files in the folder.  Much sharper than
I'm used to seeing.  

I think I'll keep the Aperture 3 and use if for the purpose it's intended for in the future.  I'll also redo the
image preview files to the small size it started with and then I'll copy all of the files I'm interested in from
iPhoto into a separate folder on another disk.  I'll use Aperture to catalog and to perform image manipulations
on but I won't try to use it as an iPhoto replacement.   I don't think I'll be using iPhoto much as an image
viewer in the future either after I finish moving my favorite pictures to the Phoenix Slides folder.

The name of the free program is Phoenix Slides.  It's free to download and try, free to keep (though I
think you'd want to pay the small amount requested) and fast.  My pictures have never looked so good
before.

http://blyt.net/phxslides/

Jim
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Richard Marcellus
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 05:07:07 PM »
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I have always been happy with the Aperture slide-shows, but I have never directly compared them with iPhoto or any other programs. If Phoenix Slides is much sharper it may be applying some sharpening optimized for screen display for your slide-show. I don't think Aperture does this. For your use it may be simpler to stay with your current workflow for slideshows. I have nothing against iPhoto, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is upgraded soon to get the new features that Apertures slide shows have. I am actually pretty excited about being able to put all my slide shows on an iPAD soon. That will be really nice way to show pictures to family and friends (and clients if you are a pro).

I shoot raw exclusively and have been very happy with the Conversions from Aperture with my D200. I also own DXO (I think one major version back) and when I carefully compared Raw conversions with Aperture, I preferred Aperture (for my tastes). I also really like Aperture's database features and I love the overall workflow. I use Viveza as an Aperture plug-in and I use it fairly frequently. With Aperture 2 + Viveza and the other Nik plug-ins, I started to use PSCS3 a lot less than I used to. I only go to PS now for compositing. With A3 and its new features + the Nik plug-ins, I think PS is going to see even less use, and I even see myself using Viveza less with A3's new edge aware brushes. It will be nice to be able to do all my editing parametrically (just metadata on top of my raw file) and keep the file sizes small.

Cheers,

Richard
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jamesn
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 11:38:26 AM »
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Quote from: Richard Marcellus
I have always been happy with the Aperture slide-shows, but I have never directly compared them with iPhoto or any other programs. If Phoenix Slides is much sharper it may be applying some sharpening optimized for screen display for your slide-show. I don't think Aperture does this. For your use it may be simpler to stay with your current workflow for slideshows. I have nothing against iPhoto, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is upgraded soon to get the new features that Apertures slide shows have. I am actually pretty excited about being able to put all my slide shows on an iPAD soon. That will be really nice way to show pictures to family and friends (and clients if you are a pro).

I shoot raw exclusively and have been very happy with the Conversions from Aperture with my D200. I also own DXO (I think one major version back) and when I carefully compared Raw conversions with Aperture, I preferred Aperture (for my tastes). I also really like Aperture's database features and I love the overall workflow. I use Viveza as an Aperture plug-in and I use it fairly frequently. With Aperture 2 + Viveza and the other Nik plug-ins, I started to use PSCS3 a lot less than I used to. I only go to PS now for compositing. With A3 and its new features + the Nik plug-ins, I think PS is going to see even less use, and I even see myself using Viveza less with A3's new edge aware brushes. It will be nice to be able to do all my editing parametrically (just metadata on top of my raw file) and keep the file sizes small.

Cheers,

Richard

I've had a chance to play with the 30 day trial of Aperture for a few days now and I really like what it can do.  I've purchased a copy.

One thing that it can do, of course, is show slide shows of images in its database.  It does this well enough if you aren't looking for the very best finished results.  iPhoto for me is still superior in showing slide shows and doesn't require generating enormously bloated preview files (previews of files that went into Aperture as 2.5 MB jpegs must be jumping to at least 4.5 MB judging from the way the Aperture library grew in size when I tried for the best it was capable of).

Files exported as jpegs by Aperture are excellent and not affected by the preview bloat noted above.  These exported files viewed by Phoenix Slides are sharper than Aperture preview files, sharper than iPhoto files viewed with iPhoto, and sharper than photos viewed using Preview.  

I don't see how there can be any extra sharpness processing going on in Phoenix Slides due to the fact that I can click on a new folder of 100 slides and click "slide show" immediately and  the show starts running instantaneously.  Try doing that with Preview: it opens slow, you get the nice transitions that you don't get with Phoenix, but the final photographs displayed full screen are not quite as sharp.  If you instead decide to page through a folder of photos one by one you notice that Preview always takes a little time for each photo to be rendered as sharp as it can (not quite as sharp as Phoenix).  Very irritating.  Phoenix steps photo to photo at full sharpness instantly.

Anyway, I'll use Aperture the same way that I have used DXO, Photoshop, and Viveza - for working on final images.  By necessity I'll be working with jpegs imported into Aperture because DXO does such a fantastic job in converting my RAW files since all of my most used lenses are automatically adjusted for chromatic aberration, barrel distortion,  the spread between varying light levels, and a variety of other adjustments in each photo are automatically adjusted by DXO.  I wish that Aperture would do that but it doesn't .  Copies of files finished in Aperture will be exported to a separate folder used by Phoenix Slides for personal viewing on my computer or to be used by Picasa to upload to my Picasa site.

All the best,

   Jim
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