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Author Topic: Silverfast Ai Studio 8 features - Auto USM?  (Read 2222 times)
TimG
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« on: December 07, 2012, 02:12:28 PM »
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I'm having a heck of a time trying to locate the Auto USM feature in either Silverfast Ai Studio 8 or the accompanying product, Silverfast HDR Studio 8.

Running the current releases of both applications (8.0.1r18) which were released a day or so ago.  I see the USM icon in the vertical toolbar, and got an email back from Lasersoft support suggesting I should be able to see an Auto USM icon in the "horizontal button bar at the top of the preview window" (Huh). 

Did an uninstall and re-install and have reset both pieces of software to their default settings.

Is it possible Lasersoft removed the Auto USM feature form version 8?

Thanks!

Tim
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 10:24:53 PM »
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I have never seen an Auto-USM feature in SilverFast Ai Studio. The versions I used for writing my book on SilverFast 8 certainly did not have it, and if you go into Preferences>Auto you will not find any way to set any preferences for Auto USM.There is an Auto-CCR button at the top of the Preview window, as there always has been, but that is not for sharpening. In fact, I would be wary of automatic sharpening, and depending on the workflow, I may not sharpen an image at the scan stage at all. That said, if you wish to repeat the same set of sharpening settings on multiple scans you can do so by saving your batch of settings using the Save icon at the bottom left corner of the USM dialog, then reload it for each subsequent image. That is about as automatic as it will get.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 12:13:57 AM »
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I should clarify my post immediately above to emphasize that the absence of an Auto USM feature is within all previous versions of SilverFast 8. There was such a thing in SilverFast 6.6, which I never used, simply because of my aversion to automated algorithms for something as image-specific and impacting on image quality as sharpening. As well, I see great merit in the multi-stage sharpening workflow supported by Pixelgenius LLC as originally conceived by the late Bruce Fraser. To implement a multi-stage sharpening workflow that starts with Capture Sharpening and ends with Output Sharpening, one needs to be very mindful of the image-specific symbiotic relationship between the stages of sharpening, and treat anything one does about sharpening in the scanner software carefully, because once the scan is made, those sharpening choices are "baked-in" and not reversible without rescanning the image. I'm kind of happy there is no Auto-USM in SF8 - at least none I have seen, unless I'm missing something. :-).
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
TimG
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 10:30:33 AM »
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Thank you for your reply, Mark.  Yes, it was a feature found in version 6 of the software.  I guess they did not migrate it to the new version.

Actually, the Auto USM feature worked surprisingly well.  I've been trying for a few days now to match the results between a scan done with version 6 using the Auto USM and version 8 with its various USM options.  The version 8 scan doesn't come close.  Maybe I need to incorporate a different workflow and hand off sharpening to Photoshop or Lightroom?

It probably wouldn't hurt to buy your book, either Smiley
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 11:05:21 AM »
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Thank you for your reply, Mark.  Yes, it was a feature found in version 6 of the software.  I guess they did not migrate it to the new version.

Actually, the Auto USM feature worked surprisingly well.  I've been trying for a few days now to match the results between a scan done with version 6 using the Auto USM and version 8 with its various USM options.  The version 8 scan doesn't come close.  Maybe I need to incorporate a different workflow and hand off sharpening to Photoshop or Lightroom?

It probably wouldn't hurt to buy your book, either Smiley

That's an interesting insight about the difference of sharpening quality you are finding between version 6.x and version 8. The manual controls in version 8, especially with the expert dialog give you more control over the effect than was available in version 6.6, so *in principle* it should be possible to do even better - but with these things, from a user perspective of course only the results speak for themselves. I can't know, but perhaps some more experimenting would help?

I do have quite a bit of material in the book on sharpening scans for all four options at play here: SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Lightroom and Photoshop. One can obtain good results from any of them when used properly (which does have a learning curve); but that said, sharpening film scans - and all the more so if they are from colour negative film - is kind of a fine art, so when I really want to exact the most control over process and precision of outcome, I'll not sharpen in scan software at all, but use Photokit Sharpener 2 in Photoshop.

BTW - if you are thinking of buying the book - you don't need to take on much up-front risk over this - on the SilverFast website there are three extracts of content posted for free download, which should give you a pretty good idea of what you'd be getting.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
TimG
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 11:17:20 AM »
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Yes, it appears as though the sharpening algorithm has been improved, but from what I can gather, the expert dialog (which I have been using) appears unchanged from version 6.

I almost wonder if one of the settings I have selected is overriding or otherwise conflicting with another.  Hard to say for sure.

I'm not baking sharpening into my scans.  I use Silverfast Ai Studio 8 to create "raw" 64-bit HDRi scans and then use HDR Studio 8 to process those into "master" files.  With version 6, the Auto USM was extremely "intelligent".  It would apply sharpening based on output resolution and dimensions.  However, I do not know if it was "smart" enough to analyze the image and then customize its settings based on edge detail/frequency.

I'll keep at it, since it would be my guess this is the only way going forward with Silverfast, and (I'm guessing) at some point Silverfast 6 won't be supported on Windows 8, 9, etc.

Going to go ahead and buy your book since I am curious about the different workflows you mention.

Thanks again for your assistance, Mark!

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 11:40:16 AM »
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You are welcome Tim.

When working fully within a SilverFast environment, your approach of sharpening only in the HDRi application is best-practice, as the original scan remains untouched.

Hope you find the book helpful.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
TimG
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 06:34:41 AM »
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Purchased the Silverfast 8 e-book yesterday afternoon and spent much of the evening reading it.  Excellent work and thank you for making this available at such an affordable price.  Why Lasersoft Imaging released software without documentation is beyond me!  Thank you Mark for giving Slverfast users an in-depth manual.

I have particularly enjoyed reading Appendix 4 which deals with scanning black & white negatives, as much of my archive consists of images captured on various Ilford emulsions.  The "you saw it here first" trick to "expanding" the histogram is worth $40 in itself!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 06:52:10 AM »
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Hello Tim,

Thank you so much; it is rewarding to know you find the book useful.

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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 10:44:26 AM »
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Mark:

I purchased your "book" when I upgraded to Silverfast 8 earlier in the year and also want to express my thanks for all of the information you are providing.  It is extremely helpful.

Mark
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 10:47:40 AM »
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Thanks very much "mv". Glad it is working for you.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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