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Author Topic: Focus magic 4.0 Beta - anybody tried it?  (Read 10080 times)
HCHeyerdahl
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« on: February 26, 2013, 02:18:39 PM »
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I quite recently recieved an email notifying me that Focus Magic 4.0 Beta 64 bit is available for download.

My test pc is not available so I am just woundering if anybody tried it yet?

http://www.focusmagic.com/supported-programs.htm

Chris
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walter.sk
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 03:05:37 PM »
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Thanks for the link.  I downloaded it and will try it.  It has been a favorite of mine for many years, and I have missed being able to use it.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 03:33:38 PM »
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I quite recently recieved an email notifying me that Focus Magic 4.0 Beta 64 bit is available for download.

My test pc is not available so I am just woundering if anybody tried it yet?

Hi Chris,

It's working fine on my Win 7 64-bit machine. The interface has not changed. It can now also sharpen large images, without memory issues. For the fun of it I tried sharpening a magnified 2.5 GB image, and while that still takes a while to complete (with 8 processor cores at 100% capacity) , it did so without complaining. Regular images sharpen much faster than they used to.

Cheers,
Bart
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walter.sk
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 03:52:35 PM »
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I just tried FM4 Beta using Photoshop CS6, 64-bit on a Win7 64-bit machine with a 1st generation i7 CPU with 12Gb ram.  On several images from a 5DIII and a 1DII, FM seems to operate exactly as it did in FM3:  I can get beautiful results without noticeable artifacts, but the performance is now super fast by comparison.  The one complaint is that the FM window that comes up is so small on my 30" 2500x1600 monitor and no way to resize it.

I wish FM would work on RAW files, as I like it for capture "sharpening" much more than what LR4.2 or ACR does in the detail panel.
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bill t.
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 04:29:00 PM »
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Come on guys...is it any good?  Or do I have to download it and try it?

It is better than LR4?

Is it better than InFocus?

Is it better than Smart Sharpen?
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 05:44:22 PM »
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Come on guys...is it any good?  Or do I have to download it and try it?

Hi Bill,

It's good for what it does, deconvolution sharpening.

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It is better than LR4?

I assume you mean compared to the Lightroom's Detail control, yes it's better, although LR's sharpening will probably satisfy most users.

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Is it better than InFocus?

They are close, when InFocus is used correctly. Infocus needs some more development to improve its artifact suppression. FocusMagic's methods are mature.

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Is it better than Smart Sharpen?

It has been suggested that Lightroom basically uses something like Smart Sharpen deconvolution, but I think Lightroom is more effective. FocusMagic beats both, especially Smart Sharpen.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 08:04:20 AM by BartvanderWolf » Logged
bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 07:43:17 PM »
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Thanks, Bartvander and HCHeyerhahl.

Tried the 64bit Beta on Win7, 24gb.  It seems to be especially well suited to sharpening already upsized images without exaggerating upsizing artifacts, which is a problem with other sharpeners I use.  Runs very fast on big files.  3 gigabyte files in well under a minute and single 21mp images in the time it takes to click the OK button.

The postage-stamp preview window seems small, but it updates instantaneously and I think this is the sort of program one uses parametrically more than from visual feedback.  And it handles normal, single frame files so fast it's no trouble at all to try out iterations on the full image.

For $45, it's a definite go.  Only time will tell the full story, but it looks pretty darned good.
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kikashi
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 03:18:29 AM »
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They're not interested in those of us who use Macs, plainly. Sad.

Jeremy
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 04:34:27 AM »
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They're not interested in those of us who use Macs, plainly. Sad.

Jeremy

"We'll be BETA testing the Intel Mac version of Focus Magic in April 2013"
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 08:18:52 AM »
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Only time will tell the full story, but it looks pretty darned good.

Hi Bill,

A small tip then, from a long time user.

Given the small preview size, it can help to empirically determine the optimal radius as follows. Set the amount to 300%, now, starting at zero, slowly increase the radius by 1 pixel at a time. There will usually be a point where the image stops getting sharper, and suddenly produces double contours or fatter contours of sharp edges and lines instead of just sharper. That is the point where you want to decrease the radius by one pixel, and then set a less exaggerated percentage.

That may be more accurate than the automatic detection. Sharp lenses and good focus with little diffraction usually need no more than a single pixel radius and an amount of 100, modest diffraction may require a 2 pixel radius. Large radii may also require large percentages.

Cheers,
Bart
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Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 09:20:55 AM »
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Hi Bart,
You made my day! I actually figured your method before you told me how I might do so! A bit of grey matter functioning after all...sometimes nice to confirm not entirely infirm... Wink
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 09:26:10 AM by Patricia Sheley » Logged

A common woman...

www.patriciasheley.com
walter.sk
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 09:35:51 AM »
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One of my old techniques with FM might be useful to some of you.  On some images, when I put the little red square in different places, FM detects different blur radii.  In most such cases I simply determine which makes most sense for the image.  However, there are times when I want different radii for different parts of the image.  I will do a series of layers with masks and paint in with a soft brush the different FM outputs to the different areas of the image.
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HCHeyerdahl
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 03:11:48 AM »
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Thanks all for your feedback.

I decided to install it on my main PC and it works very nicely.

Being fairly new to this kind of sharpening, I would like to make sure I understand the opitmal use of it. Here is my current understanding of a suitable workflow which I use today:

1. I first convert my raw image in Lightroom and add capture sharpening as advised in the Lula videos on LR 4.
2. Second I go to Photoshop and then the first thing I do is to use Focus Magic. Then I edit (layers masks etc etc) and finally add som selective edge sharpening for artistic effect if required.
3. Finally I go back to Lightroom for printing and add output print in the print module.

I would appreciate any comment on this.

Chris
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 03:42:40 AM »
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Is it really adviced to do capture sharpening before deconvolution? That seems strange to me, I would let Focus magic work on an image that was as unprocessed as possible.

-h
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 06:40:27 AM »
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Is it really adviced to do capture sharpening before deconvolution? That seems strange to me, I would let Focus magic work on an image that was as unprocessed as possible.

I agree. One would typically use FocusMagic as the Capture sharpening (or defocus repair) tool. Because LR combines the effects of sharpening and noise reduction, one could still need to do the optional noise reduction in LR, but then there is no early feedback on what will happen after a later FM stage.

Cheers,
Bart
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bjanes
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 07:11:47 AM »
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It's good for what it does, deconvolution sharpening.

Bart,

I downloaded the beta and it works fine with 64 bit Photoshop. Aside from 64 bit support, on cursory examination I don't see much difference from the older version. Are there advances that I have not seen?

Regards,

Bill
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 07:52:27 AM »
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Bart,

I downloaded the beta and it works fine with 64 bit Photoshop. Aside from 64 bit support, on cursory examination I don't see much difference from the older version. Are there advances that I have not seen?

Hi Bill,

Nothing on the surface I know of. From what I've seen and read, they ironed out some smaller bugs, and ported the plugin to 64-bit, which presumably consisted mostly of using larger pointers for addressing of bigger memory. They also make better use of multithreading and parallel processing (in one extreme experiment I saw 128x128 pixel blocks).

So besides the speedup and elimination of restricted image size limitations, things look pretty familiar, and functionally identical. Maybe they changed more, e.g. the restoration agressiveness between the various image types, but the results look similar to before. Not having to switch to the 32-bit version only for sharpening is a big plus.

Cheers,
Bart
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 08:38:48 AM »
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...ported the plugin to 64-bit, which presumably consisted mostly of using larger pointers for addressing of bigger memory.
Depending on the state of the original code, this can generally be more painful than your description suggests.

-h
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walter.sk
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« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 09:40:05 AM »
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I agree. One would typically use FocusMagic as the Capture sharpening (or defocus repair) tool. Because LR combines the effects of sharpening and noise reduction, one could still need to do the optional noise reduction in LR, but then there is no early feedback on what will happen after a later FM stage.
I use FM to substitute for CS6 or LR4.3's capture sharpening, as I prefer the effect.  I still use ACR or LR's noise reduction on most images prior to conversion, with the sharpening set to 0.  I have also tried the 0 sharpening in ACR or LR, followed by careful use of Topaz Denoise, after which I use FM.  I'm not convinced either way, between ACR/LR for noise reduction vs Topaz, but it certainly is simpler using Adobe.

If you use FM before noise reduction you *will* bring your noise into much clearer view!   Sad
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 09:42:53 AM »
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They're not interested in those of us who use Macs, plainly. Sad.

Not true - they have limited development resources.

I spoke to them a while ago and they just had to prioritise - as a Mac user I wish it were not so, but having used it years ago, and it being one of the first reviews I wrote on the Northlight Images site, I'm really keen to be able to bring it back into my workflow and see what it will do.
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