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Author Topic: If Thomas designed a new Photoshop for photographers now...  (Read 69940 times)
Schewe
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« on: May 10, 2013, 05:18:16 PM »
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Thomas Knoll designed Photoshop over 27 years ago for a very different time and technology and user base well before digital cameras and printers. But, Photoshop evolved over the years to be everything for everybody...so, if Thomas were to through everything out and start over from scratch to design a new version, a Photoshop for Photographers (and not web, design, prepress, science nor video) what would be a core set of features?

If you were to imagine an app that would be more than Elements, but less than Photoshop in terms of functionality, exactly what do you think it would need to have as a minimum feature set?

You mention Actions (or automation), Lab & retouching but you would presumably want 16 bit, channels, layers, selections, masks, paths, soft proofing, printing, a full range of color and tone correction (presumably as adjustment layers), Photoshop type filters like blur/sharpening, etc. You would need things like resize/resample, cropping & rotation, right?

So, leaving those items in as assumptions, what else in Photoshop could you live without?

Could you live without type?, Video? 3D? (I assume so). What about CMYK? What about History?, What about Bridge? (the reason I mention Bridge is presumably you would be using Lightroom for browsing and management). There would need to be some sort of brushing functionality, but I doubt you would be much besides simple brushes with softness/opacity and no brush effects, right?

Would you want the Blur gallery and Puppet warp? Liquify? What about editable keyboard shortcuts? (which was a huge engineering effort which is also why LR doesn't have it yet).

What about color management? LR's color management is simple but works well. But you would need to do color conversions, right?

So, what would be needed to create a Photoshop for Photographers that would be designed as a pixel editing companion to Lightroom?

I'm only playing blue sky dreaming here...but Eric has said that he and Thomas are interested in doing something on behalf of photographers (because they are both photographers to) and remember, Thomas was the guy who started this whole industry with his brother John...(even though when it started it wasn't really designed and intended for photographers per se).

So, it would be useful to get a list of must haves, nice to haves but not required and a list of shouldn't haves.

I'll start a new topic with this as a jump off point in a new thread with a couple of caveats...I will be on my best behavior but will tolerate zero ad hominem attacks...I think there needs to healthy debate and exchange of information without an anti-anthing slant. I would hope the tone could be such that Eric would feel comfortable engaging and provide useful feedback that could be taken back to Thomas and Adobe and even other 3rd party developers...

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 05:23:43 PM by Schewe » Logged
John Cothron
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 05:24:12 PM »
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This is something I added to one of the other threads..  ironically along the same lines as your thoughts here... I'll add it.

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I wonder though, with Lr being as complete as it is, and let's face it.. it is a very capable tool for photographers, how much real value is in Ps for photographers?  I know, that many still use ACR/Ps for their workflow, whether that be out of familiarity or something else I have no idea.  For me personally, I almost never use Ps.  There are three reasons I will take an image to Ps.

1.  Stitching
2.  HDR - which I've done exactly ONCE, and even then for the forming the composite image, then editing back in Lr.
3.  Cloning something out of an image that you don't want to be there.  Even with the new tools in Lr5, I find Ps to be more functional in this area.

In a sense, I spent a very significant sum for a piece of software (in my case Ps5) that I almost never use.  For photographers, has Ps reached the point of bloat?  It's a great piece of software, don't get me wrong, and it performs wonderfully for the things its capable of.  For most photographers however, I would think many of its tools are overkill.  Then again, I may be in the minority where my use of Ps is concerned.

A bigger question, what exactly could Adobe add to Ps to make it even more appealing to the market it serves now? Outside of photography.  Perhaps, this cloud concept is a result of "where do we go now?".  While not a Ps expert by any means, I still find it impossible to think of something I would want Ps to do that it doesn't already do.  If that is indeed the case, what would be the incentive for many to move to..Ps7?  I would think this is something that has crossed Adobe's mind(s) as well.. and as many have stated, the cloud offers a continuous revenue stream which somewhat mitigates that crisis.

However, I see a HUGE market (myself included) for a version(or perhaps another product) that addresses the basic things photographers use Ps for now.  I would certainly pay for a piece of software that allowed me to do the things I mentioned above, that didn't have the seemingly limitless other tools that I just don't need.  One, it should be more economical than a full version of Ps.  Two, it does offer things that are more difficult to achieve in something like Lr due to the way Lr works.  Before anyone mentions it...Elements doesn't cut it.  It COULD, but it will not work with 16 bit files (last I checked) so that knocks it out of the running quickly.\
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Gulag
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 05:33:43 PM »
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Thoughts?

There is GIMP already if you don't need LAB and video-editing capabilities. For 3D, I would use any other CG programs instead.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 05:34:40 PM »
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Maybe stating the obvious but a starting point could be to NOT include any of the functionality only associated with PS Extended.  Not saying that there are no photographers using it but have to start somewhere.  

Include full ACR, 16 bit, adjustment layers, curves, layer masks, channels, paths.  (all stuff that's not in PSE).  

Include 32 bit support in order to work with the new 32 bit support in LR.

PS plug-in support.  e.g. PK Sharpener.

If we assume a combination with LR, then no absolute need for soft proofing or even printing support come to think of it.

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John Cothron
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 05:43:12 PM »
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I certainly allow for the possibility that I don't understand the value of some things in Ps, but I've never seen a REAL need for sharpening in Ps vs. what I can accomplish in Lr.  I've tried it both ways and even on large prints I can't see that Ps offers an advantage over Lr.  The one example that I mentioned elsewhere is an image I used Jeff's "progressive sharpening" on, which can only be done in Ps, and does have a positive effect on an image that wasn't entirely "correct" to begin with.  If that image had been taken as it should have been however, I wouldn't have had the need for it.

Layers I can see more of a need for.  I use Silver Efex for black and white conversions, and enjoy being able to open images as smart objects in Ps, then using Silver Efex as a layer that can be re-visited/edited later without having to start over.  I suppose the same applies to stitching.

Overall though, and I realize I may be in the minority here, I just dont' need Ps for many things, so my "Ps for Photographers" list is pretty limited.  Would I enjoy more features other than the basic three I mentioned above?  I'm sure I would, but do I absolutely need them? No.
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Schewe
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 05:46:29 PM »
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If we assume a combination with LR, then no absolute need for soft proofing or even printing support come to think of it.

Well, that bring up an interesting point...if this new fangled Photoshop were designed to be a companion to Lightroom (to be used pretty much only in conjunction with Lightroom) it would be like a plug-in for Lightroom to edit pixels for when the task at hand can't be done parametrically.

So, if this wasn't a stand long but a bundle, something like Lightroom Pro, then you wouldn't need to duplicate anything in LR...and things like soft proofing, and printing wouldn't be needed because, well, the presumption would be you would round trip into the pixel editing sister app with the intention of bring that back to Lightroom for the rest of what Lightroom can do (which is pretty much what I use Photoshop for now).
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johnvr
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 05:47:35 PM »
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I appreciate you starting this thread.

I mainly use PS for my model photography. So, it's the detailed retouching and tools like liquefy that I mostly use.

Most of the rest of my work I do in LR.
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John Cothron
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 05:50:58 PM »
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Well, that bring up an interesting point...if this new fangled Photoshop were designed to be a companion to Lightroom (to be used pretty much only in conjunction with Lightroom) it would be like a plug-in for Lightroom to edit pixels for when the task at hand can't be done parametrically.

So, if this wasn't a stand long but a bundle, something like Lightroom Pro, then you wouldn't need to duplicate anything in LR...and things like soft proofing, and printing wouldn't be needed because, well, the presumption would be you would round trip into the pixel editing sister app with the intention of bring that back to Lightroom for the rest of what Lightroom can do (which is pretty much what I use Photoshop for now).

absolutely, I don't think I have EVER used Ps for printing.
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bill t.
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 05:52:02 PM »
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Just add the following to LR...

*Ability to stitch RAW files*

Layers, with independent sets of all the LR controls assignable to each layer.

Masks, both paintable and gradation.

Killer selection tools

Make the Arrow tool drag an RGB printout with it.

Introduce a resizable tool sort like a selection tool, with a drag-along thumbnail right above that would show the histogram of only the selected area.

etc.

PS: Hey boys and girls, lets put down all our wildest wishes here to nip potential software patents in the bud!  Prior art, etc.  Future small scale developers will thank you for it.


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John Cothron
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 05:54:53 PM »
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Just add the following to LR...


Make the Arrow tool drag an RGB printout with it.


You lost me on this one.
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rasterdogs
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 06:01:45 PM »
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Thomas Knoll designed Photoshop over 27 years ago for a very different time and technology and user base well before digital cameras and printers. But, Photoshop evolved over the years to be everything for everybody...so, if Thomas were to through everything out and start over from scratch to design a new version, a Photoshop for Photographers (and not web, design, prepress, science nor video) what would be a core set of features?

If you were to imagine an app that would be more than Elements, but less than Photoshop in terms of functionality, exactly what do you think it would need to have as a minimum feature set?

You mention Actions (or automation), Lab & retouching but you would presumably want 16 bit, channels, layers, selections, masks, paths, soft proofing, printing, a full range of color and tone correction (presumably as adjustment layers), Photoshop type filters like blur/sharpening, etc. You would need things like resize/resample, cropping & rotation, right?

So, leaving those items in as assumptions, what else in Photoshop could you live without?

Could you live without type?, Video? 3D? (I assume so). What about CMYK? What about History?, What about Bridge? (the reason I mention Bridge is presumably you would be using Lightroom for browsing and management). There would need to be some sort of brushing functionality, but I doubt you would be much besides simple brushes with softness/opacity and no brush effects, right?

Would you want the Blur gallery and Puppet warp? Liquify? What about editable keyboard shortcuts? (which was a huge engineering effort which is also why LR doesn't have it yet).

What about color management? LR's color management is simple but works well. But you would need to do color conversions, right?

So, what would be needed to create a Photoshop for Photographers that would be designed as a pixel editing companion to Lightroom?

I'm only playing blue sky dreaming here...but Eric has said that he and Thomas are interested in doing something on behalf of photographers (because they are both photographers to) and remember, Thomas was the guy who started this whole industry with his brother John...(even though when it started it wasn't really designed and intended for photographers per se).

So, it would be useful to get a list of must haves, nice to haves but not required and a list of shouldn't haves.

I'll start a new topic with this as a jump off point in a new thread with a couple of caveats...I will be on my best behavior but will tolerate zero ad hominem attacks...I think there needs to healthy debate and exchange of information without an anti-anthing slant. I would hope the tone could be such that Eric would feel comfortable engaging and provide useful feedback that could be taken back to Thomas and Adobe and even other 3rd party developers...

Thoughts?
Jeff, cool.
I'd look for something compact and reasonably streamlined and pretty much bare bones.
I'd be fine with all your 'live withouts' as you've noted them with the exception of history.
Your assumed "must have's" work for me.

I'm imagining something that naturally 'round trips' to LR and is almost like an LR plugin.
Soft proofing and printing works just fine in LR.
Color management - LR's is just fine.
Unsharp mask - LR is fine.
Simple brushes - yes.
Can live without editable kybd shortcuts, blur, liquify & puppet warp
Oh, this thing should be named 'Photo Pixel Wrangler'!   Cheesy
I'd hope PPW would support the sort of local corrections that you demo in the LULA LR video on you Shiprock image.

 
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obik
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 06:08:35 PM »
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Interesting exercise.  Since you seem to want specifics, here's what I'd want:

Bridge:

  • yes, but with better keywording/metadata support (I can't stand Lightroom, sorry Jeff).

Photoshop (in no particular order):


  • Perpetual licensing
  • Separation of ACR into its own product (so I could _just_ buy and update ACR--no Lightroom eye candy or fancy printing features, just standalone ACR that sends a rendered image to the editor of my choice or saves it out to a file)
  • No longer having ACR monopolize either your Bridge instance or your Photoshop instance
  • Ability to run batch actions in the background while working (or alternately, have more than one instance of PS)
  • Editable keyboard shortcuts
  • Savable preferences (and everything gets saved, down to where you want your scratch file stored)
  • Smart objects (and thus smart filters and smart transformations)
  • Transparency
  • Selection tools (unlike everyone else, I seem to have no problem with the various wands and lassos we already have)
  • Blend modes
  • Advanced brush options (what we already have)
  • A color picker that's not a total usability disaster (plus the ability to turn it off)
  • Pressure sensitivity/tablet integration
  • Advanced mask options (basically what we have now)
  • Transformations (skew, scale, warp, free transform)
  • Old style crop tool (or at least let the damed tool default to "active" instead of making us click the aspect ratio box every time)
  • Perspective correction
  • Lens corrections
  • High pass filter
  • Sharpening
  • Gaussian blur (and all the other blurs, I guess)
  • Noise reduction
  • Noise creation
  • Healing brushes/clone stamp/content aware versions of those tools
  • 16 and 32bit depth options
  • Stitching (plus the ability to save a stitch, including geometric corrections and apply it to more than one set of images)
  • HDR
  • Focus stacking
  • Adjustment layers (levels, curves, sat, b/w, etc.)
  • White balance adjustment layers (you can do it with hue/sat, but white balance would be more intuitive)
  • Actions (but with an easy way to change a step's parameters without having to actually perform the step)
  • History
  • CMYK
  • Type (the CS6 type engine is actually good enough for anyone who's not a designer, but a glyphs panel would be really, really, really, really nice)



Things I don't need:

  • 3D
  • Video
  • Vectors (aside from type, of course)
  • Liquify
  • Puppet Warp
  • Lens flare
  • Flick panning (seriously, who on earth thought it was good feature in the first place and why is it still here and enabled by default in CS6?)
  • Animated zoom
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Schewe
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 06:09:42 PM »
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I'd hope PPW would support the sort of local corrections that you demo in the LULA LR video on you Shiprock image.

Actually, not Shiprock, that was the Courthouse in Arches...but I get your drift :~)

Yes to all of those–LR is really, really close now except the progressive sharpening routine, which needs pixels to blend into itself if you catch the drift.

With a better masking capability, all the dodging/burning and sculpting could be done in Lightroom. Clarity is midtone contrast, but with a fixed 100 pixel radius, so LR Pro would need the ability to modify the base radius locally.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2013, 06:18:52 PM »
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Great thread idea for These Trying Times.  Bravo, doood.  : )  It is, however, going to comprise a heck of a resource for competitors' designs.

Everybody's going to have similar items, so I'll just list my single most important tool:

The cloner (or rubber stamp) in Adobese.  This indispensable tool (and its "spot removal" and "healing" variants) is at the top of my must-have list.  Fortunately, it's pretty much a commodity software item now, but given the genius of the current versions, I can't wait to see what improvements they can devise.


OK, wait.  I do have one more thing:

Plug-in hosting.  Don't break the capability to host plug-ins.  Great ideas can come from outta left field.  Don't shut them out.



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jrp
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2013, 06:24:58 PM »
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For my part, I use most of the features of Photoshop at one time or another.  Even if I never produce CMYK files, it can be useful to have CMYK around for creating masks from the channels, eg, the Statistics features can be useful for eliminating tourists, etc.

Perhaps an easier list to construct would be the features that are indispensable for studios and the other market segments that will be happy with the new subscription model, but which are of no use to standalone photographers, and eliminate those. Type? Video? 3D (but not vanishing point)? All the stuff that interacts with Illustrator or Acrobat / PDF.  I'm afraid that I don't know enough about their workflows to know what features are essential for them.  As others have suggested, removing something like Printing, and leaving that to Lightroom might be enough, although much content is destined for the internet.


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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2013, 06:41:05 PM »
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Hi Jeff,

LR 5 is probably getting close to meeting my wish list that didn't happen in LR4. As you know, I do almost everything in LR now, including printing. Here are the four things I miss most and need to round-trip into PS for:

(1) selection and clean-up tools that are slicker, more precise and more flexible than what LR4 has. LR4 is still clunky in these respects, but I hear LR5 beta improves upon them. (Can't do LR5 myself because Adope won't support it in Snow Leopard and I can't leave it yet because I use some legacy software whose providers won't update, and the replacements are very pricey - the usual kind of mess).
(2) a manual skew correction tool in the lens correction panel. People doing architectural, cityscapes and the like often have asymmetrical keystoning to correct; L4 can't do it. I've heard LR5's "Upright" is an improvement.
(3) The ability to add text to page layouts in the print module.
(4) The ability to add custom text per image in the web module.

If I had LR4+the foregoing, I wouldn't miss Photoshop. Oh yes - of course maintain current ability to use certain plugins, such as the NIK suite - some good stuff there.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Philip Weber
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2013, 06:50:00 PM »
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If it doesn't support the host of plug-ins that I use in the way CS6 and its predecessors did, then it's of no value to me.

As a LR adjunct, it could be a great thing if engineered correctly and who better than Thomas and team...

Phil
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 06:53:35 PM »
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If it doesn't support the host of plug-ins that I use in the way CS6 and its predecessors did, then it's of no value to me.

Phil

What if the plugins supported it? That's the usual way these things work. The main application is in charge and the plugins adapt.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 06:56:43 PM »
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You mention Actions (or automation), Lab & retouching but you would presumably want 16 bit, channels, layers, selections, masks, paths, soft proofing, printing, a full range of color and tone correction (presumably as adjustment layers), Photoshop type filters like blur/sharpening, etc. You would need things like resize/resample, cropping & rotation, right?
Right, all good and necessary.

Quote
So, leaving those items in as assumptions, what else in Photoshop could you live without?
Lose Video & 3D but need CMYK. History be nice, maybe a limited set. Screw Bridge <G>

Blur gallery and Puppet warp can go, Liquify can be real useful for retouchers but I could live without it. Editable keyboard shortcuts could go to lower engineering overhead. Since CMYK was on the list, need color management and Covert to Profile. Simplify color settings big time! IF the tool works in tandem with LR, I guess you can kill soft proofing (but I need that for CMYK).

LR provides a good 90% of what I need. Precise cloning is the big hole for me. I could probably raise that figure to 95% if LR got better, faster and more precise clone and pixel editing but maybe there's a limit to what's possible with parametric edits.
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Andrew Rodney
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Manoli
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 06:59:10 PM »
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Well, that bring up an interesting point...if this new fangled Photoshop were designed to be a companion to Lightroom (to be used pretty much only in conjunction with Lightroom) it would be like a plug-in for Lightroom to edit pixels for when the task at hand can't be done parametrically.

So, if this wasn't a stand long but a bundle, something like Lightroom Pro, then you wouldn't need to duplicate anything in LR...and things like soft proofing, and printing wouldn't be needed because, well, the presumption would be you would round trip into the pixel editing sister app with the intention of bring that back to Lightroom for the rest of what Lightroom can do (which is pretty much what I use Photoshop for now).


Absolutely.

Retain the Photoshop Image, Layer and Select menus together with a core functionality to include:
levels and curves, masks, channels (in my opinion paths are optional), automate and plug-in capability as exists, refine edge, content-aware delete and ideally, liquify.

I'm not greatly in favour of adding additional pixel editing 'tools' to Lightroom. These should ideally be kept in Lightroom Pro.

Tools >
selection / quick selection tools
patch  / clone stamp / healing brush
brush / eraser
dodge / burn
quick mask

Filters >
gaussian blur
dust & scratches
median
smart sharpen
unsharp mask
high pass
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 07:02:41 PM by Manoli » Logged
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