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Author Topic: If Thomas designed a new Photoshop for photographers now...  (Read 63531 times)
LKaven
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« Reply #320 on: May 24, 2013, 10:55:29 PM »
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John, why not adopt an N-dimensional dataflow processing model for your architecture?  

Layers are just a 1-dimensional dataflow processing model (aka, "node based"), and you can always implement layers within a part of your N-dimensional dataflow model (where N = 1 dimension).  Everything can be a smart filter, and baking in intermediate layers can be an option.  You can accomplish many kinds of things using N-dimensions that you can't accomplish in one dimension, e.g., making multiple uses of a single source with indefinite non-destructive editing and undo, etc.
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JohnHeerema
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« Reply #321 on: May 25, 2013, 12:24:35 AM »
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why not adopt an N-dimensional dataflow processing model

I like that. The trick might be creating a user interface that was intuitive for photographers - I'm not sure that I see photographers warming up to something that looked too much like a data flow diagram.

I would think that a lot of transformations would be order-independent, but that you'd need a good way to specify when one transformation has to be done before (or after) another transformation.
 
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JohnHeerema
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« Reply #322 on: May 25, 2013, 12:29:29 AM »
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BTW, I just bought a copy of Live Picture 2.6 on Ebay for $ .99 (shipping and handling was $10.95). I've got an old G4 laptop with 10.4 and classic running OS 9.x on it. I'm gonna try to install it and play with Live Picture to try to remember how it worked.

I'm sure that a lot of us would love to read about your impressions of Live Picture as viewed from your perspective of all that's happened to image editors since then.
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Schewe
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« Reply #323 on: May 25, 2013, 12:37:04 AM »
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I'm sure that a lot of us would love to read about your impressions of Live Picture as viewed from your perspective of all that's happened to image editors since then.

Well, I was beta testing PS 3.0, LP 1.3 and X-res all at the same time. I haven't touched LP for over a decade...so it'll be interesting to see what it has to offer in retrospect. I'll post a report if I get it to install & work.
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LKaven
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« Reply #324 on: May 25, 2013, 11:30:55 AM »
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I like that. The trick might be creating a user interface that was intuitive for photographers - I'm not sure that I see photographers warming up to something that looked too much like a data flow diagram.

I would think that a lot of transformations would be order-independent, but that you'd need a good way to specify when one transformation has to be done before (or after) another transformation.
 

Agreed.  I think it would be possible to build one or more levels of abstraction above the dataflow engine in order to present a reasonable user interface for different purposes.  One could even construct a photoshop "classic" compatibility layer.  At the least, one could hide some of the complexity.  In other respects, though, the complexity of the dataflow diagram would only need to equal the complexity of the task being undertaken, and that's up to the ambition of the user. 
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mornellas
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« Reply #325 on: May 28, 2013, 09:55:35 AM »
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Quark exposure  - AKA Pixel lens had non linear history painting with the full suite of brushes. It was pretty cool for the time - circa 1996, but was bogged down by the lack of power from the machine technology of the time. This is not a new idea, but it could be useful if the complexity were to be whittled down to something manageable for users to easily understand.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #326 on: May 28, 2013, 12:16:46 PM »
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Agreed.  I think it would be possible to build one or more levels of abstraction above the dataflow engine in order to present a reasonable user interface for different purposes.  One could even construct a photoshop "classic" compatibility layer.  At the least, one could hide some of the complexity.  In other respects, though, the complexity of the dataflow diagram would only need to equal the complexity of the task being undertaken, and that's up to the ambition of the user.  
Musicians have been coping with "data flow diagrams" for a long time, either in the form of computer software or analog synthesizers. The screenshot below shows an example where you can connect various modules graphically, and link parameters to sliders/wheels so that you can build an "instrument". Something similar might be envisioned for photo? One might choose to design image processing pipelines from scratch (even from mults, adds, delays and other low-level concepts), or one might to use user-friendly pre-set "imaging instruments" that you have designed yourself, downloaded for free or purchased.


The biggest difference between musical instruments and image processing may be the level of graphical interaction with the parameters and data expected by photography editors (i.e. masks). Using MATLAB, graphic interaction with the image while doing edits is an issue for me.

I assume that a pipeline like this would have to have a certain "overkill" in terms of precision (floating-point?) and would have to be generic rather than tailor-made. This suggests worse performance than anything tailor-made (Lightroom/ACR?)

-h
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 12:18:52 PM by hjulenissen » Logged
LKaven
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« Reply #327 on: May 28, 2013, 01:07:51 PM »
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Musicians have been coping with "data flow diagrams" for a long time, [...] Something similar might be envisioned for photo? One might choose to design image processing pipelines from scratch (even from mults, adds, delays and other low-level concepts), or one might to use user-friendly pre-set "imaging instruments" that you have designed yourself, downloaded for free or purchased.
[...]
The biggest difference between musical instruments and image processing may be the level of graphical interaction with the parameters and data expected by photography editors (i.e. masks). Using MATLAB, graphic interaction with the image while doing edits is an issue for me.

I assume that a pipeline like this would have to have a certain "overkill" in terms of precision (floating-point?) and would have to be generic rather than tailor-made. This suggests worse performance than anything tailor-made (Lightroom/ACR?)

Just as you can write a program in a high-level language and compile it to machine language, you could also implement high-level interfaces and/or languages that map to a low-level dataflow machine architecture.  You could even implement a "compatibility module" for classic photoshop methods.  You could go a little further and implement some rather simple but powerful structures in an easy-to-digest form.  But for anyone with the ambition, you could build modules of your own to match the complexity of your undertaking while hiding the details.  [The most complicated dataflow diagrams are only needed where there is an irreducible complexity to the task, and in those circumstances, one is always in an existential confrontation with one's own ambition and the computer.]

Used in the most ambitious way, the processing demands would be greater of course.  But when used to do the old familiar sorts of things, it is still possible to elect to "bake in" intermediate data such as masks in a way that would reduce the demands on real-time processing in much the same way as it is done today.

All pipes need not be created equal.  Some boxes only transmit scalar quantities or vectors.  For boxes that transmit raster data, the pipe need only be as wide as necessary.  Masks could still be 8 bits for those who want that, and as I mentioned, the masks could be baked in as intermediate results, until such time as the source data is changed. 

The short answer is that I don't think that this architecture needs to be any less efficient than the classic architecture on "classic" tasks.  And it /certainly/ could be used to exploit multicore/multhread architectures more readily than photoshop classic. 
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #328 on: May 28, 2013, 02:01:39 PM »
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Just as you can write a program in a high-level language and compile it to machine language, you could also implement high-level interfaces and/or languages that map to a low-level dataflow machine architecture. 
But high-level language compiled into lower-level language tends to not be as efficient as optimal low-level language. The expressibility of something like x86 assembler is probably a close map to the possibilities of the hardware itself. Someone with a lot of skill, patience and intimate knowledge of the function to be implemented as well as the hardware to do the calculations can do intricate mappings between the two that offers good quality vs execution time trade-offs.

If you implement something high-level (like MATLAB) there are few tools to express that you only care about integer values from -127 to +128 in a calculation on 32-bit integers (there are limited tools to operate on integers period). It is hard to express that a log2 operation can be done using only bitshifts in some cases, or to call the common "count leading zeros in this word, please" instruction found on some cpus. There are few tools that hint that organizing/accessing data as 128 bit "units" is good for some SIMD units/cache architectures, while other widths may be better for others. Even Intels own C-compiler has its limits, not to mention Mathworks dubious MATLAB->C translation.
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You could even implement a "compatibility module" for classic photoshop methods.
Sure. You could embed Photoshop and have all of its features, plus some new alternative. Adds to the implementation complexity and might detract from the perceived "cleanliness" of the software.

Playing a bit of a devils advocate here, I think it is an interesting project. I think that the dsp is doable. It is often the UI that makes or breaks an otherwise good product (I suck at designing and using UIs).

-h
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #329 on: May 28, 2013, 02:38:30 PM »
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Musicians have been coping with "data flow diagrams" for a long time,
or more correctly, a few musicians.
Most musicians I know would run a mile rather than get involved with that sort of complexity.
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LKaven
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« Reply #330 on: May 28, 2013, 07:43:22 PM »
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Playing a bit of a devils advocate here, I think it is an interesting project. I think that the dsp is doable. It is often the UI that makes or breaks an otherwise good product (I suck at designing and using UIs).

Keep in mind that photoshop "classic" is a 1-dimensional dataflow machine (approximately).  Getting into the esoterics of compiler design is not necessary here.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #331 on: May 29, 2013, 01:48:34 AM »
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or more correctly, a few musicians.
Most musicians I know would run a mile rather than get involved with that sort of complexity.
"Most musicians" would include a gazillion classical violin and piano players. I would argue that a number of artistically influential, economically successful musicians relate to this complexity in some ways. One might argue that some of their gear is stage-props, that they have hired hands to do the routings etc. Still, signal routing/processing is part of the game for many musicians working with electric stringed instruments, keyboards and computer production.

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mistybreeze
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« Reply #332 on: June 07, 2013, 07:53:51 AM »
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Well, this sure is an interesting discussion.

I may be one of the only people here that is really happy with Photoshop as-is.  I would like it if all the bugs got fixed though...I am not a Lightroom user so I rely heavily on Bridge for file browsing...I really dislike Lightroom because I am using any one of 5 different computers to work on in a given day accessing files on portable drives or from a server. Lightroom and the catalogs don't play nicely on a variety of different machines.

Josh's comments resonate with me, except I've tried to like CS6, and I keep going back to CS5. I'm usually the first to embrace change, but not if the change doesn't excite or seduce me. CS6 leaves me wondering who is running the show at Adobe? I'm extremely reluctant to commit to CS6.

I rarely use Bridge, mostly for working on eBay photos when selling the crap that needs to go.

I met George Jardine many years ago when he was trying to convince NYC pros to go with Lightroom. I kinda fell in love with George, and I've been following his guru genius ever since. My studio uses his Lightroom system design with great success, and I have about five machines. I use them seamlessly, and I credit George Jardine for that. For a sophisticated user, I think George offers the best tutorials on the market.

Then Lightroom 4 came out and annoyed me. I sensed a strong slant to appeal to a mass audience to make more money. I don't need Maps. I don't need only one book-making choice. I also don't need a lot of useless garbage slowing down the engine to make the workflow more sluggish.

I don't think you would be a candidate for a Photoshop alternative because, well, you need Photoshop and you fall into the category; professional digital imaging/retouching/prepress that needs the full Photoshop package. However, many digital photographers (pros, non-pros) do not. So, that's kinda the issue...people who use Lightroom only need a portion of Photoshop on a subset of images and don't need everything Photoshop has to offer.

I don't need everything Photoshop has to offer. There is much in Photoshop that I never use and don't foresee using in the future. Yet, it looks like I may not be a candidate for this "blue sky" Photoshop alternative.

Fashion and portrait photographers in advertising need compositing, pixel editing, adjusting, and prepress to keep the customers satisfied. And Lightroom doesn't do enough to satisfy NYC's Fine Art community.

If CS5 could work forever, I think I'd be OK with that. The only thing I really long for is spending less time at the computer. (I may be forced to retire with this software insanity.)

We experience drops in internet service from time to time. I think it's a building issue, but I will not move my studio. And in the age of terrorism, I have no desire to entertain "cloud" services. I never want to be forced to rely on the internet to conduct business. So, I'm not sure what I'm going to do or where my business fits into this mess. Frankly, I'd like to tell Adobe where to stick it, and I may be first in line if Capture One could ever recruit the right genius.

It seems to me the issue always boils down to money, and my suppliers tell me over and over again: the pro community is too small, there's no big money in serving pros.

So if "Lightroom Pro" isn't going to have enough features to truly attract the photography pros like me, what market will it serve? What financial incentive exists to create this product? This "blue-sky" stuff sounds like another watered down version of pro. Does Adobe (and the marketplace) really need another product like that? Don't we already have enough?
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #333 on: June 07, 2013, 08:30:17 AM »
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It seems to me the issue always boils down to money, and my suppliers tell me over and over again: the pro community is too small, there's no big money in serving pros.

So if "Lightroom Pro" isn't going to have enough features to truly attract the photography pros like me, what market will it serve? What financial incentive exists to create this product? This "blue-sky" stuff sounds like another watered down version of pro. Does Adobe (and the marketplace) really need another product like that? Don't we already have enough?
How many Lightroom users are there out there? How many photoshop users? How many "photo-oriented" photoshop users? As Lightroom is a lot cheaper and more consumer-oriented, I would have guessed 10:1 or more for Lightroom. But it does not have Photoshops legacy, nor its practical monopoly within its segment.

What features would Lightroom have to add to convince "Photoshop" and "Lightroom+Photoshop" users to go Lightroom-only/mainly? What features could/should be stripped?

How important are storage/bandwidth-implications of the Lightroom model vs Photoshop model to you?

-h
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Peter Le
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« Reply #334 on: June 07, 2013, 07:52:45 PM »
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    It would be easier to add a few things from Lightroom to Photoshop to get there........then the other way around....
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« Reply #335 on: June 25, 2013, 10:29:12 AM »
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An excellent thread and apologies for coming late to the party with my contribution.

I’ve been using PS for 10 years and LR for about 1 year. Both are excellent products in their own areas and when the two are combined the result is both convenient and unexpected. I get the impression from reading various forums that many users are unaware how LR and PS integrate – which was my situation until recently. When an image needs more manipulation than LR4 can reasonably do I export the image to PS CS6 – no surprise there. The unexpected part is that by importing the .PSD file into the LR4 catalogue (there's an option to do this automatically during export), all my LR4 export routines are then available to flatten, resize, convert and sharpen the image in the saved .PSD file. It's simple and fast to use.  For me this workflow provides the basic principles for the design of a New PS product which is really just a “Super LR”.

New PS will have a commercial angle that can’t be ignored if it’s going to succeed. Old PS was able to maintain its excessive  pricing level (by amateur standards) historically because it was able to do more than its competitors 10+ years ago and became the standard among business users along with business-level pricing. The price of New PS will have to be much lower than CS6 if it’s going to take off among amateurs and I suggest  a small premium above todays LR. Obviously it must also have a perpetual use licence not rental.

While talking about commercials there’s another area which needs to change in New PS. It's time to decouple raw support from the main program. It’s a ridiculous situation when ACR is made deliberately incompatible with old versions of LR & PS so that you have to buy a new version of LR or PS just because you bought a new camera. It should be possible to upgrade just the ACR module for a small price (compared to the price for full LR), with everything else being compatible.  For Adobe there will be an income stream from selling new Raw modules and photographers will be happier as their old software will still be usable (for a small fee) with a new camera.

For functionality of New PS, reading through this thread pretty much every PS feature has been labelled essential by someone.  New PS has got to be different to PS and be stripped down  otherwise there’s no point in starting again. This will disappoint some of the thread contributors but I see no alternative. For the disappointed people there will still be Classic PS to do what they want.

For me the most important features of New PS are:
- Using LR for raw conversion and initial settings
- Using LR export functions for output
- non-destructive editing throughout and that includes filters, sharpening etc. - If LR’s parametric model can be extended, great.
- A wider range of local adjustments than in today's LR
- Pixel based content can be added and modified

LR has a small range of tools for local adjustments but I find them limited. In today’s PS I use adjustment layers, masks and “blend if” extensively for local adjustments. These are broadly the same in principle as LR’s local adjustments except that PS has many more options available with much better ways of defining and refining the masks. Good selection tools are a must – todays magnetic lasso, polygonal lasso, magic wand plus a selection brush. I only use a handful of blending modes: normal, lighten, darken, color, luminosity and occasionally multiply. All the other modes can go. The only PS brush I use is round with varying hardness and opacity (as in LR) so all fancy brushes can go although I can see a place for a square or triangular brush.

The ability to add new pixel-based content – for example to cover up gaps or unwanted objects in an image – is essential with some sort of layer model to control it. Masks are essential. Being able to increase the dimensions of an image so that images can be combined or cloned material added. Content based fill and adding custom patterns are useful. Transformations, nudging, aligning are all needed.

All the vector stuff and paths can go, along with graphical design stuff like text and shapes. If someone needs these they will have to go back to classic PS.
CMYK seems a divisive subject with photographers being firm “Yes” or “No” without any in the middle. I have no need for it myself but maybe a specialised export routine will be enough ?
No need for video and 3D.
Given the capability of export routines I see no need for Actions either.
Compatibility with existing plugins is vital – I often use Topaz Denoise and Focus Magic.
I’d like to see more interpolation routines such as the various Sync implementations.

I can see why many want stitching included but I think it's an unnecessary distraction. A simple export model to another tool like PT GUI should be enough. HDR – I’m not sure.  Probably editing of 32-bit images should be included.

A potential barrier to widespread acceptance of a PS replacement based on LR is the LR Catalogue and having to import images into it. While many are OK with this, some photographers hate it. I find it cumbersome and prefer to use Bridge. Bridge has the advantage compared to the LR Catalogue of simply displaying what is in the folder without having to do an Import. On the other hand I can see why the Catalogue is needed technically by LR to maintain the details of an image manipulation. This leads me on to a suggestion to solve the Catalogue problem in the new PS. Introduce a new mode for the Catalogue  - “Bridge mode” - which works like Bridge and just displays the images in a folder. If the photographer works on an image or changes anything the details automatically get saved into a local file, otherwise it’s left as is. Functions that depend on the full Catalogue aren’t available in my Bridge mode.

As this has been a long post (sorry, but it’s a good opportunity to add my views to the debate) here’s a summary of my new PS.
- Builds on the principles of LR so that it's really just a “Super LR”
- non-destructive editing throughout
- Uses LR for raw conversion and initial manipulations
- Separate pricing for ACR (Raw module) upgrades
- Uses LR export routines for output
- Uses LR Catalogue but adding a new simple Bridge mode where Import is not needed
- Has Layers for adding & manipulating pixel based material
- has a wider range of local adjustments
- Existing PS plug-ins can be used for modifying content  e.g. sharpening and grain reduction
- Includes variety of selection and masking tools
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StephaneB
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« Reply #336 on: June 25, 2013, 05:33:11 PM »
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Hoping this won't be considered provocative, but if LR included the Nik plugins in a non-destructive way, it would simply be heaven. No need to change anything to them, just embed them and make them non destructive. I'd subscribe to that! Honest.
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Stéphane

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« Reply #337 on: June 25, 2013, 08:20:51 PM »
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Hoping this won't be considered provocative, but if LR included the Nik plugins in a non-destructive way, it would simply be heaven. No need to change anything to them, just embed them and make them non destructive. I'd subscribe to that! Honest.

What function(s) do you want that are in Nik and not in LR?
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John
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« Reply #338 on: June 26, 2013, 12:40:12 AM »
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What function(s) do you want that are in Nik and not in LR?

In general: U-Points! There is nothing like it in the entire industry and it is by far the best selection method for localized adjustments for photography. The edge finding in LR's paintbrush does not come close to the combination of precise selection and seamless blending that U-Points offer. U-Points just work naturally, visually. They remove the technicality from the act of selecting.

DFine
  • Sampling-based noise reduction
  • Localized noise reduction with adjustment of colour and luminance noise

Viveza: even if most of Viveza's adjustments are available in LR, they are global.
  • Structure
  • Localized, rich adjustments

Silver Efex
  • The B&W conversion is better
  • Film emulation
  • Structure
  • Fine Structure
  • B&W Filters that actually work (Yellow, Orange, Red, etc...)
  • Again, the localized, rich adjustments with U-Points

HDR Efex (cannot be non-destructive, would generate a tiff)
  • The most natural HDR I have used
  • U-Point-based local adjustments to tone-mapping using the full 32 bits
  • Very rich functionality presented with natural nomenclature

Sharpener Pro: more of a nice to have. I find sharpening in LR to be excellent. It is easier to isolate skys from sharpening with Nik Sharpener thanks to, yes, U-Points.

Color Efex: I use some of the filters for some pictures, but I can live without it. It would certainly be great to have the same in LR, but Color Efex filters are very CPU-taxing and I can't see how it would be practical to have that kind of processing in a non-destructive pipeline. I'd expect it to slow down LR to a crawl, making the whole thing unusable.
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Alan Gilbertson
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« Reply #339 on: June 26, 2013, 07:17:03 PM »
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For a "Lite" photo editing application (or directly in LR/ACR), I'd love to see LUTs incorporated for fast color manipulation. I could envision a thriving community of "look" enthusiasts sharing them on Adobe Exchange or Photoshop.com. One only has to look at the success of Instagram and its ilk to know that this approach has a great deal of appeal. From a professional perspective, a massive upgrade to color correction could surely be migrated from pro video apps like Speedgrade, and the ability to save and reuse looks is already a big part of the appeal of OnOne and Nik for many working pros (wedding photographers, especially, have to be able to work extremely fast, but they aren't alone).

The essential retouching basics like healing brush, spot healing brush and clone stamp, plus a full set of blend modes would have to be in there for when things gets too much for the raw processor. Ditto masking and compositing, for the simple tasks like sky replacement. Beyond that, ACR covers just about everything I ever want to do with straightforward photographs.

Beyond that, when I'm doing art pieces or a commercial project destined for InDesign and/or the web I would probably always turn to Photoshop because a) it has everything, and b) I'm used to it.

I'm a Bridge > ACR > Photoshop guy, mostly because I do a lot more with Creative Suite than photography and Bridge covers everything (and I was already using Bridge long before LR came along). LR and I have a friendly but distant relationship.
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