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Author Topic: 10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren't Photoshop)  (Read 4277 times)
Joe S
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« on: May 20, 2013, 12:36:45 PM »
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http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6648389507/10-photo-editing-programs-that-arent-photoshop
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 01:33:31 PM »
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I wonder why they skipped Photoline? It's quite capable, 16-bit/channel, color managed, offers more features than most, uses better resampling algorithms than many, also for vector graphics, and offers several Web content related tools (e.g. for the creation of stylized buttons), etc., and has a modest price.

Cheers,
Bart
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thierrylegros396
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 01:46:57 PM »
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Hi Bart,

Do you know if the refresh of the preview is quick ?

It's important for me as most of the programs I tried were very bad compared to Photoshop.

Do you have also access to channels ?!

Have a Nice Day.

Thierry
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alain
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 02:08:41 PM »
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Another one (16 bit channels with icc management) : Picture Window pro
The new version 7 is almost there.

I use it together with Caputre one, and I'm not in heavy manipulations.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 02:51:48 PM »
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Hi Bart,

Do you know if the refresh of the preview is quick ?

Hi Thierry,

Depending on the type of corrections, the previews (and real 21MP image update) look almost instant (so the hardware can also make a difference).

Quote
It's important for me as most of the programs I tried were very bad compared to Photoshop.

They have a free 30-day trial version available (Mac and Win, 32 and 64-bit OS versions). It's always useful to benchmark with on one's own files and computer.

Quote
Do you have also access to channels ?!

Channels, layers, and masks are all there.

Since it was created by software engineers, the user interface could look better than it does, but the functionality is great.
There are several useful tutorials on youtube by "Bob Shrader". They allow you to get up to speed quickly and make the most out your trial period.

Cheers,
Bart
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MHMG
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 09:28:50 PM »
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Hi Thierry,

Channels, layers, and masks are all there.


Yes, photoline is a real contender. But the softproof feature seems to have a bug. It may a relatively simple error like using the forward transform rather than than the inverse transform data in the ICC profile to render the soft proof, so I contacted them and got a very prompt reply from one of the principals. He said he'd take a look at it and get back to me. I take that as an encouraging sign that I'm very very close to finding a nice PS alternative. Close, but not quite there yet.
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Wayland
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 12:01:17 PM »
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Have to admit, I've been looking at Photoline and it looks pretty good to me.
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Wayland.
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plugsnpixels
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 04:30:17 PM »
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I've got some screenshots and examples using PhotoLine here.

Yes, the interface is Mac OS9 ugly, but there's a lot of power there. I like the fact you can quickly (and without relaunching) add PS plug-ins.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 06:12:12 PM »
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I like the fact you can quickly (and without relaunching) add PS plug-ins.

Indeed. Adding plug-ins in Photoshop requires a restart, not so in Photoline. Much more clever/lean programming it seems. I also really love that my investment in (selected) PS plug-ins is allowed to persist beyond a hostage pricing scheme. Prior investments (also those in the time learning to really exploit the tools) keep their value.

Cheers,
Bart
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 09:17:51 AM »
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Channels, layers, and masks are all there.

To be clear, their own proprietary channels, layers and masks right? You can't open a Photoshop created document with those elements and further edit an existing layer right? That's proprietary Adobe processing (meaning any other software you move to, you now hook into their proprietary processing).

The DP Review article didn't mention that as far as I could see. 10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren't Photoshop) also don't support Photoshop legacy data which is proprietary unless I'm missing something.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 11:25:35 AM »
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To be clear, their own proprietary channels, layers and masks right?

Hi Andrew,

That's correct. The functionality is there, not the compatibility with the proprietary Adobe bits.
So going forward, there are alternatives for the layers functionality, but legacy (work-in-progress) files generated by Photoshop will become useless over time.

Cheers,
Bart
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digitaldog
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 11:40:01 AM »
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That's correct. The functionality is there, not the compatibility with the proprietary Adobe bits.
So going forward, there are alternatives for the layers functionality, but legacy (work-in-progress) files generated by Photoshop will become useless over time.

What I thought but apparently not what *some* jumping ship are thinking.

A bit like a Canon shooter jumping ship to Nikon, then hoping they can process their Canon raws in the Nikon software.
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Andrew Rodney
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http://digitaldog.net/
kirkt
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2013, 11:11:46 AM »
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To be clear, their own proprietary channels, layers and masks right? You can't open a Photoshop created document with those elements and further edit an existing layer right? That's proprietary Adobe processing (meaning any other software you move to, you now hook into their proprietary processing).

The DP Review article didn't mention that as far as I could see. 10 Photo Editing Programs (that aren't Photoshop) also don't support Photoshop legacy data which is proprietary unless I'm missing something.

Actually, to a certain extent, adjustment layers in a PS document can be read and recreated by Photoline.  For example, an adjustment layer stack with curves, hue/sat and levels adjustment layers created in PS and saved to a PSD file (PSCS6) will open in Photoline (v17.53) with all of those (supported, or analogous) PS adjustment layers intact and applied to the background image.  There are some discrepancies - I noted that, for example, if I applied a gamma and white point levels adjustment to the RGB channel, it was interpreted correctly by Photoline; however, if, in that same levels adjustment layer I also applied a gamma and white point adjustment to the GREEN channel, that was not preserved by Photoline.  Interesting.  I will contact the developers and see if this is a "bug" or something intentional.  I am guessing it is a bug, as the curves adjustment layer, per channel, is preserved as well as the hue/sat, per target color range, is preserved.  I have not looked into the fidelity of the translation in terms of color numbers, etc.

Layer masks are also preserved although I am not sure if they are fully registered with the image.  It appears that the layer masks created in PS are displaced or have their left bounding box margins justified to the left of the image space in PL.  Maybe?  - will need to experiment with this.

I assume that if PS has a layer adjustment that has no mate in Photoline, it probably will not be preserved.  (EDIT - an unsupported adjustment layer comes in as a fully transparent layer with no mask in Photoline - for example, I applied a LUT adjustment layer with a painted mask to the PSD file in PSCS6 - upon opening in Photoline it was in the layer stack, but as a transparent layer, with no mask.

Anyway, pretty interesting.

kirk

EDIT - attached is a screenshot with the comparison.  Although cyclocross races can be hellish, these adjustments were arbitrary and were made so that they were obvious. Smiley
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 11:44:08 AM by kirkt » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2013, 12:02:42 PM »
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Actually, to a certain extent, adjustment layers in a PS document can be read and recreated by Photoline.  
There are some discrepancies - I noted that, for example, if I applied a gamma and white point levels adjustment to the RGB channel, it was interpreted correctly by Photoline; however, if, in that same levels adjustment layer I also applied a gamma and white point adjustment to the GREEN channel, that was not preserved by Photoline.
Layer masks are also preserved although I am not sure if they are fully registered with the image.  It appears that the layer masks created in PS are displaced or have their left bounding box margins justified to the left of the image space in PL.  Maybe?  - will need to experiment with this.

If we can't honor the original color appearance, edit the existing layers as we could in PS, seems the 'support' is half baked and potentially a worse situation than just handing it a flattened TIFF.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
kirkt
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2013, 01:19:08 PM »
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Very true.  Here is a quick experiment to check, rudimentarily, how this might shake out.  I opened a JPEG in PS and applied a curves adjustment layer, with an RGB adjustment, as well as an adjustment to the R and B channels.  Arbitrary.

Save as PSD, opened in Photoline.  Flattened the opened file (the curve adjustment layer was there, preserved, etc.).  Saved as PSD from within Photoline (yes, PL will save in PSD format).

Opened the PL PSD in PS and placed the PL image on the original PS image+curve adjustment and set the PL image mode to Difference.  I applied a Curve adjustment to the difference image by dragging the RGB white point all the way to the black point.

Attached is the result.  So far, it seems the images are indistinguishable, but, obviously, with more complex files, who knows.  I emailed the PL developer about the Levels adjustment layer bug and received a reply within 20 minutes requesting the PSD file for further analysis.  Not bad.

PL has a 30 day trial - perhaps folks with various PS files from various legacy versions could offer insight with their PS files and the translation into PL.

kirk

« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 01:24:53 PM by kirkt » Logged
kirkt
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2013, 02:22:31 PM »
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Interestingly, if you work on an image in PL, and add PL adjustment layers of various kinds and then save the file as a PSD, you get a warning telling you that, essentially, those adjustment layers are not going to be saved as a PSD kind of layer.  However, what ends up happening is that when you open the resulting PL PSD in Photoshop (or back in PL) each adjustment layer layer is there, rasterized, as if Stamp Visible were run at each layer in the stack.  So, at least you have burned in stages of adjustments to the original, even if the actual ability to tweak those is no longer available.  Again, this is going in reverse (from PL with PL adjustments to PS via saving a PL file as PSD).

interesting.

kirk
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digitaldog
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2013, 04:36:13 PM »
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So far, it seems the images are indistinguishable, but, obviously, with more complex files, who knows.

IF you can get the two back into Photoshop, the old Apply Image/Subtract trick will show you the tinniest differences visually:

http://digitaldog.net/files/Apply_Image.pdf
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Andrew Rodney
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http://digitaldog.net/
kirkt
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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2013, 11:05:29 PM »
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Cool trick!  Here are the results.

For sake of comparison, I also took the original PSD file (in aRGB), duplicated it in PS, flattened it, and then did:

>> Convert to Profile (LAB) and then Convert to Profile (aRGB).  That is, all within PS I simply took the original image, converted to LAB and back to the original (aRGB) color profile.

For both subtract images, I added a levels adjustment to amplify the image, with the black point set to 127 and the white point set to 129.

kirk

« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 11:10:35 PM by kirkt » Logged
kirkt
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2013, 11:18:31 PM »
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For clarity, here is the original PS file with the curve adjustment layer, and the same PSD file opened in Photoline (with Photoline's interpretation of the curve adjustment layer).  In the difference exercise, I saved the flattened Photoline interpretation of the original PSD file as a new PSD file and compared it to the original in PS.

kirk
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 11:23:15 PM by kirkt » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2013, 06:00:15 PM »
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Thanks, I'll purchase Photoline without trying it out.

At this point in time this is not about the immediate value for me, it is about bringing PS alternatives to the right level before CS6 becomes unusable, which requires pro-active funding.

It is also pretty cool to support a software vendor from Germany, there are not that many around in the image editing field.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 09:38:29 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
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