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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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  #1  
Old September 5th, 2015, 10:21 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Default The SIlkypix Developer Studio

My Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 camera came with a customized version of Silkypix Developer Studio, a "raw developer" published by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory. This version will only open files tagged as coming from one of a long list of Panasonic cameras (but see below on overcoming that limitation).

Although it is billed as a "raw developer". it is perfectly happy (subject to the above limitation, of course) to load a JPG file and perform all its available operations on it.

Of particular interest is that its very flexible set of color correction tools (including those for "white balance") can be applied to a JPG file. Of course we all hear that it is not possible to do as thorough a job of white balance color correction on a JPG file as on a raw file, but Silkypix does not seem to understand that.

Included is an eyedropper for fingering a known neutral object in the scene, a tool rarely available in other image processing software when working on a JPG file.

The program provides for image rotation and for cropping, and as well for perspective adjustment. It is not an all-purpose image editor, and so has no provision for layers, objects, masking, and the like.

All its operations are done on a "nondestructive" basis, leaving the victim file unchanged but capturing a recipe for all changes in a separate file. But of course the edited image (called a "scene") can be turned into a new file. That operation is in fact described as "developing". There are extensive provisions for controlling the parameters of a new file (JPEG "quality", for example. The image can also be resized (I haven't yet looked into the subtleties of that).

When working from an eligible Panasonic raw file, the program automatically apples corrections for geometric distortion, vignetting, and lateral chromatic aberration from a database of lens profiles. These adjustments can also be applied, on a manual basic, when working from a JPG file. (The JPG files from the Panasonic cameras have already been adjusted in-camera.)

As we might imagine from its slightly corny name, this is a really Japanese program. However, the English language user interface is quite clear.

There is an extensive user manual (online), which only here and there breaks into "Japlish". In fact, as is often the case with "really Japanese" software, often the descriptions are refreshingly candid. It is refreshing to see what is usually called "white balance" more accurately described as "gray balance".

I am reticent to suggest the purchase of the regular version of this program because of the cost. For the latest vintage, Version 6, for the "standard version" (there is also a "pro" version), the cost is about 135.00 USD (235.00 USD for the Pro version). I can upgrade to the Standard Version 6 from my custom Panasonic-only version (version 4.3) for 82.50 USD.

But it may in fact be possible to download the Panasonic-only version free and run it (I don't yet know for sure).

Can it be used to work on files from other cameras? Yes, by temporarily transplanting the metadata from a suitable Panasonic camera file (after saving the original metadata, if we want that to survive the whole scenario).

Best regards,

Doug
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  #2  
Old September 6th, 2015, 09:10 AM
Don Ferguson Jr. Don Ferguson Jr. is offline
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Default

LR edits JPEG files non-destructive and has an eyedropper for WB.
Don
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  #3  
Old September 6th, 2015, 09:16 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Ferguson Jr. View Post
LR edits JPEG files non-destructive and has an eyedropper for WB.
Don
Ah, I did not know that (don't have LR). Thanks for the info.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old September 6th, 2015, 09:23 AM
Don Ferguson Jr. Don Ferguson Jr. is offline
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Yea, comes in handy when I edit some of my Dad's Jpegs he took hiking. Even more on all the smartphone photos my brother sends my Mom of his kids she wants me to print 4 x 6. LOL
Don
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  #5  
Old September 6th, 2015, 09:33 AM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
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Hi Doug
During the past decade, I have regularly tested SIlkypix (not that last version though).
But never found it better than C1 or LR…
As Don did already point out, LR does all this plus a multiple other good things to jpg, tif and raw files.
One of the strength LR has is that there are so many users that they have a huge amount of feed back…
You may try it, the trial version lasts one month, so plenty time to test in depth.

But you're also right to try other SWs, for example I sometimes use iridien raw developper http://www.iridientdigital.com/products/ (former Raw developper), afaik it does not work on jJPGs but it delivers good files from raw, they have a particularly good and rich sharpness tab, but this OT!
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  #6  
Old September 6th, 2015, 09:45 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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My first use of the "white balance" tools in Silkypix Developer Studio was in connection with shots taken of rehearsals of theatrical productions. The stage lighting, while nominally white, had a rather low CCT, and my earliest shots (with the camera white balance set to "automatic") had a very reddish cast.
CCT is coordinated color temperature. I say that rather than "color temperature" since, rigorously, a chromaticity not on the Planckian locus (that is, not a "blackbody" chromaticity) does not have a true color temperature.
I found that the "white balance" tools were very helpful in dealing with this. These include two "eyedroppers". One is the traditional "gray balance" (often called "white balance") eyedropper. We can use that to ping a spot (or draw a rectangular area) on an object in the scene we believe to be "neutral" in its reluctance.

The second is the "skin color tool". According to the program documentation, if we click this (or draw a rectangular area with it) on the subject's skin, this directs the color balance so that area will be rendered with a "beautiful skin tone".

Of course, this is a very questionable (maybe even dangerous) notion, both photographically and socially (evocative of the matter of the "flesh tone" crayon once included in crayon packets).

But, as we will see in a moment, it worked like a champ on a young Caucasian redhead from St. Louis.

Below we see two identical crops (downsized for presentation here) from the JPG file from my Panasonic FZ1000 shot of Katie, a recent member of our community theater company (and a very capable actor), onstage during a "technical rehearsal" of one of the six plays in the anthology of short plays recently produced by the theater (shot the first day I had my FZ1000).


On the left we see the image ex camera. It clearly suffers gravely from the combination of the low CCT of the stage lighting and the "AWB" setting of the camera.

On the right I have applied "white balance" in SDS, using the "skin color tool", with the target being a small rectangle on Katie's face just behind the highlight on her right cheek. I used that tool rather than the "gray balance" tool as there was not any neutral object in the scene.

Of course, I could have just used the CCT slider and eyeballed it.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #7  
Old September 6th, 2015, 11:06 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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I don't mean at all to suggest that the right-hand example above represents "the best that could be done" in color-correcting this image (whatever that might mean).

If any of you would like to "give it a try" with your favorite tools and techniques, here is a link to the original (a crop at original camera resolution):

http://dougkerr.net/images/test/Test_Q00553-10.jpg

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #8  
Old September 6th, 2015, 05:35 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Here is another example of white balance color correction done with the Silkypix Developer Studio.

This is an on-stage shot from "Smoke on the Mountain", a musical drama performed by our theater group last year. This was taken with our Canon PowerShot G16, again (ill-advisedly) with the white balance set to "automatic":


Here we see the same shot with its JPG file adjusted by SDS (white balance and a little "bump" of exposure correction):


Here, I used the "gray balance tool" eyedropper aimed at a white glove on the actress to the far right.

The work was done with my "Panasonic files only" version of SDS. To do that, I temporarily transplanted the Exif metadata from a Panasonic FZ1000 file into the image file, after saving the original metadata, which was replaced after the procedure. That fooled SDS into thinking that it was dealing with a Panasonic file, which it addressed gladly.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old September 7th, 2015, 02:52 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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I've discovered an number of other interesting facts about the Silkypix Developer Suite.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #10  
Old September 8th, 2015, 07:45 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Earlier I described the User Manual for the Silkypix Developer Studio as "on-line". I was in error. The user manual is in fact installed on the user's computer.

It is, however, an HTML creature, reminding one of some "on-line" manuals (which in fact what may well have led me astray).

The "home page" of the manual includes a very detailed table of contents.

The manual (as if written by moi) often contains nice introductory and backgroud material on the topic of interest.

As I compare my version 4.3 (an updated form of what was provided with my Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 with version 6 (I have the "trial version" of that), I see some interesting evolution of terminology. For example, the tool that allows one to isolate a rectangular portion of the image for further processing is spoken of in Version 4.x as the "trimming" tool (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-T), while in version 6 is is spoken of as the "cropping" tool (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-T).

In either version, even when working from a JPEG file, the process of "saving" the edited image as a new file (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-S) is referred to as "development".

Version 6 ha two new functions that are still slightly mysterious to me.

One is called "dodge and color burn". The manual introduces its discussion of these with a review of the concept of "dodging" and "burning [in]" in traditional photographic printing. But this SDS function is not applicable locally (with a "brush", for example). It seems as if the function "intelligently" examines the image to see where some dodging would be beneficial, and then, since such of itself might result in a dilution of saturation, applies "color burning" as well.

Here is the example from the manual of the application of this function to a scene:


The degree of application of this function is controllable with a slider (with a digital setting available as well, as with all sliders in SDS).

Last night I took a couple of shots at random from my archives, loaded them into SDS, and applied the dodge and color burn function. I must admit that in most of the cases, doing so made the image "look nicer". What can I say.

The second new function is HDR (oh, boy). The manual begins with a fairly nice discussion of the dilemma of dynamic range, and notes that often a "blending" of multiple exposures is used to increase the dynamic range of the photographic system's response to of a scene

It goes on to say that, no, SDS does not provide that facility, but does in fact have an "intelligent" processing that can improve to the viewer's eye the appearance of an image of a scene with an "excessive" [my term] contrast range. (Remember, properly, "dynamic range" is not a measure of the contrast range of a scene, but rather of the ability of the imaging system to capture it.)

Here is the example from the manual of the application of this function to a scene:


Again, the degree of application of this function is controllable with a slider.

I hope to later get a better understanding of the significance of these two functions.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #11  
Old September 12th, 2015, 10:08 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Silkypix Developer Studio 6 includes a nice facility for adjusting for the impact of perspective "distortion" (which of course is not distortion at all), which it characterizes as equivalent to applying the effect of a shift lens. Both vertical and horizontal adjustments are provide for.

A needed parameter of the adjustment process is the (angular) field of view of the lens used. The User Manual, in its always charming "almost Japanese" style, says this about that:
Angle

You will need information on angle of view of a lens in order to get the right effect of shift lens effect.
The default angle-of-view parameter is set almost properly based on the Exif information of the input file.

However, when you don't attach a manufacturer-made lens or attach an old lens, the angle of view may not be set properly.

If you find that the image is distorted vertically or horizontally after the shift lens effect process, adjust the "angle" parameter.

Frequent use of the "angle" parameter gives an impression as if the aspect ratio with shift lens effect changes.

Enjoy this as a part of the expressions.
I'm not sure I completely understand the passage I have highlighted in blue. First, I assume that what is meant is, "Frequently, the use of the 'angle parameter' "...

But I just love the exhortation (often throughout the manual given in connection with some side effect of some processing function) to "enjoy" the (whatever result).

Best regards,

Doug
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