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JimC
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 05:21 PM




Joined: Mar 16, 2005
Posts: 160

Wow... interesting responses.

I'm no fan of Adobe's corporate practices (anymore than I'm a fan of Microsoft's).

But, they do have the best raw conversion I've used for maximizing dynamic range while maintaining decent detail without artifacts, and I've yet to see anyone come up with a solution that allows Adobe Camera Raw plugins to work in any other product (even those that support Photoshop plugins). You can't even get the newer ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) plugin to run on older versions of Photoshop.

Hopefully, competing products will continue to improve.

Quote:
I have been inpressed with the GIMP raw plug in for NEF files; conversion is much better than Rawshooter (which works under wine).


Adobe just recently purchased the technology assets of Pixmantec (developer of RawShooter Essentials and RawShooter Premium. Apparently, they didn't like the competition, since a number of photograpers seem to like it. Winken

I've used it in the past, and I've never been *that* impressed with it. But, it's better than some of the products around. I've got more than one version on my PC now. Detail extraction is pretty good. But, color rendering isn't quite up to what I'd like to see.

Most raw conversion plugins you see for Gimp are based on David Coffin's work. He's using pretty good algorithms anymore.

Beginning with dcraw.c version 7.60, David Coffin started using AHD (Adaptive Homogeniety Directed) for the interpolation algorithms.

This was in part due to Paul J. Lee, who collaborated with Hirakawa Keigo (the original co-author of AHD algorithm as part of his Ph.D thesis).

Once Paul fully understood the algorithm, he modified dcraw.c to use it and gave a prototype to Dave. After some comparison studies, Dave was convinced that AHD was superior to VNG and other demosaicing algorithms.

Dave converted and optimized the prototype created by Paul J. Lee, integrating it into dcraw.c versions 7.60 and later (he's continuing to refine it).

So, products using some or all of David's code to perform the raw conversion also benefit from these improvements, while adding their own enhancements and features.

I personally like the edge transitions better with AHD. So, I sometimes use dcraw.c (or products using David's code). UFRaw is one popular product that uses David's code for the demosaic piece:

http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/

Other times, I may use ACR (Adobe Camera Raw). More often than not, it's image dependent which raw converter I choose.

Quote:
I would say, Gimp as it is today is a fine solution for them. Krita will be another competitor in this sector shortly. And XaraLX is on the way to storm this sector in a few months. I also guess that Adobe/Macromedia will follow with their products, but probably beeing too late by then.


Gimp is stuck in 8 bit mode. You'll get less posterization working in 16 bit, and a lot of serious photographers are going to demand both 16 bit editing and a color managed workflow. Gimp doesn't give you that.

Krita does appear to be heaving in the right direction, with 16 bit editing as well as support for ICC Profiles via LittleCMS. Although, AFAIK, no color calibration hardware exists for Linux yet.

As for XaraLX, I noticed that the newest SimplyMEPIS 6.0 Release Candidates are now including this package, too (and they pulled Gimp due to space restrictions on the CD). I'll make sure to look at it soon.

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Gowator
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 06:57 PM




Joined: Mar 12, 2004
Posts: 215
Location: Paris-France
slam wrote:


If you are a photographer your talent is shooting, not manipulation, which is really a separate art and needs other skills. You should also be aware of your hardware limitations - photographers tend to spend all their money for equipment, not for a computer graphics workstation. Most profi photographers I know even stay completely away from that and deliver their material as it is with instructions to others who simply know better, are faster and better equipped for tricky manipulations. That way they get fast and perfect results, and save a lot of time - which is money for a photographer.


The problem is you still need to see your photo's even if you take them to a pro shop for professional printing.
You can't even get close with Gimp and dcraw because in the end its thrown into 8 bit which is practically useless even as a preview.
If you are going to send them to some snapshot printing and processing place then this doesn't matter but I pay upwards of ¤50 a print to have them professionally printed and 90% of this cost is color manipulation and regardless of size of the print. I don't want to have 5-6 goes at ¤50 a shot.

So far BibblePro provides the best raw conversion for me .. much better than photoshop most of the time but both are miles ahead of Gimp....
I haven't tried Picassa (well Ive seen it index and display the raw files but not looked at them seriously since I have a brand new monitor my old one blew last week and havn't yet done the color profile)...
 
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JimC
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 07:43 PM




Joined: Mar 16, 2005
Posts: 160

Quote:
You can't even get close with Gimp and dcraw because in the end its thrown into 8 bit which is practically useless even as a preview


Well, I wouldn't call it useless, as depending on the image, you can get some pretty decent results with dcraw.c.

But, for high dynamic range scenes, there are better products around. ACR can recover highlight detail that dcraw.c can't (at least versions of it I've tested, including some relatively recent ones.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Dave Coffin, and really like his code for some images. We all owe him thanks for his work in raw conversion, since a lot of products use at least some of his code (and he provides it for free for anyone to use).

Quote:
So far BibblePro provides the best raw conversion for me .. much better than photoshop most of the time but both are miles ahead of Gimp....
I haven't tried Picassa (well Ive seen it index and display the raw files but not looked at them seriously since I have a brand new monitor my old one blew last week and havn't yet done the color profile)...


I haven't tried Eric Hyman's latest versions of Bibble. I've been meaning to get around to it. I saw a few recent comparisons that put it in a bad light compared to another converter. But, some algorithms work better on some images versus others. So, a different image may have had the opposite results.

Eric works hard at trying to improve the product though (and actively partiicpates on some of the more popular digital photography forums, listening to what users have to say). If I had to switch to Linux full time tomorrow, I'd probably be running Eric's product for sure.

Eric has the fastest raw conversion around. But, to get that kind of speed in a raw converter, sometimes compromises are made.

As for Picasa, it's not using the camera's as shot white balance information for raw files. So, it's more useful as a browsing tool versus anything else (but, it's not bad for that purpose).

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h2
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 09:25 PM




Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 590

How refreshing, a good discussion of linux image editing minus the nonsense you generally see.

You can be fairly sure that within a year the requirements for 16 bit support will be met, and that there will be a workable raw thing as well.

At least if the speed of development in other areas is any indication.

I definitely don't want my image processing, audio, or video processing, to depend on very expensive proprietary software, that would negate the entire purpose of using free, open source software to escape just that trap.

One of the ways people who really want to move to linux and who really need the stuff talked about above can concretely help in the process is to join the various communities evolving around these image processing projects.

You don't have to be a programmer to help out an open source project, you can do testing, bug reports, forum posting to help newbies, irc chat to help, documentation writing.

With just a few expert eyes on these applications what is absolutely necessary can be implemented, and then the rough edges can be worked on. It doesn't take that long. The gnash, open source flash format plugin, project for example, after only 6 months, can support flash upto version 6 I believe, and they are working on 7 now. That's only 6 months of work. not bad.

One thing that definitely won't ever help is just complaining that application x is not photoshop, doesn't act like it, doesn't look like it, etc.

It's good to see that there's a lot of movement in this area, that's what makes the linux desktop so fun, it's very dynamic, and needs get met very quickly despite the overall low market share.

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h2
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 09:47 PM




Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 590

Oh, nearly forgot, there's a fantastic little gallery image creation program called thotor. That used to be closed source, it languished for years undeveloped, but then the guy open sourced the code and it blossomed into a much more powerful and flexible application.

I don't use its html components because all my galleries are scripted, but I do use its image sizing feature, which is really pleasant compared to either photoshop or the gimp. A classic case of do one thing and do it well.

The program is a windows program but works as far as I can tell almost flawlessly in wine.

It has some bugs when processing very large numbers of images all at once > 250 I think, but below that number it's fine.

I'd used that for years in its pre open sourced state, and was really happy to find it again under very active development. Before it only created thumbnails, with no real options, now it does it all.

Allows resizing to max height, max width, or both. That solves the problem of taller or wider images disrupting your thumbnail layout.
 
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eco2geek
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 05, 2006 - 09:40 AM




Joined: May 02, 2004
Posts: 336
Location: Portland, OR, USA
jackiebrown wrote:
none. just because you make / sell a program for linux doesn't make it GPL.

Doom3 comes to mind as well as the ati and nvidia drivers.

Of course. But given all that a Photoshop-like app would have to do -- read data from cameras; read data from scanners; color management; scripting (?); output to printers and various image formats -- one wonders if they could do all that without using existing GPL'd code in some way. (The nvidia driver comes with a GPL'd stub.)

Sorry, my post seems superfluous to this thread.

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Gowator
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 05, 2006 - 10:54 AM




Joined: Mar 12, 2004
Posts: 215
Location: Paris-France
JimC wrote:
Quote:
You can't even get close with Gimp and dcraw because in the end its thrown into 8 bit which is practically useless even as a preview


Well, I wouldn't call it useless, as depending on the image, you can get some pretty decent results with dcraw.c.

But, for high dynamic range scenes, there are better products around. ACR can recover highlight detail that dcraw.c can't (at least versions of it I've tested, including some relatively recent ones.

The problem is that at the end of the day its limited to the dynamic range of 8bit and no matter what else you do on the curves later you have already thrown most of the data away.

Quote:
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Dave Coffin, and really like his code for some images. We all owe him thanks for his work in raw conversion, since a lot of products use at least some of his code (and he provides it for free for anyone to use).

Exactly ... I agree 100%

Quote:
Quote:
So far BibblePro provides the best raw conversion for me .. much better than photoshop most of the time but both are miles ahead of Gimp....
I haven't tried Picassa (well Ive seen it index and display the raw files but not looked at them seriously since I have a brand new monitor my old one blew last week and havn't yet done the color profile)...


I haven't tried Eric Hyman's latest versions of Bibble. I've been meaning to get around to it. I saw a few recent comparisons that put it in a bad light compared to another converter. But, some algorithms work better on some images versus others. So, a different image may have had the opposite results.

Eric works hard at trying to improve the product though (and actively partiicpates on some of the more popular digital photography forums, listening to what users have to say). If I had to switch to Linux full time tomorrow, I'd probably be running Eric's product for sure.

Eric has the fastest raw conversion around. But, to get that kind of speed in a raw converter, sometimes compromises are made.

As for Picasa, it's not using the camera's as shot white balance information for raw files. So, it's more useful as a browsing tool versus anything else (but, it's not bad for that purpose).
[/quote]

This is true but at the end you have more usable information in a bad 16 bit conversion than in a good 8bit. It might need some work but you have the information.

h2 wrote:
I definitely don't want my image processing, audio, or video processing, to depend on very expensive proprietary software, that would negate the entire purpose of using free, open source software to escape just that trap.


Swings and roundabouts, I almost bought a mini-mac soley for image processing last year. I don't mind commercial software, professionally I use Oracle and mysql doesn't come close .. sure I want opensource for everything but its not going to happen in certain niche markets.

What I asked myself is would I run closed source SW on an opensource system or on a closed source system. In the end the idea of an opensource system is not feasbile... my CPU runs propritry code as does my GPU...even I I choose to use an opensource nv driver over the closed nvidia the firmware is still closed source.

So what I did was rationalise, the camera is an accessory, like a palm pilot or whatever... so I view having closed source software like bibble as a necassary evil. I think of it more as an extension of the accessory than the OS ... and the cost is less than even the cheapest 2nd had lens I would put onto my camera.
 
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JimC
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 05, 2006 - 09:41 PM




Joined: Mar 16, 2005
Posts: 160

Gowator wrote:
JimC wrote:
Quote:
You can't even get close with Gimp and dcraw because in the end its thrown into 8 bit which is practically useless even as a preview


Well, I wouldn't call it useless, as depending on the image, you can get some pretty decent results with dcraw.c.

But, for high dynamic range scenes, there are better products around. ACR can recover highlight detail that dcraw.c can't (at least versions of it I've tested, including some relatively recent ones.

The problem is that at the end of the day its limited to the dynamic range of 8bit and no matter what else you do on the curves later you have already thrown most of the data away.


Just to be clear... Gimp is limited to 8 bit editing.

But, David Coffin's dcraw.c can output a 16 bit image for editing when used as a standalone program. It defaults to an 8 bit .ppm file. But, you have command line switches available to output a 16 bit linear .psd file or a 16 bit linear .ppm file.

16 bit versus 8 bit isn't really what gives ACR an advantage for some high dynamic range scenes. They just have some pretty sophisticated algorithms designed to try and extract highlight detail, even when some of the photosites used in the demosaic/interpolation process have maxed out values.

But, for some images, I prefer the output of dcraw.c to ACR, and I use dcraw.c frequently as a stand alone program (and I download and compile newer versions periodically for use from a command line in Windows).

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JimC
Post subject: Re: RE: Linux and Image Editing  PostPosted: Jul 05, 2006 - 10:01 PM




Joined: Mar 16, 2005
Posts: 160

h2 wrote:
In all those threads you've read, how many of those photoshop users have ever shown any interest in helping out on some graphics program or project? I'd guess not very many.


Most users probably aren't even aware that they can get involved.

I'm guilty, too. I've never been involved in an OpenSource Project.

I do go out of my way to help out Dave Coffin whenever I have an opportunity to do so, though. In more than one instance, I've had access to images from preproduction cameras and worked with Dave to try and get him what he needed to add these cameras to dcraw.c

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h2
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: Linux and Image Editing  PostPosted: Jul 06, 2006 - 02:07 AM




Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 590

Quote:
I'm guilty, too. I've never been involved in an OpenSource Project.


I don't think that's true, you're helping this guy any time you can, any way you can.

Quote:
Attention! Some parts of this program are restricted under the
terms of the GNU General Public License. Such code is enclosed
in "BEGIN GPL BLOCK" and "END GPL BLOCK" declarations.
Any code not declared GPL is free for all uses.

Starting in Revision 1.237, the code to support Foveon cameras
is under GPL.


that's from dcraw-1.c file.

So you're doing your part, which is all anyone can ever ask I think.

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Gowator
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 06, 2006 - 02:12 PM




Joined: Mar 12, 2004
Posts: 215
Location: Paris-France
JimC wrote:
Just to be clear... Gimp is limited to 8 bit editing.

But, David Coffin's dcraw.c can output a 16 bit image for editing when used as a standalone program. It defaults to an 8 bit .ppm file. But, you have command line switches available to output a 16 bit linear .psd file or a 16 bit linear .ppm file.

Cool - thanks I hadn't tried that....
Quote:

16 bit versus 8 bit isn't really what gives ACR an advantage for some high dynamic range scenes. They just have some pretty sophisticated algorithms designed to try and extract highlight detail, even when some of the photosites used in the demosaic/interpolation process have maxed out values.

Probably, just be give my background I worked most of my life with scientific software from writing to project management and user support.

One huge area is seismic image analysis which is way more complex that the photo side in terms of data size and complexity and seimic processing is a science all by itself....

bac in the good ole days it was analogue and then went to 8 bit aquisition of summed data then to time series aquisition .. etc. etc. until now its usually 64 bit mutliphase and terrabytes of data per survey.

A decent proportion of the worlds fastest 100 super computers are given over to this task... and there is a LOT of money involved....

I spent a decent amount of time designing processing algorithms and display algorithms working on datasets but although the algorithms make a huge difference you can't change what is not there.

The process itself is rather iterative, the best tool remains and will probably continue to be the human eye so usually you process and display ... refine the algorithms and reprocess from a fixed point but once you demultiplex the data you have demultiplexed it... and usually the raw data is so large it is kept in tape libraries and only loaded onto bulk storage as needed ....

Basically what I am trying to say is that the latter processes depend a lot on the former processes in terms of demultiplexing but the latter processes can't be done until you demultiplex ..

So what tends to happen is in terms of photography you tend to do the raw conversion and apply various algorithms with supplied parameters and using libraries such as camera color curves etc. but in most cases if you understand the algorihtms you can actually see artifacts of the earlier processing which you can then apply corrections or alternate algorithms for.... so the whole thing is very visual and being able to tweak paramters and get a near instantaneous processing chain probably is important too?
 
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JimC
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 06, 2006 - 02:35 PM




Joined: Mar 16, 2005
Posts: 160

Gowator wrote:
So what tends to happen is in terms of photography you tend to do the raw conversion and apply various algorithms with supplied parameters and using libraries such as camera color curves etc. but in most cases if you understand the algorihtms you can actually see artifacts of the earlier processing which you can then apply corrections or alternate algorithms for.... so the whole thing is very visual and being able to tweak paramters and get a near instantaneous processing chain probably is important too?


Not being able to easily tweak parameters and preview their impact quickly can be a weakness of the standalone version of dcraw.c versus some of the commercial products around.

So, you may need to change parameters you pass to it for optimum results using trial and error for some images. I've even been known to tweak some of the parrameters in the code, recompiling for best results. lol

Because David's algorithms are more complex than most, it can be slower to process, too (and because his code is not processor or operating system specific, how it's compiled enters into the equation).

There are some products that use David's code that do give you more flexibility to make changes (via a GUI), though. UFRaw is one popular open source product using David's algorithms for the demosaic piece, while adding a lot of features including some camera specific curves.

Rawstudio is another one I've been keeping an eye on (although I haven't tried it yet)

Edit/P.S.

You can pass more than one raw filename to convert at a time via the command line dcraw.c program, and it also supports the "as shot" white balance for many cameras. That way, you've got a better starting point for editing.

Just use the -w switch and it will look at the rgb multipliers in the metadata associated with white balance. For example (substituting your own image file names for pictxxxx.xxx), adding any other desired switches (type dcraw without any parameters and you'll see the available options)

dcraw -w pict0001.mrw pict0002.mrw pict0003.mrw pict0004.mrw

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JimC
Post subject: EXIF viewer plugin for Firefox  PostPosted: Jul 09, 2006 - 01:48 PM




Joined: Mar 16, 2005
Posts: 160

One tool I rely on with Windows XP is Opanda IEXIF

It allows me to "right click" on a photo and see the embedded EXIF, if it's there (so I can see more information about an image including camera settings used).

Since I'm a moderator on a Digtal Camera Forum, it's one of my most frequenlty used tools. When users have problems, we often ask them to post sample images, and it lets me see where they went wrong with their settings without the need to download the image to check the EXIF.

Well, when I've used Linux distros in the past, I didn't have this tool. But, I remember a similar tool being mentioned before that's cross platorm, and I just finished installing it in Firefox a few minutes ago.

It doesn't have the details that I'm used to (it's missing ISO speed, flash on/off, Exposure Compensation Settings, White Balance Settings, Focus Information and things like manufacturer specific maker notes).

But, it does give you some basic information about an image (focal length, aperture, shutter speed, metering mode).

So, anyone that works with images online a lot may want to give it a try.

http://ted.mielczarek.org/code/mozilla/fxif/

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4444
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 19, 2006 - 07:56 AM




Joined: Apr 12, 2006
Posts: 3

Great,

but I am looking for a tool that will be able to change
that info as well. I know there is a few for windows
(AtributeMagic Pro) but do you know of a Linux software
that can modifiy/erease the EXIF?

That will be nice.
 
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titan
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 24, 2006 - 08:21 AM




Joined: May 07, 2005
Posts: 405
Location: Waliser Märze
Digikam 9 beta is in Sid repro today and it says

full support for 16bit images in the image editor, all image plugins have been ported to make use of the new 16 bit infrastructure.

Ian
 
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