FocalBlade vs Fred Miranda

Comments and discussions about 8bf plugins which can be use in various applications like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or Photo-Paint

FocalBlade vs Fred Miranda

Postby Doorgunner » Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:04 pm

I am not trying to start a flame fest, but can anyone tell me the advantage of Focal Blade say over Fred Miranda's PS actions? On the surface things seem about the same except the slick user interface of Focal Blade???

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Postby HaraldHeim » Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:37 pm

Well, I never used these actions, so I can't give you many details. First of all there is the difference between plugins and actions (The automation plugins which Fred Miranda is now offering are very similar to actions). Plugins are more intuitively and conveniantly to use, their effect is easier to taylor to the image, there is an interactive preview. Plugins also works faster when experimenting with the effect, because the effect is only applied a small preview instead of the whole image. Additionally actions can only be used in Photoshop while plugin can be used in dozens of image applications.

Actions rely only on what Photoshop offers, so if Photoshop doesn't offer a needed function, there is nothing you can do about it. Based on this assumption I can extrapolate some advantages of FocalBlade.

Photoshop's Unsharp Mask (USM) tool is using a relatively inaccurate algorithm for calculating Gaussian sharpening. It sacrifices quality for speed. FocalBlade on the other hand uses a very precise Gaussian sharpening function. For that reason Photoshop's USM, which Fred Miranda actions very likely uses, produces lower quality sharpening which amplifies noise and artifacts unecessarily.

Photoshop/Fred Miranda also don't offer other sharpening kernels (Cosine, Circular, Linear etc.) for special cases like FocalBlade. Also FocalBlade lets you apply a sharpening amount of up to 2000% while Photoshop's maximum is 500%.

As far as I know Fred Miranda's actions only offer certain "presets" while FocalBlade also offers automatic sharpening, semi-automatic sharpening as well as many manual features. FocalBlade also offers many conveniant split view modes for comparing different sharpening settings visually.

Another possibility of FocalBlade is to change the sharpening radius without affecting sharpness. Photoshop doesn't offer this conveniant option. FocalBlade also offers options for reducing white and black halos independently. This option can't be simulated in Photoshop in such a high quality and so conveniantly.

FocalBlade also offers glow, soft focus and blur effects which aren't offered by Fred Miranda.

If I'm not wrong, the Fred Miranda actions don't work in 16 bit mode or at least don't offer the full functionality in 16bit mode, because Photoshop's 16bit functions are a bit limited. FocalBlade on the other hand has the some functionality in 8bit as well as 16bit mode.

There are probably even more advantages of FocalBlade, but as I never used these actions, I can't tell you for sure.

I hope that helps.

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