Great New Product! Thankyou!

FocalBlade specific discussions
DBKettrey
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Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby DBKettrey » Sat May 21, 2011 10:52 pm

Harold,

I am grateful to you and your development team for another POWERFUL tool from The Plugin Site. I have Colorwasher, ContrastMaster, LightMachine, and TWO versions of FocalBlade (the lastest version plus an older version I still like to use). I have used these tools with great success and great results. Besides what they do, the most important thing about your plugins is the awesome amount of user control and fine tuning you design into them. The same goes for Noise Control, which I just purchased.

I currently have several other noise reduction tools, including Noise Ninja, Neat Image, Noiseware Pro, and Topaz Denoise, along with some lesser-known programs. I've used these programs enough to learn what I like about them and when and where they can be most useful.

I used the demo version of Noise Control for just two sessions, and then I decided it was well worth having.

I tryout - and purchase - new plugins and tools in order to take advantage of new processes, algorithms and technologies in image restoration and processing. It didn't take long for me to see that Noise Control offers top-notch noise reduction that puts it in a place right up there along with the other Big Names in noise reduction. Please do not interpret this as me saying Noise Control is "as good as" the Big Name plugins. If I thought it was "as good as", I would not have had the desire to purchase it. My preliminary observation is that Noise Control offers IMPROVED or superior processing over my other tools, and I will explore this as time goes on.

When "plugin power users" like myself and many others try out a new product, they go into "comparison mode", comparing the new product with what they've already used. So if the power user buys the new product, it sends a message that the new product must be pretty damn good!

Congratulations!
DB Kettrey

HaraldHeim
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Re: Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby HaraldHeim » Sun May 22, 2011 8:45 am

Thanks for your feedback and compliments, DB! If you have any suggestions for improving NoiseControl, please contact me.

One question: Why do you still use FocalBlade 1? Do you miss anything in version 2? What would make you use version 2 only?

DBKettrey
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Re: Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby DBKettrey » Mon May 23, 2011 5:32 pm

Harold,

I still like to use FocalBlade 1.07 occasionally because of the DeBlur Pro feature you built into it - even though FocalBlade 2.01 is capable of doing the same thing. So whenever there is a need to apply "strong" sharpening, I like to call up FocalBlade 1.07 to use it's Deblur feature. I learned to like it, so I simply decided to keep it. Most of the time, however, I use FocalBlade 2.01.

Secondly, I like the way FocalBlade 1.07 renders its default edge mask. The mask it produces is just about right for my tastes. FocalBlade 2.01 produces a default edge mask which, I feel, often includes too much of the image. But this is not a problem, thanks to the number of controls you've built into FocalBlade 2.01, because I can quickly fine-tune the mask to suit my preferences and requirements.

I have prepared some edge mask examples to send you if you would like to see them.

TECHNICAL ISSUE...

There is a preview navigation issue I have encountered with FocalBlade 2.01 and Noise Control 1.0.

At zoom levels above 100%, panning across the image is limited to an invisible boundry that normally leaves out the bottom and right sides of the image. The more I zoom in, the smaller the boundry seems to be.

I don't know if this is simply an incompatibility caused by my system, or whether other users have experienced the same thing.

It's a great pleasure "talking" to you, Harold!

Thanks, again!

Dave Kettrey
DB Kettrey

HaraldHeim
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Re: Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby HaraldHeim » Mon May 23, 2011 10:33 pm

Actually the only special feature of the old Deblur modes was the ability to use up to 2000% sharpening instead of only 1000%. In FocalBlade 2 it is possible in all modes. The biggest drawback of Version 1 is the much slower rendering speed. But it seems you take that into account in order to have a more familiar UI.

In FocalBlade 2 you can use the "Version 1 Defaults" items for restoring the old edge mask settings. I will think of something to make it even more easier to use the Version 1 settings. I also plan to reintroduce the Version 1 automatic sharpening algorithm again. Back to the roots!

I know about the >100% zoom problem. Will be fixed soon.

Thanks for your comments! Sure, send the examples.

DBKettrey
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Re: Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby DBKettrey » Tue May 24, 2011 5:30 am

Harald, Thanks for that eye-opening fact...it never even occurred to me that the "Version 1 Defaults" would create a "Version 1-style" edge mask. I am going to check it out right away.
I must also re-read the Version 2 Help file to find out what other important things I missed or forgot. This one simple fact will most likely allow me to rely solely on FocalBlade 2, which will simplify the workflow.

Yes, I was familiar and comfortable with the DeBlur Pro UI in Version 1, and that's why I wanted to stay with it. But it would certainly be advantageous for me to utilize FocalBlade 2 for that purpose, instead.

I've attached 3 images including the default masks of the two FocalBlade versions. Not shown is the FocalBlade 2 mask after fine-tuning. It is similar to the Version 1 default mask. I will attempt to upload it in the post immediately following.

Kindest Regards, Harald. Dave Kettrey
Attachments
FocalBlade 201-A.jpg
The FocalBlade 2 default edge mask.
FocalBlade 201-A.jpg (67.89 KiB) Viewed 15142 times
FocalBlade 107.jpg
The FocalBlade 1 default edge mask.
FocalBlade 107.jpg (46.1 KiB) Viewed 15142 times
Image.jpg
The image used for edge mask generation
Image.jpg (70.34 KiB) Viewed 15142 times
DB Kettrey

DBKettrey
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Re: Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby DBKettrey » Tue May 24, 2011 5:34 am

The FocalBlade 2 default mask after fine-tuning....
Attachments
FocalBlade 201-B.jpg
FocalBlade 201-B.jpg (43.29 KiB) Viewed 15142 times
DB Kettrey

HaraldHeim
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Re: Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby HaraldHeim » Tue May 24, 2011 12:30 pm

in FocalBlade 2 there is an arrow down menu at the top of the edge mask group box, which has a "Version 1 Defaults" local preset. This item only changes the edge mask. You can also set the On Reset combo box on the Prefs tab sheet to "Version 1 Defaults", but clicking the Reset button will then also change other settings.

The reason why I changed the default edge mask values is to move more image details from the surface areas to the edges. As a result weaker details are sharpened stronger. This works better for images with high quality whereas the old edge mask sometimes works better for images with low quality. I will have to think about how to make switching between these two edge masks easier and more obvious.

DBKettrey
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Re: Great New Product! Thankyou!

Postby DBKettrey » Wed May 25, 2011 10:15 am

You have a good reason for everything you design into your plugins. This is why they are high quality products; they handle the workflow extremely well, from amateur to professional work.

In regards to "how to make switching between these two edge masks easier and more obvious", your last post actually contains some good hints. Using your own words, you could implement tabs that would let users select sharpening for "higher quality"/ low-noise images (a Version 2 default mask), or sharpening for "lower quality"/noisy images (a Version 1 default mask). The user's choice would automatically render the appropriate edge-mask. (I do not make any claims that my suggestions are practical.)

And, thanks to the tips you gave me earlier on FocalBlade 2, I decided to remove FocalBlade 1 and rely completely on FB 2 for ALL my sharpening needs.

God Bless!

Dave Kettrey
DB Kettrey


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