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Initial impressions

FocalBlade specific discussions

Initial impressions

Postby ruuskan » Thu Apr 01, 2004 8:48 pm

After a few hours of experimenting with Focalblade I've found two things that need improvement IMO:
1) batch jobs with parameters (which you've answered already)
2) further tweaking of the sharpening mask

What comes to the second point, it seems that I can basically adjust the blur and the intensity. What I can't adjust is the "curve" of the mask: if I could apply a simple gamma curve to the mask, that would enable me to bring weaker edges to the same intensity level as the stronger ones. And a "weak" edge is not necessarily weak, it just doesn't have the same tonality difference as the strong ones. In practice this forces me to set the sharpening parameters according to the strong edges, which often leaves the weak edges almost untouched. The halo tweaking in FB is just not enough, and I also don't want to use the surface sharpening to sharpen the edges. So I suggest you add one more slider for tweaking the mask. With that, and full batch job support, you've got a winner!
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Postby HaraldHeim » Thu Apr 01, 2004 9:44 pm

For making the weak edges as "strong" as the strong edges, you can use the Intensity slider. Additionally you can lower the Smoothness slider to compensate for the larger border that results from the increased value of the Intensity slider.

This method works better than applying a curve or gamma adjustment to the edge mask.
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Postby ruuskan » Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:59 am

HaraldHeim wrote:For making the weak edges as "strong" as the strong edges, you can use the Intensity slider. Additionally you can lower the Smoothness slider to compensate for the larger border that results from the increased value of the Intensity slider.
This method works better than applying a curve or gamma adjustment to the edge mask.

I tried changing the intensity and the smoothness, they just don't seem to be able to bring up the weaker edges while leaving the strong ones as they are. Intensity slider intensifies all edges, and the strong ones get their share, while the weaker ones get very little. What if the strong edges are ok, and I just wish to intensify the weaker ones? IMO a curve is the only tool to really solve this problem, namely controlling what really is considered an edge. I tried processing a set of my images with focalblade, and I always seem to end up with the same result: strong edges ok, weaker one's so so...
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Postby Guest » Fri Apr 02, 2004 8:26 am

I just figured out that I can almost get the desired result by setting the intensity to a very low value (e.g. below 50) to "normalize" the edges found by the edge mask. This way the strong edges and weaker ones are more equally visible. This of course means I have to apply a stronger sharpening.
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Postby HaraldHeim » Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:34 am

Maybe you can send me an image or give me the URL to one with this problem and tell me which areas you consider "weak edges".

Setting the Intensity lower and raising sharpness has very similar effects to raising Intensity and lowering sharpness or keeping it constant. But maybe I'm wrong and this is a special case here.
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Postby Guest » Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:00 pm

HaraldHeim wrote:Setting the Intensity lower and raising sharpness has very similar effects to raising Intensity and lowering sharpness or keeping it constant. But maybe I'm wrong and this is a special case here.

I'm afraid I don't agree... this can be easily seen by activating the edge mask and looking at what happens to it when the intensity slider is changed. Setting it high only makes already strong edges of the mask bright white, while the weaker ones stay almost untouched. And when the intensity is lowered, the intensity of the strong edges is lowered while weaker stay almost untouched.
I'll be happy to send you a sample. And thanks very much for prompt replies, I certainly appreciate this level of support!
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Postby HaraldHeim » Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:06 pm

Sorry for the delayed response. I was flooded with emails after the latest issue of the Plugin Newsletter.

The snow photo you sent me has quite a low contrast, so it is difficult to make the weak edges stronger. Anyway, I managed to produce a similar mask as your example by using the following settings in FocalBlade:

Intensity: 300
Smoothness: 0.2
Remove: 0
Expand: 0

I think in this case the default Remove value of 16 made a lot of the weak edges disappear. So setting it to zero made them visible again.

Anyway, I'll add a new slider in the next version of FocalBlade that will let you make weaker edges stronger.
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