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ColorWasher 2.0 suggestion

ColorWasher specific discussions

ColorWasher 2.0 suggestion

Postby John Ferguson » Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:03 am

Upgraded to ColorWasher 2.0 mainly for its 16 bit compatibility. The other improvements are good, but I work in 16 bits after RAW conversion and am glad to see it finally released. Considering the FocalBlade 16 bit upgrade was free, I think the upgrade price was a little high.

However, it still has one annoying flaw. In the advanced mode, when changing from RGB to Color Temp it automatically moves the slider all the way to the left and 255 degrees. It doesn't actually change the colors until you move the temp slider but what I wish it did is to evaluate the current picture and move the color temp slider to a position that corresponds to the current temperature instead of moving all the way to the left. There are many times when I like using the auto buttons but then want to slightly warm up the picture, maybe 100 degrees, but can't do this without guessing where to start. I want the slider to move to the current temp to use as a starting place instead of moving all the way to the left. ColorWasher 1.0 does this also. Harold, is this fix possible?
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Postby HaraldHeim » Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:29 am

Upgraded to ColorWasher 2.0 mainly for its 16 bit compatibility. The other improvements are good, but I work in 16 bits after RAW conversion and am glad to see it finally released.


May I ask what RAW converter you use? Some people seem to prefer to do the color correction in the RAW converter instead of ColorWasher. What is you experience of correcting colors in the RAW Converter vs. doing that in ColorWasher?

Considering the FocalBlade 16 bit upgrade was free, I think the upgrade price was a little high.


FocalBlade had 16bit support from the beginning. The FocalBlade updates mostly included only smaller improvement whereas ColorWasher 2.0 includes a lot of new stuff. Sorry, but if we charge a lower upgrade price, it makes not much sense for us to develop new major versions of ColorWasher and I think that's not what users would want. A lot of plugin companies don't produce major new upgrades of their plugins, because they earn more by turning new features into a plugin of its own.

The regular price of ColorWasher is already quite low compared to other products. If you consider that it was almost as much work to create Version 2.0 as Version 1.0, the upgrade price is a bargain. Other companies charge a 30% or 40% upgrade price instead of 50% of the regular price, but if you look at what they add to the new version, even charging only 30% is often not justified.

We could have turned Version 2.0 into a Pro version and charged $100 for new users or $50 upgrade price for it, but we didn't do that. I hope we are not forced to do such a thing for the next major ColorWasher upgrade.


However, it still has one annoying flaw. In the advanced mode, when changing from RGB to Color Temp it automatically moves the slider all the way to the left and 255 degrees. It doesn't actually change the colors until you move the temp slider but what I wish it did is to evaluate the current picture and move the color temp slider to a position that corresponds to the current temperature instead of moving all the way to the left. There are many times when I like using the auto buttons but then want to slightly warm up the picture, maybe 100 degrees, but can't do this without guessing where to start. I want the slider to move to the current temp to use as a starting place instead of moving all the way to the left. ColorWasher 1.0 does this also. Harold, is this fix possible?


I'm aware of the problem, although I wasn't aware that some people would use the color temperature (CT) slider in that way. The best solution would be to convert the color of the selected color box into a CT value when switching to the CT color model. Unfortunately you can't easily convert an RGB value into a CT value as there a are lot of RGB values that are not present on the CT scale.

Anyway, a rough conversion should be possible. I'll work on that for Version 2.01.
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Postby HaraldHeim » Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:37 am

John, I have been thinking about your way of using the CT slider. I think it would better to offer such a slider on the Cast tab below the Adjust Cast slider in ColorWasher 2.0. Placing it there makes it more accessible. That slider would let you make the color correction warmer or colder.

I'll work on it for Version 2.01.
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Suggestion

Postby John Ferguson » Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:22 am

Harold,

Thanks for considering my suggestion and listening to my whine. Am sure you will come up with the best method to do an auto button and then add a slight tweak from a known set point.

Have used all RAW converters on the market, including Capture One (was a beta tester for them on their latest 3.5 version), Breezebrowser, Photoshop CS, and Canon Digital Photo Pro (works only on their pro cameras, 1D, 1Ds, and 1D MK II). My impressions...Capture One has the best workflow but is pretty expensive for what it does. Photoshop CS produces the best conversions by a slim margin over C1 but has terrible workflow, but is included with Photoshop CS for free and as you know PS is the graphics editing standard that most folks own. Canon DPP is free if you own one of their pro cameras, a copy was included with my 1D MK II. Even using RAW and converting using one of these programs, I still like and recommend ColorWasher. RAW conversion programs do not always produce as accurate of a white balance as ColorWasher IMHO and their temperature scales do not always match, PS CS is something like 0-12000 IIRC. Different RAW conversion programs will give different white balance, but I can get better consistency using ColorWasher. Not many people have accurately calibrated monitors, photos may look great on the screen but have a green or yellow cast when printed because their monitor is out of whack. Used properly, ColorWasher eliminates that problem.

Love the black and white halo sliders on FocalBlade.

I would be honored to beta test 2.01 if you need more testers.

Regards,
John
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Postby HaraldHeim » Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:07 am

My impressions...Capture One has the best workflow but is pretty expensive for what it does. Photoshop CS produces the best conversions by a slim margin over C1 but has terrible workflow, but is included with Photoshop CS for free and as you know PS is the graphics editing standard that most folks own.


Well, my impression is that C1 produces better quality results than PS RAW. I did some tests that confirmed my impression that C1 uses a special interpolation algorithm that ads more "resolution" to photos, which in turn means that you can sharpen them stronger and produce better big-size prints. If you just do normal size prints, then PS RAW is just as good.

Concering workflow I consider PS RAW better if you plan to edit the photos in Photoshop anyway. Still PS RAW contains a lot of sliders I would never use and for which ColorWasher and FocalBlade do a better job.


Even using RAW and converting using one of these programs, I still like and recommend ColorWasher. RAW conversion programs do not always produce as accurate of a white balance as ColorWasher IMHO and their temperature scales do not always match, PS CS is something like 0-12000 IIRC. Different RAW conversion programs will give different white balance, but I can get better consistency using ColorWasher. Not many people have accurately calibrated monitors, photos may look great on the screen but have a green or yellow cast when printed because their monitor is out of whack. Used properly, ColorWasher eliminates that problem.


Thanks for your comments. I haven't compared ColorWasher too closely to the color correction of RAW converters, but I will do soon. However, I noticed that some RAW converters don't remove color casts completely whereas ColorWasher does that. I think that has to do with the imprecise color temperature scale they use. I wasn't aware of the fact that different RAW converters may use different CT scales for correction, but it makes sense.

On the other hand I noticed that ColorWasher is able to produce a better result if you adjust the color temperature in a RAW converter on photos for which the camera suggests a totally wrong color temperature. That may be due to the fact that RAW converters can pull out more of the photo because they use the more flexible RAW values, so ColorWasher has more image information to work with. If a lot of color information is suppressed during RAW conversion, because a totally wrong color temperature was used, then ColorWasher can't work that effective.
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Postby John Ferguson » Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:27 pm

HaraldHeim wrote:Well, my impression is that C1 produces better quality results than PS RAW.

Concering workflow I consider PS RAW better if you plan to edit the photos in Photoshop anyway. Still PS RAW contains a lot of sliders I would never use and for which ColorWasher and FocalBlade do a better job.


Thanks for your impressions. I agree that at the default settings, C1 will produce more detail as the PS CS RAW converter has more conservative default settings, but if you work with the PS CS RAW settings, typically boosting contrast to +40 from the default of +25 and add +10 or so saturation that you can get better results from PS CS. You can adjust the hue and saturation of each RGB channel individually in PS CS and correct for CA, not possible in C1. Plus as you mentioned the results come up in PS CS ready for processing. As far as workflow, you can batch process hundreds of RAW files in C1 while you sleep, but I haven't been able to figure out how to do that in PS CS, don't think its possible. But C1 is only a RAW converter, and PS CS is a total package. C1 Pro for $499 (even upgrade price if over one year old) is pretty steep considering you can upgrade PS CS for $179 from any version since 3.0 IIRC.
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Postby HaraldHeim » Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:31 am

I agree that at the default settings, C1 will produce more detail as the PS CS RAW converter has more conservative default settings, but if you work with the PS CS RAW settings, typically boosting contrast to +40 from the default of +25 and add +10 or so saturation that you can get better results from PS CS. You can adjust the hue and saturation of each RGB channel individually in PS CS and correct for CA, not possible in C1. Plus as you mentioned the results come up in PS CS ready for processing.


You certainly have more options if you use PS RAW and edit later in Photoshop. But you can't get that much "resolution" out of your RAW files with PS RAW than with C1, because it seems to use a special method for interpolating they values from the Bayer grid. It seems that Phase One manages to get more resolution out of RAW data than e.g. Adobe or Canon managed to. So you basically can forget about the Foveon chip if it is possible to get so much more resolution out of standard CCD chips just by using software interpolation.

But as I said most digital cameras already have enough resolution for most purposes, so you can only take advantage of C1 if you need to create really large prints.


As far as workflow, you can batch process hundreds of RAW files in C1 while you sleep, but I haven't been able to figure out how to do that in PS CS, don't think its possible.


It is possible and is easy to do. The PS RAW dialog has an option for applying its settings without opening its dialog. You have to activate that and use Photoshop's Batch command. You can also use an action with the Batch command to apply other image operations.


But C1 is only a RAW converter, and PS CS is a total package. C1 Pro for $499 (even upgrade price if over one year old) is pretty steep considering you can upgrade PS CS for $179 from any version since 3.0 IIRC.


Yes, the price of C1 is horrific, but they also offer an LE version for $99. So if you only need C1's better RAW interpolation, you can go for that and do the rest in Photoshop. If you don't need to additional resolution of C1, then PS RAW is probably the better choice.
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Postby RichN » Fri Jun 04, 2004 8:06 pm

Harald,

Are you sure about C1 having the best image quality? I find that when zoomed in to 200 or 300%, a C1 converted TIFF has a very artificial look, while ACR and EVU (my current favourite) retain a much more natural look. Yes, I know that looking at a photo at 200% is pixel peeping, but still, the difference in image quality at that magnification strikes me. I also find that ACR and EVU converted files, while looking soft compared to C1 converted files, react much better to sharpening.

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Postby HaraldHeim » Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:12 pm

What are ACR and EVU?

Softer images certainly let you apply a larger amount of sharpening. C1 images are alreay quite sharp while PS RAW ones are relatively soft.

During my tests I brought the image versions from C1 and PS RAW on the same visual sharpness level. Then I zoomed to 200% and deeper. I could clearly see that the PS RAW version already had a lot of sharpness artifacts while the C1 version had as good as none. If an image is of a better quality, you can make it visually sharper without adding sharpness artifacts.
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Postby Guest » Sat Jun 05, 2004 6:47 am

Sorry for being unclear. With ACR I meant Photoshops raw converter (Adobe Camera Raw) and with EVU I meant Canons new raw converter (EOS Viewer Utility). Not to be confused with Canon's other new raw converter, DPP (meant for Canon's pro DSLR's, but not necessarily better, image quality wise). Anyway, thanks for your reply.

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