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Thread: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

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    wilgk's Avatar
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    ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Okay I have been hiding away practicing my portrait pp
    and have been happy with some new tools added to the kit....BUT
    some of those that I have been working on have shown oversharpening effects.
    So like a good little 'been here a year now' member

    I searched through the extensive threads on this (and read them) and studied the tutorials again..

    through this I think maybe some of the problem is I had 'residual hidden ACR' sharpening in there as well as what I was applying in photoshop....maybe?
    however of course there is always a question.....or 3!

    when i first used a work copy of CS3 - it didn't open Raw files from the 7D - so happy was I (after advice/assistance here to get the DNG converter into action).
    Now...
    Question 1 - I have my own CS5 and it opens the RAWS into ACR no problem....but I cannot find how to turn them into DNG's.
    which is what i want to be able to do so as to ditch the raw file save the dng for ever more and then work on versions of it in psd file plus then I wouldn't have these many little xmp files everywhere....

    I have ignored the save image - option as I thought that would save it and turn it into a jpg before I had done anything - but now that I play as i type I find there is the DNG option and it lets you open it as that later to edit again - if that is the corect method - excellent ...
    BUT
    Question 2 - do I check the box that says 'embed the entire original raw file inside the DNG'

    Next step i read about the wee hyperlink at the bottom in ACR so yes I have gone there and set the 'sharpen for' to none.

    Question 3 - then there is a wee box to tick - open for smart objects? do I want that or leave it unchecked.
    It changes the choices from open image or open object...?

    and then finally when I go back to the main panel in ACR with sliders etc there is a whole tab for sharpening & noise reduction...
    Question 4 - do people who want to try the 2 or 3 pass sharpening in full photoshop after their raw processing set all these to zero - and/or has the hyperlink setting being turned off effectively negated whatever these are set at anyway.

    So sorry for this wee group of questions - but I think if I can get these steps right now then I can go back and practice the actual processing and learn what settings work best for each type of image (in general) etc....
    without this all set and understood, I fear I will keep sliding off the sharpening corner in the pp learning curve of portraiture.

    This is the Director of the show - doesn't she look a nice Lady? - wouldn't you want to get her crew looking sharp and not frosty?..... sorry

    ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Thanks team

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Ahh - the "rights of passage"!

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Question 1 - I have my own CS5 and it opens the RAWS into ACR no problem....but I cannot find how to turn them into DNG's.
    which is what i want to be able to do so as to ditch the raw file save the dng for ever more and then work on versions of it in psd file plus then I wouldn't have these many little xmp files everywhere....
    They're not "little xmp files everywhere" ... we refer to them as "pesky sidecar files" thank you!

    But to answer the question, (1) you can download the free DNG converter from Adobe, or (2) crank up bridge - hit the import button - hit the advanced button - and from there you can convert to DNG - save to a new location - and write your custom metadata all in one fell swoop

    I have ignored the save image - option as I thought that would save it and turn it into a jpg before I had done anything - but now that I play as i type I find there is the DNG option and it lets you open it as that later to edit again - if that is the corect method - excellent ...
    Basically, only ACR changes the metadata in a DNG ... everything else just reads it. My suggestion would be to save any changes you do in Photoshop as a *.PSD and then down-sample - re-sharpen - convert to sRGB / 8 bit - and save as a JPEG for online display. To put that a different way, any changes you make to an image or images in ACR are written to a DNG file automatically. The save option is good for opening a couple of hundred images in bridge - flicking them on to ACR - making bulk / batch changes to levels, and cropping etc, and then turning them into JPEGS for initial client approval right there and then ... just don't forget to change the image options before you start (especially the resolution), and even more importantly, remember to reset them after you've saved!!! (don't ask me how I know this!).


    Question 2 - do I check the box that says 'embed the entire original raw file inside the DNG'
    Not usually. Some doubting Thomases don't trust DNG, but don't want to keep the original *.CR2 file seperately - so all it does is stuff one into the other, doubling the size in the process. Really it's a question of "do I want to keep my original *.CR2 files"; personally, I don't because I'm a 100% Adobe man - but if you ever want to use something like DxO optics that won't accept a DNG file as an input file then unless you have the original CR2 files then you're up the creek without a paddle. My suggestion would be to not embed them, but if you really really really want to keep them, tuck the original CR2 files away somewhere else (like a DVD). Personally, I don't bother.

    Question 3 - then there is a wee box to tick - open for smart objects? do I want that or leave it unchecked.
    Normally leave it unticked. Smart objects allow you to pop back into ACR once you've already opened the file in Photoshop - but - only before you start doing pixel-level editing. Once you start making non global changes (like spot removal in Photoshop) then the smart object concept goes out the window. Don't forget that the big advantage of RAW is that you can make quite "ballsy" edits without too much image degradation - so when you finally open it in Photoshop the levels and adjustments should already be pretty good ... so further fine-tuning in Photoshop really doesn't cause much damage (assuming 16 bit editing) - so (to cut to the chase), "if you get the image pretty close in ACR in the first place, you really don't need smart objects".

    Question 4 - do people who want to try the 2 or 3 pass sharpening in full photoshop after their raw processing set all these to zero - and/or has the hyperlink setting being turned off effectively negated whatever these are set at anyway.
    No idea - but I don't sharpen in ACR because you want to apply capture sharpening first - Canon recommend 0.3 / 300, and ACR can only do a minimum of 0.5 - so it's the one exception (in my opinion) to the "everything you can do in ACR you should do in ACR rule).

    Too easy eh?

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    This is the Director of the show - doesn't she look a nice Lady? - wouldn't you want to get her crew looking sharp and not frosty?..... sorry

    ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Thanks team
    In terms of sharpening - for an image like this, what you'll need is ...

    1. Whilst the image is full resolution - a USM 0.3 @ 300% (Capture sharpening) (view at 100%)

    2. Whilst the image is full resolution - a USM 4 @ 40% (Content / Creative Sharpening) (view "entire image")

    Downsample the image to 900 x 600 using bicubic (not bicubic sharper)

    3. Apply a USM of 0.3 @ 100% (output sharpening)

    Should be pretty close.


    PS: Sorry - were you looking for C&C on the image too?

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Hi there
    Thankyou - (I have just been doing some more tinkering with your first reply open at the same time)....
    .all that makes a lot of sense -..except the last bit
    I have 3 choices
    1.Bicubic
    2. Bicubic Smoother or
    3.Bicubic Sharper

    so option 1 you mean?

    and no - for once I wasn't seeking C&C on the image as such more on how this aspect of my processing of them had fallen into a wee ditch...well a deep ditch really sadly.

    Soon I will hopefully have an image that we can see some improvement on the processing side....
    But I wanted to get this understood and apply it before then.

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    I am still so new to all this, that I hope what I am saying isn't total rubbish but when I use Lightroom it will set up a set of import parameters for me, one of which is convert to .dng, save to another location and discard original (not a chance until I ensure everything is poroperly put into its nice backup location). The onlt thing I don't know abotu Lightroom (well, two things) is how do I turn it off for automatic import of anyting with a USB attached to it, and I still struggle trying to build a proper filing drawer where I can find the files after uploading. It is sometimes a maddening program.

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    so option 1 you mean?
    Yes. In theory Bicubic Sharper is the one to go for when down-sampling (and indeed I uses to use this), but of recent I've found that just using the normal bicubic and then applying a USM of 0.3 @ 100% (sometimes less, eg 50%) gave me a more subtle result.

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    I am still so new to all this, that I hope what I am saying isn't total rubbish but when I use Lightroom it will set up a set of import parameters for me, one of which is convert to .dng, save to another location and discard original (not a chance until I ensure everything is poroperly put into its nice backup location). The onlt thing I don't know abotu Lightroom (well, two things) is how do I turn it off for automatic import of anyting with a USB attached to it, and I still struggle trying to build a proper filing drawer where I can find the files after uploading. It is sometimes a maddening program.
    Hi Chris,

    I've used Lightroom, and to be honest - as much as I try - I just don't like it (and I'll probably get crucified for saying that). I know a lot of people love it - I have a wedding photography friend that swears by it - but I've found two things with it ...

    1. It's strength is in handling many images at once, but that's also not too hard to do using Bridge & ACR together. I'll give you an example: in the studio I might shoot 60 frames in a set, and 8 sets. A set will have all the shots using the same lighting, and with the model using the same clothes ... the first few shots might have sub-optimal lighting (while I'm still adjusting it), but by about 1/2 dozen shots into it the lighting is usually sorted. So in Bridge I'll simply select all shots in a set (click on first, shift click on last) - press enter - and open them all in ACR. Once in ACR I can either select an image (one where the lighting should be "finalized") - then select all - and then adjust that one image (and have those adjustments automatically applied to ALL images), or I can adjust one image and then sync those adjustments with all the other with a few mouse clicks. So it's all pretty efficient stuff, and I really can't see LR doing it much quicker.

    2. It's weakness though is that the image manipulation potential falls off rapidly once one moves away from global adjustments; yes I know it has some ability to make adjustments locally, but it's not a patch on Photoshop.

    Personally, I'm probably still more of a perfectionist than I am a realist - and although it's probably not practical to retouch all photos in photoshop for a wedding - personally - I like to see the shots I take processed to a higher standard that I typically see come out of LR.

    So just my 10c worth. Fantastic program, but just not for me.

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    I don't use it any more either but I can't seem to find the turn off auto load switch...personally, i find it a royal pain in the buttinski and I use Bridge exclusively now.

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    ...and that is another thing I need to do - I have been hanging on to my safety blanket tighter than Linus with Lucy chasing him.....my safety blanket being Aperture...opens Raw, quick easy basic editing possible - then reopening those I wanted to do in ACR than photoshop.

    I need to bury the blanket bite the bullet and add bridge to my workflow...

    Thanks also Chris for adding to Colin's replies

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    ...and that is another thing I need to do - I have been hanging on to my safety blanket tighter than Linus with Lucy chasing him.....my safety blanket being Aperture...opens Raw, quick easy basic editing possible - then reopening those I wanted to do in ACR than photoshop.

    I need to bury the blanket bite the bullet and add bridge to my workflow...

    Thanks also Chris for adding to Colin's replies
    It's OK Kay, we'll be here to hold your hand!

    (or as much as we'll able to without fear of a sexual harrasement suit, in this "PC" world we live in!)

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    Re: ACR & DNG & Sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    It's OK Kay, we'll be here to hold your hand!

    (or as much as we'll able to without fear of a sexual harrasement suit, in this "PC" world we live in!)
    reminds me of a song...come with me take my hand
    and frankly if you guys said take a long walk off a short pier....I would

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