Hi Dan - some feedback :-)

Helicon Filter: Want new feature? Suggest it here

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Juza
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Hi Dan - some feedback :-)

Unread postby Juza » 15.08.2004 17:13

I analyzed in depth the new Filter PRO 1.61...

- Text menu -

"File"
Almost perfect IMO. The only improvement(in the "save" option) could be to to give to the user the possibility to choose the JPG quality between 1% and 100% (i.e., 100 compression levels), insted of the six "Photoshop-like" quality options.

"Edit"
I'd add "Undo" and "Redo"; the possibility to rotate the image 360 degrees (360 different angles) would also be nice.

"Edit--->preferences"
Nothing to nit here. I just want to say that I LOVE the option to choose the histogram opacity, a very welcome feature! I just wish I had it on my camera ;-)

"View"
Nothing I'd change.

"Output"
Nothing I'd change, even if I do not use a lot this menu (I think that a button, placed in the noise reduction area, would be enough)

"Queue"
A very appreciated and professional feature :-) Nothing I'd change here, except the JPG quality levels (100 instead of 6) as I already mentioned.

"Help"
I like it as is.


- Graphic menu -

"Add new image"
Of course it is OK, but I'd also like the "Remove image" option that is present in NF free 1.39 and into the "File" text menu

"Save output image"
The same of the "save" option of the text menu

"Previous" , "Next" , "Copy" , "Paste"
OK of course.

"Rotate" options
The same of the "rotate" options of the text menu

"Start" , "Next" and "Stop"
I've to admit that I do not like a lot these three buttons...I'd try to explain why.
Since this is a photo managing software, I think that the preview mode ( I'd call it processing mode ;-) ) should be always displayed (I can do almost nothing without it!).
Other than that, I'd place the button to build output image in the "noise reduction" area of the preview mode, and I'd use it only for noise reduction. I'd apply the other editing tools (sharpening, colors,etc) directly on the image.

"Preferences" , "Add to queue"
OK (and I like 'em a lot, too.)

"Full screen mode"
It is OK, but please give to the user an "X" button on the top right corner or a writing like "press Esc to swicht to normal mode" ;-)

"Help"
The same of the "help" option of the text menu


- Preview mode tools -

(general)

_I'd place the option to choose between expert and simple mode in the "Edit" , "View" or in custom "Mode" text menu. I think that it won't be used so often to necessitate a (twice, since it is prensent also into the color area) button. Probably the majority of the users will choose the mode that they prefer and then they will use it all the times (A pro won't use simple mode because it is too limited and a consumer won't use expert mode beacuse it is too difficult...al least IMO :wink: ). (Actually, I wouldn't even put a "simple mode" in the professional version ;-) )

"Noise reduction"
_ I like very much the possibility of selectively reduce the noise into highlights, midtones and shadows
_ Radius and method are OK; I'm still experimenting the Color ranges option.
_ I'd prefer to have more levels from chroma noise (100)
_ The option "keep small noise", mentioned in the help file, in not avaible
_ I'd place the hotkeys options as an area of the prefereces window (but that could be only my personal taste, since I do not like to use the hotkeys)
_ In the Help file you wrote "If you want to measure noise for bigger area, use Shift-Ctrl-Click and Shift-Cltr-Alt-Click." ... I tryed it several times but still I'm not able to change the area...the function is not implemented yet or I'm doing something wrong?


"Red eye"
The function works very well IMO, I just wish the be able to move the selection with the mouse instead of keyboard ;-)

"Sharpening"
Very good, but 10 levels are too few IMO, i'd preferer to have 100 levels to be able to apply a more accurate sharpening.

"Color"
_Contrast, Brigtness, R, G, B, saturation : perfect! the possibility to choose between 200 levels really allows an accurate modulation.
_Local contrast : I like how it works on the shadows, "opening up" the detail, but it tends to blown out the highlights. It is an interesting feature,anyway.
_Equalizer : very nice. It is an essential feature; the options to choose the numer of color ranges make it even more flexible. My only suggestion is to make it a bit less sensitive (i.e now it is sufficient to move it by few pixels to change a lot the image; in this way very accurate modulations are not possible)
_ Histogram : it is great and, as I previously said, I love the option of choosing the opacity. It looks very professional.

"Text"
Very good. The date/time/info taken from the exif are a very cool feature. :smile:

-----

- General observation on the software -

_ I think that there should be and option to choose if the various processing options(noise reduction, red eye, etc) should be "kept constant"(as now) or resetted every time that the user load an image.
_ I'd apply the editing tools (sharpening, colors,etc) directly on the image, without the needing to use the start or next button.
__I'd add "undo" and "redo" buttons in the "Edit" menu and into the graphic menu
_ Some more editing tools would be very welcome...for example:
----> The pencil, airbrush, paintbrush and the other usual drawing tool could be a nice plus.
----> Cloning, blurring, resizing and croppping tools would be very useful
----> The possibility to have layers would be fantastic IMO!
_ Since it is able to work with raw files a function like the digital DEE of Nikon Capture or like the shadows/highlights tools of PS CS would be very appreciated...the local contrast does a good work in the shadows, but it blown the highlights :-|
_ It would be possible a function to remove sharpening halos?
_ The "zoom" box disappear when the area "Colors" or "Text" are selected.


- Image quality -

Raw: good, even if it looks a little less sharp than the image obtained with Nikon Editor. (see : http://www.juzaphoto.com/npn/raw_quality.jpg )

Noise filtering: The filtering of luminance noise is very good, one of the best that I've tested so far.
The chroma noise filtering is much improved from helicon free, but IMO it still looks a little less efficient than Neat Image and Noise ninja. You can see the tests here :
http://www.juzaphoto.com/articles/noise_6.htm


- Final considerations -

The Filter has improved a lot from the early versions, now it is becoming a more complete and powerful image editing software. I like the version pro 1.61 (as you can see the majority of mine nits are quite minor ) and I look forward to see how the SW will evolve.
Mine last suggestion regard the forum : I think that it might be interesting to have a forum area for the user's photos, i.e. a place where the photographers can share their images and their post processing tecniques.

Thanks for reading this long post, I hope that it could be useful!


Juza[/url]
Juza | www.juzaphoto.com

May beauty be everywhere around me

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Dan Kozub
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Joined: 24.03.2004 18:14

Re: Hi Dan - some feedback :-)

Unread postby Dan Kozub » 15.08.2004 18:25

Juza,

Thank you very much for such a detailed analysis. Autors can only dream about such feedback :)

See my comments below


> I'd add "Undo" and "Redo"; the possibility to rotate the image 360 degrees (360 different angles) would also be nice.

-We will add a crop fuction with fine rotation.

> "Start" , "Next" and "Stop"
> I've to admit that I do not like a lot these three buttons...

- I am still thinking how to name them better..

>"Full screen mode"
>It is OK, but please give to the user an "X" button on the top right corner >or a writing like "press Esc to swicht to normal mode"

- Do you really want to see our ugly "X" button on your masterpiece? :)) Tooltip has information about keys.


> _I'd place the option to choose between expert and simple mode in the "Edit" , "View" or in custom "Mode" text menu.
- Most users will never find this option then :)

> _ Radius and method are OK; I'm still experimenting the Color ranges option.

Looking for your feedback here. I am thinking about making color ranges even narrower, i.e. more selective. Or, make ranges narrower if Ctrl is pressed (Ctrl-Right-Click, Ctrl-Shift-Right-Click)

> I'd prefer to have more levels from chroma noise (100)

I am making you life easier by limiting your choice :)

> In the Help file you wrote "If you want to measure noise for bigger area, use Shift-Ctrl-Click and Shift-Cltr-Alt-Click." ... I tryed it several times but still I'm not able to change the area...the function is not implemented yet or I'm doing something wrong?

- Hold Ctrl and Shift pressed and click with LEFT mouse button. See now?


> _Equalizer : very nice. It is an essential feature; the options to choose the numer of color ranges make it even more flexible. My only suggestion is to make it a bit less sensitive (i.e now it is sufficient to move it by few pixels to change a lot the image; in this way very accurate modulations are not possible)

- Ok

> _ I think that there should be and option to choose if the various processing options(noise reduction, red eye, etc) should be "kept constant"(as now) or resetted every time that the user load an image.

- ok, if you find another user who supports you :)

> I'd add "undo" and "redo" buttons in the "Edit" menu and into the graphic menu

- should it undo the latest change on the slider? Not very useful from my point of view...

> The pencil, airbrush, paintbrush and the other usual drawing tool could be a nice plus.

- ok.

> Cloning, blurring, resizing and croppping tools would be very useful

-Cropping/resizing is planed for the next versions.

> The possibility to have layers would be fantastic IMO!

- no way! :) I want to keep it simple.

> Since it is able to work with raw files a function like the digital DEE of Nikon Capture or like the shadows/highlights tools of PS CS would be very appreciated...the local contrast does a good work in the shadows, but it blown the highlights

- you fix shadows with brightness equalizer now, but true, it is quite tricky.

> It would be possible a function to remove sharpening halos?

- good idea

> Mine last suggestion regard the forum : I think that it might be interesting to have a forum area for the user's photos, i.e. a place where the photographers can share their images and their post processing tecniques.

- I will arrange this.

> Thanks for reading this long post, I hope that it could be useful!


Juza, thanks for such a valuable feedback.

Danylo

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Juza
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Unread postby Juza » 16.08.2004 01:13

Hi Dan

>> Do you really want to see our ugly "X" button on your masterpiece? ) Tooltip has information about keys.

That's true... I should pay more attention to tooltips ;-)

>> Looking for your feedback here. I am thinking about making color ranges even narrower, i.e. more selective. Or, make ranges narrower if Ctrl is pressed (Ctrl-Right-Click, Ctrl-Shift-Right-Click)

Wow! I just finished to test this function and it proved to be even better than what I tought :-D
In mine photo I often need to apply a light filtering on subject (to preserve the detail) and a strong filtering to the out-of-focus background (example : http://www.juzaphoto.com/photo17.htm ); the color ranges are very useful for this purpose.
I have three of observations:
_ I'd like to have the possibility to exclude some areas from the action of color range; for example: the subject has a coloration very similar to the BG and I don't want to lose detail on it.
_ I'd like to choose how much to increase(or to decrease) the noise level in the selected color range. Usually, I'd increase the level quite a lot to get a perfectly smoot BG.
_ you wrote : " I am thinking about making color ranges even narrower, i.e. more selective. Or, make ranges narrower if Ctrl is pressed (Ctrl-Right-Click, Ctrl-Shift-Right-Click) "
I think that it is a good idea; I'd let to the user the option to choose the selectivity(more or less selective) using Ctrl, ect. (or with a slider - I like them better than hotkeys, because I always forget the keys combinations or I press the wrong keys )

>>I am making you life easier by limiting your choice

Ok, but...

'But I like the inconveniences'
'We don't', said the Controller. 'We prefer to do things comfortably'
'But I don't want comfort.I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin'

Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

Sometimes I like the difficult things, if they allow more flexibility and more accuracy...anyway, that's just me, I'd really like to known what other users thing in this respect.

>>Hold Ctrl and Shift pressed and click with LEFT mouse button. See now?

Yes, thank you Dan!
For some obscure reason I were holding the space bar instead of the shift button. Now it is OK. :-) :-)

>> ok, if you find another user who supports you

For those who are reading this post : post your opinion about that!


--

one last question about JPG quality : this is mainly a curiosity...why only six levels? I refer in particular to Photoshop, since it is the top photo editing Sw I'd have expected 100 levels, insted only six...since you use the same number, could you tell me if there is a particular reason? mayble there are algorithms optimized for these particular quality levels? Or it is just to make the things simpler?...



Juza
Juza | www.juzaphoto.com



May beauty be everywhere around me

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Dan Kozub
Posts: 1157
Joined: 24.03.2004 18:14

Unread postby Dan Kozub » 16.08.2004 09:54

one last question about JPG quality : this is mainly a curiosity...why only six levels? I refer in particular to Photoshop, since it is the top photo editing Sw I'd have expected 100 levels, insted only six...since you use the same number, could you tell me if there is a particular reason? mayble there are algorithms optimized for these particular quality levels? Or it is just to make the things simpler?...


I think PS developers used this scale of 12 levels as they were grown up on imperial unit system :) Now it is standard de facto.
We use this system as users want to save with the same quality and in the same scale as they do in PS. It is not a proble to add 1-100% scale to the select dialog. But everything has two sides. I am not yet convinced that plus for professional (like you) overweights minus for amateurs.

Juza,

What do you think about this idea: If we replace "next" button with 4 buttons: "(1) open | (2) tune | (3) process | (4) save"

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Juza
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Unread postby Juza » 16.08.2004 10:34

I am not yet convinced that plus for professional (like you) overweights minus for amateurs.


actually, I'm not yet a pro :-|

I think that you can satisfy both amateurs and pros making different versions of the software (as you are already doing :-) ). Free is for beginners, Home from amateurs, Pro for professional and advanced amateurs. Every version could have its character, for the free version the simplicity is the key word, the home should be complete yet simple , the pro accurate and flexible. Just IMO ;-)


What do you think about this idea: If we replace "next" button with 4 buttons: "(1) open | (2) tune | (3) process | (4) save"


Yes, it looks clearer and more user friendly :-)


Juza

BTW: I've seen the new forums - thanks Dan! I hope that people will start to post and discuss photos. (mayble I'll post an image this evening).
Juza | www.juzaphoto.com



May beauty be everywhere around me

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Juza
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Unread postby Juza » 16.08.2004 19:02

A note about the forums:

I think that one "Photography" forum would be enough since there are not many visitors yet ;-)
Juza | www.juzaphoto.com



May beauty be everywhere around me


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