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Thread: Workflow Help

  1. #1
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    Default Workflow Help

    Hello everyone,

    I take both .nef and .jpeg pictures using my Nikon D70 and intend to purchase a D2Hs soon. I also have Adobe PS CS/ Nikon Capture and trial vesrions of Noise Ninja & Genuine fractals. I would be grateful, if you could help me with the correct order for the following steps that I plan to use in my workflow and the reasons why you choose this particular order.

    The steps I envisage taking are (in no particular order)

    1. Crop
    2. Noise Reduction
    3. Sharpen
    4. Levels
    5. Curves
    6. White balance
    7. Saturation
    8. Change to .jpg (for .nef files)
    9. Upsize
    10. Others (dust off/ correct horizon/ fisheye correction etc.)

    Thanks a million in advance for your time and opinion.

    Cheers,
    Gorby

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Workflow Help

    Your workflow is your workflow, there's no correct order of steps. It depends on how you like the final output.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Workflow Help

    Quote Originally Posted by gorby
    Hello everyone,

    I take both .nef and .jpeg pictures using my Nikon D70 and intend to purchase a D2Hs soon. I also have Adobe PS CS/ Nikon Capture and trial vesrions of Noise Ninja & Genuine fractals.
    My order, set everything right in the camera use only raw, no point raw plus jpeg.

    Post process the raw including WB, noise, resize .... etc, convert the raw to jpeg done.

    I very seldom process it CS2, pain lazy.

    Usually order is raw then jpeg in CS2.

    Your order is your order, do the way you like it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Workflow Help

    Some suggestions/comments:

    Try doing noise reduction and sharpening as the last 2 steps. Adjusting levels and curves after sharpening could alter the effects of the sharpening. Also, if you are starting off with an under-exposed picture, it could be hard to judge the sharpening effect, so chances of over or under sharpening is higher. Finally, if you need to correct for barrel or pincushion distortion, that should be done before sharpening also because the correction will again alter the effects of the sharpenning done before it.

    If you have white, black and grey areas in your picture, you can take care of WB when adjusting levels. What I do is I sample the white, grey and black areas and adjust levels to make the RGB values in these areas equal as much as possible.

    Since I use the built-in RAW converter on PS CS2, I get to adjust WB, exposure and brightness all at once, which I find very useful. Ocassionally i will have to adjust curves after importing the file, but that is less than 5% of the time.

    Not sure what you mean by steps 9 and 10: changing to JPEG then upsize. Do you mean that you save the file as JPEG, then use another application to resize it (and save as JPEG again)? If that's the case then I would recomment resizing before saving as JPEG.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Workflow Help

    My Preference:

    1. White balance in RAW processing
    2. Exposure and saturation tweaking if necessary also in RAW
    3. Noise reduction (I'm pretty tolerant of noise actually)
    4. Levels
    5. Curves
    6. Distortion correction
    7. Touch-up/DI
    8. Save as TIF for backup
    9. Crop or resize as necessary
    10.Sharpen
    11.Add noise
    12.Save as JPG/TIF (depending on need) for output


    Quote Originally Posted by gorby
    Hello everyone,

    I take both .nef and .jpeg pictures using my Nikon D70 and intend to purchase a D2Hs soon. I also have Adobe PS CS/ Nikon Capture and trial vesrions of Noise Ninja & Genuine fractals. I would be grateful, if you could help me with the correct order for the following steps that I plan to use in my workflow and the reasons why you choose this particular order.

    The steps I envisage taking are (in no particular order)

    1. Crop
    2. Noise Reduction
    3. Sharpen
    4. Levels
    5. Curves
    6. White balance
    7. Saturation
    8. Change to .jpg (for .nef files)
    9. Upsize
    10. Others (dust off/ correct horizon/ fisheye correction etc.)

    Thanks a million in advance for your time and opinion.

    Cheers,
    Gorby

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Workflow Help

    Thanks for the inputs. At the beginning, let me clarify that I have done my fair share of research.

    ESPN: I know that my workflow is my workflow and it depends on what output I want. However what I need to know is the order of the different steps and the reasons why? Something like what Roygoh has suggested.

    Longkangman: I asked for both .jpeg and .nef files because on occasions I shoot RAW and sometimes .jpeg. My question is in your RAW workflow, would you WB, noise, resize .... etc, in that order and if so why? Also when you shoot .jpeg, what is the order.

    Roygoh: Thanks for your insight. Your arguement that one should do noise reduction and sharpening last makes sense. Can I take your preferred workflow for RAW files as
    RAW = Crop : WB : Exposure : Curves/ Levels : Noise reduction : Sharpen : Upsize (if printing at larger size) : Save as .jpeg

    Errz: Thanks for the link. I did register at Fred Miranda. The workflow there seems a bit different from the above. I prefer Roy's approach fo the reasons he mentioned.

    RAW: WB : Exposure : Noise: Low sharpening : Colour correction : Curves : Upsizing/downsizing: Final sharpening

    Most seem to agree that the first thing to do is to crop the image, then correct WB and exposure compensation in the RAW convertor. It is the next step that I am confused about. Do you do noise reduction follwed by sharpening followed by curve and level adjustment or curve and level adjustment followed is NR/ sharpening. Also between noise reduction and sharpenig which one would you do first.

    Cheers,
    Gorby

  7. #7

    Default Re: Workflow Help

    if you do sharpening before noise reduction, you will be sharpening the noise which may make it more difficult to remove the noise later on...and after you reduce noise, you may also find that the image is slightly softened, which would then need to be sharpened...

    and if we are looking at significant colour noise, it would affect colour manipulation (curves, etc.) so it is advisable to do it before those...

    sharpening of an image depends on the size of the output...so it is advisable to do it only once the size is finalized

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Workflow Help

    Upsize could mean so that can print in very large format.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Workflow Help

    Thanks theRBK & longkangman. Does this workflow sound logical?

    Crop
    White balance correction
    Exposure compansation
    Curves/ Levels/ saturation
    Noise reduction
    Sharpen

    Upsize meaning "when you want a large size print than what the digital camera is able to provide. for eg, if you want a 30x20 inch print out from a 4 megapixel camera, one would need to upsize (enlarge) the image. This is commonly done using adobe PS by resampling the image keeping the proportions constrained using bicubic smoother (10% at a time). Other specific software for doing so would be genuine fractals/ photozoom etc.

    Cheers.
    Gorby

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Workflow Help

    Quote Originally Posted by gorby
    Roygoh: Thanks for your insight. Your arguement that one should do noise reduction and sharpening last makes sense. Can I take your preferred workflow for RAW files as
    RAW = Crop : WB : Exposure : Curves/ Levels : Noise reduction : Sharpen : Upsize (if printing at larger size) : Save as .jpeg
    You are welcomed.

    I use PS CS2 entirely, including the built-in RAW conversion. My workflow for RAW (.nef) is:

    1. In the RAW converter, I take care of:
    - WB,
    - Exposure, Brightness, Shadows (similar to levels)
    - Contrast, Saturation (ocassionally)
    - Curves (ocassionally)
    2. After converting RAW to RGB bitmap in the main editing window, I then take care of the following:
    - Crop (final resolution is 3000 x 2000 pixels)
    - Retouching (dust, red-eye, teeth whitening, skin blemishes etc) as necessary
    - Noise reduction
    - sharpening
    - save as JPEG
    3. I usually create 720X480 versions for selected pictures with batch processing, used for uploading to my online gallery for sharing. In the batch processing, I simply resize to 24% and then apply another round of light sharpenning (.3 pixel, 80% strength)

    In some cases where the exposure is tricky, I would convert the same RAW file 2 times at different exposure settings, and then blend them into a single file in the main editing.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

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