Lightroom 5.4 Sharpening not exporting to JPEG

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I am using the trial 5.4 lightroom. When I apply details processing on my RAW photos and export in 100% quality, sRGB, no resizing/cropping, the jpeg does NOT show my sharpening but will retain other processing like colour edits. This applies for every photo I have tried to develop in LR.



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Isaac Yu

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Posted 4 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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You cannot judge Develop Detail adjustments at a reduced-size zoom.

You need to judge your sharpening and noise-reduction at 1:1 zoom. There is a warning on the Detail area when you are zoomed out that tells you this.

What is happening is that the LR reduced-sized-preview-display is using a fast and inaccurate-in-the-details algorithm, so zooming out is not equivalent to exporting at a reduced size--that would take way too long.

Compare your Develop view and your Exported JPG at 1:1 or 100% zoom and see if the sharpening and noise-reduction match.

Sharpening an Exported photo is a two-step process. The first step, in Develop Detail is to remove most of the high-ISO noise and sharpening the edges without sharpening the noise too much. This sharpening takes place at the original image pixel level.

Then when you Export, there is another Export Sharpening setting with settings like Screen, Matte, Glossy, Low, Standard, High. This sharpening takes place after any resizing has been done and depending on the output type you have set. Printed images typically need more sharpening because they are composed of tiny dots that obscure edges more than viewing an image on a computer display. You generally want to resize and sharpen to whatever the output pixel dimensions are, so if you are displaying an image on your computer then resize the image down to your monitor size as part of the export process and use the Screen sharpening method.
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Todd Shaner

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I examined the posted raw and JPEG screen shots and the raw image appears to have visible noise. It's hard to tell at this Zoom view (i.e. Fit?), but it may be the cause of the difference you are seeing.

Two things to try:

1) Select the two images in the Library module and go to Library Previews> Discard 1:1 Previews. Then select Library> Previews> Build 1:1 Previews. Wait for the preview building to complete and then view the images again using Compare mode at Fit and 1:1 view. If they still appear different at Fit view try step #2.

2) Excessive Sharpening and/or insufficient Luminance Noise Reduction can cause this difference in the Library module image sharpness. Change your Sharpening amount to LR's default settings 25, 1.0, 25, 0 and increase the Luminance Noise Reduction so that noise is no longer visible in the raw image when viewed at 1:1 Zoom (probably 25 or higher setting). Export a new full-size JPEG and then repeat step #1 above with the new JPEG and raw image.
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Isaac Yu

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Okay you both might be right about something.

First, I tried editing another image. Exported jpeg, opened it in the windows photo viewer zoomed out, nothing. I scroll up on the mouse to zoom in one step and boom there's the sharpness. Or if I crop the image with the same sharpness changes then it'll show up as well without zooming in. Why? However I didn't use the screen sharpening. Can you explain this to me?

Second, why is excessive sharpening an issue? I feel like this is part of it but can't explain.

It's almost as if it's because my screen can't handle the sharpness changes when the image is zoomed out fully. Why? Does everyone have to resize their image when they intend for it to be viewed on the computer screen? Sorry I'm new to photography and always thought the whole point was to retain all the pixels for the highest quality image possible?
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The zoomed out view in Develop is using a very fast algorithm that emphasizes edges so it is an oversharp estimate compared to using some other resizing algorithm. Understand that when you use Windows Photo Viewer to look at a JPG and are not seeing 1:1 then Microsoft or perhaps your video-driver are responsible for the algorithm that produces the reduced-size image.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say zoomed in and zoomed out and cropped to smaller with respect to whether things are 1:1 or not. So you might restate your question about what happens when you crop the image by describing the actual zoom ratio you're viewing things at.

In your screen-shots there is no zoom ratio visible. I think you can get that to show up by clicking the little arrow at the bottom right of the main image viewing area, and choose it. It'll show up next to the stars and the rotate arrows.
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My monitor is 1680x1050 so I crop to that ratio, then I resize to exactly that size, and use one of the export sharpening options to add some sharpness.
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Isaac Yu

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How would I ever know what the sharpness should look like without exporting then?

My screen is 1920 Ă— 1080, what exactly would I input in the export settings?

And can you tell me if this is normal practice? I thought everyone wanted as much resolution/pixels as possible?
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Todd Shaner

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Two things are happening.

LR uses rendered JPEG image preview files (i.e. Previews) to create the Loupe view image. There are actually multiple images in the LR preview called an image pyramid with one for each of the Zoom settings 16:1, 8:1, 4:1, 3:1, 2:1, and 1:1. When viewing at 'Fit' or 'Fill' Zoom setting the Loupe image size is probably slightly smaller or bigger than the images in the preview pyramid, so LR needs to use a 2nd interpolation to make it "fit" or "fill the Loupe window. This 2nd interpolation causes slight softening of the image. To see a more accurate sharpening view use one of the numbered Zoom settings and NOT Fit or Fill.

Other viewers introduce similar softening dependent on the interpolation processes used and the actual image magnification selected. (Even number sizes will be sharper: 1:2, 1:4, etc., which is even the case with Photoshop!

There is nothing wrong with adding high Sharpening to an image, but it should be done using 1:1 Zoom view so you can judge the affect to image edge sharpness and noise. If noise is visible you will need to increase the Luminance and perhaps Color Noise Reduction. You may then need to increase or decrease the Sharpening Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking controls. The two interact, which is why the are located together.

If your image has significant visible noise at 1:1 Zoom view it will most likely cause Exported images to appear softer and perhaps lighter, especially when Resizing images.This is because the Resize interpolation uses an algorithm that samples surrounding pixels and averages them to create the smaller image. This "averaging" process reduces the noise causing lightening AND reduces the edge sharpness. This occurs even when adding 'Output Sharpening,' which you should apply when images are resized. When Exporting full-size or "upsized" images Output Sharpening is only applied for printing to correct for softening introduced by the printer and paper type selected.

BTW, the Develop module has the least accurate image preview when set below 1:1 view and most accurate preview when set to 1:1. Below 1:1 view the Develop preview will appear slightly over-sharpened. The Library module is best used when previewing images below 1:1 view to determine what Exported images will look like.
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Isaac Yu

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Thank you that worked. And high output looks overdone actually, went with standard.

Last question. Is there any reason to go over 1920 x 1200 if the image is intended for computer screen viewing? I also feel like now I need to export 2 images at full and downsized now.
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Rob Cole

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|> "Is there any reason to go over 1920 x 1200 if the image is intended for computer screen viewing?"

In general, no - unless your screen viewer will support zooming in, and/or has better resize/screen-sharpening algorithms than Lr's export does (or of course if the user may have a larger display ;-}).

PS - There is something to be said for exporting 2 trees:
* one at full size, for, well, whatever you may want full-size for, and
* one at display size, for rapid 1:1 display on your screen.

You may even want 3 or 4 trees..

If you have multiple exports that you maintain, consider publish services and/or export manager (plugin) so you can export all with single click.

R
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Isaac Yu

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It just seems that at 1920 x 1200 the image is less than 1mb, that seems absurdly small. I've always been used to seeing photography images being way larger than that online both in file size and dimensions.
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Rob Cole

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Not sure what to say. You only need as many bytes as you need - make sure jpeg quality is at 100% *** (assuming you want max quality) and more dimension than you are using can be worse than a waste - it may reduce quality (due to need to resize for viewing).

*** Usually when you are viewing photographic images on web (or in email), jpeg image quality is more like 50-80%.

PS - number of bytes will depend on image - complex & sharp images will take more bytes than simpler and less sharp images..
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Todd Shaner

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JPEG file size will always be much smaller than the original raw file or TIFF file exports, even when Exporting full-size. This article illustrates the affect JPEG Quality settings have on file size and image artifacts compared to loss-less TIFF image files. It should be an eye-opener (pun).

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-good...
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Rob Cole

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Bottom line: trying to adjust develop sharpening by looking at the library module is not going to work well. If it looks appropriately sharpened in develop module at 1:1, then preserving said sharpening upon output is what output sharpening is all about.
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Rob Cole

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Related topic (feature request / idea):

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Todd Shaner

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