Lightroom 5.4 Sharpening not exporting to JPEG

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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 5 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 × 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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I actually understood what you said there, thank you for the explanation. I just switched back and forth between the develop and library module and the images do look different with the library module being softer and more close to the exported image.

My question is this though, if I wanted my image to be as sharp as the one showing in the develop module, do I need to just continue to increase sharpness until the library module preview comes close? It seems as though when viewing the image at 1:1 the sharpness changes are very apparent. I understand that when you look 1:1 you'll get a clear view of the changes in sharpness but nobody looks at images that way on their computer, they'll look at it zoomed all the way out. So, how should I go about making changes in the Details section for an image that is meant to be viewed as "Fit" on a screen?

Now that I understand the explanation, what is the solution? Are you also in agreement with Steve's solution? That I need to resize all my images down? What is your explanation on this? Because once again, I thought the point was to retain all that resolution for the best quality image no?
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Rob Cole

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In my opinion, you should:
* Make it look good in develop module at 1:1 (forget library view)
* Export with high output sharpening.
and that's it.

Or at least that is how it's designed to work, and works well for me, but then I loathe over-sharpening whereas I don't mind images being a tad soft.

If you really need "extra-high" output sharpening, then consider using Lr/Mogrify or Exportant (export "filter" plugins) for output sharpening instead of (or along with) Lr.
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Todd Shaner

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Images intended for screen viewing are best resized and "Output Sharpened" to the exact size (or smaller) they will be displayed in the "actual view window" of the target application and monitor resolution. This prevents the viewer app from "resizing" and softening the image. It really depends how and where the image will be viewed. With today's 20 Megapixel and higher resolution camera's it's doubtful you will need to provide full-size images for onscreen viewing or for most medium size prints.

Develop module 1:1 view Sharpening is called "Capture Sharpening." You can also apply Local Sharpening using the Adjustment brush to "remove" or "add" additional sharpening in specific areas of the image. When "Resizing" images on Export it is imperative to apply a 3rd type of Sharpening called "Output Sharpening." The resizing process uses the same surrounding pixel (i.e. Bicubic) averaging to create the smaller image file. This process causes a loss of "edge detail," which can be restored using the "Output Sharpening" tools. It's kind of like starting all over with a raw file, which also lacks edge sharpness (but for a different reason).
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Isaac Yu

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So really you don't have a very firm idea of how it'll look sharpness wise upon export, except from trial and error and experience?

Let's export/resize for HD screen 1920 × 1080, what would I need to do in the resizing options exactly? There are so many options there I don't even know what they do.

*I use a Sony A7 so that's 24MP
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Rob Cole

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Well, when you put it like that, it sounds bad, but in essence you are right - Lr is designed to be able to normalize appearance when exporting to screen, glossy paper, matte paper, ... it is not designed such that reduced view in Lr will match exported screen view. But really it can't be *** (designed to match), since dimensions will differ and it's all about resize algorithm & corresponding sharpness. For me, it's just a matter of choosing preferred output sharpening level, so the task is really quite simple. It sounds like you prefer max output sharpness - is Lr's high output sharpening not enough for you?

*** OK - it could have a view which is same dimension is a desired output (with same resize/sharpening) so you can have an idea ahead of time - perhaps you should submit such a feature-request/idea here.
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Isaac Yu

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For me, it depends on the image obviously. Sometimes I'll get a great shot but it didn't come out as sharp out of camera as I'd like to be so I'd have to compensate with processing. Well, when you use the high output sharpening, do you not adjust the sharpening in the develop module at all?

It seems the whole thing behind all this is the resizing of the image because again, when I cropped one of my 24MP images, the sharpness is completely apparent when the image is fit to the window of whatever that I'm using. So first things first, I'd like to know how I would go about resizing my images properly because I don't understand the resizing options in the export window.
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Rob Cole

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|> "when you use the high output sharpening, do you not adjust the sharpening in the develop module at all?"

You *always* want to adjust detail (sharpening + noise reduction) for best appearance at 1:1 in develop module.

Then, you want to select your preferred level of output sharpening - for you I'm guessing "high" (I use standard, but that's just me..).

Once you learn to do these 2 steps in the manner that suits you, you shouldn't have to be fretting over it, or 2nd guessing...

Am I wrong?
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Isaac Yu

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That's all fine. What you may have missed earlier in all this is that I don't actually see the sharpening in the jpegs unless the image is zoomed in slightly. And apparently the solution is to downsize the image.
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Rob Cole

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Are "we" (you) talking about library module or export viewer?

To be clear, yes: you must reduce size when exporting to match viewing conditions. For example, if you'll be viewing in screen saver which displays 1920x1200, then you want to export at 1920x1200, otherwise, you are depending on resize/sharpening of your screensaver program instead of Lightroom, and Lightroom's is probably superior.

I mean, if exporting for max-size print, you don't want to down-size at all, but for 1:1 screen viewing, you usually do want to downsize.
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Isaac Yu

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How do I resize? Resize to fit dimensions? And I just input 1920 x 1200? And how many pixels per inch? What is don't enlarge? Sorry I don't understand the options.
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Rob Cole

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Just choose the bounding dimensions in export dialog box, 'Image Sizing' section - forget "Resolution" (e.g. pixels per inch) - that should be disabled when user is outputting for screen, but unfortunately, it's not.

Summary:
* Check the 'Resize to Fit' box.
* Choose Width & Height
* Uncheck 'Don't Enlarge' (assuming you want over-cropped images to be fluffed up to full export-size by Lightroom).
* Choose maximum width (W:) and maximum height (H:).

There are other sizing options, but maybe you won't need them..

In Output Sharpening section
Sharpen for screen: high.

Better?
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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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