LR4 process version 2012 supresses certain colors

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I ́m a fan of lightroom. I still use LR3 but seriously consider buying LR4 as I ́m pleased with some of the new features. So I installed LR4 trial version. Via LR3 exported some DNG files in an extra folder and imported them afterwards in LR4. The original are from EOS7D (CR2), then converted to DNG during import in LR3. Anyway, everything looked nice in LR3 and still in LR4, process version 2010. Then I created virtual copies of all pictures and set them to process version 2012. Suddenly, all those copies looked pretty dull. Got more exposure and less contrast. Surely not nice, but now comes the issue which really struck me: There is one shot of a neon sign. The dominant color is red except for a thin yellow line around some parts. After switching to process version 2012 the yellow line was not visible anymore; it had been swallowed by the surrounding red. I tried to work on it with exposure, light, shadows. Tried different camera profiles. Nothing helped to restore the yellow line, the outmost possible was to make it visible in a mixture of red and yellow but far away from the original. I might try again with the origianl CR2 file. Does anybody have any idea?
I can submit the DNG and or CR2 files if neccessary. Thanks.
Jens H. (Germany)
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Jens Haufe

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Posted 6 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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You might upload then post a public download link to the DNG in question.

Use www.dropbox.com or www.yousendit.com
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Rob Cole

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Re: the yellow line - check for locals.

Re: over-exposed/under-contrasty after conversion - pull blacks slider leftward, a lot if necessary, until it clips, then do it some more. then pull leftward on the exposure slider a little bit, until it's a just a wee bit dim (not too much please), and nothing's clipping at the right wall (unless it's a picture of the sun of course...). then pull whites slider rightward till you start to go "oh yeah...", then do it a little more (not too much please). then pull rightward on the shadow slider and left on the highlights slider - by equal amounts at first. then fine tune...

But note: sometimes PV2012 photos will seem like they have less contrast because highlights are getting recovered that weren't in PV2010. And also, clarity is radically different - PV2010 clarity exaggerates both darks and lights when they are adjacent (sometimes affectionately called halos), whereas PV2012 clarity doesn't, and that will make some photos seem less contrasty in PV2012. PV2012 takes some getting used to, but after a while, it rocks!

Also consider +contrast: you can push it a lot harder in PV2012 without over-brightening/compressing highlights or over darkening/compressing shadows, by using -highlights & +shadows with it - try an equal amount of each at first.

Also, PV2012 "cleans up" some of the over-saturation and color shifting in the shadows that is characteristic in PV2010, especially due to Lr3 fill-light. This can give a sense of "less contrasty". So consider bumping vibrance and/or saturation if need be after the tonal tune-ups. Also, you may need to bump clarity a smidge, especially if you were having heavy fill-light in the previous PV2010 version.

Rob
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Jens Haufe

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Thanks for the quick answers. Tomorrow night when I ́m at home I`ll try again and follow your instructions.
I ́ll as well upload the DNG and original CR2.
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Rob Cole

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OK. Also, I'm assuming you will figure out shortly if you haven't already - PV2010 adjustments don't always map well to PV2012, to say the least. Not only that, but PV2010 editing skills don't map that well to PV2012 either. So, be prepared to spend a while working on each photo after conversion. Once you get the hang of it, it won't take so long to make some improvements to old PV2010 or PV2003 photos by using PV2012.
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One other comment: PV2012 will also, automatically, recover shadow detail that might have previously been "mostly just black" in PV2010, this can also give a sense of "less contrasty" when zoomed out, but usually (not always) looks better when zoomed in. Just make sure you pull the blacks slider left, if need be, before judging...
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Jens Haufe

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Hello Rob, hello Steve,

thanks for your replies. Meanwhile I figured out the main problem. I did not use the original files but instead exported a DNG to a DNG file and that ́s what caused the problem. I wouldn ́t have expected this.

Now I took the original files, CR2 and DNG, worked on them and the result was somehow acceptable. The new process version didn ́t swallow all the yellow lines. However, with this specific picture I still get slightly better results with process version 2010.

Anyway, if somebody want ́s to have a try here are the two files in question. I hope the links work. (just set up dropbox)

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/97016875/LV4...

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/97016875/LV4...

Have a nice day/evening.

Jens
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Rob Cole

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I edited the CR2 file in the absence of a PV2010 snapshot to go by (going by the jpeg posted above instead).

Here's my best whacks in PV2012 & PV2010:

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/Personal/P...
(hint: first click 'Big' button, then click 'Full' button, then keep clicking next button, or prev button, to compare (instead of next,prev,next,prev,next,...))

PV2012 Settings:
---------------------
Camera Profile: Adobe Standard
Exposure +.9
Contrast 25
Highlights 0
Shadows +30
Whites +20
Blacks -25
Clarity 15
Vibrance 10
Saturation 0

And to (somewhat) recover the swallowed yellows:
Red Primary Hue +30
Red Primary Sat -10

PV2010 Settings:
---------------------
Camera Profile: Adobe Standard
Exposure +.3
Recovery 0
Fill Light 50
Blacks 11
Brightness 35
Contrast 60
Clarity 10
Vibrance 5
Saturation 0

Red Primary Hue +15
Red Primary Sat -5
Green Primary Hue +5
Blue Primary Hue +10

Note: in both cases there were also a few compensatory HSL adjustments too (different in each case).

We would need somebody more qualified than myself (e.g. Eric Chan of Adobe) to provided details regarding handling of those upper tones in the presence of over-extended clipped red channel by the different process versions / camera profiles.

For more insight, try different camera profiles and click soft-proofing.

Edit Notes:

* Exposure of .9 coupled with Whites of 20, Contrast of 25, and Highlights of 0 seemed to brighten that top end up without over-doing the mids or darks. Having extra-bright (slightly compressed) highlights was not too much of an issue in this photo.
* Contrast of 25. Because you said you didn't think PV2012 version had enough contrast... More seemed counter-productive on this already high-contrast shot.
* Highlights of 0 because I liked the brighter glowier highlights in this photo - no need to attempt recovery.
* Shadows of 30 to help offset the contrast boost, and give it a little more glow in the bottom end...
* Whites of 20 because +whites is good, and -whites wasn't necessary. 20 seemed about right. - makes the highlights look that much more intense and glowy... and enhances the sense of "contrast" in the photo.
* Blacks of -25 to maintain full clippage of the background, and I was working a contrasty theme - more -blacks closes out the shadows too much, and less blacks was, well, just less I guess...
* Clarity of +15 because it was a Las Vegas neon sign - why not punch it up? (much more than that and it started to look over-cooked to me).
* Vibrance of 10 just to make sure it would get fully noticed in the midst of things...
* Saturation - It was totally counterproductive to raise saturation in this image - I presume due to over-saturating an already over-saturated red channel. The intelligence of the vibrance control was needed for pumping up the color a tad.

Camera calibration adjustments were essential to tame the over-extended red channel which was at the heart of the problem with the neon accents in the interior of the sign.

Note: Photo looks good in Lightroom now - normal view much better than the soft-proof view (with sRGB or AdobeRGB I mean).

Finally, *most* photos look best with -highlights and +shadows having same values or close - this was *not* one of those photos, in my opinion. Raising exposure and dropping highlights and shadows to compensate resulted in a less contrasty looking image - no gain.

Also, if you like an even brighter look, this photo can take even more +exposure and/or +whites. The PV2012 roll-off/clipping intelligence will keep it from falling apart at the top end.

For example, the basically pumped settings are:
Exposure = +1.1
Contrast = +30
Whites = +25
Blacks = -30
Clarity = +17
Vibrance = +11
the rest are the same:

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/Personal/P...

Bonus version: PV2010 - Pumped & Curved:
* More fill light + contrast-enhancing tone curve:

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/Personal/P...

Rob
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An alternative explanation, by someone who wasn't there so doesn't know more than what can be seen by manipulating the raw, would be that:

PV2010 is showing the wrong colors for the lights, and PV2012, especially with a camera profile other than Adobe Standard, is more correct. In other words, any yellow in the lights making up the words is due to green-channel clipping and not the actual color of the lights which is bright red.

I say this after looking at the color of the dimmer reflected colors coming off the background, and after looking at the color of the lights after dragging the Exposure slider down to -3 EV or more and with everything else the default of zeros, and not the PV2010 to PV2012 auto-convert values that this thread started with.

Yellow is artificially produced by a brightened red light when the green channel is also clipped, and PV2012 tries to handle channel clipping better. The original raw does not have both the red and green channel clipped in most places, so PV2012 is attempting to keep the red area the proper color--preserving the reds, not swallowing the yellows.

My observations are with PS-CS6 64-bit using ACR 7.1 64-bit.
===
More definitively with a bit of Googling, if you look at the sign in daylight, the tubes appear red, not yellow:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasha...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasha...

And another shot of the Harley Davidson Cafe at night where the colors look reasonable:
http://www.anotherlasvegasdailyphoto....
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Oops, here is the direct link to the sign at night from the blog linked above, where it is several screens down:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_lY6_e_KIX8U...
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I think you're on to something Steve. I managed to turn the red lights a little bit yellower in PV2012 by finessing the camera calibration, but it was actually just another variation of distorted reality...
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I don't think the issues raised in this thread indicate a problem with (e.g. bug in) Lr4/PV2012, although it may have seemed like it at first.

To recap:

* Problem with contrasty-ness was just a matter of knowing how to edit in PV2012.
* Problem with neon trim was due to better highlight clip handling in PV2012, which yielded a more accurate although not necessarily more pleasing result. - consider having a chat with the BBQ place about their sign ;-}

Other notes:

This was a case where PV2010 clarity was "under powered" compared to PV2012 (in my opinion) - e.g. clarifying shadows. Although if you were really after a more natural, less punchy result in PV2012, clarity could be down-throttled, or zero'd. But also, if you want a more punchy look in PV2010, you can increase contrast and fill for an effect similar to PV2012 clarity.
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Jens - it's your turn to reply...
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Thanks for taking your time and efforts with my problem file.
As Rob said, the major problem were the camera calibration adjustments.
I tried the settings myself and the result now was quite pleasing.
Thanks Rob for this very useful hint.

Honestly said, I really never cared about those sliders when I was working with
LR3/PV 2010. I just figured Adobe dropped them to the bottom of the development panel for some reason...:)

So what ́s the "true" colour of the trim? To say the truth I can ́t really remember the exact color of the trim in the neon sign. During our travel I shot approx. 4000 pictures and don ́t have the very details of every shot I ́ve taken. I was quite satisfied with the yellow color of the trim but no I became insecure. As Steve set a link to the sign in broad daylight one would suspect it has to have some kind of red hue. But if you plough through the world wide web you ́ll find "illuminated" pictures with the trim coloured from almost white to orange, yellow, reds with different hues so it ́s hard to tell the real color. If somebody from Vegas reads this he or she might step out the door and let me know how it ́s real.

Jens
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Rob Cole

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|> "Thanks for taking your time and efforts with my problem file"

You're welcome. I learned a lot doing it ;-)

|> "So what ́s the "true" colour of the trim?"

The true color is red. The yellow in PV2010 is due to less robust handling of channel clipping. (I like the yellow better too ;-}).

|> "the major problem were the camera calibration adjustments"

If you want the truer red colors, you don't have to mess with this. I did this as a trick to emulate (somewhat) the yellow-ish trim hue in the interior letters, and also makes for what I considered some richer albeit orangier reds. If you were trying to match the true colors in that sign, this might not do...

Also, PV2012 tends to compress whites (or any other very bright tones) sometimes - long story, but it can lead to less definition in the upper-most tones. For reference:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/105018...

This was also a factor in the very bright red-on-red contrast in the interior of the sign in PV2012 - the brightest red color in the trim was recovered with a truer hue, but did not stand out as much as it could. This could be remedied somewhat with a white-fluffing camera profile, if somebody cared to do the work. Hopefully this will be improved in the next process version.

Rob
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Rob Cole

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PS - one can maintain full detail in whites (or in this case, reds) by backing off of whites and/or exposure sliders and bringing in the white point via tone (point) curve. That keeps Lr from bunching up the white tones near the right wall of the histogram.