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Do Professional Affinity Photo-Editing Types Use the Live Lighting Filter or Not?

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I found the subject of the live lighting filter as the subject of a thread as recently as a week ago. @MEB said something on that thread that made my heart leap up :o because it is SOOO true: "Each lighting filter you add will dim the photo more." But then he(?) edited his post to say, "Actually you can control/null the "dimming" effect, setting the Ambient light slider to 100%." 

In my latest photo-editing opus, I had upwards of 9 Live Lighting Filters. The file size was so big, it blew my laptop's head gasket. I am sorry, but once you add a Live Lighting Filter, all, all, your other Adjustment Layers get thrown off. The Live Lighting Filter somehow hijacks the project and it does dim it. I would very much like to know why. 

It occurred to me that I have NEVER seen a video by anyone who identifies as a professional photographer extol the virtues of the Live Lighting Filter. Do professional photographers use this Filter? It gives you lots of chiaroscuro bang for your buck (as we say in certain parts of the realm), and I really like it. I eventually whittled the 9 Live Lighting Filters down to 3, but--I'm sorry--the Filter does darken the image. If the reason that professional photo editors seem not to use it is that it interferes with other Adjustments, I would really like to know. 

Thank you.

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I don't really view the lighting filter as a professional tool, more of a gimmick filter, the sort of filter a photography club would use, I doubt most professionals would consider using such a filter. I don't mean this to be snobbish, just a professional would have worked out lighting an image prior to taking it and would have implemented the lighting with actual lights.


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There are quite people who make some use of those lighting filter effects, though there are also other common ways to do such things. At least it offers some quick turn arounds, thus it always depends what used technique suits one personally best here.

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@firstdefence and @v_kyr Thank you both. Yes, the PS tutorials have been of some use to me; and even PhotoPlus had rudimentary light ray effects. It just has been a creeping awareness that some Affinity (and PS) capabilities are less the subject of professionals’ online discussion (or not the subject at all).

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17 hours ago, firstdefence said:

I don't really view the lighting filter as a professional tool, more of a gimmick filter, the sort of filter a photography club would use, I doubt most professionals would consider using such a filter. I don't mean this to be snobbish, just a professional would have worked out lighting an image prior to taking it and would have implemented the lighting with actual lights.

I think it depends greatly on what kind of professional you are thinking about -- among other things consider that artists who create original 'synthetic' work may be doing this professionally, as may photo retouchers. Besides, even for professional photographers depending on the assignment & shooting conditions it is not always possible to use carefully placed real lights.

Beyond that, I think a lot of users do not well understand what lighting filters attempt to simulate, how they interact with a single or multilayer document, & particularly what "ambient light" attempts to simulate.

On the last point, as its name might suggest "ambient light" is just light coming from the surrounding (ambient) environment, exclusive of any light source(s) that fall directly on the subject before hitting something else (like sunlight, spotlights, etc.). In the Affinity filter there is only one ambient environmental light source, which simulates the average of all actual ambient light sources. So unlike real world ambient light, it has only a single uniform color & intensity. The subject is whatever it is applied to in the layers stack, like with any other filter. Because the filter simulates the effect of light shining on a flat surface, it has only one diffusion, shininess, specularity & specularity color setting, which apply to the surface properties of the subject.

Keeping all this in mind may help explain why the filter's settings are grouped as they are, & particularly why each spot, point, or directional light in the filter does have its own ambient light settings.


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I might consider using it to add some simulated texture but mostly I use 3D apps and texture software for things like that.


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10 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

I might consider using it to add some simulated texture but mostly I use 3D apps and texture software for things like that.

Lacking a height reference, any thoughts on how might you use it with a photograph?


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23 hours ago, American said:

But then he(?) ...

Yes, he (as the beard in his avatar hints rather strongly). @MEB is Miguel Botosmartass.gif


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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

Lacking a height reference, any thoughts on how might you use it with a photograph?

I recently watched a Lightroom tutorial demonstrating applying lighting effect to a photograph background, creating a glow behind model.  Lightroom has ability to apply/adjust on subject and move to background.  The same result can be achieved in AP with layers. 


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but the texture would require a bump, normal map, if I wanted texture without height references I'd be using the 3d fx.


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On 1/20/2020 at 5:36 AM, R C-R said:

Beyond that, I think a lot of users do not well understand what lighting filters attempt to simulate, how they interact with a single or multilayer document, & particularly what "ambient light" attempts to simulate.

I hain't too proud to say I am ONE of them. 

On 1/20/2020 at 5:36 AM, R C-R said:

On the last point, as its name might suggest "ambient light" is just light coming from the surrounding (ambient) environment, exclusive of any light source(s) that fall directly on the subject before hitting something else (like sunlight, spotlights, etc.). In the Affinity filter there is only one ambient environmental light source, which simulates the average of all actual ambient light sources. So unlike real world ambient light, it has only a single uniform color & intensity. The subject is whatever it is applied to in the layers stack, like with any other filter. Because the filter simulates the effect of light shining on a flat surface, it has only one diffusion, shininess, specularity & specularity color setting, which apply to the surface properties of the subject.

I must disagree. Living in the West, we are all free to our opinions, but because I do a great deal of editing of nature photography, the bee in my bonnet is how drastically the ambient light becomes, for lack of a better word, mottled, so that all the other effects you mention are out of my control. This has been my experience.

On 1/20/2020 at 5:36 AM, R C-R said:

Keeping all this in mind may help explain why the filter's settings are grouped as they are, & particularly why each spot, point, or directional light in the filter does have its own ambient light settings.

Keeping all this in mind... Ah, bless your heart. There was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (since you guys are talking about the Borg on other threads) called "The Nth Degree." Citing this is my simple American way of saying that the Live Lighting Filter requires "an unexplainable boost of confidence and a vast increase in knowledge," or the ability to juggle perhaps a dozen concepts at the same time while applying the Filter. Such is not the case with say a single Adjustment Layer; and I would imagine that a short book could be written on the Live Lighting Filter alone. 

But then, I don't have the mind of Reginald... ;-)

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3 hours ago, American said:

... because I do a great deal of editing of nature photography, the bee in my bonnet is how drastically the ambient light becomes, for lack of a better word, mottled, so that all the other effects you mention are out of my control.

I think by "mottled" you are probably referring to the interplay of shadows, for example like what happens when sunlight is filtered through layers of leaves on tree before striking things under them.


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9 hours ago, R C-R said:

I think by "mottled" you are probably referring to the interplay of shadows, for example like what happens when sunlight is filtered through layers of leaves on tree before striking things under them.

Yes, precisely, and that effect takes other adjustments and holds them hostage. I wish my ability to articulate the process were more adept. But, for example, say you decide you want to add a "God shot" Live Lighting Filter. By "God shot," I mean High Noon placement overhead, with the intention of brightening whatever is dead-center on your image. The Live Lighting Filter will absolutely accomplish this--while tossing into shadow everything outside the periphery of the... radii? 

But what if one wanted only to (forgive me, Lord) bring an image of Jesus into blinding, even unnatural brightness by the use of the Live Lighting Filter, while maintaining the brightness levels you previously established in the image. I guarantee you, or myself, at least, that whatever part of the image remained on the periphery of the Live Lighting Filter would be thrown into shadow. It would not be left as it was. Colors in these margins would also be affected. So that (forgive me again, Lord) Jesus would look fine, cover-model perfect, but the rest of your image, with which you might have been perfectly satisfied, would be thrown into shadows predetermined by the Live Lighting Filter.

That was why I asked if professional photographers use this Filter. There's something gimmicky about a whole set of presets built into a Filter, about which the non-genius-level Affinity user can do nothing, or at least can do nothing that will not consume vast amounts of time and effort.

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While the Lighting filter supports using multiple lights to illuminate the image, there is no provision for adding filtered patterns to them like the gobos used in theatrical & event lighting instruments. So there is no way using the settings available in the filter to create a mottled lighting effect with a single light or to prevent multiple lights in an instance of the filter from interacting in the ways you want to avoid.

However, if you are using the live version (there is also a destructive version available on the Filters menu), like the other live filters the Live Lighting filter has a built in mask, so you can use the usual masking techniques to mask out areas you do not want the lights to affect.

Masked Lighting effect.afphoto is just a quick & dirty example of how this might be used. I was not overly fond of how the flash & room lighting in the original photo made the table arrangement look, so to give it a more dramatic feel, I added a live lighting filter, (here sloppily) masked to the table's contents & added the 4 lights to simulate brighter candlelight. The exposure adjustment provided a simple way to darken everything to simulate less flash & room lighting, but other adjustments might work better for that. I lowered the transparencies of those layers to make them a bit more subtle.

Obviously, not even close to a professional job but good enough for my purposes. (BTW, this is was done with greatly reduced size version of the original photo to keep the download file size reasonably small, which is why it is so pixelated.)


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There are simpler ways of applying a God ray effect and brushes are the simplest: Light Rays by Dex.afbrushes


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On 1/21/2020 at 10:17 PM, firstdefence said:

There are simpler ways of applying a God ray effect and brushes are the simplest: Light Rays by Dex.afbrushes

I think rather than a ray effect what @Guest-354025 was after was more like brightening the Jesus image, as if it was emitting light that brightened nearby parts of the rest of the image.


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On 1/22/2020 at 2:45 AM, R C-R said:

I think rather than a ray effect what @Guest-354025 was after was more like brightening the Jesus image, as if it was emitting light that brightened nearby parts of the rest of the image.

Penny dropped lol!


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6 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

Penny dropped lol!

Speaking of pennies dropping, I was experimenting with masking the Live Lighting filter as I mentioned above that involved rotating, shearing, & resizing that filter layer using the Move Tool. Sometime during that experiment a whole bunch of loose change must have fallen out of the app onto the floor & rolled away because adjusting the filter's sliders starting behaving extremely oddly after that -- changing the Ambient or any of several other ones would cause the spot light I was using to rotate wildly & uncontrollably, & its origin (usually adjustable with the distance slider) to jump out to beyond where it could be seen at any document zoom level.

I don't yet have a formula for repeating this but it hints strongly at there being a bug or two in the implementation of the live filter.


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On 1/21/2020 at 5:17 PM, firstdefence said:

There are simpler ways of applying a God ray effect and brushes are the simplest: Light Rays by Dex.afbrushes

Oh, Lord xD, I was just using Jesus as an example. Now the REAL "God-shot" is going to happen right on my head.

I don't think we all are talking about the same things, but I will reread the thread and figure out what dropping pennies have to do with Jesus. (I swear I never put pennies in the poor box. :)

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2 hours ago, American said:

Oh, Lord xD, I was just using Jesus as an example. Now the REAL "God-shot" is going to happen right on my head.

I don't think we all are talking about the same things, but I will reread the thread and figure out what dropping pennies have to do with Jesus. (I swear I never put pennies in the poor box. :)

Baby Jesus is watching lol!.

The penny dropped means that someone, aka 'Me' suddenly understood or realised what was being said. O.o

Quote

The phrase was coined in the 1930s in the British publication of The Daily Mirror. The allusion was made to machines that required a penny to operate. Sometimes the coin would be stuck and someone would wait for the penny to drop for the machine to work. When the coin did drop, the phone or toy dispenser or other mechanism would come to life.

 


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From my younger school days, I always thought I was going to be a sunbeam, because that's what Jesus wanted me to be, apparently I used to tell the teacher I didn't want to be a sunbeam, I wanted to be an astronaut :D I also used to wear an astronaut helmet in protest hahaha! I was a weird kid.


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6 hours ago, firstdefence said:

From my younger school days, I always thought I was going to be a sunbeam, because that's what Jesus wanted me to be, apparently I used to tell the teacher I didn't want to be a sunbeam, I wanted to be an astronaut :D I also used to wear an astronaut helmet in protest hahaha! I was a weird kid.

That’s okay. I wanted to be a George Washington. I walked around with a towel around my shoulders pretending to cross the Delaware and made my baby sister be Martha. For some reason I never quite figured out, Martha ignored me quite a lot. I learned early the burdens a great man has to bear. :ph34r:

That was before Sister Gabriella found my National Geographic for Show and Tell had pictures of cavemen dressed, shall we say, as God made them. I was sent up to Sister Linus’ office, paddled, and parted from my scandal rag, with its pictures of beautiful rocks... xD

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On 1/22/2020 at 3:38 AM, R C-R said:

changing the Ambient or any of several other ones would cause the spot light I was using to rotate wildly & uncontrollably, & its origin (usually adjustable with the distance slider) to jump out to beyond where it could be seen at any document zoom level.

I don't yet have a formula for repeating this but it hints strongly at there being a bug or two in the implementation of the live filter.

Mm-hmm. You should try doing that with nine Live Lighting Filters. It will turn you to drink.

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