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pb2016

non-destructive versus destructive editing

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Thanks for making the Photo Windows beta available. I look forward to testing it. I even forced myself to switch to an Aero UI to allow using the Beta.

 

I am presently a Lightroom user and thus accustomed to fully non-destructive editing. In case it is relevant I edit Nikon RAW images, and usually export to JPG or TIFF. So I would normally start in the Develop persona.

 

I'd like to clarify what editing is and is not non-destructive within Affinity Photo. Is this accurate:

 

Anything done with an adjustment layer is non-destructive.

 

Are filter layers also non-destructive?

 

Is everything else destructive in the sense of getting baked into the image when done so it cannot later be undone?

 

If the above is accurate then I gather the entire Develop module is destructive?

 

If I save to an Affinity Photo document is it accurate that everything is effectively non-destructive in that the document can be re-opened, previous edits adjusted or deleted, and a new versioin of an image exported?

 

Is the Affinity Photo document large - i.e. does it contain a copy of the image or is it only the editing instructions similar to a Lightroom .XMP sidecar file?

 

Thanks,

Pete

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Hi Pete, here's a quick breakdown, hope it helps:

 

  • The Develop persona is non-destructive. All tonal operations are done in an unbounded colour space (so no tonal information is clipped). When you click Develop, you then process the image destructively.
    • However, if you open the develop assistant (that little suit/tuxedo icon at the top), you can change from 16-bit to 32-bit output. This still "destructively" develops the image, but tonal ranges aren't clipped, so you can alter the exposure at any point without losing shadow or highlight information.
  • Yes, adjustment layers are non-destructive unless you merge them down.
  • Yes. live filter layers are non-destructive.
  • Any filters applied from the top Filter menu are destructive. I would suggest duplicating any pixel layers you want to apply those filters to if you want a non-destructive way of using them.
  • You can create "snapshots" of your work that are stored in the saved document. This allows you to jump between a series of edits and store your progress if you want. See this video on Snapshots for more information.
  • Regarding the .afphoto document format:
    • You have the option of saving a full undo history (File>Save History with Document). This allows you to re-open a document at any time and step back through all the operations you've performed.
    • The format saves uncompressed raster information, so yes, it's definitely not a sidecar file  ;) . It's worth noting that Photo develops raw images to 16-bit by default, which can produce big file sizes with uncompressed image data. For example, a typical 16MP 16-bit image can be around 120MB in size.
    • When you first develop a raw image, Photo also stores an initial snapshot so you have a clean copy of your image (again, see the video linked above for more information). This also increase file size. You can delete this before you save your document if you don't need it.

 

Hope that helps,

James


Affinity Photo Video Tutorials - Affinity Photo for iPad Tutorials

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Hi James,

 

Your explanations do help, thanks. They also generate more questions!

 

Please pardon my questions. I hope to clarify these aspects and determine practicality for my post-processing work before investing a lot of time working with the beta. And I really want to find an alternative to Adobe products!

 

My starting premise is a strong desire for non-destructive (perhaps better called impermanent or reversible?) editing. It seems I could create a mostly or perhaps entirely non-destructive editing environment by minimizing use of the Develop persona and frequently creating snapshots.

 

I am open to your thoughts and rationale about why I should "get over it" and be OK with destructive editing. Perhaps there is a white paper on this?

 

The D7200 I presently use is a 24 MP camera so I assume the .afphoto file would typically be about 1.5 * 120 MB = 180 MB. Ouch. Hard drives are inexpensive, but... Lightroom, for example, just adds the one small sidecar file and leaves the NEF file size alone. This could be a significant factor preventing my adopting Affinity Photo - I'll have to give it more thought.

 

You mentioned using 32-bit output in Develop instead of 16-bit. Would this double the size of a .afphoto document file?

 

Does saving snapshots add about 120 MB (for the "base case" with 16 MP image files) for each snapshot? Or is only editing information stored to allow recreating the snapshot? If the former then this limits the practicality of using many snapshots to achieve virtually non-destructive editing.

 

It also seems, though, that I may need only one or two snapshots to achieve virtually non-destructive editing. Namely, before and at the end of the Develop persona work. I'm saying this assuming in the Photo persona I do almost all work using layers that may be left in the history for later changes. Is this reasonably accurate?

 

Thanks,

Pete

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Develop Persona should work exactly like in Lr.

Those kind of developing saves disk space and give ability to edit image any time non-destructively.

A current kind of snapshot ( a raster image ) should be generated as an output for Photo persona automaticly.

But editing process in Develop Persona should recreate at beginning whole tree of steps that user did here previously ( like in Lightroom ).

 

If you make it work like this the Affinity PHOTO will be the best image editing software ever. :)

I am counting on you !

Thanks!

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AP is no substitute for Lightroom. I prefer to do cataloguing, developing and managing in LR and use AP only to finetune (or sometimes heavytune) LR exported photos. Sometimes importing AP altered photos back to LR to have them in image database.

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Hi Pete, here's a quick breakdown, hope it helps:

 

  • The Develop persona is non-destructive. All tonal operations are done in an unbounded colour space (so no tonal information is clipped). When you click Develop, you then process the image destructively.
    • However, if you open the develop assistant (that little suit/tuxedo icon at the top), you can change from 16-bit to 32-bit output. This still "destructively" develops the image, but tonal ranges aren't clipped, so you can alter the exposure at any point without losing shadow or highlight information.
  • Yes, adjustment layers are non-destructive unless you merge them down.
  • Yes. live filter layers are non-destructive.
  • Any filters applied from the top Filter menu are destructive. I would suggest duplicating any pixel layers you want to apply those filters to if you want a non-destructive way of using them.
  • You can create "snapshots" of your work that are stored in the saved document. This allows you to jump between a series of edits and store your progress if you want. See this video on Snapshots for more information.
  • Regarding the .afphoto document format:
    • You have the option of saving a full undo history (File>Save History with Document). This allows you to re-open a document at any time and step back through all the operations you've performed.
    • The format saves uncompressed raster information, so yes, it's definitely not a sidecar file  ;) . It's worth noting that Photo develops raw images to 16-bit by default, which can produce big file sizes with uncompressed image data. For example, a typical 16MP 16-bit image can be around 120MB in size.
    • When you first develop a raw image, Photo also stores an initial snapshot so you have a clean copy of your image (again, see the video linked above for more information). This also increase file size. You can delete this before you save your document if you don't need it.

 

Hope that helps,

James

Hi James,

a little help please.

What is the best way to apply NIK filters in a non-destructive process (if possible)?

Duplicating the background image? What if I´ve already more adjusting layers?

Or with new layer (which type of layer)?

Thank you.

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