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SFCRen

How to export/save as a raw format file?

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  I'm unable to find an option to export out of Affinity photo as a RAW file of any type whether it be .NEF .DNG or some other option.  Is this not available in Affinity Photo?

 

   Thanks in advance.

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Hey SFCRen,

 

You don't typically export "out" to a RAW format - it's raw sensor information that needs to go through debayering/demosaicing before it can be displayed as meaningful information. When you import RAW files into Photo, they go through this process and become raster images, which you would then save/export as a document or image format (.afphoto, PSD, TIFF, JPG etc).

 

The end of your post regarding availability suggests you've seen an export to raw option in other software, is this the case? What may be happening is that the RAW file is copied (in its original form) along with a sidecar (usually .xmp) file containing changes. This is how DAM software like Lightroom works, where the changes you've made are applied dynamically. In other words, the original RAW file isn't edited or re-exported - it's developed to a temporary working copy until you save or discard it.

 

Hope that helps!


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    So maybe I'm asking this question the wrong way.   How can I make edits to a raw file from my Nikon camera using Affinity Photo then export that edited raw sensor info back out into a lossless file format that other software will see as if it was a raw sensor info file so I can edit it in other ways?   For example When I bring a file into DXOptics pro from my camera it allows me to denoise using its algorithms then export to a DNG file that I can then edit in Affinity Photo starting in the Develop Persona. 

 

    Thanks for the help! :-) 

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Hi SFCRen,

That's only possible through the use of the XMP sidecar files James mentioned above or through DNG files which can also have XMP data embedded. Currently Affinity Photo doesn't support neither XMP sidecar files nor DNG file export. Hopefully there will be improvements here later.

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Hi SFCRen,

That's only possible through the use of the XMP sidecar files James mentioned above or through DNG files which can also have XMP data embedded. Currently Affinity Photo doesn't support neither XMP sidecar files nor DNG file export. Hopefully there will be improvements here later.

 

      Not trying to be argumentative I'm just trying to understand this.  So what your saying is that it is impossible for RAW camera sensor data to be modified and then reoutput as if it had not been modified back into another RAW format file (without external files like an .xmp sidecar being added) .  So why are there are no .xmp sidecar files being created when DXOptics Pro 11 outputs an edited .NEF file to a .DNG file that I then can bring into Affinity Photo's Develop persona (which I believe is the RAW editor for Affinity).  So how about just adding the option to output to .DNG in Affinity Photo?  lol

 

    BTW, I am asking this due to the fact that I am currently enrolled in a college level photography class that seems to love Macs and Adobe products.  I edit my photos at home but then I am required to submit them as a "Level 12" .jpg which means I basically have to take my files and then import them to photoshop in class and export again there as the appropriately formatted .jpg file.   I don't want to import a .tiff or .jpg  to then convert to some other .jpg format for the fear of losing data and therefore quality in my photos.

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      Not trying to be argumentative I'm just trying to understand this.  So what your saying is that it is impossible for RAW camera sensor data to be modified and then reoutput as if it had not been modified back into another RAW format file (without external files like an .xmp sidecar being added) .  So why are there are no .xmp sidecar files being created when DXOptics Pro 11 outputs an edited .NEF file to a .DNG file that I then can bring into Affinity Photo's Develop persona (which I believe is the RAW editor for Affinity).  So how about just adding the option to output to .DNG in Affinity Photo?  lol

 

    BTW, I am asking this due to the fact that I am currently enrolled in a college level photography class that seems to love Macs and Adobe products.  I edit my photos at home but then I am required to submit them as a "Level 12" .jpg which means I basically have to take my files and then import them to photoshop in class and export again there as the appropriately formatted .jpg file.   I don't want to import a .tiff or .jpg  to then convert to some other .jpg format for the fear of losing data and therefore quality in my photos.

 

Hey again, apologies for the lengthy reply but I wanted to go into a bit of depth (especially as you said you're studying):

 

DNG is an open file format developed by Adobe. It conforms to the TIFF/EP standard and supports both lossless and lossy compression. Since the specification is open, any developer can take image data and assemble it into the TIFF specification required by the DNG container. It also supports a wide range of embedded data including XMP and Exif, negating the need for a separate sidecar file.

 

Because your first post mentioned exporting to a .NEF raw format as well, this is why I tried to explain why you wouldn't (or couldn't) re-export raw image data. Each proprietary RAW format (NEF, CR2, ORF to name a few) differs in how the sensor data is encoded. These formats are all closed rather than open, meaning reverse-engineering is required to develop a suitable decoder (this is what dcraw and, by extension, LibRaw achieves). Once sensor data has been demosaiced and processed, you can't convert it back to proprietary raw sensor data.

 

What you can do, however, is produce what's called a Linear DNG. This is effectively uncompressed image data - it's been demosaiced but is still scene-referred, meaning it hasn't yet been mapped to a colour space. Various software can extract this linear DNG and treat it as if it were a RAW image - so it then goes through a tone mapping process and is mapped to a colour space. This is possibly what DxO Optics may do when you export to DNG - embedding XMP data into the file too. Alternatively, it may pass either the original sensor data (basically, numbers) or its interpolated version of that data along with instructions of how to process it.

 

 

So, then, why is there no DNG export option in Affinity Photo? Simply put, Photo isn't a DAM like Lightroom or DxO. In these apps, what you see on-screen when you're tweaking a RAW file is temporary until you export or pass the file on. They allow for potential interworking; so if you tweak a few sliders in Lightroom then export to DNG, it will pass these tweaked values on. It's then up to the receiving software to interpret these values.

 

RAW development in Photo is destructive. I don't mean the original RAW file is modified in any way; rather, when you load it into the Develop persona, the raw sensor data is demosaiced and the image is tone mapped and converted to a colour space. You then move from Develop to the Photo persona, where you're now working with raster image data. There would be no point in exporting to DNG - you'd simply be putting fully processed image data into the container (which I'm not sure is even supported as per the DNG spec).

 

Photo's remit is to be an image editor, rather than as an initial image organiser and editor. It typically sits in the middle of a workflow, where you might pass either a RAW file or initially processed image to it. We are planning a DAM app, for which having a DNG export option would make some sense.

 

 

As you've some concerns regarding quality, let's just clarify that you wouldn't take your processed image (that you've edited at home) and export it to DNG. As mentioned above, you're working with tone mapped raster image data in a colour space, not linear (or "non-raw" as it's termed) data.

 

With that in mind, you could just export straight to a JPEG from Photo when delivering your project. "Level 12" refers to the maximum value on Photoshop's JPEG export dialog. The equivalent in Photo would be to keep the JPEG quality slider at 100.

 

Additionally, if you want to export out of Photo for further editing or exporting in other software (or perhaps just for archival), I'd recommend using TIFF 16-bit. It's uncompressed, and the 16-bit precision (as opposed to 8-bit) will ensure you can work with fine colour gradations (like gradient fills, skies etc) without causing banding. Most raw sensor data is recorded at 14 or 12-bit precision, so you wouldn't be discarding data.

 

 

 

 

Sorry for the ramble - here's the tl;dr version! Once you've edited an image's pixels it makes no sense to export it to DNG - use 100% quality JPEG for your project delivery, and if you want to retain maximum quality, export to 16-bit TIFF.

 

Hope that helps!


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Can you please add Photoshop raw export to Affinity photo. I bought this software to replace photoshop. I make alot of games and i need this for heightmaps.

Thank you!

Xander

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Hello, I think this is something that should be looked into.Replacing photoshop can be done, but certain features still are needed here in Affinity. From a  3D Artist and Game Dev Perspective many people rely on PS because of extensions this makes things harder if others want to replace it. The more Affinity would take over the better. Many 3D Programs add a link to PS because of this. What Xander Wrote is one big step that Affinity should look into. You guys know this already, but CG is only growing.

 

Thank you!

On 2/12/2017 at 6:51 PM, Xander93 said:

PhotoshopImportExportRaw.jpgI need to be able to export like this with affinity photo.

Thank you,

Xander

 

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@MEB

Any News or plans on implementing .raw ?

i desperatly need this to be able to kill Photoshop from my pipeline thx!

Displacement and normalmaps are very important to us 3d people :)

 

 

raw.jpg

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5 hours ago, pachermann said:

Any News or plans on implementing .raw ?

Are you asking about support for the Photoshop Raw format (which does not support layers) or something else?


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On 1/25/2017 at 4:08 PM, James Ritson said:

... In other words, the original RAW file isn't edited or re-exported - it's developed to a temporary working copy until you save or discard it.

This is only partly correct in overall sense but not completely. For example Nikon's Capture NX2 (with build-in NIK U-Points) saves to NEF files, either saves to the modified original NEF or under a new name (save as) as default. All CNX2 changes you made and applied are then added to the NEF, but mostly only in a manner Nikon Software was able to make use of. So Nikon CNX2 and NXView2 were able to read, interpret and reapply all so far made changes of that NEF file, but third party RAW converter software (Adobe CR, LR etc.) were only able to show the initial NEF contents of these RAW files. - You can think of such NEFs like being a RAW with an embedded Sidecar file!


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@Xander93, you seem to want to be able to save your image/data in a Photoshop .raw file despite the caveat shown in the image you post. At the right-hand side, under Photoshop Raw options it says: 'The Photoshop Raw file format does not fully encode the image mode and size, amongst other things. The image may not be fully restored when you re-open the file'. 

Why should you want to do this when you could save it as an .afphoto file, which will preserve all the information and processing you have done? Or you could export as a 16-bit .tiff file which would be readable by other photo apps (even Photoshop).

Remember the word raw means '(of data) not analysed, evaluated, or processed for use' (from the OED). Once you have even part-processed your data, it is no longer raw.

John


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Posted (edited)

@John Rostron

tl:dr
People just have some other use cases for the same software. Maybe you don't need such functionality, but others do, there's no point in "defending" the point that there is not the option to do something, if there are enough people needing exactly this functionality.

Aside the fact that for the - Export as Raw as Photoshop raw I think a new thread would've been better, instead of hijacking this one with focus to photography. I'd like to elaborate on your question:

Question for you: Do you also upload *.afphoto, *.tiff to you homepage where you show your images, photos etc.?
If you have a website for your images I bet you came across a point where you couldn't upload and use a afphoto or a tiff file, just because browsers don't know how to interpret the data. As far as I know (maybe outdated) only Safari supports directly presenting .tiff files. Most browsers and websites just use png or jpg because they not only need to serve you the website in highest quality but because they also need to do so fast to not annoy users with slow loading times (.afphoto, .tiff are much bigger than a compressed jpg which is btw not fully restorable too ;)).

In this case: There are areas, like others mentioned before CG  (computer graphics) e.g. games development, film vfx or animated movie, where image data is needed in specific formats.
For example - why would I need not fully restoreable files like Photoshop .raw:
If you work with the game-engine Unity3D (like I saw many others having the same problem above) you can generate 3D-Terrains from an heightmap, in this case the value of each pixel in an 2d-texture is mapped to a plane consting of polygons. The polygons are displaced by the value of the pixel to generate the terrain, now the game-engine doesn't care the slightest bit for restorability of the imagefile and just wants the data as lightweight as possible. Therefore it's asking specifically for a .raw file where each pixel is either stored by an 8-bit or 16-bit value which will give you either a range of 0-255 or 0-65.535 distinict height-values for the terrain. I as a user am totally free to store the original heightmap for editing purposes as a .afphoto and would even recommend in doing so, but I also need to be able to export it additionally as a raw file for the engine, just like I would never send someone I'd like to show a picture of mine a .afphoto, but a high quality .jpg or png if I don't want compression.

No one ever said they would use the raw format to store the "original" file in, so the question of yours is quite redundant.

Sidenote for Affinity-Devs, if they even look here and are interested in providing such an export:

After looking into the .raw used by unity terrain I don't think that the "Photoshop"-Part of .raw is really just naming here and not at all a proprietary format, since it doesn't have any header-file information etc. It's really just an one dimensional Array(a List for non Programmers) of Pixel Values, it doesn't even store file dimensions, thats why you have to define them yourself when importing in the screenshot above. The pixel values are interpreted as one (8bit/16bit) channel, there is not rgba split in the 8 or 16 bit of the pixel value.

Edited by Nefahl

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@Nefahl, Are you referring to the post I made in February 2017 in response to that of @Xander93 ? 

You first refer to it as 'too long; didn't read' (tl:dr). Perhaps you didn't read it since your do not really address the points I made. You also make a number of unarguable point as if I were denying them. 

John


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@John Roston

I refer to your post you made on the 17th February 2019 to Xander93 ;)

tl:dr is meant for you: The paragraph right behind it. In case you don't want to read everything.

Well I'm addressing your implication that no one would want to export a file in raw since it would lose information like layers, dimensions and so on:

Quote

Why should you want to do this when you could save it as an .afphoto file, which will preserve all the information and processing you have done? Or you could export as a 16-bit .tiff file which would be readable by other photo apps (even Photoshop).

We need .raw export, so, yes I totally addressing the point you made by telling us to use something else, which is not possible unless Unity adds a feature which allows us to use other formats. Which would be a totally useless feature as of my explanation for you, that the engine is designed to process lightweight data without having overhead of in this case useless information like layers, but it seems that you haven't read that part. Therefore the probability that they implement such feature is quite low, which leaves us back at status quo, we need .raw export, not tiff, not afphot.

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11 minutes ago, Nefahl said:

but it seems that you haven't read that part.

I read all your post, several times and, apart from your final assertion:

13 minutes ago, Nefahl said:

which leaves us back at status quo, we need .raw export, not tiff, not afphot.

I am still trying to understand it.

John


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On 1/25/2017 at 8:01 AM, SFCRen said:

I am asking this due to the fact that I am currently enrolled in a college level photography class that seems to love Macs and Adobe products.  I edit my photos at home but then I am required to submit them as a "Level 12" .jpg which means I basically have to take my files and then import them to photoshop in class and export again there as the appropriately formatted .jpg file.

I could be totally wrong about this but isn't "Level 12" equivalent to Maximum Quality? It is just a JPEG with the least amount/none of compression. Affinity Photo goes to 100 instead of 12 for the 'best' quality. 


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People are talking about two different "RAW"s in this thread. Camera RAW is well understood, Photoshop raw is something quite different. Photoshop raw is just a bunch of numbers with as little formatting as possible, being the ”rawest” possible way to describe a pixel image. Not many people need it, but it seems Unity3D platform benefits of it use.

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2 hours ago, Blende21 said:

In the end it is „Affinity needs this or that feature“ vs. „This user needs another software“.

So you're trying to discard a feature request because YOU personally don't need it, by saying people who need it should go back to Photoshop. Since Photoshop seems to be the only image manipulating software to export to the pixel data only format (above 8 bit) in a reliable fashion. That's a bold statement in a forum of a software which is advertised with the words:

"From the smoothest, fastest photo editing and graphic design software to the most powerful publishing software, Affinity apps are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with creative technology"

By now they are still not even on par with the market leader, but claim to be pushing boundaries, but the "I just use the basic feature set" guy is happy, so advanced users have to go to other software. The creative sector got bigger than photography and print media in the last two decades you know? Besides what is more reasonable requesting an export feature, or reinventing the wheel, just because the image-editing software can't export into one file format (yet). Do you think image editing software has to be build completely new when new filetypes emerge? That's not how software-development works, you "just"(if there's enough demand, developer-time and budget)  need to define an export-module that handles how the internal data is being laid down as a file and an corresponding import module to build up the internal data from the same file format if necessary. At least if done right.

The same argument I made to John Rostron before applies to you, just because you don't need a feature, that doesn't mean that a whole lot of other people doesn't need it either, so why even bother giving a "We don't need this" comment in a thread clearly not affecting your work with the software? To show how much of a fanboi you are? The software can clearly, as stated by others above, profit from adding a very basic export feature which would open the software for users who are forced to use Photoshop for now, just because of one little export feature. Hell if there would be an already working plugin API besides "we kind of, but not really, support Photoshop plugins to some degree" I would implement it for myself for my team, as I said a few posts before the file isn't as complex as .afphoto or .png it is literally a list of pixels, no meta information added.

And I'm not even mad about it not existing or being told "not on our roadmap, because we got no time for that for now", what annoys me here are people not being able to look beyond their own horizon and arguing against features who would be useful for others, just because they don't need it themself, or just to make up a argument with spurious points (like information-loss when saving to Photoshop raw, we are not dumb and totally aware of that, thank you) because they have seemingly nothing else to do or procrastinate or whatever their reasons are.

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I know that the following suggestion does not address the AP/raw output discussion, but for folks who need to import and export raw (as in "not camera raw") data, you can use the free, and open, tool called NIH Image, or ImageJ, or Fiji (Fiji Is Just ImageJ).  I currently use the Fiji version, but they are all the same thing.  The application reads and writes raw output and is a general purpose image processing tool with a macro language to automate tasks.  I am not sure what the CG folks might be doing with PS to edit their data prior to output to raw, but Fiji might be an alternative and a viable way to remove PS from your workflow.  It is also cross-platform (Mac, Win, Linux) and is continually being updated and cared for.

https://fiji.sc

It gives the user direct access to algorithmic and mathematical manipulation of their image data, instead of the more qualitative, by eye approach in PS.

Kirk

PS - to James Ritson's comment -

Quote

What you can do, however, is produce what's called a Linear DNG. This is effectively uncompressed image data - it's been demosaiced but is still scene-referred, meaning it hasn't yet been mapped to a colour space. Various software can extract this linear DNG and treat it as if it were a RAW image - so it then goes through a tone mapping process and is mapped to a colour space. This is possibly what DxO Optics may do when you export to DNG - embedding XMP data into the file too. Alternatively, it may pass either the original sensor data (basically, numbers) or its interpolated version of that data along with instructions of how to process it.

Yes, DxO produces a linear DNG when it applies adjustments to a raw file and exports it as DNG.  This way, users can apply things like optical corrections and noise reduction to a raw image file within DxO and then export a DNG with those corrections to another raw converter, like Lightroom.  This operation requires demosaicing of the raw file so that the pixel-based operations can be rendered.

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Maybe I should post more than 1 line to avoid being misinterpreted:

From my side everybody in the forum may wish, think or say whatever he wants (within limits ...). I am not more clever than somebody else to know what is needed or what is not. If I was, I would probably be sitting at my pool, sipping cocktails and counting money.

As any company Serif needs to focus its resources. In this thread there is a very deep, insightful post from @James Ritson about the sense and nonsense of what is asked for. You may take it, or not, but to me it does not sound as if Serif is going down this specific road. The post is from 2017 - what does it tell that we are in 2020, one pandemic later, and still nothing has happened ?

So maybe it is here better for the user to find another software, than to play the waiting game.

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Blende21 said:

So maybe it is here better for the user to find another software, than to play the waiting game.

Sure it is better for the user, but for for potential other users with the same problem it's also good to mention it to serif that the feature is needed by more than one guy, if I scroll through this thread alone I see me included 4 people who needed the feature in the last year (by they screenshots obvious for an unity user).
Like Fixx mentioned a few posts above we're not talking about the photo - raw but another type of raw file, so the post of James Ritson doesn't really apply there. I already mentioned in my first post in the thread, it, would've been better to make a new thread instead of hijacking this one by the first unity-user guy, but I think he didn't knew that .raw isn't a very specific format too.

I for my part solved the problem for myself by writing a small application (which I sadly can't share due to in-house restrictions) which writes those 16-bit raw bytes into an 16-bit greyscale png, which my team can modify in affinity apps (or other image editing software), and is also able to convert it afterwards back to the raw format (the basic pixel list not any photography raw).
As you can see such a internal conversion shouldn't be that big a of deal, when your working at the heart of the data anyway, took me a day to implement and image processing isn't even the area of coding I'm that familiar with, someone working on a software as affinity I bet would have been done in a fraction of that time.

Anyway my team can now work with painting, using gradients and whatever the like they come up with within affinity on the greyscale image, so I no longer need to waste my time discussing the pros and cons of raw export/import.

Just my last two cents here: I bet there are many unity/unreal engine game-developers and others like vfx-folk who would ditch photoshop any day, if they could do the same stuff with other more affordable apps(There are many small Indie-Developers without a big budget out there). Having to use a converter raw->png, then edit then using the same converter png->raw can get pretty tedious if you have to do it 50 times a day, so I can understand our Artists insisting on using Photoshop because for them "it just works" (not my words). So I would guess onboarding this creative sectors to the apps wouldn't be totally against Serifs interest.

Edited by Nefahl

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