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Format for loading images into Stacks, HDR, etc....

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I'm new to Affinity, so your patience is welcome. I have been using Aperture and PS Elements, along with NIK software add-ins, so my learning curve has been lengthly for Affinity. I will have to admit, I am loving Affinity, though....I just repeatedly have to refer to the training videos to remember how to do some things. I know, repetition is the ultimate teacher....


I shoot in raw and usually convert to TIFF to modify after minor adjustments, then to JPEG for any printing or posting. My question to you is: Do you recommend developing all raw images BEFORE adding them into a stack, HDR, Focus Merge, etc.?......OR, can you merge the images in raw and get the same results with processing after the merge? I'm just trying to save a little time, if you know what I mean.




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Hey TommyD, there's no right or wrong way particularly. You can feed HDR Merge/Focus Merge/Stacking your RAW files and it will decode them before proceeding with alignment/merging. In that sense, the process will take longer than if you provide rasterised images (TIFF/JPEG etc). The difference will become especially apparent if you start focus merging large numbers of images.


Bear in mind that you have no tonal control over RAW files when you use them like this; important to note if you have, say, some overexposed or underexposed RAWs that you'd want to correct beforehand for stacking or focus merging (HDR merge is less important since that's kind of the point!).


If you have a separate DAM app or workflow that you use to develop your RAW images, you could use that to output TIFFs or JPEGs and then use those with HDR/Focus merge or Stacking. If you don't mind the larger file sizes, using 16-bit TIFF for more precision will give you the best results.


We are working on a DAM app to complement Photo, and it would hopefully introduce a much slicker workflow for pre-processing multiple RAWs and then feeding them into Photo for stacking and merging. This would be the ideal workflow for these features; at the moment, I pre-process my RAW files into TIFFs to use these features as I get more tonal control (plus noise reduction/sharpening etc).


Hope that helps!

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Thank you. This info helps a lot. I have been converting to TIFF in the past on my old HDR system, because that is what the system liked and what gave me the best results. However, this is my first venture into stacking/focus merging and I was just wondering if there were any time to be saved. After playing with this program for a month now, I'm just starting to get the hang of how everything interrelates, and I absolutely love it - if only my memory were better (I've probably seen some of those videos 4-5 times now and ALL of them at least twice)


As well as Photo works on my MAC, I am excited to hear about a DAM app. Do you have a projected date for this?


Thanks for your help


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