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Improve usability of auto - levels etc.


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I noticed that a number of automatic adjustments such as auto levels and auto contrast are available as buttons in the menu, but there is not an "auto" button on the equivalent adjustment window. 

But moreover, the parameters of any auto adjustment, are not exposed, and not adjustable later on.

I would like to propose to implement either of both of the following:

  1. add a button on the adjustment window (for all adjustments where it makes sense) to adjust the relevant parameters automatically (resulting in the values and slider positions to be adjusted accordingly).
  2. When any of the existing auto buttons is clicked, an adjustment layer is added (like when starting the equivalent adjustment), and the settings found by the software are shown.

This will offer (in hopefully most cases) a good starting point to the allow the user to fine tune these settings.

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  • 3 months later...

+1

I actually created a duplicate for it this morning elsewhere. Sorry.

But I did not think of your second suggestion which is really great. I always want to work non-destructive and this helps.

Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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On 16 September 2018 at 1:14 PM, ApvdG said:

 

But moreover, the parameters of any auto adjustment, are not exposed, and not adjustable later on.

I like your suggestions for both options 1 & 2 a lot but rather than wait to see if Serif can/will implement them, this workaround may be useful to some people


(For testing the following, use an image where the Auto Contrast Button makes a good difference to the image you are using)

Open image
Duplicate the layer
On the original background layer select the Auto Contrast Button
On the duplicated layer set blend mode to Difference
Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment to this layer only
Ticking the Linear checkbox in this adjustment dialogue seems to make the next step much easier

Adjust Brightness & Contrast sliders to get as near a pure black image as possible

Note: If you have View > Studio > Histogram showing you can use this to see how pure black your image is as you adjust it, rather than looking at the image. (which can be a lot easier if you understand histograms)

Once adjusted properly (pure black as best you can) switch the duplicated layer back to Normal blend mode.

You should now have your duplicated layer with a non-destructive adjustment layer which mimics the Auto Contrast settings, which you can tweak further if required

EDIT: Toggling the duplicated layer on and off should show you how well you have matched the Auto Contrast settings

The above procedure should also work for Auto White Balance (easy), Auto Levels (medium hard), Auto Colours (Hard)

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Thanks, very cleaver. I tried this with auto levels, but could not really figure out how to change the levels in the duplicated layer to arrive at a black picture. Possibly too many possible solutions if you also include changing levels for all colours... ?

Let's hope Serif will implement this improvement proposal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm surprised that there are not more people that find the auto buttons useful but consider it a problem that they are destructive.

As this app is mainly meant for professionals and the principle every tutorial teaches you is to always work non-destructive I don't quite get the acceptance for this being destructive.

Does everyone develop their RAWs so perfectly they don't ever use that buttons? o.O

Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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  • 8 months later...

I really hope to see some progress on this topic next update.

Having auto levels in adjustments and/or let the 4 auto buttons add adjustment layers seems not to be so hard.

Having an extra pixel layer as backup and making all files twice as big this way is by no means a solution.

Windows 10 Pro x64 (1903). Intel Core i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz, 32 GB memory, NVidia RTX 2080
Affinity Photo 1.7.2.471, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.471, Affinity Publisher 1.7.2.471

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just popped in into this discussion, looking for an alternative for Photoshop.

In Photoshop, 'Automatic Levels' is a great [ say, a very great ] tool.
I admit that I use it a lot of times. 

So, the lack of it in Affinity makes me doubt for stepping into Affinity.

As a user of PS Extended for so many years, it is not easy to switch.
Things and actions are 'stoned' into one's fingers and brains. 

But for a hobbyist, Adobe has become too expensive. 
And even Photoshop Elements is not the real replacement. 

Makes me wandering to nowhere ...  
 
 

Edited by di Mayo
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Yes, I know. 

But the algoritmes results in something completely different than PS. 
And as you said,  you cannot adjust them afterwards. 
That's a pain. 

No, at this time, for me, it would be a very hard work, and cost a lot of time and affords, to learn a new app.

What doesn't mean that Affinity isn't a good thing. Far away from that. 
I even 
I'm sure for Newbies it is much easier to learn handling the tools. 

I'm afraid I'm condemned to something as Elements. 
Or pay 25 € a month. Which is a lot of money
in comparison to my ... pension. 

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  • 2 years later...

I just finished my free trial, and this suggestion is one thing holding me back from purchasing (very on the fence right now). The cheap old copy of Photoshop Elements 14 I picked up years ago has an Auto Levels button in its level adjustment layer. I used that feature a lot. I'd love to see it added to Affinity Photo.

The second suggestion by OP is also really smart. Would love to see that change as well.

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11 hours ago, Arcisun said:

The cheap old copy of Photoshop Elements 14 I picked up years ago has an Auto Levels button in its level adjustment layer. I used that feature a lot. I'd love to see it added to Affinity Photo.

Do you mean this?
image.png.0a107dc3868c5fddcbd66214c4f6e2f9.png

image.png.226e7978a28ed8f782175cb12f3f3e4c.png
https://affinity.help/photo/English.lproj/pages/Filters/filter_auto.html

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.10.5.1342, 2.0.0.
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15 hours ago, Pšenda said:

Yes, that's the button we are referring to. When you click those buttons currently, they apply a destructive edit directly to the currently active layer. It would be perfect if they instead created a new Levels Adjustment layer with the changes. This would be non-destructive, and a good starting point for further manual adjustments, as OP suggested.

OP's suggestion of adding an Auto button to Affinity's current Levels Adjustment Layer, would also be really nice. Photoshop Elements 14 had this, and it was amazing for a good starting point to work with. Here's what it looks like in Elements 14 for reference:

image.png.68e1d0e2c810cd608c2c8571c014718a.png

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  • 1 month later...

These auto-adjustments are still implemented better in Photof***. Surprised that hasn't been adressed yet.

On 9/23/2022 at 3:30 AM, Arcisun said:

It would be perfect if they instead created a new Levels Adjustment layer with the changes. This would be non-destructive, and a good starting point for further manual adjustments, as OP suggested.

Thats right. It should be implemented exactly like that. Non-destructive auto adjustments is a required feature for me ... so once again I will go back to Photof*** 😟 although Affinity looks and feels so much better and seems to be faster too.

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