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There needs to be a way to go back and forth between the Develop and Photo Personas non-destructively when working from Raw files. This has become the standard workflow for how I do it (and how I teach my students!) in PS: I open the raw file with CameraRAW and then choose to "Open as Smart Object" in PS after developing. This allows me to double click on the smart object layer and go back and tweak things in CameraRAW non-destructively. I had hoped it would work this way in Affinity, but it doesn't seem so. After Developing once and going into Photo persona, if I try to go back to Develop and tweak things, the previous settings are gone and it's like I'm starting over (without really starting over... more like re-applying some new setting on top of the old one).

Also, would love if the Nik Collection plugins could run as Live Filters. Having to duplicate my image layer to get a pseudo-non-destructive edit is annoying because of how much larger it makes the file, and there's no way to go back and tweak a setting, just have to trash it and start over if I don't like how it turned out.

Overall, I would like to see a push towards more non-destructive editing wherever possible.

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No one else has any interest in non-destructive develop persona? People like being stuck in a 20-years-in-the-past destructive workflow?

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A non-destructive layer is listed on their roadmap, so it should come sometime.


David Voth

Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer on macOS High Sierra ~ Affinity Photo for iPad

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20 hours ago, ImageryByWarren said:

AP cannot be considered suitable for serious raw processing until this feature is built in. Seems a very basic omission.

Exactly. I was really hoping I wasn't the only one who considers this a basic function for raw processing. Without it, I can't consider AP for the serious photo work I do. The fact that it wasn't included from the very beginning makes me wonder who the intended user base is, because this is a big turn-off to professional photographers.

In comparison, even freeware open-source applications like Raw Therapee have non-destructive raw processing. The non-destructive editing and ease of going back and tweaking is the main reason for using raw. 

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22 hours ago, ImageryByWarren said:

AP cannot be considered suitable for serious raw processing until this feature is built in. Seems a very basic omission.

AP has the worst demosaicing (at least the Windows version, on OS/X or iOS the Apple demosaicing is used), worst highlight and shadow recovery available in the commercial market etc. so even with this feature it cannot be considered suitable for serious raw processing. Even open source RAW converters like Rawtherapee and Darkroom are light years ahead using same demosaicing algorithm. And they are updated very often. New camera SENSORS are supported almost instantly.

RAW converters do not just convert data. They interpret data. Thats why Olympus, Nikon and Sony has their own image style. Fuji even their own sensor and algorithm to get exactly the rendering of the sensor output they want (organic). A generic ho hum approach to all sensors like DCRAW .. will probably render images worse than the camera itself.

You can probably easily replace PS with AP - but you need a proper RAW converter. Your workflow can be slowed down, but the results matter the most.

Personally I use Capture One Pro, DxO Photolab 2 and ACR from Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 for various cameras.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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12 minutes ago, Jowday said:

AP has the worst demosaicing (at least the Windows version, on OS/X or iOS the Apple demosaicing is used), worst highlight and shadow recovery available in the commercial market etc. so even with this feature it cannot be considered suitable for serious raw processing. Even open source RAW converters like Rawtherapee and Darkroom are light years ahead using same demosaicing algorithm. And they are updated very often. New camera SENSORS are supported almost instantly.

OK, I'm glad to be hearing this from another user, because I had been troubled by what I was seeing in the processed raw images but hadn't done a close comparison to the other apps yet. My experience is that the details look "smudgey" compared to what I see in Camera Raw or Raw Therapee. And the noise reduction is not attractive at all... makes the smudginess even worse, even at minimal settings. I'm running it on Windows.

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18 hours ago, martinch said:

OK, I'm glad to be hearing this from another user, because I had been troubled by what I was seeing in the processed raw images but hadn't done a close comparison to the other apps yet. My experience is that the details look "smudgey" compared to what I see in Camera Raw or Raw Therapee. And the noise reduction is not attractive at all... makes the smudginess even worse, even at minimal settings. I'm running it on Windows.

Trust me. I have converted THOUSANDS of RAW images. As I understand it Serif utilizes a built in RAW converter on OS X and iOS that I can only imagine is professional and possibly one that uses color profiles and what not for each sensor. On Windows it is another and depressing story.... the RAW converter is probably the open source DCRAW / libraw and highlight shadow recovery is worse than useless. All these components require some pretty advanced algorithms (and state of the art coders) before they can deliever pretty good results, so...

If you insist on keeping AP my advice would be to also purchase fx DxO Photolab (affordable) and Noiseware Professional (affordable but don't know if it works with AP 1.7). Also the Topaz Clarity plugin for Photoshop that I hope still works with AP. All made by superb engineers and ambitions. I kind of have it all in Capture One Pro (I adore it) but these three with AP should be able to compete. If they are compatible.

Feature parity with other programs does not mean quality parity. You get what you pay for. A thing to keep in mind.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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I believe the Serif RAW engine is based on libraw which originated from DCRaw (UFRaw is just a GUI tool based on DCRaw). For Apple systems APh can also be switched to use instead the OS related Apple RAW engine.

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.1 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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1 hour ago, v_kyr said:

I believe the Serif RAW engine is based on libraw which originated from DCRaw (UFRaw is just a GUI tool based on DCRaw). For Apple systems APh can also be switched to use instead the OS related Apple RAW engine.

Ah yes, you are right, DCRAW/libraw. Once I processed a RAW file with the DCRAW command line tool and also with Serif software default settings - they were identical.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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After several tests of raw development using Nikon NXD and Lightroom, the Afinity shadow recovery slider should not be touched. But in better news, it need never be.

The highlights slider is better, but again treat with minimal adjustment.

Best approach for recovering shadows (and highlights) is the balancing of exposure & brightness adjustments using the tonal masks/shadows selection for the shadow area in the photo persona. The masking feature of AP is *excellent*, especially the blending (aka "blendif") function compared to Lightroom.

I use a Nikon D750 which is renowned for recovery from several stops under exposure and I am happy to say the "shadow recovery" results I achieved without touching the shadow slider were *very good*.

Overall I find Lightroom too punchy and saturated in its interpretation of Nikon NEF files with Nikon's own free software NX2 producing far better results, as you would expect. Nikon's Capita NSD editor also works fine if you can put up with the crashes, but lacks the power of many paid for editors.

I have actually now bought Affinity this week following satisfactory results being achieved without shadow recovery and despite the inability to save raw development settings. 

For raw processing in the develop persona, my workflow is very minimalist with global & local adjustments now put through the Photo Persona.

This suits my genre (landscapes) but clearly Lightroom is  better for batch processing high volume images if you are a wedding photographer.

In fact Affinity may actually help me produce better developed images as it is slowing me down, and making me think carefully abut each step. In Lightroom, I became very formulaic and probably did not get the best output from my raw files.1124977326_NikonRawFIle-UndevelopedAffinity3000px.thumb.jpg.5755dc088e5e775350f394dbbc01b00a.jpg753695603_NikonRawFIle-Layers1.JPG.a85465a5fe90f27404197fb942538ba5.JPG1536690353_NikonRawFile-DevelopedAffinity.thumb.jpg.756b08c86b615a438acf27f1b9437e0f.jpg

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In Affinity Develop Persona my raw processing workflow is limited to:

  • Brighten (as image imports darker than it should - but no loss on quality
  • Lens correction (auto) with manual vertical rotation
  • Straighten then crop
  • Chromatic aberration
  • Defringing
  • Detail refinement (this works far better than Lightroom in my oipinion)
  • Noise reduction

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PS I am not sure anyone would be bothered about tweaking the above changes in the Develop Persona once they are done - they are necessary rather than creative judgement calls so would never be revisited.

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I never consider the Develop persona as I use DXO>Affinity Photo.


Website

Mac mini (2018)  3.2 GHz Intel Core i7  64 GB   Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

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On 6/16/2019 at 4:57 PM, ImageryByWarren said:

In Affinity Develop Persona my raw processing workflow is limited to:

  • Brighten (as image imports darker than it should - but no loss on quality
  • Lens correction (auto) with manual vertical rotation
  • Straighten then crop
  • Chromatic aberration
  • Defringing
  • Detail refinement (this works far better than Lightroom in my oipinion)
  • Noise reduction

You're satisfied with the noise reduction? I didn't care for it at all. I wouldn't be satisfied processing underexposed images with Affinity, though these days, I've more often been erring toward exposing slightly to the right for less noise generally. I'm seeing a weird lack of definition with Affinity when compared to Camera Raw, Raw Therapee or DxO. None of my lenses were recognized by Affinity, so lens correction isn't so good either. In comparison, DxO and Camera Raw recognize my lenses no problem.

I've been playing with some other applications to make more comparison. So far, RawTherapee and DxO PhotoLab2 are the two that seem to give the best results and have a workflow I'm comfortable with. I didn't care for Capture One's workflow at all... it's the same issue I have with Lightroom's. I don't like having to create these large projects or collections or "reels" or whatever they're called and then "import" my images into them. I want to just be able to easily browse and then develop and export individuals as I see fit. RawTherapee and DxO behave more akin to if I were using Bridge+Camera Raw (though less clunky than Bridge, thank goodness). But none of these applications seem to have what I need with precise curves adjustments (I posted separately about this). As one of my cameras is a Nikon D800, I've tried Capture NX-D as well, and it does get some good quality, but I found it processes very slowly on my computer, much slower than any of the other applications. This makes it very tedious to use.

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On 6/18/2019 at 4:26 PM, TomM1 said:

I never consider the Develop persona as I use DXO>Affinity Photo.

State of the art instead of ho hum.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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On 6/16/2019 at 10:46 PM, ImageryByWarren said:

After several tests of raw development using Nikon NXD and Lightroom, the Afinity shadow recovery slider should not be touched. But in better news, it need never be.

The highlights slider is better, but again treat with minimal adjustment.

Best approach for recovering shadows (and highlights) is the balancing of exposure & brightness adjustments using the tonal masks/shadows selection for the shadow area in the photo persona. The masking feature of AP is *excellent*, especially the blending (aka "blendif") function compared to Lightroom.

I use a Nikon D750 which is renowned for recovery from several stops under exposure and I am happy to say the "shadow recovery" results I achieved without touching the shadow slider were *very good*.

Overall I find Lightroom too punchy and saturated in its interpretation of Nikon NEF files with Nikon's own free software NX2 producing far better results, as you would expect. Nikon's Capita NSD editor also works fine if you can put up with the crashes, but lacks the power of many paid for editors.

I have actually now bought Affinity this week following satisfactory results being achieved without shadow recovery and despite the inability to save raw development settings. 

For raw processing in the develop persona, my workflow is very minimalist with global & local adjustments now put through the Photo Persona.

This suits my genre (landscapes) but clearly Lightroom is  better for batch processing high volume images if you are a wedding photographer.

In fact Affinity may actually help me produce better developed images as it is slowing me down, and making me think carefully abut each step. In Lightroom, I became very formulaic and probably did not get the best output from my raw files.1124977326_NikonRawFIle-UndevelopedAffinity3000px.thumb.jpg.5755dc088e5e775350f394dbbc01b00a.jpg753695603_NikonRawFIle-Layers1.JPG.a85465a5fe90f27404197fb942538ba5.JPG1536690353_NikonRawFile-DevelopedAffinity.thumb.jpg.756b08c86b615a438acf27f1b9437e0f.jpg

Sorry, it does not look natural at all. 


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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On 6/20/2019 at 12:43 AM, Jowday said:

Sorry, it does not look natural at all. 

Hello, agree. But the image upload was solely to demonstrate that recovery of the shadow (on the left) is possible in Affinity without using the shadow recovery slider. It was not intended to represent anything else and certainly not to be a final image. The detail recovered from the shadow is in my opinion impressive.

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On 6/19/2019 at 12:21 AM, martinch said:

You're satisfied with the noise reduction? I didn't care for it at all. I wouldn't be satisfied processing underexposed images with Affinity, though these days, I've more often been erring toward exposing slightly to the right for less noise generally. I'm seeing a weird lack of definition with Affinity when compared to Camera Raw, Raw Therapee or DxO. None of my lenses were recognized by Affinity, so lens correction isn't so good either. In comparison, DxO and Camera Raw recognize my lenses no problem.

I've been playing with some other applications to make more comparison. So far, RawTherapee and DxO PhotoLab2 are the two that seem to give the best results and have a workflow I'm comfortable with. I didn't care for Capture One's workflow at all... it's the same issue I have with Lightroom's. I don't like having to create these large projects or collections or "reels" or whatever they're called and then "import" my images into them. I want to just be able to easily browse and then develop and export individuals as I see fit. RawTherapee and DxO behave more akin to if I were using Bridge+Camera Raw (though less clunky than Bridge, thank goodness). But none of these applications seem to have what I need with precise curves adjustments (I posted separately about this). As one of my cameras is a Nikon D800, I've tried Capture NX-D as well, and it does get some good quality, but I found it processes very slowly on my computer, much slower than any of the other applications. This makes it very tedious to use.

I have not tested it to be fair. Noise control on the Nikon I use is very good but I do use ETTR where necessary so noise reduction is not something I use that often.

RawTherapee - I just could not get on with its layout.

I agree Capture NXD produces good results but the lack of xtensive control features means it was a no go, and did not always run well on my PC with 16GB ram.

 

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