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Ultimate 2018 - First thoughts

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  • Ultimate 2018 - First thoughts

    What have I noticed so far:
    • New grain effect - it works and does add grain to a photo
    • Lens correction and chromatic aberration added to Edit mode, where previously it was only in Develop mode - Good for when I am in JPEG casual mode as opposed to RAW/Develop mode
    • Liquify filter added - works well, great for making body adjustments etc
    • Pixel targeting in layer mask - this works quite well as an alternative to the magic wand. Add a mask to a layer then right click and select Pixel targeting; you can select skin tones, or more generally by colour or tone as you can in Light EQ . Want to remove a sky, just add a mask to a layer and then right click the mask and select pixel targeting. Pick blue, sky gone!
    • Frequency separation in layers - Right click a layer and select Frequency separation. I have tried applying it to facial features such as removing spots shine etc following the Youtube guide and it works quite well
    • Improved speed everywhere and reduced lag when using the magic selection brush as opposed to the standard selection brush - fantastic, very noticeable, well done ACDSee
    • Keyboard shortcuts everywhere - yep, they work well
    • Smart erase added - works well at removing annoying objects in a photo such as that boy on the lovely beach shot that you did not notice at the time. Yes you could use clone, this is just easier
    • History pallet - just like PS, now much easier to jump backwards and forwards than the old way in ACDSee
    • New Clone tool pressure slider - cannot see the benefit and personally not interested. What am I missing?
    • ACDSee Actions Browser - personally I dont use the actions however the new pallet gets me there faster/easier
    Personally I believe the changes work well and are worth upgrading, but the best improvement - the general speed increase and reduction in lag.

    What I still want to see:
    • Adjust brushes according to wacom pen tablet/pressure
    Regards
    Carl.
    Last edited by Carll; 09-03-2017, 11:01 AM.

  • #2
    Here are my first thoughts Things I still need to explore…

    Bottom Line:
    • Where the last couple releases focused on feature additions, this latest release seems to focus on performance. This focus is welcomed.
    • Acceptable updates base on the upgrade/subscription fees.

    Key improvements and welcome additions seen during use.
    • Startup time reduced
    • Is it my eyes or is the image rendering image quality improved?
    • Guidance lines for gradient tool has better visibility.
    • Performance improved; Speedier in all areas
    • Most (all?) selections also list the hot-key option. Saves many trips to help file
    • Actions are good. Action browser is better. Ability to share actions is great!
    • Menus and attribute panes seem to have better contrast
    • Invert Gradient button
    • Full screen preview button at the bottom of the Edit Mode screen
    • Histogram toggle button at the bottom of the Edit Mode screen
    • Smart erase is nice, InPaint and Affinity seems to work better. But this is a -great- first pass. Maybe I just need to get use to the new tool?
    • When exporting images, then selecting multiple export options, Issue with correctly applying color profiles to every exported file now works correctly. (This was one of the bugs I found that was repaired. Thanks!)
    • JPG Export seems a touch better. It seems maybe the softness has gone away.

    I wish the following was included...
    “Significant” are the things that interfere with my usage of PhotoStudio. “Nits” are those things that don’t slow down my process, but somehow impact my OCD.

    Significant
    o Better, but still not fully capable with 3840x2160 resolution monitors. I may still be in a minority with the higher resolutions, so this may become important eventually.
    o Batch Export still does not allow the export to happen in the background (allowing work on other images). Auggghhh. My work around is to open up two instances of the application, but I worry about how this may impact the batch operation. If done within a single instance, the tool could implement required file/record locking.
    o Same mismatched menu system between Edit and Develop
    Nits
    o I am still searching for something as good as the NIK Define2 fire-and-forget noise reduction quality to come out of ACDSee.
    o Same silly help file operation that always stays on top (Please stop the "stay on top" part) and defaults back to the same small size (requiring adjustment) every time it is opened.
    o No improvements in dashboard charting tool
    o Maps still report a obsolete Google API error. Everything still works, but this seems to be an obvious faux pax.
    o Relying on “lensfun” means camera/lens correction combinations are missing. I understand not going back to add every camera/lens ever made, but missing the equipment that was released within the previous year seems to be a miss.
    o Dehaze algorithms easily lead to grainy images... avoidably, but a soft landing would be better
    o Color EQ brightness reductions easily lead to grainy images... soft landing would be better
    o A 10000 magnification still seems a bit over-done. Could we have a option to set the max zoom level? If we had that option, the slider tool would have greater value to me.


    I am glad to see the ACDSee team focusing on adding new features. However, I am not sure Liquify, Grain, or MobileSync will be useful to me. I am glad others will find them helpful.
    • Liquify – I’ll probably never use it, but a quick test shows that it seems to work.
    • Grain: Having a tool to add grain seems backwards. I am hoping this is a start of work on understanding grain such that it may be possible to improve existing algorithms (DeHaze, LightEq, ColorEQ) such they avoid grain.
    • I need to explore the advantages/value of Mobile Sync?

    Comment


    • #3
      New Features:
      • Liquify: Great addition, but needs to have the ability to freeze pixels. I'm honestly surprised this wasn't included since it's a standard feature in Affinity and Photoshop.
      • Frequency Separation: Great feature but without the ability to select a radius I won't be using it. I use this for portraits in Affinity, and I rarely find that the same radius works for every picture. I want the ability to set the readius myself instead of relying on the software to make that decision.
      • Smart Erase Brush: Much needed feature but the results are decent at best. I think it could be much improved if it had the ability to set opacity, flow, and hardness. Additionally, the clone stamp function should be on the same menu bar with Smart Erase so that way they can be used in conjunction instead of having to the "repair tool" menu.
      • Split Tone: In edit mode, non-destructive split tone adjustment layer - thank you!
      • Pixel Targeting: In edit mode, pixel targeting for non-destructive adjustment layers is fantastic. Would love to see this implemented in develop mode as well.
      • Keyboard Shortcuts: Assigned shortcuts seem completely random to me, but glad to finally have this feature.
      • Grain: I appreciate having this feature particularly when I have issues with sky posterization; however without the ability to selectively add grain in develop, it's more or less useless. In the next release this should really be rolled into the adjustment brush. In the meantime I'll continue to go into edit mode and use the noise addition feature.
      Still Missing...
      • Develop Brush (Color Adjustments): The develop brush needs the ability to apply localized color adjustments like white balance and color overlays. This has been available in Lightroom for years.
      • Develop Brush (Tune/Detail): I've always found it a pain that there are separate develop brushes in tune and detail; the only option in the detail brush is for sharpness so why not just roll it all into a single localized adjustment brush?
      • Brush Types: Edit mode needs the ability to add custom brush types, for a layered editor to have a single round brush is limiting to say the least.
      • Gradient Map: In develop and edit mode, needs a complete overhaul with the ability to add multiple colors and adjust the color transition point.
      • Panorama/HDR/Stack: Would have been nice to get at least get stacking. I will continue to use Affinity for these features.
      • Blend Modes: Reorder in a logical fashion - i.e. Normal, Darken, Lighten, Inverse, Cancellation, HSL
      Other Thoughts
      • The program definitely feels faster and stability is improved. Great job to the development team around this because it was definitely needed.
      • I agree with Gus on the below:
        • ColorEQ/Dehaze need to be improved because grain is definitely issue
        • Help file operation is silly and needs to be fixed
        • Fix the menu system in edit mode so that it matches develop mode. This drives me crazy and makes the program feel less seamless.
      • Overall there's a lot that I like out of this release, but it feels very incomplete. I'm hoping that some of these issues and necessary enhancements are fixed in the next few months with incremental releases, but for the time being I plan to stay with Ultimate 10.
      Last edited by bmcnich; Today, 06:03 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I didn't even notice it had been launched!

        given all the messages they push through 10 to me and I'm on a subscription plan you'd think they could have sent me an alert.

        in the process of installing it now.

        I also run affinity - from the looks of what's been added it looks like they are trying to improve the program in the weak areas that affinity photo plugs which even if they haven't caught up to affinity yet makes me feel as though they are moving in the right direction.

        Comment


        • #5
          Liquify has its occasional uses.

          ​Cloning is still a pain - see my prior posts.

          ​Frequency separation - here is a POTENTIALLY useful feature. What it does is apply a high pass filter with a fixed radius to give a hi frequency and low frequency layer. Works as advertised but what I REALLY want is a modifiable high pass filter so I can manipulate the degree of detail I am editing. High pass sharpen is a very useful tool, and since the code is already written to do it, the functionality just needs to be made available and not hard wired. Affinity Photo and PaintShop Pro both have this functionality - can't be too difficult.

          Comment


          • #6
            Anyone have any problems importing the database like there was in 9 --> 10? I have no desire to lose all my keywords again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Acdsee support replied : You have to catalog files again, it is an essential phase when you update the version of Acdsee (10 -> 2018). You have to redo the settings.

              I contacted them because I too lost many things...

              Alaric (French)

              Comment


              • #8
                Recent finds...

                I just found the hotkeys for mode switching...
                ​View > Tools > Customize Shortcuts... This (new?) faster way to get to the shortcut assignment menu...
                ​next.... Category > Mode Switching

                ​Edit > Special Effects
                ​More options included

                Comment


                • #9
                  In the preview pane when viewing videos it use to give you current video time / total video time 00:00/05:00. I do not see that any more.
                  I know this is primarily a photo imaging program but many use video and part of the full experience.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't see enough improvements to make me want to lay out $80. I agree with bmcnich about Panorama/HDR/Stack: Would have been nice to get at least get stacking. I will continue to use Affinity for these features.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PeterA View Post
                      I don't see enough improvements to make me want to lay out $80. I agree with bmcnich about Panorama/HDR/Stack: Would have been nice to get at least get stacking. I will continue to use Affinity for these features.

                      I'm considering sitting out this update also, the first time I have ever sat out an update since I started using ACDSee somewhere around 2003 or 2004. There's just not enough bait to make me bite. I also desperately want to see Panorama/HDR/Stack. I have Affinity Photo 1.5 which I use for those purposes. The new repair tool - I forget what they call it - is also easily done in Affinity Photo. Maybe it's me but I prefer avoiding grain in my images, not adding it. If I wanted a grainy photo, I'd shoot it at an insane ISO. I don't understand why they wasted time on that tool when there are so many more useful options.

                      Gary

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bought ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018. One bad observation: I shoot RAW in 16x9 aspect ratio on 4/3 sensor with the Olympus OMD EM1 mark2 body. I want to see all the images that I pull up in ACDSee with the 16x9 crop on them, not the whole 4/3 image space (in 4/3 ratio). I also own Lightroom and it does know that the RAW image was shot in 16x9 and shows you 16x9 when you view it. I don't want to have to crop every single image in ACDSee. Is there a way to set ACDSee to automatically view the images in the aspect ratio that I shot them in (so in 16x9). Is it in this case still possible (as it is in Lightroom) that when I want to crop an image the whole 4/3 image space can be used for the crop (so you can also use the upper or lower part of the 4/3 image for the crop).

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