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Author Topic: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW  (Read 4921 times)

howardm

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Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« on: March 04, 2017, 02:13:57 PM »

Just a heads-up that Iridient has released the RAF->DNG 1.0b3 software for BOTH Windows and Mac.

rdonson

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 04:11:04 PM »

I'm looking forward to people's experience with X-Trasformer on Mac.  I have Iridient Developer for Mac and I really like the demosaicing and sharpening but I'm wondering if the X-Transformer will make for an improved workflow with Lightroom.
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Ron

Paul2660

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 08:05:34 PM »

In a word, yes.

Just make sure your drive permissions are set to read/write. Something that cost me few hours today.

Paul Caldwell
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MBehrens

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 02:06:03 PM »

I'm curious how others workflow IXT with LR. I've been using IXT Windows for a while and have settled on importing the RAF files into LR, sorting through and culling. Then processing select files through IXT. I then Sync the folder through the Import dialog to apply presets as needed.This seems to workout ok.

I wish there was a way to group files in LR based on a portion of the filename. My JPG, RAF, and DNGs (multiple runs through IXT sometimes) all have the same beginning with different suffixes and/or extensions. The only auto-stack I'm aware of is based of file timestamp.
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Paul2660

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 10:13:27 PM »

I take each shoot, all files, run them through IXT, save them in a sub folder with the original raw files.  Then import to LR the files (dng) I want to work.

To me, it's just easier to convert all, even though I will not work on all of them and save them out to a raid drive as dng. 

Paul Caldwell
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rdonson

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 09:51:02 AM »

Using Iridient Developer I can start with Lr and select file(s) to go to ID using "Edit In".

Is the same capability/workflow possible with IXT?
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Ron

MBehrens

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 10:30:47 AM »

Ron, Not really. There is a clunky work-around for using Edit In. Here are the instructions http://www.aevansphoto.com/ixt-lightroom-plugin/

Paul, Then you have settled on a set of settings in IXT and just process all of you files the same? I tried going down that path but find different types of images require different settings, smoother/more detailed... etc.

 - Morey
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john beardsworth

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 12:36:02 PM »

Using Iridient Developer I can start with Lr and select file(s) to go to ID using "Edit In".

Is the same capability/workflow possible with IXT?

On Mac you can drag files and drop them on the IXT icon in the dock.

On Windows my OpenDirectly plugin can send a RAF directly to IXT.
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Chris Kern

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2017, 02:21:41 PM »

Ron, Not really. There is a clunky work-around for using Edit In. Here are the instructions http://www.aevansphoto.com/ixt-lightroom-plugin/

Isn't this essentially the same as what you need to do whenever you configure any third-party application to work as a Lightroom external editor?  It looked that way to me.

I've found what I believe to be a minor bug (visually annoying but not functionally pathological) in the entries that are inserted into the develop history by X-Transformer when it is invoked from Lightroom, and reported it today to Brian Griffith, the author of the Iridient software.  But as far as I can determine, after admittedly limited testing, the demosaiced file is basically what you would expect.

The tricky part of using any third-party raw conversion tool as part of a Lightroom workflow, it seems to me, is deciding how to strike a balance between using the external product's processing capabilities and Lightroom's.  I like the way the Iridient pipeline handles fine detail, but other than that I prefer to use Lightroom's controls.  The ideal output file from my perspective would be similar to the DNGs that Lightroom's Photo Merge tools emit: for many purposes, including color balance, you can treat them as raw files.  (E.g., even though they are demosaiced "linear DNGs," they are still scene-referred.)  I think that's what I'm getting with the X-Transformer product, but I need to do more testing.

rdonson

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2017, 02:39:38 PM »

Ron, Not really. There is a clunky work-around for using Edit In. Here are the instructions http://www.aevansphoto.com/ixt-lightroom-plugin/

 - Morey

Thanks, Morey.  That's a similar way that Iridient Developer works from Lightroom.  Once you do the "Edit In" ID will then look for, then finds and converts the RAF file overwriting the TIFF created by Lr.  Perhaps not perfect but it works reliably.   

The difference seems that IXT produces a DNG and doesn't bring up the editing dialog from ID.  Depending on speed this could be an improvement in my workflow.
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Ron

MBehrens

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2017, 05:02:50 PM »

OK. If the intermediate TIFF is the norm, then I guess it isn't as clunky as I thought.

Chris's comment of striking a balance is my concern right now too. Was hoping to get down to a single set of selections for everything, but that has not happened yet. I may have a baseline NR and Sharpening, but the RAW Processing between Smoother and more Detailed still seem to be one or the other for different images.
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howardm

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 06:55:13 AM »

FYI, version 1.00Beta4 has just been released w/ some interesting new features including an LR plugin to streamline the 'Edit In' kind of processing.

rdonson

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 09:12:32 AM »

From Brian's email on the new version of X-Transformer:

This release includes bug fixes, performance improvements and several new features. New feature highlights include:

1) An all new Lightroom scripting plug-in which for most users will likely be the preferred way of transferring images from Lightroom to X-Transformer and back as quickly and efficiently as possible. The plug-in requires no additional Preferences setup and avoids some of the limitations and unnecessary intermediate image processing applied by Lightroom when using "Edit In" . This plug-in also provides a quick and easy option to launch X-Transformer and bring it to front for settings adjustments prior to processing images.

To install the plug-in choose "Install Lightroom Plug-in" from the Help menu in Iridient X-Transformer.

2) The in-camera Fujifilm film style presets can now automatically be translated into Lightroom adjustment metadata such that the film style chosen in camera is also the initial Camera Profile selected when the DNG is opened into Lightroom/ACR. This feature is specific currently to Lightroom/ACR only and will not translate the film styles over to other RAW processors. This option currently is not turned on by default and can be found on the "DNG Options" panel.

3) The camera's star rating values are now translated into standard XMP metadata fields such that they will be loaded by Lightroom/ACR/Bridge and other programs that support standard star rating metadata.

4) There is now an option to embed an Iridient specific camera profile into the DNG. This "Iridient Standard" camera profile should be a slightly better match to the default camera profile used by Iridient Developer. However, due to inherent differences in the default profile formats used (ICC versus Adobe DCP) the match will not be exact. Lightroom also insists on defaulting to its own "Adobe Standard" camera profile regardless of what's embedded in the DNG so use of this profile in Lightroom requires manually selecting it after opening into Lightroom. For now the "Adobe Standard" camera profile remains the default.
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Ron

Chris Kern

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2017, 03:31:43 PM »

There was a time when I was routinely running all my Fuji-X raws through Iridient Developer because I couldn't get the fine detail I thought the files should have been able to deliver with Lightroom.  I stopped doing that a while back, partly because I found the workflow tedious and partly because I felt I was finally getting acceptable results with Lightroom alone.

When I first tried the Iridient X-Transformer product, back in March, I found it interesting but a bit awkward to use.  I was running LR 2015.8 then.  I just tried the new public Beta version of X-Transformer and I agree that the introduction of the plug-in capability does indeed improve the compatibility with Lightroom.  But now that I'm running LR 2015.10, I frankly don't see that much difference in detail between files demosaiced with LR and X-Transformer.

In the meantime, I've migrated most of my Fuji shooting from an X-T1 to an X-T2, which introduces a new variable.

I don't claim to have done anything approaching a rigorous test of the two programs, however, much less an exhaustive one.  In particular, I only experimented with some recent X-T2 files.  Maybe Lightroom does a better job of demosaicing the 24 Mpx files than it does with the 16 Mpx ones.

I'd be interested in hearing about the experience of others—and especially some descriptions or preferably samples of files where X-Transformer does a demonstrably better job than the current rev of Lightroom.

rdonson

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2017, 10:12:02 PM »

Chris, it seems that Adobe is closing the gap on Iridient in demosaicing with the last couple of updates.  I've not performed any in depth testing but for my X-T2 files that I want tack sharp details I still prefer Iridient.  Adobe really hasn't mentioned anything that I've seen about their demosaicing.  I've never had a problem with the sharpening in Lr per se but the demosaicing seemed to be what lead to less than stellar sharpening results. I'm not an expert in this domain so take the comments with caution.  This is just how things were explained by people to me and born out by results.

The latest Iridient X-Transformer release brings some improvements in smoothing out the workflow from Lr a bit.    It still gets a bit unwieldy when I've got a 5 shot pano that consists of three exposures per shot but sometimes it's worth the effort.

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Ron

Chris Kern

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2017, 04:40:17 PM »

. . . for my X-T2 files that I want tack sharp details I still prefer Iridient.  Adobe really hasn't mentioned anything that I've seen about their demosaicing.  I've never had a problem with the sharpening in Lr per se but the demosaicing seemed to be what lead to less than stellar sharpening results.

I’m inclined to agree that Iridient is better at sharpening at least some X-Trans images—especially those with a lot of high-frequency detail—when using Iridient Developer (i.e., the complete editing program) to perform all the adjustments relating to sharpening.

Is the difference significant?  I certainly thought so for quite a while.  I still see a modest advantage in fine edges at 1:1 between images that have been demosaiced and sharpened with Iridient as opposed to those that have been processed “parametrically” in Lightroom.  But for the most part, I am now comfortable with the detail I can coax out of Lightroom.
 
I’ve attached a full frame of an original Fuji X-T2 shot with a lot of fine detail along with a crop comparing Lightroom (left) and Iridient (right).  I used the sharpening tools in each program to produce what I thought was the optimal effect without generating too many objectionable artifacts, and made no adjustments other than sharpening with either program.

The edges in the Iridient version look slightly crisper to me at 1:1, but I don’t think anyone could detect the difference in the image size typically displayed on the Web or at the sizes I print (rarely larger than 17x22 inches).

And since I don’t want to use a program other than Lightroom to make adjustments, the real issue for me is limited to whether Iridient does a sufficiently better job of demosaicing X-Trans files to justify the hassle of using it as a pre-processor.

More about that in my next post because I want to include more additional attachments than the forum software will allow.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 06:58:51 PM by Chris Kern »
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Chris Kern

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2017, 04:41:03 PM »

As I mentioned in my previous post, I agree that Iridient Developer is still better able than Lightroom to handle fine detail in Fuji X-Trans files as long as you use Iridient’s sharpening tools.

What I’ve been testing (albeit informally) is whether Iridient X-Transformer’s ability to demosaic Fuji X-Trans files is substantially superior to Lightroom’s.  In other words, I’m trying to determine whether it is worth the hassle to invoke a different raw pre-processor to render the file, and then edit the actual pixels with Lightroom.

I really would prefer not to do this because it vitiates what for me is Lightroom’s greatest single strength: the ability to make and preview a series of edits that won’t be applied until I export the image—the method often described as “parametric editing.”

For a while, however, I was routinely using Iridient Developer to demosaic X-Trans files because I was under the impression that LR couldn’t handle the Fuji sensor pattern as well as Iridient.

But now, I think Lightroom has caught up.  Or maybe my technique has improved.  Since Adobe hasn’t been very transparent about what it has been doing with respect to X-Trans processing, I can only guess and test.

I’ve attached a full frame of an original Fuji X-T2 image with a lot of fine detail.  The next three attachments show comparisons of a crop made from the raw file (Lightroom) and the demosaiced linear DNG (emitted by Iridient X-Transformer) as sharpened by Lightroom with the Radius slider at 0.8 and the sharpening Amount slider at 25 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively.  Note that all the sharpening has been performed in Lightroom; I only used the Iridient product to render the raw file.

At each level of sharpening, both versions look essentially equally good—or bad—to me.  Whether rendered on-the-fly by Lightroom or prior to sharpening by X-Transformer, it seems to me that Lightroom's sharpening tools need to be used fairly sparingly with 24 Mpx X-Trans files.  I rarely push the Amount slider above 50 percent.

Needless to say, my desire to perform essentially all editing in Lightroom reflects a personal preference.  I occasionally make a round-trip to Photoshop—usually because I need its content-aware fill capability—but that’s a last resort because, whenever possible, I want to make it easy to try alternative editing approaches without discarding anything I have done before.

That to me is Lightroom’s greatest strength and it’s the reason that I’m willing to accept a small and usually barely-detectable loss of fine detail in order to keep my workflow as straightforward as possible.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 09:31:50 PM by Chris Kern »
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2017, 04:53:41 PM »

Chris, I don't think you're being fair in the way you're applying sharpening on the sample images. I actually get the same weird swirly texture in tree foliage in CS5 ACR 6.7 sharpening ONLY when applying +15 and up Noise Reduction slider with Luminance Detail slider set to 50.

Your area focused on does not need NR. It's too small for anyone to see it. We do not look at images with our noses up to the print and in this case with a magnifying glass.

Stick to LR and don't be so darn critical on splitting hairs on detail no one is ever going to see even in a wall size print.
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Chris Kern

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2017, 04:57:09 PM »

Stick to LR and don't be so darn critical on splitting hairs on detail no one is ever going to see even in a wall size print.

Ahhh, maybe I wasn't clear.  That was essentially the point I was trying to make.  (With a detailed explanation why I felt using a different pre-processor wasn't worth the effort.)

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Iridient XTransformer for Mac NOW
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2017, 11:13:17 PM »

Ahhh, maybe I wasn't clear.  That was essentially the point I was trying to make.  (With a detailed explanation why I felt using a different pre-processor wasn't worth the effort.)

Yeah, I went by the samples and didn't see the need to read all that you wrote because it's been discussed so many times. I did read your points about sticking with LR instead of using a third party software, but you seemed to be on the fence or wasn't sure.

I'm actually glad you posted the samples because it tells me all Raw converter software has pretty much reached their optimum in rendering detail at its sharpest, especially detail photographed so far off in the distance no human could see and wouldn't care to see in a print the size of a house.

Thanks for your efforts posting the samples.
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