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Author Topic: DNG profile making software  (Read 1522 times)

Rhossydd

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DNG profile making software
« on: May 29, 2017, 04:00:06 AM »

Rather than disturb the hugely technical thread about Lumariver, can anyone using it tell us how the profiles it delivers differ from other profile builders (Adobe std, DNG profile editor and QP card) ?

Yes, I realise that there is a huge range of controls to alter the output, but how do the defaults look ?

Until now I've seen the Adobe std profiles as acceptable, DNG profile editor's as slightly improved, but rather too saturated and QP's as overall a slightly better, more realistic rendition.
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torger

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 05:10:31 AM »

I hope someone "neutral" chime in and answer. I as the author of Lumariver Profile Designer and DCamProf can at least describe what the intentions are though.

Of the other software I've only had a deeper look at Adobe DNG profile editor some good while ago, and it seems to make a colorimetric base profile and then just slap an ACR tone curve on top (which is plain RGB with HSV-Hue kept constant). Hues will be pretty accurate (although there are some issues in the blue range), but you get over-saturation in the midtones and under-saturation in some highlights, strong compression of red tonality, all the result of the simplistic tone operator. If I remember correctly there's no gamut compression either which can be a problem. Adobe's own bundled profiles are not designed that way, those are designed with a look with various sorts of modifications which I leave others to judge. I personally don't like the look too much but think the profiles are technically better designed than those coming out from Adobe DNG profile editor. Often better highlight rolloff properties for example.

I haven't deep-analyzed the other profile makers you mention so I won't say anything about those.

If we only look at the general-purpose aspect Lumariver Profile Designer offers a variety of looks through the settings as you say, but the default is "neutral and realistic", by first making a colorimetric profile, then adding a specially designed "neutral tone reproduction operator" whose purpose is to maintain the original color appearance after the tone curve is applied (which is more tricky than one might expect). That is perceptually neither over- or under-saturation and no hue shifts to the extent possible with a static profile. There's also various "tricks" involved in how transition into clipping is made -- do compare bright colorful flowers, sunsets, skintone and sky highlights etc -- and there's also gamut compression to maintain tonality of ultra-saturated colors, and deep blues/magentas are controlled too (not made too dark) to maintain tonality. The intention is to make a neutral and realistic look but not be too "mathematical" about it but focus more on perception, the "psychovisual" aspects of color. I've collaborated with photographers with special eyes for color to tune it over the past couple of years.

DNG profile LUTs are addressed with RGB-HSV, and is not an as generic LUT as found in ICC profiles. In practical terms this means that a certain type of look is favored if you want to make small and compact profiles. I you want something else, you can do it but you need to make much larger more dense tables. As a result Lumariver Profile Designers DNG profiles is about 1 megabyte in size, while a typical DNG profile is about 100 kilobyte.

When casually comparing various profiles from different software you probably won't see that much difference. Profiles are subtle, connoisseur type of thing, and that's why most people don't bother at all and just use the bundled stuff. I use to say that the difference between a good profile and a great one can be as little as 2 Delta E. For special types of colors and handling close to clipping etc it's much larger, but in basic subjects the differences are not huge. If it's worth it or not I leave to the user to decide. Needs and desires vary, and of course taste regarding how colors should be rendered.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 05:27:37 AM by torger »
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daicehawk

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 05:36:19 AM »

Rather than disturb the hugely technical thread about Lumariver, can anyone using it tell us how the profiles it delivers differ from other profile builders (Adobe std, DNG profile editor and QP card) ?

Yes, I realise that there is a huge range of controls to alter the output, but how do the defaults look ?

Until now I've seen the Adobe std profiles as acceptable, DNG profile editor's as slightly improved, but rather too saturated and QP's as overall a slightly better, more realistic rendition.
Other people's shots will say little, it's when you develop your own RAWs the difference will be different, especially with over\underexposure, curves, WB tweaking.
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Rhossydd

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 06:12:51 AM »

Other people's shots will say little,
Indeed, but I'm not asking about other people's shots, but about their comparative experience with propfiles built from differing software.

There is a general consensus as to the 'look' of the former mentioned. I wonder how Lumariver will compare.
Do you have any experience of these yourself ?
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samueljohnchia

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 07:27:14 AM »

Rather than disturb the hugely technical thread about Lumariver, can anyone using it tell us how the profiles it delivers differ from other profile builders (Adobe std, DNG profile editor and QP card) ?

Yes, I realise that there is a huge range of controls to alter the output, but how do the defaults look ?

Until now I've seen the Adobe std profiles as acceptable, DNG profile editor's as slightly improved, but rather too saturated and QP's as overall a slightly better, more realistic rendition.

I've looked at all those profiles and profiling solutions, including X-rite Passport Camera Calibration Software, and more recently BasICColor Input 5. The default general DNG/DCP profiles that DCamProf/Lumariver Profile Designer generates from a CC24 photographed outdoors in daylight (same procedure for the QPcard), is the very best I've seen. Input 5 comes very close to being almost as good as LPD/Dcamprof in color rendering for it's reproduction profiles, but they are linear and don't work well for regular photographs. I don't do any repro work so I'm just writing about my experience with natural daylight general-use profiles, and how they render color with all adjustments zeroed in the raw converter software. I've written a little review about QPcard in another forum thread here some years ago. Long story short, I cannot recommend it. The quality of the charts are terrible and the color rendering of the profile is not good, worse than the Adobe DNG PE but not as catastrophically bad as the X-rite Camera Calibration Software. It has a pretty weird tone curve too, that is perceptually not as linear as I would like.

The Adobe DNG Profile editor tends to render blue skies as a bit to yellowish. Reds are a little too orange, and foilage isn't as accurate as I would like, being a little too cyan-blue sometimes and sometimes too yellowish. LPD profiles preserve far more luminosity contrast in extremely saturated reds (pictures of red flowers reveal this character best), and has the best balance of colorfulness and saturation across the tonal range. The crowning glory is the Tone Reproduction Operator. Finally it is possible to design a variety of tone curves and have the perceptual hue and saturation of colors remain constant. No other profiling software can remotely do this. This is extremely important. Anders has been tweaking the rendering a lot, as he mentioned with the help of other photographers, and really refined it into something very beautiful. LPD/DCamProf hands-down produces the most realistic and natural looking color. To me personally, the perceived differences are much bigger than the average 2dE difference Anders suggests, and amplified when edits are made to the photograph.
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delfalex

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2017, 09:11:49 AM »

Up until now I have been testing and using Basiccolor INput 3 & then 5 for doing repro work. 5 gives the option for making DCP profiles however after 7 months on & off testing various exposure recipes and methods for extracting the measurements (in the studio), I'm unable to get a majority of the reference colours accurately corrected to a level that is perceptually pleasing (let alone colorimetric). With LRPD we gained pleasing results within the first 2 tests.. that's without going into the optimisation features that further improve upon the good foundation.

At such a good price point one can put the saved money towards buying not only a decent quality target but one that has been individually measured and hence able to give better results..

I'm not slating INput as I know it gives great ICC results however the time cost of testing after outlay (even as an upgrade) for the results achieved for DCP profiling has been a disappointment.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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scyth

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2017, 09:16:01 AM »

Rather than disturb the hugely technical thread about Lumariver, can anyone using it tell us how the profiles it delivers differ from other profile builders (Adobe std, DNG profile editor and QP card) ?

did you ever try to find out the loss of contrast in your shots of some target or check illumination non uniformity across the target area ?
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Rhossydd

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2017, 09:25:32 AM »

did you ever try to find out the loss of contrast in your shots of some target or check illumination non uniformity across the target area ?
???? who are you commenting to here ?
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adias

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2017, 02:31:32 AM »

Xrite ColorChecker Passport profile maker for me.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 02:43:07 AM by adias »
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Redcrown

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2017, 12:53:17 PM »

Something I found interesting when testing Lumariver was how differences between it and Adobe's DNGPE are small when colors fit well within a small gamut like sRGB, but then grow huge when colors exceed that gamut. No suprise, I guess. Kind of like comparing two cars. At 50mph on cruise control over a smooth road, not much difference. Crank it up to 80mph and take a curve over some railroad tracks, now you feel the difference.

Like most people I suspect, I do intial tests using the CC24. Shots of that chart usually fit within sRGB, with only the Cyan patch pushing the limit, and then just barely. Differences between Lumariver and DNGPE are small, but easily visible. I found the Lumariver reds are more "red" (more magenta) than the DNGPE version. Lumariver is usually more saturated. A slight bump in sat or vibrance on a DNGPE version brings it closer to Lumariver.

But then I tested on real world shots with "challenging" colors, mostly reds and yellows in some Asian costumes. The Lumariver vs. DNGPE differences were huge. And more interesting, the Lumariver results varied widely depending on the "compression" method chosen under the "Look" options. I discovered that the "no compression" option was wiping out fine detail in strong reds. The "Adobe98" and "Adobe98 Strong" compression options retained detail, but produced significantly different color.

On more inspection I realized that the loss of detail in the Lumariver "no compression" image was due to my monitor. The detail was there and I could see it by viewing the RGB channels separately (in ProPhoto 16bit). But my "normal" gamut NEC monitor profile just could not display the detail in color.

But then I noticed something strange. When I converted that "no compression" image from ProPhoto to Adobe98, the detail was permanently lost. Inspecting the individual channels I saw that the Green channel was totally blocked. The RGB values were 0-0-0 across most of the strong red color. The Red and Blue channels looked OK. The lesson I learned was stay away from "no compression" and use the default "Adobe98 strong".

The question of which was more accurate remained. So I conducted a highly scientific test. A group of grandkids spent the weekend. As usual, they were dressed in bright, neon glow clothing. I made a lot of shots in bright sun, then picked three that challenged gamuts, mostly in reds, yellows, and oranges. I processed each with my best DNGPE profile and a Lumariver "Adobe98 Strong" profile, and displayed them side-by-side on my profiled NEC monitor. FWIW, these were Canon 5D4 shots.

I brought two of the kids in and asked them which colors on the screen looked closer to the real thing, which they were still wearing. My eyes are old, and my left eye was injured years ago, so I don't trust them. These kids are 12 and 15, so their eyes are as good as it gets. They both chose the DNGPE versions. In 2 of the 3 cases they said it was obvious, no doubt. These were reds. In the 3rd case, a more orange color, they were less certain, but both chose the DNGPE version.
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sebbe

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Re: DNG profile making software
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 04:09:51 AM »

Rather than disturb the hugely technical thread about Lumariver, can anyone using it tell us how the profiles it delivers differ from other profile builders (Adobe std, DNG profile editor and QP card) ?

Yes, I realise that there is a huge range of controls to alter the output, but how do the defaults look ?

Until now I've seen the Adobe std profiles as acceptable, DNG profile editor's as slightly improved, but rather too saturated and QP's as overall a slightly better, more realistic rendition.

Default profiles are made to work with any raw file of this camera. No matter what light or lens used. Therefore it is no surprise the profile may deliver mediocre result on a certain picture or that one profile (and it's software) may be better than another.

I can't comment the default DNG profiles because I'm using C1. But the available C1 camera-profiles have lighter blues/cyan, darker greens/yellows, with more saturation in the greens but less saturated yellow/reds and more contrast in the blacks. This sounds like a lot but often you would not see any difference and if so you may even end up with choosing the mediocre profile because people like lighter blues, darker greens, more contrast and not blown out yellow/reds. Especially when you prefer a warmer white balance the less saturated yellows are vital.

If you go after reproduction, want a profile be robust on certain colors or a comparable starting point between lens+camera combinations it's good to create your own profile. But even with a very good profile you may end up reducing saturation on very saturated colors, darken the greens and changing the white balance several times because you did not find the perfect combination of warmth and tint.

As others already did I recommend lumariver as well. BasICColor Input 5 create great results, but the options lumariver has make it shine. And before you start it's good to know what the goal is of your profile. You can't create a profile which is great for anything and also fullfill your personal preferences. Maybe it's also just enough if you don't even start and do an analysation of the currently used profile. It's good to know where the strengths and weaknesses are and it helps to make the post processing less try and error.
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