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Author Topic: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?  (Read 2988 times)

William Chitham

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Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« on: March 13, 2018, 06:17:52 am »

I am retouching a batch of corporate portraits - men in dark suits - shot with a Canon 5D mk4. The shadow rendition around the edges of jackets etc and in the detail of the fabric looks great in ACR 10.2 but once processied and opened in  PS CC 17 or 18 it looks blotchy and "cloggy". I've attached a screenshot which I hope shows the effect in PS. I've tried processing 8bit, 16bit, all the obvious output profiles and found some variation in the severity of the effect but no real fix. I've also tried all the camera profiles in ACR and some are better than others but of course the least bad shadows come with the worst skin tone. However all this tinkering doesn't get close to solving the real issue - the rendition of shadows on screen in ACR is nothing like the processed file in PS.

William Chitham.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 02:51:49 pm »

Are you viewing these shadows at 100% zoom in both ACR and PS?

Preview generation at particular zoom levels are rendered differently between the two apps. 100% zoom will always look the same in both, at least it does in ACR 6.7. Not sure if preview rendering has changed in newer versions.
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digitaldog

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 02:54:58 pm »

Are you viewing these shadows at 100% zoom in both ACR and PS?

Preview generation at particular zoom levels are rendered differently between the two apps. 100% zoom will always look the same in both, at least it does in ACR 6.7. Not sure if preview rendering has changed in newer versions.
272.7% which as you point out, isn't ideal: 100% is.
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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 02:57:47 pm »

Yeah, I just said that, Andrew.

Are you saying something more than what I said and I'm just not picking up on it?

Or maybe you're just being more specific with the posted PS zoom view.
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digitaldog

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 03:19:02 pm »

Yeah, I just said that, Andrew.

Are you saying something more than what I said and I'm just not picking up on it?

Or maybe you're just being more specific with the posted PS zoom view.
Don't be so shocked; I'm agreeing with you. The OP may desire conformation  ;D
Yes, I am being more specific with the posted PS zoom view.
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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 03:47:26 pm »

Now to offer a solution editing shadows such as these on high resolution images at a reasonable zoom level. You might use 50 or 25% zoom (even number multiples) so you can get an overall sense of the shadow transitions out of black in relation to the rest of the image.

I've posted a screenshot of what I have to work with on 6MP Raws and the differences sharpening/noise reduction settings will do to the two previews both set at 50% zoom, Photoshop on top (slightly more defined), ACR on bottom (not showing Detail Panel's sharpening/NR). Your version of ACR might show detail at these zoom levels or maybe not. Also make sure you have None set as output sharpening configured at the bottom of ACR bounding frame where it indicates the image's resolution.
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William Chitham

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 07:16:06 am »

Thanks for the replies. I think maybe the difference between the ACR preview and the resulting PSD (though annoying and unhelpful) is a bit of a red herring - the real problem is the poor rendering of shadow transitions and detail I get when processing raw files from this camera (Canon 5D Mk4) in ACR. I've attached a crop of another file, not a screen grab. The shadows look bad at any zoom level whereas the preview in ACR 10 looked good at any zoom level.
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 02:38:38 pm »

Quote
The shadows look bad at any zoom level whereas the preview in ACR 10 looked good at any zoom level.

There was a LuLa forum poster in a discussion years back I wished I'ld saved to pdf that posted screenshots showing varying black point density appearances on calibrated and profiled displays rendered through color managed apps including Apple's Preview, web browsers, Adobe apps and another Raw converter. It was surprising to see the differences.

Now that you've stated that your shadow transitions on EDITED ACR Raw previews is the version you prefer but not what appears in Photoshop, I'ld suggest you rule out the camera by shooting the same dark suit subject with a different model of camera.

Just speculating but not all camera's Raw data is interpreted and rendered the same between different camera models when assessing color managed previews in Raw converters. It may be ACR is being told by the demosiacing algorithms where black is and getting you to perform edits that aren't previewing through normal color managed transforms in the generation of black points and shadow ramp up appearances.

This is not normal and quite rare what you're experiencing so I'm at a loss on how to resolve your issue. I don't have this problem and it appears from the lack of responses no one else is as well.

Good luck sorting this out.
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digitaldog

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2018, 02:51:19 pm »

Thanks for the replies. I think maybe the difference between the ACR preview and the resulting PSD (though annoying and unhelpful) is a bit of a red herring - the real problem is the poor rendering of shadow transitions and detail I get when processing raw files from this camera (Canon 5D Mk4) in ACR.
Be useful to see the raw or better if you have the tools like RawDigger, a raw Histogram.
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Andrew Rodney
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FranciscoDisilvestro

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Re: Why do shadows that look great in ACR look horrid in PS?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2018, 06:24:11 am »

One possibility is the Photoshop bug with GPU. Are you using the Graphics processor? Make sure that your advanced settings are set to "Drawing mode: Basic".
Normal and Advanced modes may exhibit issues in the deep shadows.
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