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Author Topic: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor  (Read 88653 times)

DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2015, 02:12:47 am »

In contrast to the previous version, I was able to open an image from the Pictures folder. I got it to fill the window, and I created a new Group Layer. I then selected Lighten, but after that I was unable to affect the image in any way, although I didn't try Opacity. I expected to see some sort of slider to lighten the layer, but there was nothing. I clicked on everything clickable and nada.

PhotoFlow works in a way similar to Photoshop: you have layers and layer groups, which can be combined with those below them by various blending methods, like "lighten". Layer groups per se do not modify the image, unless they contain some adjustment layer, in which case the group allows to assign a common opacity and blend mode to al the adjustments it contains.

Now, in order to add a new adjustment layer one has to click on the "+" button at the bottom-left of the application window. A dialog should pop-up where you can select all the available tools (simply select a tool and click OK).

Once a layer as been added, the corresponding controls (curves, sliders, etc...) can be accessed by double-clicking on the layer name; the controls will appear on the right of the preview area.
Here is a description of the GUI layout and of the various buttons/controls.

Here are a couple of resources to start understanding the program:
- a basic video (unfortunately with no sound)
- a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to blend several bracketed exposures of a landscape shot


The zoom in and out magnifying glass doesn't do anything at all.
Also, OS 10.10.5, the app still won't Quit. Had to Force Quit just like in Mavericks.
This is definitely strange... I'm regularly testing the app under 10.10.4 and I never observed such problems... I have the impression that in your case the application simply gets stuck somewhere. If you manage to run the application from the terminal (on my system I simply need to run "/Applications/photoflow.app/Contents/MacOS/photoflow") I would be interested to see the output.
Also, can you quit the application if you do not open any image?

Thanks, and I hope to have given you enough informations to be bale to give photoflow a try. At the moment I've kind of stopped the development and started to work on the documentation, as this is badly missing.
The main documentation resource will then be the github wiki.
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2015, 04:58:53 pm »

Thanks for the explanation. I will keep playing around with it, and I will definitely try to Quit without opening an image.  Something needs to be done to make the app more "intuitive" which someone in another forum defined as "what we're used to".  Going down several levels to find the tools is not something anyone is used to, I think. But given the layer orientation of this app, I think it has to be that way, so you need an explicit roadmap at the top level of the app for new users.
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2015, 12:16:42 am »

It will not Quit even without opening an image. I opened the same image as before, that I had alraedy created a Group Layer. I clicked on the little plus and it created what I guess an adjustment layer This brought up a menu strip above the layer list. Each subitem under the menu item said no help available. Nothing I clicked on brought up any sliders or buttons or cursors. Then the app froze and I had to force quit. I know I'm just doing hit every key, but this app just seems inscrutable. 10.10.5, My Yosemite is very sick, though, I'm taking it in for Disk Warrior tomorrow. Worst upgrade in history, wrecked Kindle and the App Store and made every app I have slow to load and slow in operation, Safari gives me spinning beachballs, Finder icons don't move and labels flicker, absolute POS.
So I'll try again after the health check. Sorry bout that.
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2015, 08:36:08 am »

So it could be that the freezes are not directly related to photoflow... maybe you will tell me if things work properly after the repair.

Concerning the addition of an adjustment layer, once you have the dialog with all the tools listed (and the missing help, I know...), you have to select one (for example the "curves" tool in the color tab) and either click on the "Ok" button or double-click on the tool itself. This will close the dialog and will add a new layer in the list on the left of the preview image.

At this point (and similar to photoshop), you have to double-click on the layer name to open the corresponding controls (which will appear on the RIGHT of the preview image). Assuming you are working with a curves tool, you should see a box with a diagonal line on the right side, because the curve is initially "neutral" (input=output). Click on the diagonal line to add new control points, and drag the points to modify the curve.

Other tools work in a similar way. For example, from the same color tab you can choose the "B/C/S/H adjustment" (for Brightness/Contrast/Saturation/Hue) which has sliders to adjust the brigthness, contrast, saturation and hue of the image.

I hope this better clarifies the basic mechanism of adding and modifying layers in photoflow. I'm working on a better screencast to show the basic functionality of the program, but it is not ready yet...
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2015, 04:49:50 pm »

I double clicked until it sounded like a castanet solo but no tools came up. I'm about to take it in for help with Yosemite, so no further reports for a couple days.
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2015, 05:13:49 pm »

I double clicked until it sounded like a castanet solo but no tools came up. I'm about to take it in for help with Yosemite, so no further reports for a couple days.

Ok, that is definitely strange... time to take my microphone and record a short tutorial video to show how to add some layers and do some basic editing. Hopefully things will become more clear afterwards.

Thanks for looking, and I hope to come back to you soon!
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2015, 11:13:13 pm »

My Mac shop wasn't terribly busy for a change and their prices and service have become far more user friendly, so I sat with the tech as we went through my grievances and ran Disk Warrior among other tools. My mini now boots twice as fast, my applications folder loads instantly, Safari is responsive as is Thunderbird, it seems that the minor annoyances are gone. The App store will not do updates, even though it worked in the shop, so I'll have to report it.
Photoflow will not quit without force. The tech found this to be true as well. I was able to open the tools by following your instructions. The magnifier + and - work. When I double click on Photoflow in my Apps folder it does not open. I have to do it again.
In Sharpen an Intensity slider appeared  in the left side but did not seem to do anything, although the image was a bit over sharpened to my eye after that tool was applied,  I used the same slider in the right side but again could not see that it did anything.
I open the same image each time and each time there is a crash report in the left hand upper corner.
I'll continue to play and betray my ignorance.
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2015, 01:49:53 am »

I might ask your help to further dig the "quit" problem, if you don't mind, as I've never seen that before...

Concerning sharpening, the "intensity" slider is meaningless for this tool, and its presence is a mistake that I have overlooked. Will be removed in next version. For now, you can adjust the "opacity" to reduce the strength of the sharpening, as well as play with the radius.

The sharpening tool offers two algorithms to choose from: the classic Unsharp Mask (USM) and an iterative deconvolution filter (RL deconvolution) which is slower but tends to produce better results. This second option has an "iteration" parameter in addition to the radius. For my edits I usually keep the iterations between 10 and 15 and the radius somewhere between 1 and 2 pixels.

The sharpening tool shold look more or less as in the attached screenshot.

The crash report is there to allow the recovery of an unsaved image in the case of a crash. If you choose "Yes", Photoflow will open the edit in the status as close as possible to the one before the crash, otherwise the last saved version will be opened.
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2015, 11:46:48 pm »

I'd be glad to help if I can. It has to be Force Quit with or without opening an image. Yosemite 10.10.5. 2012 mini i5 16 GB RAM. Out of hundreds of apps I have only had this once before years before on a g4 and it too was a developmental app.
I imagine your RL deconvolution is blind, there's no need to do anything but Gaussian according to the central limit theorem. So I'm not crazy and Intensity doesn't do anything. I'll go back and use RL and opacity (until you rename it Intensity). Edit: I did go back to my sharpen layer and use RL. Slid back and forh several times without any apparent effect using the Opacity slider. No blur at zero, no halo at 100 Que pass? When I create the layer the image appears a  bit sharper, of course it opens in USM 100.

 I think the "crash report" should be relabeled in a less threatening manner. It doesn't inspire confidence.  Speaking of that, could you put a couple of functions in the menu bar? The starkness of a lower case app name with no other items in the menu bar is disconcerting and does not conform to best practices.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 01:20:57 am by Lundberg02 »
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2015, 12:06:08 pm »

I did some more investigations of the "Quit" issue, and indeed the program does not catch the quit request from the application menu or the Alt-q shortcut. This is a bug that I have to fix in next versions. For the moment, the only way to cleanly quit is to click on the "Exit" button in the top part of the application window. Thanks for pointing that out!

Concerning the sharpening tool, I have put in attachment three screenshots that show the effect of the "radius" slider. The first screenshot shows the non-sharpened image, the second the result of applying a small radius of 1.5 pixels and the third one a large radius of 20 pixels.

As you can see, the radius parameter controls the "coarseness" of the details that get enhanced by the sharpening process. In fact, the unsharp mask works in a rather simple manner: it subtracts a blurred copy from the original image, in order to extract the "high frequency" components, which are then added back to the original image so that they get "enhanced". The radius parameter controls the blurring step, and therefore the "coarseness" or "frequency band" of the details that get enhanced (small radius -> small blur, larger radius -> larger blur).

If you set the radius very large, you get what Dan Margulis calls "HiRaLoAm sharpening", a quick 'n cheap method to increase the local contrast.

The "Opacity" slider controls instead "how much" of the sharpened image gets combined (or better blended) with the original one: 100% opacity means that only the sharpened image is kept, 0% opacity corresponds to the original image, and 50% means that each pixel corresponds to the average of the initial and sharpened image.

The "sigma" parameter of the "RL deconvolution" method has a similar meaning, however this tool works in an iterative way and therefore contains a second parameter to control the number of iterations. The more the iterations, the stronger the enhancement of the details at the scale given by the "sigma" parameter. This is somehow similar to what the opacity slider does, but not exactly equivalent.
Personally I find that sigma=1.5, iterations=15 and opacity=80% give in most of the cases nice results with the RL deconvolution tool.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 12:08:23 pm by DrRAW »
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2015, 07:52:24 pm »

Glad I could help. Excellent explanation of your two modes. I will keep HEKking and get a better handle on your app.  Thanks for calling attention to "Exit".
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2015, 12:34:06 am »



There are no tool tips for these. In USM sharpening I clicked on the one to the right of the rectangle with a hole in it and the app crashed. When I clicked on Reopen it crashed again, but then Reopen worked.
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2015, 08:36:45 am »

For the meaning of the buttons in your screenshot, you can check this wiki page (actually the first page I had time to write in the wiki, but I plan to add much more information in the next days): https://github.com/aferrero2707/PhotoFlow/wiki/User-interface-overview

I agree that tooltips would be helpful, another good things to add in next release.

Thanks!
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2015, 10:27:25 am »

In USM sharpening I clicked on the one to the right of the rectangle with a hole in it and the app crashed.

In any case, the app should not crash when activating the button with a small push-pin... this button allows to make a layer "sticky", such that the output of this specific layer is shown in the preview instead of the merged result of all layers. Useful to check the output of an intermediate layer in a complex edit...
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2015, 07:37:48 pm »

The standard Apple crash report was submitted for the two crashes. Don't know if you get the feedback. I figured the pin was sticky, and the box with a hole was tool menu, not sure about the other two.
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2015, 11:12:56 am »

I doubt that I will receive the Apple crash report, as PhotoFlow is not really a "certified Apple software"... I'm working on a DMG with debugging symbols compiled in, which will generate much more meaningful and detailed crash reports (at the expense of some performance loss, so take this version really only for crash reporting).

Once you will have reproduced the crash with the debugging version, the best would be to copy-past the crash report into a issue on github, by clicking on the "New issue" button from this page: https://github.com/aferrero2707/PhotoFlow/issues.

Now coming to the four top buttons in the tool controls widget, their meaning is as follows:

- the first from the left (the circle with a vertical bar) toggles on/off the visibility of the layer

- the second one (the square with a dark circle) enables/disables the application of the opacity mask associated to the layer (useful to quickly visualize the effect of a mask)

- the third one is the "sticky" button

- the fourth one (the small pencil), when enabled, puts the corresponding layer in "editing mode". In this mode, the tool grabs the control of mouse clicks and gestures in the preview area, to allow for interactive adjustments. For example, the rotation tool allows, when in editing mode, to draw a line in the preview area which is the forced to become horizontal or vertical (depending which option is closer). You can for example straighten a seascape by drawing a line on top of the horizon... Only few tools have such kind of "interactive" mode, for the others clicking on this "pencil" button has no effect.
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2015, 06:29:49 pm »

I hope you will consider making your Menu Bar more conventional by adding File Edit View Tools Help eventually, and making all internal type and tool symbols at least one font size larger. I have a 1920x1200 monitor and my old eyes can hardly see them. Probably way too small on higher rez displays and impossible on 4k.
If I get another crash, I'll try to do as you say. When is the debugging version going to be out?

It looks like you and I are the only ones still in here, wonder why?
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #57 on: October 13, 2015, 04:33:52 am »

I hope you will consider making your Menu Bar more conventional by adding File Edit View Tools Help eventually, and making all internal type and tool symbols at least one font size larger. I have a 1920x1200 monitor and my old eyes can hardly see them. Probably way too small on higher rez displays and impossible on 4k.

The application is actually HiDPI-aware, at least regarding text in the buttons and lists, so it is probably looking better on a retina display than a conventional 1920x1200 monitor... I will see how to define separate styles for HiDPI and conventional hi-res displays.

If I get another crash, I'll try to do as you say. When is the debugging version going to be out?

I checked and the OSX dmg for version 0.2.2 already has debugging symbols compiled in, so you can directly copy/paste the crash report if it happens again.

It looks like you and I are the only ones still in here, wonder why?

The project is very young and has still limited visibility, not talking about the lack of documentation... I definitely still have an hard job in front of me before I can reach a wider users base. But I'm convinced that the concept is worth the effort, as it is the only free editor offering non-destructive layers "a la photoshop"...
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Lundberg02

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #58 on: October 13, 2015, 07:20:12 pm »

Copy/paste the crash report to what?  Not sure I know what to do.
Your effort is to be applauded. I think you should ask 35-40 bucks for it when you get to release 1.0. No need to be that altruistic, a good product will sell.
Iridient Raw Developer is so worth the nominal price, and yours will be too.  Adobe needs to be challenged, they have become insensitive to their user bases.
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DrRAW

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Re: PhotoFlow, a new open source RAW editor
« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2015, 02:46:51 am »

Thanks for your encouragement! Actually the program uses quite a lot of source code released under the GPL license, and as such I need to make the source code of PhotoFlow public as well. Therefore, selling the application would not make much sense.

Instead, my plan is to try crowdfunding the project as soon as it has sufficient visibility and a base of potential users. This will allow to continue using existing source code, something which has made the development much faster than if I had to write all the code myself...

Concerning the crash report, at least on my 10.10.4 system when the application crashes a dialog pops up, where I can choose to "send the report". If this button is clicked, the dialog will show a long and detailed stack trace of the crash, which is what I'm asking you to copy.

You can then for example paste this text into a new issue on github: https://github.com/aferrero2707/PhotoFlow/issues/new

Thanks!
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