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Thread: What is missing in Aperture

  1. #1
    Mitch Alland
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    What is missing in Aperture

    The big thing missing in Aperture if course is a selection facility that would allow dodging and burning. I can understand that Adobe crippled Lightroom in this way so that it would not compete with Photoshop, which is a huge source of cash flow for them. But why should Apple cripple Aperture in this way?

    Another thing missing seems to be a 50% view, which often gives a better representation than a 100% view of what the final print will look like, particularly in examining the results of sharpening. As far as I have been able to figure out Aperture onky has a "fit in window" and 100% view.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  2. #2
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    Re: What is missing in Aperture

    Mitch,
    The lack of dodging and burning capability in Aperture is a bit of loss, but it may not be as easy to achieve. In PS, the dodging and burning is pixel manipulation on files that have had the images set (PSD, TIFF, JPEG). In Aperture, and LR also I believe, there are no direct pixel manipulations, but instead, instruction sets about how to process the RAW image for output. Most of the controls appear to be sort of widespread, such as within a channel or encompassing the entire image. I say most, as the Patch and Retouch tools, as well as the Red Eye fix tools appear to operate on a more localized part of the image file. Not sure how that is managed, but if you think about it, there should be some way to adjust the channels on a more localized portion of the image file, and that is what dodging and burning essentially is....decreasing/increasing the exposure levels in some selected region, and by some selected amount. This sounds simple, but I am not sure how easy/hard that is to do in creating an instruction set. The pixel replacement (Patch/Retouch and Red Eye) may be easier, as that works under a specific set of conditions, whereas Dodging and Burning is a bit more regional than local on the file.

    Not making excuses here, as I really do not know how the changes are made. Personally, I would love to see those capabilities added, as well as another that looks quite impressive.....regional adjustment. The U-point technology that is being used in the Nik Software Viveza plug-in is an example of this, but that process is creating a layer mask on the fly, which has not been seen in Aperture or Lightroom that I am aware. If there is some way to create that sort of adjustment layer as an instruction file to apply to the RAW image file, rather than a pixel manipulation layer file, which is what it appears to be now, I think the problem would be solved. Now THAT would be a very nice additional tool set for Aperture, and it would afford a huge range of tuning offerings, such as gradients, both local and general. I keep hoping for this.

    As for the vieiwing sizes.....that has been an issue in Aperture from the start. The only answer seems to be related to the Loupe tool, but that only encompasses a small area, and not the entire view. I have gotten used to switching between Zoom and Full Screen view to evaluate parts of images, but there is no true 50% view for some sort of more routine viewing and adjustment. Not sure it would be hard to add, but it is not there presently that I have seen.

    LJ

  3. #3
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: What is missing in Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    ...The lack of dodging and burning capability in Aperture is a bit of loss, but it may not be as easy to achieve. In PS, the dodging and burning is pixel manipulation on files that have had the images set (PSD, TIFF, JPEG). In Aperture, and LR also I believe, there are no direct pixel manipulations...
    LJ, I take a simple-minded approach to this in that if LightZone, which has spectacular, vector-based selection tools, can do this I cannot see why Aperture cannot do it as well.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: What is missing in Aperture

    Mitch,
    Not arguing with you at all. Just do not know the reasons why Apple (or Adobe) are not doing something similar. The vector-based tools that your speak of in LightZone, may be giving some other things up, such as color gamut. I really do not know, but I do wish somebody would work on the options. My hopes are buoyed a bit with the thoughts that this sort of option may come along for Aperture after the SDK is released, and some third part folks create a viable set of plug-ins.

    So, is LightZone doing the vector-based work that you mention on the RAW file, or is there a conversion to a TIFF file first? If things get converted first, all of the selection tools you ask about become a lot easier, as you are then doing manipulations on fixed pixels, rather than creating instructions that are applied during a conversion process to create a version only. Sorry if my understanding here is lacking, but this entire area has been a source of some frustration/trade-off between more PS-like tools and big files, versus one RAW file and very small sets of instructions on how to do the conversions for a specific output.

    LJ

  5. #5
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: What is missing in Aperture

    LJ, I don't really know how LightZone works, except that all the vector-based instructions are saved as an addition to the TIFF file. As previous versions had the option of saving a tiny instructions file that worked on the RAW file I assume that they don't apply to a converted TIFF. Also, in order to open a TIFF file that has come from LightZone the original RAW must be located.

    I don't think that LightZone gives up any gamut.

    Perhaps Apple has crippled Aperture in this way because their strategy was based on not antagonizing Adobe by positioning Aperture as an alternative to Photoshop, which it clearly is not for professional users.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: What is missing in Aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Perhaps Apple has crippled Aperture in this way because their strategy was based on not antagonizing Adobe by positioning Aperture as an alternative to Photoshop, which it clearly is not for professional users.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    This has been a long-running speculation since Aperture was released....and Apple even said it was NOT a PS replacement, but to work in conjunction with PS. I am not sure that argument still holds, but the part about not wanting to get too crosswise with Adobe seems to linger.

    I still do not think that those sorts of features (dodging, burning, masking, etc.) are easy to do with simple instruction sets for a conversion, as there may be a need for some "order" to do things. In other words, one may want to have the image conversions completed before starting to address local changes like a burn or dodge, otherwise the second correction may dramatically change the first. I do think it can be done. There may be some sacrifice to speed and computational horsepower requirements to do this also, and that has been a battle Apple has been fighting....needing to have Aperture work faster and on less powerful machines.

    Again, I am not trying to make excuses for Apple or anything of the sort. I agree with you that some of this stuff should be available. The question becomes how much stuff to actually cram into Aperture before it starts to truly become a PS alternative? I think that is partly the same issue that Adobe is struggling with itself for LR versus PS. Both Aperture and LR were originally designed to address things like DAM and workflow. Neither covers 100% of the entire process effectively, but both are most of what photogs need for the majority of their work to quickly view, catalog and process images to a certain level. Neither is great or capable of taking things into the more artistic rendering realm where layers and more sophisticated work on the images is done, without shelling out to some other app like PS or Paint.

    Personally, I really like Aperture, and I use it a lot. However, it still does not do everything I need it to do for many of my finished images. It keeps getting better, and v2.0 has some great enhancements, but I still need to keep PS around to do things that Aperture or LR just cannot do.

    LJ

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