Saturday, 27 November 2010

PP Tips 12 - DxO Optics Pro 6.5

This is part of a 'How To' series on post process work.

I was using DxO Optics Pro quite regularly a couple of years back, for my S100 fs images. I thought it was very good.

The main reason I stopped using it was due to my upgrading from Photoshop CS2 to CS3, then CS4, and now CS5.

Recently, I received an email from DxO mentioning that their new version (6.5) also did Single-Shot HDR. So, intrigued, I downloaded it and started playing.

Below, are just a few screen shots, and edit examples, showing some of the different things you can use DxO for.

Note : To see larger sizes of the images, simply click on the image

Update 281110 - Since publishing this, I have found that it is better to turn off the 'DxO Lens Softness' adjustment, particularly with Jpeg images. What this is doing is adding a 'sharpening' step and creating artifacts. With it off the image is much smoother

Image 1
This simply shows DxO opened. The image I have selected to process is the one at bottom right and is a Jpeg file from the Fujifilm HS-10.

Once the image is selected, simply drag it into the 'Project' pane at bottom.

Image 2
Once the image is in the project pane, simply select that image and click on the 'Customize' button at top left. The image will then open and also adjustment menus will appear.

I am using this in Advanced User mode (top right) so that I have a full selection of adjustment menus. I have also docked all my menus at the right side. To do this, you simply click on the three bars, to right of the menu name, and then select where you wish to dock.

There is also a 'Correction Preview' button which can be clicked to give a 'Before' view. Alternately, you can select to display the image in two panes as a before/after view. See the buttons next to 'Image' at top left.

Image 3
The only adjustment I am making to this image is to select DxO Lighting - HDR Auto - Slight. All the other adjustments are simply at default.

There is no lens correction module for the HS-10, so some of the lens correction features are not available. For the purposes here it does not matter, as I am simply doing 'lighting' adjustment.

Note : I have scrolled my adjustments down so that the menu I wish to use is visible

Image 4
Once adjusted, it is a simple matter of selecting the 'Process' button at top. A dialogue box will appear with instructions.

Note : At left are the Output Settings save options. Here I am simply saving as a Jpeg file. If you click any of the options, you can then specify additional settings. Also note that there is no dialogue which appears for file name options. The image is simply saved in the same folder as the original, but with DxO added after the file name, so the original is intact

Image 5
The finished image.

Image 6
This image is a Raw file from the Fujifilm S100 fs. DxO does have a lens correction module for the S100 fs, so things such as Chromatic Aberration, and lens distortion, are automatically adjusted as the image opens.

As you can see, this image is very dark. I have been doing a series on 'Thai Life' for many years, so images like this are worth rescuing.

Image 7
The first thing I want to do with this image is 'open up' the lighting. Here I have simply selected DxO Lighting - HDR Auto - Strong.

Image 8
I also wish to correct my verticals. Here I have selected Geometry and in the Keystoning/Horizon pane I have selected Advanced Settings.

Next, I have selected the box with the two vertical lines. Once this is selected, the image will open in a before/after view and instructions will be given to place two vertical lines on the image.

If you look at the left pane, you can see the two lines I have placed and the right pane shows the correction effect. Greyed out areas also show which parts of the image are now outside the aspect ratio of the original.

Image 9
To now crop the image, I select the button next to 'Tool' and crop lines will appear. The image will be cropped in the Process stage.

Note : I have Correction - 'Auto based on Keystoning/Horizon' selected, and also Aspect Ratio - 'Preserve original ratio' selected

Image 10
Now, I simply select Process and follow the instructions.

Image 11
By selecting the 'View' button, I can see the processed image and easily go back and make any other corrections, if desired.

Image 12
The finished image after some additional steps were done in Photoshop to reduce noise, sharpen, adjust levels and crop.

Image 13
Again, an S100 fs Raw file.

This image was shot for a beach side resort quite some time back. At the time, the image was edited using Photoshop. As it suffered a fair amount of CA, I wanted to try out DxO to see how it handled correcting this.

This is the image as it opens in DxO and after I have selected DxO Lighting - HDR Auto - Medium.

Image 14
Here, I am simply enlarging the image and looking at the top right corner. This is the 'Before correction' view.

Image 15
The image showing the corrections. The CA and distortion have been automatically corrected by DxO. All I have done is adjust the DxO Lighting.

Image 16
The image at normal view size - Before correction.

Image 17
The image at normal view size - After correction.

Image 18
The finished image. I have done a small amount of extra sharpening, levels and straightening in Photoshop.

Image 19
What about Single-Shot HDR ?

I took this shot of a Thai rural store and thought it would look good as an HDR image.

This is a Jpeg image from the S100 fs and I have simply opened it, selected DxO Lighting - HDR Auto - Slight.

I have then clicked on the 'Presets' button and selected HDR (Single Shot), HDR - Artistic (Raw only).

Note : It may say 'Raw only', but it doesn't matter that this is a Jpeg file, the action still works fine. I don't know if it is supposed to, but I'm not complaining

Image 20
The image after adjustment.

Image 21
The finished image.

Again, I have done a little extra sharpening, levels, straightening and cropping work in Photoshop.


Other posts in this series - Click here for the index page.


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