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Thread: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

  1. #61

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by sharktooth View Post
    One disadvantage of Affinity Photo is that it doesn't have black and white point pickers, so it's not quite as easy to do the black point correction to the film edges.
    If you hold down the ALT key while adjusting the black and white sliders in the Levels function, the screen will go into "threshold" view so you can see exactly where the blackest and whitest points appear.
    I used to do this thing with Threshold in Photoshop where I would find those points with Threshold, mark them, and then use the black and white pickers on those spots in Levels. The way Affinity handles this, as I just described, does away with that step completely.

  2. #62

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    If you hold down the ALT key while adjusting the black and white sliders in the Levels function, the screen will go into "threshold" view so you can see exactly where the blackest and whitest points appear.
    I used to do this thing with Threshold in Photoshop where I would find those points with Threshold, mark them, and then use the black and white pickers on those spots in Levels. The way Affinity handles this, as I just described, does away with that step completely.
    Thanks, martiansea, I've been experimenting with negative conversion in Affinity today, and trying to figure out how to do things. I just tried the ALT key with the black and white sliders in Levels, and it works nicely to isolate the darkest and lightest areas. In term of the darkest area, I already know that's going to be the edge of the film outside the image area. In Photoshop, you can use the black picker to select the black point at the film edge, and then Photoshop will automatically correct the RGB colors at the black point. Affinity doesn't have a black point picker, so I made a sample target at the film edge, and watched the RGB levels in the Info area to see when they went to 0 when I adjusted the RGB curves. It's easy enough to do, but it's still easier with Photoshop or Elements. The white point is not easy with any software if you don't have something that's pure white in your scene. I've been using a white cloud for reference, and trimming the RGB curves so that they have the same output there. I can use the same white point trim values for other shots on the same negative film type. Once you have decent black and white point corrections set, you'll have a good starting point for further color correction to taste.

    So far I've been pretty impressed with Affinity, especially considering the price. If you're doing digicam stitching of large format images, this can be done very easily with the panorama stitching function in Affinity. The panorama stitching in Affinity is even easier than in Elements, so that's a real bonus in my books. Gimp is another great tool, and it's free, but it doesn't have a panorama stitching function, and it doesn't have adjustment layers yet.

  3. #63

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    Now that I've started experimenting with TRICOLOR PHOTOGRAPHY, I found Affinity's auto layering features to be extremely helpful and big time-saver. It was able to aligned 4 different negatives very quickly and accurately. I've tried using the pano stitching for putting together huge images from large negatives that I DSLR macro scanned at 1:1 size, and it turned out, but I still feel like I'm in the process of finding my way through that to get a solid workflow. But it did work well, just a little finnicky if I wanted to do little adjustments to how it stitched.

    Gimp recently updated the Curves function to allow you to directly type in coordinates for curve points, the same as how PS does. This makes it the only app with curves outside of PS that allows you to do this. It was one of the things that disappointed me about Affinity. Being able to type in curve coordinates is crucial to being able to use THIS PROCESS for making correction curves. But, I have since started using http://www.easydigitalnegatives.com/ which has been giving me better results and the correction curves can be saved as LUTs, which Affinity has no trouble using. So, while I was excited to finally see Gimp has improved Curves, I'm still sticking with Affinity because the LUTs for correction seem like a better way to go.
    Also, I was able to save my old Photoshop curves as LUTs to use in Affinity! Open up the old PS file with the curves layer in Affinity, and Affinity will recognize the original settings of the curve, then it's no big deal to just save that curve setting as an LUT. It's really cool.

  4. #64

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    That's interesting. I didn't know what LUT was, so did a Google. It's a look up table. It sounds like you can save your curves in a look up table to use with other images. Is that correct? I'll have to try it. If it works it would definitely be a huge time saver to optimize images from the same negative stock.

  5. #65

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    You can save all kinds of things as Look Up Tables, not just curves. I also save color-related things. Outside of photo editing, LUTs are what your video card uses for setting the screen colors, etc etc etc...so many things are done with LUTs

  6. #66

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    You can save all kinds of things as Look Up Tables, not just curves. I also save color-related things. Outside of photo editing, LUTs are what your video card uses for setting the screen colors, etc etc etc...so many things are done with LUTs
    That's amazing! I just tried saving an LUT from an image that had multiple adjustments, and then reloaded the original image and applied the LUT. This will be a real advantage for Digicam scanning of large format negs since you can now do all the post processing by applying one LUT. That's about as close to one click as you can get. Once you get color correction and contrast to something you really like, it will be very easy to save that LUT so you can easily apply those same corrections to other images without any fuss or bother. Similarly, you could make an LUT for a badly overexposed image or underexposed image to get you to a good starting point quickly. As you say, the possibilities are endless.

    I'm very glad you pointed this out, since I had no idea what an LUT was. Thanks so much! Does Photoshop have this feature as well?

  7. #67

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    Gimp recently updated the Curves function to allow you to directly type in coordinates for curve points, the same as how PS does. This makes it the only app with curves outside of PS that allows you to do this. It was one of the things that disappointed me about Affinity. Being able to type in curve coordinates is crucial to being able to use THIS PROCESS for making correction curves.
    The latest version of Affinity I've been playing with does allow you to enter curve coordinates. It has X and Y boxes that you can enter values in. The scale is 0 to 1 by default, but you can change it to 0 to 100 to be like a percentage. Since I'm new to Affinity I don't know if this is a recent update or if it's always been like this. The downside is that the scale used in the curves function is different from the scale used for color info (0 to 255), which is indeed very strange.

  8. #68

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by sharktooth View Post
    The latest version of Affinity I've been playing with does allow you to enter curve coordinates. It has X and Y boxes that you can enter values in. The scale is 0 to 1 by default, but you can change it to 0 to 100 to be like a percentage. Since I'm new to Affinity I don't know if this is a recent update or if it's always been like this. The downside is that the scale used in the curves function is different from the scale used for color info (0 to 255), which is indeed very strange.
    Ah, I didn't realize you could change the scale of the coordinates on the curve. I saw you could type them in manually, but since the scale didn't match up with the step table I use for calibration, I figured it was useless.
    I'm fairly sure Photoshop can do things with LUTs too, but I never tried, so I don't know where that would be found.

    I hope more film and alternative photo people start using Affinity so we can start building up a good knowledge base of how to do things. All the info out there now is PS-centric, and while Affinity does many things the same way, it's those little differences that can cause a headache. And I'm also very interested to find out if there are functions and workflows within Affinity that might make it the preferred app for this kind of photo work.

  9. #69

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    Re: Software for Converting Scanned Color Negatives

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    Ah, I didn't realize you could change the scale of the coordinates on the curve. I saw you could type them in manually, but since the scale didn't match up with the step table I use for calibration, I figured it was useless.
    I'm fairly sure Photoshop can do things with LUTs too, but I never tried, so I don't know where that would be found.
    The scale range adjustment is to the right of the XY boxes. They just say Min and Max, so it's not at all intuitive that these are to adjust the scale. It looks like Photoshop can use LUTs, and there is a folder in the main application folder to store them. I've been finding that there is a lot of good info about Affinity on the web, including some YouTube posters with tutorials.

    I'm glad to hear you had success with alignment of color separation negatives, and that's something I want to try out too, since I've got a few of these I did years ago. It would also be good for focus stacking.

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