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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?

I'm trying to learn how to use Digital Photo Professional (Version 4.7.20) to process raw images produced by my new Canon camera.  My present understanding, which could easily be in need of clarification, is that DPP4 uses something it calls a recipe to specify the editing operations (i.e. processing) that is to be applied to the digital image data captured by the camera to produce a final image.  For example, the camera can develop the same data and produce an image in jpg format.  My guess is that camera includes such a recipe (i.e., processing specification) along with the raw data captured by the camera in the raw files.  By doing so DPP4 is able to develop the raw file and produce an image that is equivalent to the one that either was or could have been developed by the camera.

My acquaintance with the term recipe comes from reading the DPP4 User Manual.  It seems that users of DPP4 are also able to save recipes in separate files and then use these files to quickly develop other raw files in an accurate and consistent manner when it comes to the specific processing that is performed.  While that is easy to recognize as a very valuable feature what might not be so obvious is that these recipe files contain basic information that should be especially desirable to know from the point of view of at least some users which especially includes this one.  As such it seems like it is very important for users to able to easily read/view/inspect/examine these recipe files and that this is something they should be able to do prior to applying (i.e., pasting) a recipe into an actual image.  That is what I have not been able to figure out how to do!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,289
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?

I don't think there's a way to do it, but it really doesn't matter. When you apply a recipe file to a RAW file, it doesn't physically modify the RAW file until you save it. So if you apply a recipe and don't like its effect, all you have to do is use the menu item that allows you to revert to the last saved settings. And the recipe file itself can be as general or specific as you wish. When you create it, you get to specify which parameters it encapsulates and which will be omitted (and therefore left unchanged when the recipe is applied to another RAW file).

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Super Contributor
Posts: 225
Registered: ‎02-13-2016

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?

I don't know this for a fact but I've always worked under the assumption that the recipe files only contained information about changes that were applied manually after the image was opened. Things that you change by adjusting the values in the editing tools as well as rotation and cropping.

Before making these changes other adjustments are made to the image automatically by DPP as determined by your camera settings prior to taking your shot. Things like brightness, contrast, WB, sharpening, image styles, and so on. I don't think of these settings as being part of the recipes that can be saved and applied to other RAW images.

And if I'm wrong in my assumptions hopefully someone will explain how this all really works.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,289
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?


@BurnUnit wrote:

I don't know this for a fact but I've always worked under the assumption that the recipe files only contained information about changes that were applied manually after the image was opened. Things that you change by adjusting the values in the editing tools as well as rotation and cropping.

Before making these changes other adjustments are made to the image automatically by DPP as determined by your camera settings prior to taking your shot. Things like brightness, contrast, WB, sharpening, image styles, and so on. I don't think of these settings as being part of the recipes that can be saved and applied to other RAW images.

And if I'm wrong in my assumptions hopefully someone will explain how this all really works.


When you create a recipe file, you're given an opportunity to select which parameters are included. When you make that selection, the values that are saved are those of the selected parameters in the origin .CR2 file, regardless of how they got there. There may be some parameters that can't be included. but I'm not aware of it if there are. My impression is that the list is pretty exhaustive.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?

[ Edited ]

@RobertTheFat  wrote:

I don't think there's a way to do it, but it really doesn't matter. ...



I'm inclined to think that for a knowledgeable and experienced developer of raw images this is probably true. However, as a novice dart thrower I'm imagining a need to try lots of things and then want to come back and review after the fact. As it is now, the info button allows viewing it once it has been applied to an image but I'm thinking I'd like to pull a bunch of them up side by side and compare to each other. This brings up another point where I'm thinking the design could be improved. The data itself appears to be text. However, the files are not. If the files were simple text that could be processed without DPP4 it would be possible to use the comparison features of various text editors to accurately identify differences which I'd find useful as might others in my situation.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?

When it comes to developing raw files myself, I'm very conscious of what I'd call the camera developed image.  In that, what you get from the camera as a jpeg and can view on the camera's LCD screen before or without ever getting involved with DPP4.  I'd be curious to know what others think but for me, right now, the camera developed image is a benchmark of sorts.  The results of any editing I do has to be compared to what the camera did without any of my help and determined to be better before being worth keeping.  This means I want to permanently save, as in never loose, the camera developed image.

At present, it looks to me like, if I do what DPP4 seems to expect I'm going to loose the camera developed image.  In that, after doing some editing and then closing DPP4 there is a reminder about saving something.  My interpretation is that the something is the current recipe, based on whatever edits have been made, which might normally be saved to the same file that contains the raw data (i.e., .CR2 type file).  My assumption is that this results in replacing the original recipe in the original raw file as produced by the camera.  Absent capturing the original recipe in a standalone recipe file (i.e., .dr4 type file) the original recipe along with the ability to create the camera developed image from the raw file would be lost.  My current perspective is that this would be bad.  Do I correctly understand this aspect of recipes?

To guard against any such possibility, my current work-flow (development of which is a work in process) involves archiving the files that come from the camera and always using separate copies when editing.  However, even in this case we can easily end up with 2 instances of identically named file/s that are in fact different.  This is bad data management no matter what you are doing and creates the need for extra care when saving your work (i.e., more to consider regarding that unresolved work-flow of mine).

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,289
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?


@aajax wrote:

When it comes to developing raw files myself, I'm very conscious of what I'd call the camera developed image.  In that, what you get from the camera as a jpeg and can view on the camera's LCD screen before or without ever getting involved with DPP4.  I'd be curious to know what others think but for me, right now, the camera developed image is a benchmark of sorts.  The results of any editing I do has to be compared to what the camera did without any of my help and determined to be better before being worth keeping.  This means I want to permanently save, as in never loose, the camera developed image.

At present, it looks to me like, if I do what DPP4 seems to expect I'm going to loose the camera developed image.  In that, after doing some editing and then closing DPP4 there is a reminder about saving something.  My interpretation is that the something is the current recipe, based on whatever edits have been made, which might normally be saved to the same file that contains the raw data (i.e., .CR2 type file).  My assumption is that this results in replacing the original recipe in the original raw file as produced by the camera.  Absent capturing the original recipe in a standalone recipe file (i.e., .dr4 type file) the original recipe along with the ability to create the camera developed image from the raw file would be lost.  My current perspective is that this would be bad.  Do I correctly understand this aspect of recipes?
...

No. The "Revert to shot settings" item in the "Adjustments" menu will bring you back to the RAW image provided by the camera.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?


@RobertTheFat wrote:

No. The "Revert to shot settings" item in the "Adjustments" menu will bring you back to the RAW image provided by the camera.


Thanks for pointing that out.  Did some experiments to confirm.  This is a good idea and kind of relegates that concern of mine to one of over active imagination.

Super Contributor
Posts: 225
Registered: ‎02-13-2016

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?


@RobertTheFat wrote:

The "Revert to shot settings" item in the "Adjustments" menu will bring you back to the RAW image provided by the camera.

So... Just to make sure I've got my brain wrapped around all this.

The Recipe files contains all, or at least most, of the in-camera settings (exposure, WB, image style, etc.) PLUS the user modified settings applied after the fact in DPP.

And clicking "Revert To Shot Settings" returns the image to the state where only the in-camera settings are used, but without the user modified settings made in DPP.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,289
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: How to examine a DPP4 recipe file?


@BurnUnit wrote:

@RobertTheFat wrote:

The "Revert to shot settings" item in the "Adjustments" menu will bring you back to the RAW image provided by the camera.

So... Just to make sure I've got my brain wrapped around all this.

The Recipe files contains all, or at least most, of the in-camera settings (exposure, WB, image style, etc.) PLUS the user modified settings applied after the fact in DPP.

And clicking "Revert To Shot Settings" returns the image to the state where only the in-camera settings are used, but without the user modified settings made in DPP.


The original RAW (.CR2) file contains the original settings provided by the camera. Those settings go nowhere until the file itself is deleted. (You may be able to change some of the settings with an Exif editor; but if you go down that road, you're on your own.)

 

A .CR2 file can retain one override for each (or at least most) of the original settings. When you save the file after editing, the overrides you created in that editing session replace their counterparts that may have been there from previous edits.

 

If, before saving the file, you "Revert to last saved settings", the changes you made since the previous save are removed. If you "Revert to shot settings", all changes made to any of the original settings are removed. If, in either case, you then save the file, those previous changes are lost (unless, of course, you use a different file name).

 

A recipe file contains one copy of whatever settings you told it to include when you created it. Each of those settings is saved with its current value, whether original or edited. It does NOT (as you suggest) separately retain the original settings of the .CR2 file from which it was created.

 

When, during an editing session, you apply a recipe file, whatever settings it contains override their counterparts in the current .CR2 file, just as if you had edited those settings manually, and are retained when you save the current file.

 

Note that a recipe file is useful when either a) you want to retain more than one version of the edits you make to a given RAW file or b) you want to apply the same set of edits to multiple RAW files.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
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