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

How to sharpen recursively using DPP4?

Being somewhat new to digital image editing has me reading different articles pertaining to image sharpening to particularly include learning about use of the Unsharp Mask tool.  There seems to be a prevailing thought that it can be advantageous, at least in some circumstances, to apply this tool several times using more conservative parameters rather than just once using more aggressive parameters.  Right now it looks to me that doing this with some so-called non-destructive processors, such as DPP4, might require exporting (i.e., saving) an image to another format (e.g., tif) and then using this exported file to perform a subsequent sharpening operation.  However, as best I can tell DPP4 only enables the Unsharp Mask tool for use on raw files.

 

Might this mean that when using DPP4 you only get one chance to use the Unsharp Mask tool?

Product Expert
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎05-22-2018

Re: How to sharpen recursively using DPP4?

Hi aajax,

 

Your understanding of how the Unsharp mask feature of DPP4 works is correct. These adjustments in DPP do not alter the original image file. In order to save the altered file to make gradual changes as you mentioned, the file would need to be converted to a Tiff file to finalize the edits, and Tiff files cannot be used with the Unsharp mask. Since the Unsharp mask feature requires a RAW image file there is only one opportunity to use it on an image file.

 

If you have any other questions about how DPP works I recommend contacting our Technical Support Group HERE or at the link below.

 

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/contact-support/

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,358
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: How to sharpen recursively using DPP4?


@William_N wrote:

Hi aajax,

 

Your understanding of how the Unsharp mask feature of DPP4 works is correct. These adjustments in DPP do not alter the original image file. In order to save the altered file to make gradual changes as you mentioned, the file would need to be converted to a Tiff file to finalize the edits, and Tiff files cannot be used with the Unsharp mask. Since the Unsharp mask feature requires a RAW image file there is only one opportunity to use it on an image file.

 

If you have any other questions about how DPP works I recommend contacting our Technical Support Group HERE or at the link below.

 

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support/contact-support/

 


I know I'm sticking my neck out by questioning a Canon Product Expert, but that doesn't sound right to me. Since the original version of a RAW file is always preserved, shouldn't you be able to apply as many different versions of the unsharp mask as you pleased? If you wanted to save one of the previous versions so that you could revert to it, shouldn't you be able to save it in a recipe file or a separately named RAW file? Truthfully, I've never used an unsharp mask, but every other parameter in DPP works that way. Am I missing something here?

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

Re: How to sharpen recursively using DPP4?

[ Edited ]


@RobertTheFat wrote: 
Truthfully, I've never used an unsharp mask, but every other parameter in DPP works that way. Am I missing something here?

I'm a bit confused about how you might go about NOT using "Unsharp Mask".  It appears to me that from the somewhat limited set of tools available for custom editing the "Unsharp Mask" is one of a few that is always applied auotmatically by the DPP4.  The only other ones I've found are "Luminance & Chromatic Noise" reduction (of course it has to choose something to use for "White Balance").  My presumption has been that this pertains to the idea that DPP4 intends to reproduce the same image that would have been created by the camera as a jpg as a starting point.  In that, the image can be opened in DPP4 and saved as a jpg without changing (i.e., editing) anything and that jpg is the same as the one the camera either could or did make.

 

Therefore, to NOT have "Unsharp Mask" applied, I'm thinking you'd have to conciously perform an edit that turned it off by unchecking the automatically performed selection.  Is that something you always do?

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,358
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: How to sharpen recursively using DPP4?


@aajax wrote:


@RobertTheFat wrote: 
Truthfully, I've never used an unsharp mask, but every other parameter in DPP works that way. Am I missing something here?

I'm a bit confused about how you might go about NOT using "Unsharp Mask".  It appears to me that from the somewhat limited set of tools available for custom editing the "Unsharp Mask" is one of a few that is always applied auotmatically by the DPP4.  The only other ones I've found are "Luminance & Chromatic Noise" reduction (of course it has to choose something to use for "White Balance").  My presumption has been that this pertains to the idea that DPP4 intends to reproduce the same image that would have been created by the camera as a jpg as a starting point.  In that, the image can be opened in DPP4 and saved as a jpg without changing (i.e., editing) anything and that jpg is the same as the one the camera either could or did make.

 

Therefore, to NOT have "Unsharp Mask" applied, I'm thinking you'd have to conciously perform an edit that turned it off by unchecking the automatically performed selection.  Is that something you always do?


Quibbling over what it means to "use" an unsharp mask serves no useful purpose in this context, so let's put that behind us. When I said that I haven't used an unsharp mask, I meant that I haven't changed the default setting. I thought that was obvious and apologize for being unclear. Back in the DPP 3 days, the default was a numerical "sharpness" setting; only in DPP 4 was the default changed to "unsharp mask". My assumption, which may well be wrong, is that the "unsharp mask" default applies a standard sharpness value to the entire image, leaving it to the user to apply it (or some other value) more narrowly if desired.

 

But what puzzles me is your emphasis on going straight from RAW to JPEG after making changes to the image, and the concomitant implication that a JPEG is the only way to save user directed changes. That is, of course, not the case. A RAW file preserves not only the original in-camera settings, but also the user's most recent setting of each variable parameter. (That's the difference between "Revert to shot settings" and "Revert to last saved settings".) Moreover, the current settings can be captured at any time in a recipe file, allowing reversion to that point regardless of what changes are made subsequently. Conversion to JPEG is an afterthought for posting to a Web site, sending to a newspaper or printing service, or whatever.

 

In my own workflow, I rarely create a JPEG unless I have to send the image somewhere. The only significant exception is for features (like redeye reduction) that DPP doesn't include and which must effectively be done on a JPEG.

 

BTW, don't be fooled by the "Save" button located out on the main screen. That's just one of DPP 4's maddening inconsistencies. That button does a "Convert and save"; It's the "Save" option in the "File" menu that saves an updated RAW file.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,371
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: How to sharpen recursively using DPP4?

Photoshop probably could do it.  You can use recursion to reduce noise and expand dynamic range in some types of photos.  I am talking about photos that can have high noise and narrow dynamic range to begin with, like star scapes.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎02-13-2018

Re: How to sharpen recursively using DPP4?

[ Edited ]

I think we may be looking at this from a slightly different perspective which may account for what you call quibbling.  I have the idea that you are an accomplished photographer which I am not.  You may even be a professional which I will never be.  My renewed interest in photography probably has more to do with learning how to edit what comes out of the camera than it does with what I can put into the camera.

As such, I've been experimenting with a variety of image editing programs.  This particularly includes Rawtherappe (RT) which is a raw processor and GIMP which is not capable of directly processing raw files.  I've also dabbled with various other programs.  RT differs from DPP4 in that you can start editing with essentially none of the tools used for development having been applied.  I believe you photographers might called this "Scene Referred".  I sort of like that, not so much that it is efficient, but I think it helps to understand/learn what's involved in digital editing by having to do it all yourself.  For example, with RT the only way that "Unsharp Mask" gets applied is to do it yourself and this includes specifying the parameters.

DPP4, on the other hand, seems to try and automatically develop as good an image as it can.  In that, it wants to match what the camera can do on its' own.  My suspicion is that this includes the use of some algorithms that are not made available to users of DPP4.  Furthermore, I suspect this may include proprietary capabilities.  If I were a photographer taking lots of shots and wanting to minimize the time I spend developing them this is what I might very well want.  However, as best I can tell, DPP4 is incapable of producing those so-called "Scene Referred" images that at least some photographers do want.

 

Note:  I should also point out that RT is developing automated capabilities that allow it to work like DPP4 where you can start from the point that the software has taken it's best shot at developing the raw file.  The difference is that, unlike DPP4, you can undo all the automatic stuff and do it yourself instead.

My reference to direct production of jpg files was meant to make the point that using DPP4, I think, it is possible to produce a jpg from the raw file that is equivalent to what the camera can produce on its' own without DPP4 and that this is done without doing any custom editing.  My interest in such files is that when I attempt custom editing, particularly with RT or GIMP, they provide a baseline result to use for comparison.  There is no point in doing custom editing unless the result is superior to those baseline images.  At the stage I am now this is by no means automatic.  I've been experimenting with some images that I have yet to figure out how to do any better than the jpg produced by the camera or automatically by DPP4.

This brings us to work-flow which is something I'm interested in and still trying to devise.  It looks to me as though I agree completely with your points.  Right now while still trying to settle on something that I have confidence in I am keeping a lot more of what I'd call the intermediate files than should be needed/wanted.  One reason for photographing in raw is to gain the added bit depth (i.e., more than the 8 bits used by jpg).  Therefore, the stuff I develop from raw is being exported to 16bit uncompressed tif (i.e., it seems there is no universally supported compression for tif).  I should also point out that I have a lot of images from my past life which are in jpg and I'm expecting they can, sometimes, also be improved with some competent image editing skills.

My apologies for the verbosity but my intent is to learn NOT quibble and I am grateful for the willingness to help with that.

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