Efficiency with DxO PhotoLab
The means to get quickly to better results
 


 
 
"Discovering DxO PhotoLab" tutorial presents the development procedure for
users who already have experience with other software.

"Efficiency with DxO PhotoLab" details the specific functions of DxO PhotoLab and
gives some recipes for more efficiency.
It is intended for the experienced user of another development software.

Your remarks and comments are welcome: tuto.dxo [at] free.fr
Pascal PELÉ - January 2018
With participation of Patrick Philippot and Endre Tollar -
Translation help from Erica de Vries  
 

 

The "PhotoLibrary tab"

Optics Modules

Open photos

Image Browser

Select photos

Image Browser filtering

Rename photos

Search for Images




Site updated for DxO PhotoLab 3 - october 2019

To find the updates, Search for expression:  PL3


Add keywords to the Database

HSL adjustment - completely redesigned

Repair and Clone tool - new interface

Local Adjustments - palette and invert masq

The "Customize tab"

DxO software packages

The Presets

Take control of the Interface - the palettes

The Viewer (main window)

Manipulate Sliders

Corrections history

White Balance

Exposure Compensation

DxO Smart Lighting

Selective Tone

DxO ClearView

Contrast

Color Accentuation

Warm Tone Filter

Noise Reduction

Horizon rectification

Cropping

Others tools

Local Adjustments

Color Rendering

Color Adjustment

Repair and Clone tool

Red eyes remover

Lens Sharpness control

Other calibrated corrections

Perspective (DxO ViewPoint palette)

Virtuals copies

Image Comparison

Batch processing

Launch Nik Collection or an external editor

Exporting photos

sidecars.dop files and Database

Project Mode

Software Configuration

 

 



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The "PhotoLibrary tab"




 
Optics Modules



Processing our images is most relevant with raw photos and DxO PhotoLab (PL) will work only if the Digital Camera (DC) has been characterized in its laboratory. However, it can still open a JPEG photo from any DC.

The modules allow maximum improvements if the mounted optic on the DC has been measured by the laboratory. In case of unknown optics, the tools are still available, but it is up to the user to find the correct settings.

See the chapter "Lens Sharpness control" for more details.

Likewise, PL can only apply its PRIME noise reduction algorithm to raw data from a supported DC (Elite Edition only).

See the chapter "Noise Reduction"

When opening the folder, PL scans the photos and offers to download the optical module of the combo (DC + lens), or the module of the DC alone.
Some combos have two modules, one for raw the other for direct JPEGs. Additional corrections are made to those by the DC.

See the chapter "Software Configuration" for downloading out of modules.

All combinations on:
https://www.dxo.com/us/photography/photo-software/dxo-photolab/supported-cameras


PL opens only supported raw files incl. DC and Adobe DNG format files.
The Low resolution or compressed raw may not be open and special sensor formats like Fuji X-Trans, Sigma Foveon, etc. - differ from Bayer layout - are not supported.

Table of solutions according to the availability of the combo (DC + objective)

(1) Sharpness adjustment, chromatic aberration corrections, vignetting and optical distortion will be applied automatically in addition to those applied by the DC
(2) as well as an RGB file (JPEG or TIFF) of any origin (software, scanner ...)


 
Open photos



PhotoLab relies on the file system of OS (Windows or Mac OS).
The "PhotoLibrary" tab presents the Source Browser with access to OS favorites.

Unlike in software with a catalog, there is no need to import photos. However, PL does store its parameters in a database.
This feature leads to the absence of the "save" menu, each correction being saved in real time.
In use, it turns out to be rather powerful.

See the chapter "sidecars.dop and Database"

Upon first display of the photos, a set of preliminary corrections is made automatically.

* Slight Smart Lighting
* HQ Noise Reduction
* Adjustment of lens Sharpness to maximize the blur reduction
* Suppression of Chromatic Aberrations
* Vignetting correction depending on the diaphragm used
* Lens Distortion correction * Protection of saturated colors avoiding flattened areas

- Click on the "Compare" button (Windows: Ctrl + D / Mac OS X: D) to see the improvement (
Click on illustration to enlarge it).


 
Image Browser



In the "PhotoLibrary" tab, the Image Browser allows to sort the images.

- Adjust the height of the grid to specify the thumbnail / preview window ratio (illustration)
- Use the mouse wheel to scroll the thumbnails lines

- Click on
"FIT ON SCREEN" button (F3 / Cmd+ 0) to adjust the main preview display to the screen size
- Ctrl + wheel to enlarge / reduce thumbnail size (the mouse cursor just needs be over the
thumbnails)

The active thumbnail is sometimes lost after sharp changing size

- Click in the preview window, and then on the left arrow key then right arrow key to restore it


 
Select photos
Traffic lights from thumbnails are markers to use in parallel with the notation.

The red light (Reject) prohibits the export of the photo even if requested.
However, the green light is not required for allowing export.

User decides on the meaning he gives to these green lights; photo to be treated in depth, processed photo (completed), photo selected in a series ...


The ratings (stars) and the traffic lights are independent. Traffic lights do not remove ratings.

- Select thumbnail rating icon with the mouse OR
- Use the keyboard shortcut
Ctrl+ 0 to 5
/ 0 à 5 for ratings (stars)
- Ctrl+ 7 for the green light, Ctrl+ 8 for no light and Ctrl+ 9
(7, 8 et 9) for the red light
- Right and left
arrows to switch to another Thumbnail

The properties window advantageously replaces the
information pop-up window of the Image Browser (Filmstrip). During navigation its display is permanent.

- Menu (Windows only): Image - Image Properties (Ctrl+ I)
- Right or Left
arrow to navigate






Full screen mode
(shortcut F11 / Shift+ Cmd+ F) allows to discover the images and making the selection more comfortably.
Depending on the power of the computer this method can be terribly slow!

* It may be wise to split the report into several subfolders of about fifty images that after sorting will be combined into one
* It is also possible to cancel the corrections by applying the auto-tuning "4- No correction" (see chapter "Self-tuning").
Do not forget to do the reverse manipulation "1- DxO Standard" 

- Click the icon of a marker, a note or the arrow for the next picture OR
- Type a number from 0 to 9 (Optional Ctrl key in this mode) or Right arrow for the next picture


Take a look at the color of the stars.
- The DxO given ratings are represented by white stars
(the ratings are written by PL in the exported files metadatas)
- The received ratings (XMP metadata) by third-party software wich are read on Hard Disk (metadata) are represented by gold stars 

Take a look at the color of the stars.
* The DxO given ratings are represented by white stars
(the ratings are written by PL in the exported files metadatas)
* The received ratings (XMP metadata) by third-party software wich are read on Hard Disk (metadata) are represented by gold stars




 
Image Browser filtering
Sorting and filtering menus allow displaying / hiding images in the filmstrip.

The down / up clickable triangular buttons reverses the sorting direction.

- Double click the triangle for the first sorting

Exemple de procédure:
- Sort photos by "Ratings", rejected photos or low notes are at the top of the list
- Uncheck the filter option: "Show rejected images" (red light)
- Uncheck the filtering options: "Show * (one star)", "Show ** (2 stars)", etc...


Photos can be copied or moved from one folder to another.

Windows:
- Selecting a set of photos (Ctrl+ unit choices or Shift+ Bounding)
- Left click held > Drag the selection > copy to the target folder OR
- Left click held > Drag the selection + SHIFT before release > move to the folder

Mac OS:
- Selecting a set of photos (Ctrl+ unit choices or Shift+ Bounding)
- Left click held > Drag the selection > move to the target folder OR
- Left click held > Drag the selection + OPT before release >
copy to the folder

Remove photos with keyboard by Shift+ DEL /Cmd+ SUP/

(DEL key only is reserved for Local Adjustments).

      
 

Rename photos
Unlike other software might be used to, PhotoLab does not offer an export renaming solution.
Renaming should best be done at the end of the selection process.


The lack of incremental renaming makes the PL renaming function particularly poor. 

I use another program: XnViewMP, free viewer. There is also FileMenu Tools from Lopesoft.




- Select photos in XnViewMP (Ctrl+ A) (*)
  It may be necessary to activate the filter: menu View
- Filter by - images
- Right click> Rename (F2)
- A template
name can be: {Folder name} _ ### - Start: 1 - Step: 1


(*) PhotoLab can remain on during the operation. The notes and corrections that have been made will be erased.


 
Search for Images
The search is based mainly on EXIF tags.
PL3: PhotoLab reads XMP tag keywords (not IPTC) included in JPEG and TIFF images or sidecars.xmp created by third-party cataloging software (DAM).

PhotoLibrary tab proposes a Search for images item. It can find several capture parameters:
* Focal length / Zoom range
* Aperture
* Shutter speed
* ISO value
* Date  of shot / Year - Month - Day / date range
* Star rating
* Folder name / file name / extension name

* PL3: Internal keywords from PL or from third-party software  

The creation of keywords is discussed at the end of the chapter


Folders Indexation
PhotoLab indexes as and when files it accesses.
After modifying metadata inputted from outside (and, of course, the first installation) it is necessary to proceed new indexing.


- Click "Index a folder" command and select a main folder > "indexing in progress" (illustration 1)

* Indexing is fast. Roughly 50ms / image on SSD or 7200 rpm HDD (more than 1 200 files per minute).
* A search request is sometimes not available just after the indexing. You can have a small “lag” because there are some background work on the DB by the system.

It is no longer necessary to index the folders.


PL3: Users of previous versions must reindex the database.


Search for images
The system is ready for the first searches.
* Clipboard contents can be paste
* The framework of this search is total, ie independent of the current folder
* The search engine returns the results according to the relevant categories of the database
* The search engine returns number of photos per types (illustration 2)

-
PL3: Enter the beginning of a word, the system makes proposals according to the keywords, file names or folders
- Enter a value (e.g "200"), its format is automatically matched with metadata criteria: ISO value - Focal length -
Shutter speed - File Name
- Enhance it (e.g "2000"), t
he search engine returns: Shot in 2000 - ISO - File Name
- Select one of the drop down list item by left click, instead of push Enter

PL accepts several special input formats, like:
- Enter a dash (e.g "40-80"), the system proposes Focal length range
- Enter a number sup to 1970 (eg "1995-10") for the pictures taken that month
- Date from various formats like: "01/02", "20 02 2002", "july 14", "yesterday" or "monday"

PL allows combined search (only the boolean operator "AND" is available at this time):
- Enter a aperture (e.g "8" - See illustration 2)
-
Validate it (the searh engine - SE - returns 2 038 items)
- Enter a ISO values (e.g "400") and validate it too
(the SE returns 101 items with both criteria)
 
The Image Browser displays selectable search results as well as its terms
(illustration 3). The search result is limited to the first 1 000 entries.


Continental Europeans need to be careful. Folders and files names containing accented characters (or other special characters) may not be indexed. The subfolders can be successfully indexed separately.



illustration 1


illustration 2


illustration 3
  
It can be clever to create a project (a collection) with all or part of the results
- Select photos (thumbnails)

- Right click > "Create project from current selection" OR
- Right click > "Add current selection to project"


To know the original location or open all the photos of the selection

- Select a thumbnail
- Right click > "Show input file in Windows Explorer / Finder"
- Right click > "Load 
original image folder"

In order to exit the search result, click on a folder name from the Source browser.
PL will restart from the search result to which the image browser pointed when stopping.


PL3: Keywords creation

The keywords are available in the "Customize" tab.
Beginners with PhotoLab who are not familiar with the interface may need to read the following chapters of this tutorial before going back to this feature.


The menu "Keywords" in the palette "Metadata" shows the image keywords.
The keywords can be built according to a hierarchical classification (such as those of DAM).

Keywords can also be used to sort photos with various temporary information.

- Enter a word or a string of words then validate (Enter key)
- Insert the> (or <) character to define a hierarchy
- The system makes proposals with existing words in its database

- The system can complete at once all the images of the selection

- The system shows keywords associated with the current image (or selection)
- Select a word to rename or delete (SUP key)

When exporting JPEG or TIFF, PhotoLab keywords are not embedded in image metadata.
Thanks to Patrick for his help.


When a keyword is modified, if the term is not yet referenced in the database, the keyword will be generated in all images referenced, even if they are not selected in the filmstrip and if they are in another folders / projects.
However, if the term already exists, then it will be replaced only in selected images. Yet, when writing the modified term, there is no autocomplete to suggest its existence in the base.


The PhotoLab catalog is limited by its interface and competes poorly with specialized software. I propose an external solution which makes it possible to build perennial keywords (independent of PL and shareable).
It will temporarily troubleshoot Windows users.
 
     <<  See Appendix: XnViewMP (free image viewer)  >>
     allows for catalog non-users to create sidecars.xmp files.


Keywords are saved only in the PL database.
They are not included in the sidecars.dop and does not modify any sidecar.xmp.
See the chapter "sidecars.dop and the database".




  
 


The "Customize tab"






Switch to this tab by double-clicking a thumbnail of the Image Browser (Filmstrip)
or
click on its title in the command bar at the top left of the screen.








DxO softwares packages



DxO Labs offers three products, two of which are integrated like plug-in in the main product.

* DxO PhotoLab (PL), formerly DxO Optics Pro, exists in two editions: Essential and Elite. Only the latter offers the advanced tools of DxO PhotoLab

  Features requiring Elite Edition in this tutorial are highlighted

* DxO ViewPoint automatically fixes skewed perspectives

  See the specific tutorial "Perspective with DxO ViewPoint". 

* DxO FilmPack, also in two editions: Essential and Elite, allows creativity in your images (limited to renderings, therefore far from PhotoShop or Affinity)


All their features are integrated in PhotoLab. User better interest to stay in the environment to maintain a "raw flow" throughout the entire development chain.

* The later two products are available both as independent versions and as host plugins for other software
* New installations have 30 days to testing all features
* The package in Elite Edition is sold in pack: the "DxO suite"
* The software can be installed on three machines in Elite version, two in Essential edition

See also the chapter "Software Maintenance".


In 2017 DxO Labs bought the Nik Collection which is a different product.
See the chapter "Nik Collection or an external editor".


document www.dxo.com

 
The Presets



To evaluate PhotoLab calibrated corrections:
- Select preset "4- No correction" (Right Click on the image / Apply a preset), the raw photo is only demosaiced
All check marks of the specific palettes are deactivated (illustration).

All the PL enhancement functions are enabled by reapplying the "1- DxO Standard" preset. This is the minimum provided by PL. This preset is very efficient when the DC + objective combo is supported.

- Click on the "Compare" button (Ctrl+ D / D) to see the improvement


Automation is at the heart of DxO's unique approach to photo development. PL does not just apply recipes but performs a custom calculation according to the technical data of the shooting and the lighting of the scene.
Most often, all you need to do is make small adjustments to finalize the image.

These are the two complete presets delivered by the software. They activate / inhibit the "technological" features of PL. To call them back is cancel all actions made to the photo. All others self-adjustments are partial, they intervene only on certain functions.

Other complementary settings can be applied immediately:
* "2 - Neutral colors" to fade the effect considered a little too flashy by some
* "Portrait - Standard or Bright" and "5 - Neutral Landscape" series "1 - Portrait and Landscape"

These presets must be applied after "1- DxO Standard".


Preferred settings can be applied by default when pictures are opened.
Example on mainly landscapes and street photos:
* Smart Lighting with Spot mode (without detected
faces it is equivalent to Uniform mode)
* ClearView not activated but
preselected at value 15
* MicroContrast activated on the Automatic value
* Color enhancement not activated but set at
Vibrance 20 and Saturation -20
* HQ noise reduction with Luminance 30
* Cropping disabled to appreciate the effect of Horizon or Auto Perspective
* DxO ViewPoint - Perspective -  preselected value 90
* DxO ViewPoint - Volume Deformation - Preset to 100
* DxO FilmPack - Filter - warm tone 10 preselected

Create a personal preset "0- Standard" (details on the wide illustration "two screens")
- Right Click on the image "Create preset from current settings" (
complete preset)
Apply systematically to photos discovered by PL
- Menu: Edit / Application - Preferences - General - Correction settings
The RESET button reload this preset (illustration).


Presets make all the more sense at the beginning of the session, but  they can nevertheless be applied once some work is done on the photos.

For example, a complete personal preset without color enhancement on the reference image would overwrite the enhacement if it was previously done on the target image.
To prevent this (illustration):
- Make a set of corrections and create an preset named "5 - Sky"
- From the "Auto-Tuning Editor" palette, Edit "5 - Sky"
- Uncheck the correction "Color enhancement"
- Save, then "Edit" button to leave this environment (illustration)


For a basic preset it is better to create partial preset from scratch
- From the palette "Presets Editor" - Right Click  "New empty preset"

Only the Elite edition of  allows you to create partial presets.

The chapter "Batch Processing" provides solutions for users with Essential Edition.

General note about presets.
The function "import personal presets" one by one has no interest. Just copy them from old version to the next.
Windows:
C:\ Users \ <user> \ AppData \ Local\DxO \ DxO PhotoLab <version> \ Presets
Mac OS: / Users / ~ / Library / DxO PhotoLab <version> / Presets

See the chapter "Software Configuration".  

However this manipulation may crash the software. Also to recycling presets from version to version holds the risk of ignoring important changes, since DxO regularly parameters of functions.






 
Take control of the Interface - the palettes



By default the PhotoLab interface "eats" too much of the display area.

The left panel is not useful.
- Click on the cross of the title of the palettes to close them  OR
- Reduce the panel by clicking on the chevron

  They remain accessible through the menu: Palettes

PL3: The "EXIF" palette is renamed "Metadata". It presents the keywords and the size of the file.
The "Metadata" palette can more usefully be replaced by the properties window.
- menu (Windows): Image - Image properties (Ctrl+ I)


The "Essential tools" palette, offers the most frequently used tools and thus should be unfolded permanently (illustration).
- Double click on the title to fold / unfold
- Menu: Workspace - Save> Save this  interface setting 


The following toggle keyboard keys are interesting.
- menu: View - Maximize screen (Windows: F12). It's interesting on a low resolution screen
- menu: View -
Show / Hide all palettes (F9 / TAB)
- menu: View - Show / Hide Image Explorer (Ctrl+ F9) / No menu but Shift+ TAB

Using two screens, reserving one of them for the palettes, is very convenient.

I created a unfolded custom palette (click on wide illustration). 
Noise Reduction still Accessible by the palette "Detail" .

- menu: View - undock Image Browse (Ctrl+ U / Cmd+ U) to undock / dock the image explorer from the main window
- To make palettes floating, pull them by Click + Drag from the title

All keyboard shortcuts are listed in the PL menus. 









 
The Viewer (main window)



The mention of "Preview corrections" can be hidden by a toggle:
- Menu: Display - Image Information (Ctrl+ H / I)

The comparison is based from not corrected image.

See the chapter "Comparing images" for using the "Side-by-side" comparison tool.  

Zoom
- "FIT ON SCREEN" button (F3 / Cmd+ 0) adjusts display to the screen size
- "1: 1" button (F4 /
Cmd+ 1) for 100% display
- Click + wheel: the
location of the mouse cursor defines the center of the pan zoom
- Hold left click to
navigate the image (strong zooming)

Pan zoom
When the main viewer does not contain the entire image
-
Keep the spacebar pressed and move with the “hand” tool (Left-clicking and dragging)


To optimally visualize your work at the end of the series, choose the full mode
(F11 / Shift+ Cmd+ F).
 
 

Some effects of image definition corrections are only visible in preview with a zoom at least of 75%.
The preview mode displays all corrections only from this zoom value.


To obtain a faster display at lower ratios, some corrections (noise reduction, dead pixels, moiré, accentuation, chromatic aberration, ...) are not activated.


  
Manipulate Sliders
Dragging sliders can be constraining with PhotoLab depending of computer graphics performance. DxO optimized display speed by calculating a downsampled version of the image for functions related to light and color parameters. This results in a momentarily fuzzy display.

To avoid this, instead of sliding the slider, click on the slider and use the mouse wheel.

Click directly on the cursor rail is a subtle and effective method:
- RIGHT Click on the rail to the left or right of the cursor for a smooth and controlled progression of the correction in steps of 5 (illustration)
- it becomes possible to operate the wheel, arrow and page keys

- By double clicking on the cursor cancels or reset changes to the default value calculated by PL
- A correction is disabled by dimming the check mark

The chapter "Other calibrated corrections" deals with the meaning of the values. 


 
Corrections history


















There is no history management window in PhotoLab but a very deep "Undo / Redo" command, typically Ctrl+ Z and Ctrl+ Y /Cmd+ Z and Cmd+ Shift+ Z.

Each photo has its stack of actions, that is to say independent of flapping from one photo to another.
- Correct a photo
- Correct another photo

- Return to the first picture> Ctrl /
Cmd+ Z repeated will cancel the actions for to this photo only


PL is parametric software. Thus, the order in which the corrections are made by the user does not influence the final result. 

Finally, it is easy to locate the activated features indicated by a square on the left side of each Palette tools.
Windows: white - Mac OS X: blue.


White Balance and Exposure Compensation

White Balance and Exposure Compensation are two preliminary corrections.
They are placed at the beginning of the "Essential Tools" palette whose tools are ordered to be reviewed from top to bottom.




PL3:  The White balance pipette sampling circle size changeable to increase the smoothness of the selected pixels.
As far as possible, choose the largest radius to avoid an incorrect average value. This should be useful especially for noisy pictures.


- Ctrl / Cmd+ wheel. Picker size from 1 to 50 pixels



Exposure Compensation shifts the brightness.
This setting provides to PL about the photographic intent, the desired tonality by the photographer.
 
It is very useful to recover the overexposed images, exposure to the right for raw photos (ETTR). The properties window (Ctrl+ I /information pop-up window) informs about the offset applied to the shot.
In this case the exposure must be manually shifted. 

* The compensation is made linearly over ± 4 EV

"Highlight priorities"
in the drop down menu list there are proposals for densification of bright areas without consideration for dark areas. The algorithm examines the initial luminosity of the image and darkens it if necessary. It never brightens it.

Check the histogram by activating the Shadow clipping indicators if necessary. 

Exposure Compensation is the optional prerequisites for indicating to the Smart Lighting.


  
DxO Smart Lighting



Smart Lighting includes a mechanism aiming at using whole dynamic range.
It provides a
result resembled to the dynamic compression of high-contrast scene lighting in advanced DC. It unblocks the shadows by preserving the light areas and recovers details in the clipped areas.

Sometimes nothing happens, which can be confusing. Sometimes it does a lot and the image gains density. It is a prerequisite for the
photography development and often brings the essential.

In order to keep the spirit of the picture, Smart Lighting starts in slight mode. Switch to Medium mode if necessary but avoid the strong mode which can be replaced by the tone correction. It is worth look at what is happening without it.

The action of Smart Lighting can be guided with Spot Weighted which automatically detects faces. PL assumes that the humans are the subject of the photo.

The framing tool allows you to specify as many to be preserved areas as necessary, which can be one or more objects or different areas of a portrait.

* The medium density framing tool focuses Smart Lighting's action within the frame without affecting the overall rendering of an otherwise balanced image
* The framing tool on an area with extended dynamic range tells the Smart Lighting to preserve it and to take action on the rest of the image

































 













Selective Tone

Selective Tone, traditional in its presentation, is the next logical correction after the Smart Lighting to give character to the image.

* The "Black" slider lets you set the blacks (left end of the histogram) in the image.

A
n alternative way for intervening on the black point and the white point (illustration).
* The Tone Curve in the "Light" palette is available in luminance and for every RGB channel.
- Right click on a point to delete it



  
DxO ClearView



The DxO ClearView (Dehaze or veil on other software) is a special treatment for landscapes that boosts local contrast to remove the atmospheric veil and blurs the mist.
It is available with the Elite Edition of PhotoLab.

DxO Clearview is sensitive to the level of black in the selective tones who indicates a big part of the job that needs to be done.
For DxO, like other editors, the default settings on this type of function are a little forced to show the effect. On a landscape in normal conditions, rather than 50, between 20 and 25.


I myself do not activate it by default to appreciate the effect of its application.  

* In my own preset it is inactive and set to 15 by default.
* To start the correction to 20, I activate it by a Right Click on the left of the rail.

It must be activated before using the tools in the "Contrast" palette.
 

The illustration is a picture taken at 11 o'clock under a blazing sun. 

PL2: DxO enhanced the process, now called "ClearView Plus", in order to give nicer and more natural results. This does render more colors and subtle details.
Illustration with ClearView and ClearView Plus - Default intensity: 50


   
Contrast



Smart Lighting and ClearView tools and to some extent the selective tone have done most of this correction.
Auto-tuning "2- Neutral Colors" causes a 20 point decreases in contrast to soften the image and prepare a more delicate application of the settings.

The following two settings act primarily on the sharpness of the image:

* MicroContrast (Structure on Nik collection or Clarity on other software) densifies the micro-details of the image by accentuating transition of tones and colors for an impression of sharpness.

User must activate the Microcontrast depending on the nature of the image.
The magic wand offers an optimal solution for the luminance of the highlight zones and adapted to the performance of the optics. Its effect is attenuated on the faces detected by the "Spot" mode of Smart Lighting.

* Fine Contrast, available with the FilmPack Elite plug-in, is a more subtle solution for enhancing (or softening if negative value) the details of the image without changing its density (illustration at 100% zoom ratio).


MicroContrast acts on the transitions at the pixel level (a few tens).
Fine Contrast will consider the edges of a flattened area and preserve areas of consistent tone.
It is to be preferred on portraits.
It has the advantage of taking the tonality of the image into account in its action.


Other settings are dedicated to the accentuation, see the chapter "Lens Sharpness Control".


   




















Color Accentuation
This feature is similar to other software.
In landscape photos, vibrance is often accentuated and saturation softened.
Most of the creative presettings proposed by DxO do the same.

The particularity of PL's Vibrance is to automatically
limit the increase of the saturation on already saturated tints on the one hand, and to avoid the clipping of the colors on the other hand.

This is the function of "Protect saturated colors" in order to keep details in the area.

See also the chapter "Color rendering".  


PL3 provides a new algorithm for Saturation accentuation with doubled power. This palette will be reviewed by an update.
See chapter "The Color Adjustment"


Warm Tone Filter
This FilmPack function is interesting in the development process. It facilitates warming up the images without shifting the white balance and change the presence of the colors and thus all the settings related to the contrast.
There is also the filter "Cold Tone".


My own preset prepare the slider set to 10.  
- Activate the function by clicking the checkmark OR
- Start the correction to 15 by a Right Click on the left of the rail



 
Noise Reduction



PhotoLab provides three noise reduction algorithms.

* High Quality, conventional noise processing needs to be manually adjusted for JPEG photos
* HQ (fast) is a very powerful process always to be used by default on raw photos
* PRIME (Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement) is well known for preserving details and colors. It gives depth to the very dark areas. Its application is amazing on photos taken with older DC.
It is available with the Elite Edition of PL.


HQ (fast) denoising is recommended always to be active. The software divides the image into zones according to their density. The dark areas will be processed as required or even not at all.


The recommended power (by the magic wand) of the Luminance blurs a little too much detail. My own preset setting, "0- Standard", is set to 30 which still effectively attenuates the fine grain.  



PRIME processing is only possible on raw because it is applied before demosaicing.
Therefore and, how it does a resource-intensive process, it will only be applied to the export. Its effect is previewed in a thumbnail whose selection frame can be moved.


The permanent display of this preview may slow down the system.


The Labyrinth setting (Maze artifact) change the Labyrinth pattern visibility by counteracting the phenomenon which may appear on a frame with a frequency different from that of the DC sensor pixels.
Previous versions of DxO Optics Pro processed it automatically, but at the price of general reduced acutance details to fight against a marginal phenomenon.


   
Horizon rectification



PhotoLab automated this traditional function with the magic wand with very good results. It is rather sensitive to the vertical lines of the image.

For more efficiency in manual mode, ignore the bar with its two handles proposed at the opening:
- Left click and held on the first point
- Drag the click held to the second point
- PREVIEW button or
ENTER key to Apply and exit


A vertical correction request will be understood as such by PL.  
- Draw a line representing the desired vertical


Note two associated menus:
- Menu: Image - Rotation (Ctrl+ L or R / Cmd + L or R)
- Menu: Display - Grid (Ctrl / Cmd+ G)


The pivoting feature along the vertical axis (or mirror) available in third-party software is missing. See the chapter "Launch an External Editor". 


  
Cropping
Unlike other software, Cropping and Horizon are two separate functions.

1- By default cropping keeps the original ratio of the photo.
- Choose a different ratio
PL3: New ratios: 5/7 = ISO A, 8.5/11 = US letter and 16/10  OR
- Edit the text and Enter a value, numeric or ratio e.g: "1.333" or "6.5/4"

Personal values are only available during the session.   

2- For a non-constrained frame
- By holding down the CONTROL key,
-
Pull one of the corners of the dotted frame OR
- Pull a handle of the edges to limit the direction

PL is recovering much more information (pixels) laterally than other software and direct JPEGs from cameras (especially for photos made with APNs applying digital corrections).
Switch to "unconstrained" mode to take full advantage of it.


Disable "Keep aspect ratio" feature Distortion from the palette "Geometry" for maximum image surface recovery taken wide angle lenses. 

3- Swap between Landscape and Portrait by holding the click while crossing the frame diagonally and exceeding the opposite side.

4- After corrections of Horizon or Perspective, constraining the frame to occupy the maximum rectangular surface is possible only by reactivating the correction "Auto based on keystoning setting" in the Crop tool section of the "Geometry" palette.

- Push the
ENTER key or chose another tool to apply the changes



The properties window ( Ctrl+ I /information pop-up window) informs the shooting format and is therefore not updated.


In PL, the crop unfortunately does not benefit from the constrained flow in the image of the stand-alone version of ViewPoint. 


  The photos are processed.
It is time to review the edited images in Full screen by F11 / Shift + Cmd+ F.
 The images can be reviewed by the left / right arrows on the keyboard as a slideshow.
 




  
Dear reader
Our opinions may differ :))

We have seen how PhotoLab tries to bring a relevant solution to the image from the outset.
And then how it responds to the needs of the user by trying to propose a balanced image.

But, of course PhotoLab can be controlled entirely by hand like other development software,
but it was not conceived in this spirit.

So you can be able to arrange all orders knowingly ;)
 





Other tools





Most of the necessary functions are handled from the "Essential Tools" palette.
The set of tools is accessible from the dedicated
palettes.



 
Local Adjustments
Local Adjustments are the cornerstone of some development software (e.g Nikon Capture NX2) and, in fact, appears fundamental for some users.
PhotoLab was doing just fine so far because to look in detail, the algorithms implemented are local adjustments since forever.

PL3: Creating a dedicated palette
- Show / Hide each mask individually
- Modify each mask opacity

- Invert the influence area of a mask


Their operation is described in the tutorial "Local Adjustments with DxO PhotoLab". 



However, I consider that it's only when the global treatment has been carried out, using the most powerful tools, the Local Adjustments must be implemented to allow the photographer to add the share of creativity, or improved readability, which he wishes to add to his image.



Color Rendering



Color rendering in the "Color" palette has several areas of intervention.
According to DxO, Each DC tries to produce pleasant colors on its own way (subjective notion).

With "1- DxO Standard" preset, PhotoLab tries to reproduce on raw pictures the default color rendering applied by camera maker on its JPEG outputs (which varies from one camera model to another, even for a given maker).
The DC is calibrated twice to get faithful results proposed in "Color Rendering" (palette Color).

- Generic Renderings / Camera default rendering (and recommended)
This is the DC rendering. In PL, the result of the corrections varies depending on the particular tone of the source

- Generic Renderings / Neutral color
The application of one of the two renderings; neutral colors, neutral tone version 1 and 2 is recommended for images intended to be used in editing software.


* Generic Renderings / DxO Portrait rendering softens skin tones and brighten the image
* Neutral Color rendering softens images and removes the special "DxO" rendition
This is the neutral tone v2 version that is used by the "2 - Neutral Colors" preset.


- Camera Body / xxx - available with the FilmPack plug-in
Simulates direct JPEG rendering of another type of DC according to proprietary algorithms ("standard" style only)
to standardize the rendering of a report made with different DCs.
This rendering makes it possible to benefit from the character of a DC (E.g: to give standard JPEG rendering of an EOS-5D II to photos of a D-800).

Applying the rendering of the Samsung NX1 makes it possible to respect the skin tones.

The "Color positive films" rendering Provia from Fuji for faithful colors.

- DCP (DNG Color Profile) handling The procedure for creating these profiles with Adobe DNG Profile Editor and a ColorChecker are 3rd party softwares from DxO. Those are available on these sites: official PDF, here and here


Partial presets provided by PhotoLab include some of the renderings: 
* Neutral Colors
* Portrait standard
* Landscape standard
Contrast -
Contrast +
Rendering: neutral colors V2
Rendering: DxO Portait
Rendering: Minolta 5D
Vibrancy +
Vibrancy +++

Vibrancy ++


The "Style - Toning" function among other offers two styles:
* Portrait, unlike the homonymous Rendering reinforces the flesh tones
While combined with the Portrait rendering, the flesh tones are faded

* Landscape, reinforces green hues and saturates the sky
Also enhances the orange hues on sunrises / sunsets


Finally, "Protect Saturated Colors" allows keeping details in areas with clipped colors.





According to DxO, a color rendering can be decomposed as a part impacting mostly hue and saturation of colors, and another part impacting mostly luminosity and contrast of the picture. Changing color rendering generally impacts both.

1- "Camera Default rendering” is the one calibrated to reproduce the default color rendering applied by camera maker on its JPG outputs. But for most cameras, this default color rendering provides quite saturated colors, and pictures with a high contrast.

2- To provide more faithful results (meaning colored obtained in final picture and displayed on a calibrated screen are close to what a spectrometer would measure by observing the original photographed scene), we added color rendering called "Neutral color, realistic tonality (gamma 2.2)”. But it finds out our visual system doesn’t really find pleasant such color rendering in terms of contrast (because of many adaptation mechanisms in human visual systems).

3- That’s the reason why we derived it to the color rendering called "Neutral color, factory tonality”, by keeping the way it renders hue and saturation of colors, but taking from "Camera Default rendering” the way it handles luminosity and contrast.

4- Some people find obtained contrast often too aggressive (especially, it has a tendency to make dark areas too dark, and bright areas too bright).
Here's  “Neutral color, neutral tonality” (and its subtle variation “v2”), by changing again just part handling luminosity and contrast, making it this time independent from DC with which picture was shot, and with a moderated contrast (especially, dark areas are rendered less dark, “v2” offering an intermediate effect about this).

On top of all that, we also introduced a “DxO Portrait” mode, designed to make pleasant colors especially on skins.



Color Adjustment



PL3: New interface based on the color wheel. The "Hue Saturation  Luminance" tool allows changing the original hue of a color channel to a custom amplitude.

-  Select the channel to adjust
   PL3:  Two new color channels: Orange and purple
- Move the external handle to change the hue
- The central handle defines the transition with the neighboring colors
- The inner handle widens or narrows the hue range

The initial division of the chromatic wheel is adjustable as required (illustration).
- Left click held in the circle to shift the hue range to be modified
- Double click in the circle to reset the hue range
- Double click on the external handle to reset the offset
- Double click on the colored button to restore the initial position in the chromatic wheel


The initial division is based on the color wheel. But there are actually eight customizable channels that are available.


The illustration shows two different corrections on the green channel.
- The blue channel is shifted to magenta and then enlarged on the green side
- In a second step, the green channel is corrected
 
The third illustration shows a practical case of greens settings.


PL3:  The set of image processing algorithms has been reorganized
The effect of sliders is less disparate and more independent of each other.
- The Saturation slider is more natural and smoother
- Saturation is more contained especially for high values
- Shift Hue has less impact on Luminance
- Change in Luminance has much less impact on Saturation



Compared to previous versions, t
he scope of the Saturation slider effect is doubled.

The Uniformity slider equalizes (+100 - narrows all neighboring hues to the selected one) or enhances hue homogeneity in the color range.



Document DxO




According to DxO: The HSL algorithm applies in a color space where the image is not represented in terms of red, green and blue as usual, but in terms of hue, saturation and lightness.
Refer to Wikipédia article on hue  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hue

It was very difficult to define where green stops and where yellow begins. The current value is a trade-off that was chosen to ensure that vegetation (grass, foliage) perceived as green by the human eye will be considered green.
That’s why the new interface in PL3 allows the user to adjust the ranges for each image.

The Uniformity slider makes similar hues more or less equivalent.
In a portrait for example, the skin should be skin tone (obviously). Often, due to mixed lighting conditions or to inhomogeneities of the skin itself, parts of the skin are a bit reddish and parts are a bit yellowish. By adjusting one of the hue ranges (e.g. orange) so that it corresponds to the skin in your image, and by increasing Uniformity, you obtain a nice uniform skin tone.

Saturation on HSL (master / all channels) and Saturation in Color accentuation are different. They are applied in different color spaces and work in a slightly different way in different places with respect to other processing steps.



Repair and Clone tool



PL3:  The tool has been completely revised. PhotoLab Repair tool (Eraser or Pad on other software) automatically offers a replacement area.

Two different algorithms are applied dependent on the use:
* Clone - Replacing one zone with another
* Repair - Initially dedicated to dust removal.
The textures of the source and the background are mixed (50/50)
PL3: The ability to change the location of the source zone was added. Otherwise, this tool has been improved on PL version 1.
Depending on the image, two modes can have similar effects.


- Draw a target area to replace (illustration)
- Ctrl /
Cmd+ wheel to vary the diameter of the circle
- Shift+ wheel to delimit the feathering (transition)
- The tool automatically proposes a source area
- Activate the masks visualization, "Show masks" button (at the top right
in the window)
- Move the source area by selecting its gizmo
(if necessary)

* Switch between modes "Clone" and "Repair"
* Opacity control allows smoother transition between zones
* Move the mouse cursor out of the image for preview
* "Show masks" button show it / mask it
* Select a mask. Delete it with key "DEL" 

It is better to proceed by small applications.

Exclusivity DxO, corrections are stackable.
The result of a first correction can be used as the source of a next correction.

Unless the source location is changed manually and thus frozen, moving the target makes the source move.

The source area can be automatically selected off-screen in the cropped portion of the image. Cancel the crop temporarily (illustration).

The mask parameters (feathering and opacity) are preserved and remain modifiable at any time. Clone and Repair modes are also switchable.



The shape of a mask can not be changed after its creation.

A target area can not be outside the original area of ​​the image. It is not possible to fill the dark areas left by an angular correction.

The export time increases significantly depending on the processed surface.


Mac OS only.
Masks are independent of the image.
The geometric corrections (modification of the horizon and the functionalities of ViewPoint) must be made before the implementation of Repair / Clone.



Create a layer for dust removal and sensor spots with personal preset makes sense:


Activate temporary, or force, ClearView to exaggerate the presence of spots.

- Apply "DxO Standard" preset so that no custom correction is applied
- Clean the reference photo
- Create a partial preset, e.g "X - dust GM5"

This preset can be incorporated into the initial preset as an alternative preset, e.g "0 - Zuiko standard 17 mm".

Only partial presets can be applied later.





  
Red eyes remover
It is a traditional function, but with the DxO "touch". Red eyes are automatically detected on the image having disadvantage, blue eyes are corrected to black.
In case not all red eyes recognized, the manual selection remains possible.



1- "Red-eye" function inhibited

2- Automatic detection of 4 red eyes

3- Too dark
result for blue eyes (when the function is validated)

4- Local Adjustments- Control Point OR Auto Brush
> Lighten, increase blacks and decrease contrast


Automatic detection is sensitive to humans almond eyes but not to animals round eyes (e.g. cat green, dog yellow, etc.). 



   
Lens Sharpness control



DxO Lens Sharpness and Unsharp Mask (in the "Detail" palette) are based on two PhotoLab algorithms that serve the same purpose, but the first is reserved for combos (DC + lens) characterized by DxO.

It is not recommended to use them together.

For the "creative" sharpness of the image it is necessary with PL to privilege the settings of MicroContrast and Fine Contrast.

See the chapter "Contrast".

Please mind; The effect is visible in the preview only with a zoom value at least of 75%

According to DxO: "Lens Sharpness corrects the problem of a point imaged into a more or less fuzzy spot. The details are enhanced by illumination, or not, of a pixel compared to its neighbors. Depending on the quality of the optics and ISO speed the algorithm applies a deflashing accordingly."

With optics of average quality, the improvement of the sharpness is amazing. 

Change the position of the "global" cursor give a different target sharpness than that envisaged by DxO (represented by the default position).

Its action is restrained for medium quality optics, and the selected target sharpness is higher on consumer devices.

On an image from a medium quality optics already having undergone fairly large processing, pushing the cursor may cause excessive correction and therefore potentially artifacts with increasing noise.


Beware of confusion: The Bokeh slider is not used to amplify the background blur but to preserve the softness.

The function of magic wand on Mac OS is unknown.


Unsharp Mask is reserved for the correction of lenses not characterized by DxO
According to DxO: "The tool makes a blurred copy of the original picture then subtracts it from the original leaving the finest details which can then be enhanced.
It is unnecessary for JPEG files as in-camera processing has already sharpened them".


The mask does not recover the sharpness of a blurred image when shooting. 
  
These starting values are a good starting point:
- Intensity = 100 can set up to 200. The negative values can be used to soften, instead of sharpen an image.
- Radius = 0.5 (value in pixels). It acts on the finesse of the accent by adjusting the thickness on both sides of the contours considered. Over-tuning causes halos to form on the contours.
- Threshold = 4. It should stay within a range from 4 to 10. It fixes the boundary of the effect of the correction. This makes it possible  to avoid sharpening the smallest details that look just like noise.

- Edge offset lets you homogenize the sharpness between the center and the edges of an image.


It is recommanded to create a partial preset, e.g: "0 PARTIAL - Laowa 7.5"

It is possible to make local adjustments to sharpness and blur in Local Settings. 


The application of calibrated corrections (including lens sharpness) is located early in the process chain, before more creative corrections such as fine contrast, so that measured calibration data can be applied in a meaningful way.

All corrections are linked. For example, the Lens sharpness correction influences the application of the noise reduction.

About the DC and optics characterization by DxO:

In order to offer an exclusive optical module for each combo (DC + lens) DxO achieves between 300 and 1000 photos to support a new DC (the useful ISO range and various special parameters making the difference). About one-third serve to make measurements. The rest is used to validate the settings and perform tests.

To characterize a standard zoom, around 300 images are needed for measurements. Then a hundred photos of natural scenes are used to validate the correction profile.
Since it is not possible to characterize an lens on all compatible cameras. DxO has defined laws of passage from one device to another.

More info on the DxO blog.


 
Other calibrated corrections



Even applying the preset "4 - No correction" on a raw photo some rectifications allowing to restore the reality of the scene are still applied (Only software like FastRawViewer allow to open a "raw" raw file).

With the default "1 - DxO standard" preset, PhotoLab evaluates the image content and applies settings from the calibrated module information.
Intervene on these settings is not necessarily require when DxO qualified the lens except to modify the strength when artifacts appears or against a caricature effect.

Activate the magic wand places the cursor to the optimal value that varies according to neighboring requests.
The scale of values ??is not always obvious. Here is an interpretation:
- Variation of the intensity of an effect: slight to strong, from 0 to 200%, optimized at 100%
- Application (or regression) of an effect: absent to complete, from 0 to 100%, NOT applied by default

In the same vein, the
available settings range to give character to the image can be interpreted as:
- Amplitude of the correction: decrease to increase, from -100 to +100, none to 100%



These improvements work pretty well. However, here are some issues encountered in some very specific configurations.

* The automatic chromatic aberration correction (palette "Detail") can cause desaturation of small colored elements.
- Limit its value and do not check the case "purple fringing" as necessary

* The Moiré (raw only), in the palette "Detail", is trapped in portraits: sometimes it blur hair, eyelashes and eyes.
It can also cause the desaturation of small colored elements.
- In these cases prefer the chromatic aberration correction only


Use a zoom value of 100% in preview to appreciate these two corrections. 

* Vignetting (palette "Light") is a fairly sophisticated algorithm that retains the noise increase and also restores saturation.
This correction can drown the details of clipping limits and have a unexpected behavior with certain optics


   
Perspective (DxO ViewPoint palette)
The ViewPoint feature have long been included in DxO Optics Pro software (the predecessor of PhotoLab). A separate license is now requires. According to my personal use (80% of wide angle shots), it is inseparable from the development software.

The magic wand offers automatic correction.
- Activate Auto perspective cancels Horizon Auto activation (only if AUTO mode)
-
Intensity needs to be decreased to 90% or 80% for a more natural effect
- Auto correction can be "assisted" by limiting it to verticals / horizontals only
  (Advanced Settings - Auto Mode)


The grid ( Ctrl+ G / G) allows to check the effect.


Disable automatic cropping against dropping image content. 

"Miniature Effect" (tilt & shift) function is a mirror blur effect. It should be replaced by the Local Adjustment - Blur. 









Perspective correction is also useful for countering the effects of low-angle / bird's eye view shooting and restoring proportions of characters on different planes.

Comment from the bottom illustration:
- Up / Down tilt correction: -15 to straighten characters
-
Right / Left angle adjustment: +25 to balance the proportions
-
Volume deformation (diagonal): 100%, the default value at 150% is too aggressive
- Refine "crushed" characters, H / V ratio : +3 (or very low value)


The H/V ratio can be diverted to refine model silhouette in Full-length portrait.  



See the specific tutorial "Perspective with DxO ViewPoint". 




      
Virtual copies



Creating Virtual Copies consists of duplicating the current settings of a photo and then trying out variants of the corrections.
They are useful for stacking complex corrections (e.g Repair).

- Right Click - Create a Virtual Copy (Ctrl+ J / Cmd+ D)

Not as nice to use as FilmPack snapshots in its stand-alone version, the functionality is basic and efficient.

PL3:  The name and behavior have been changed.
* The original image becomes the Master image and is identified by an "M" icon in the Image Explorer
Virtual copies are identified by a number (1), (2), ... after the file name
* A created virtual copy becomes active and is always the last place and becomes active
* Deleting the main image causes all virtual copies to be deleted


It would be interesting to rename each virtual copy.


After a major update of PL, when opening a folder containing sidecars.dop from the previous version, PL may sometimes create virtual copies to keep track of past developments.


   
Image Comparison



The default comparison is made with the original but cropped image at the same scale.

With the default option, "No correction (with geometry)", geometric corrections, Horizon and Perspective ViewPoint, are taken into account.

Lens corrections should be taken into account with this option.


The function is limited to instances of a photo; exported files (in the current session) or Virtual Copies.

Compare different images is not therefore possible.

Choose the version of the photo (from virtual copy or hard disk) to compare with the current one.
- Select the version in the version list
- Click / Release the "COMPARE" button (Ctrl+ D / D)
- Click the button "COMPARE side by side" (Ctrl+ T / C)
- The current image is on the right, the other version is on the left

* It is possible to choose another version of the image in the list of versions
* The movements and zooming are identical to the two images
* The scale values will not match if the exported version has been resized
* The previously exported active image is displayed faster than the image in memory


  
Batch processing



There are several ways to apply the settings from an image to others in the series.

A- As long as the computer processor can follow

- Select a set of photos
in the image browser. The first will be the model
- Correct the template image > All corrections will be applied to all images

B- Copy / Paste corrections of the reference image

- Right click on the image - Copy settings (Ctrl+ Shift + C / Shift + Cmd+ C)
-
Select one or more images

- Paste all the corrections (Ctrl+ Shift + V /
Shift + Cmd+ C)
- Paste Local Adjustments only (Ctrl+ Shift + L / Shift + Cmd+ L)
- Paste Global corrections only (Ctrl+ Shift + G /
Shift + Cmd+ G)

C- Partially apply corrections from an image to others in the series

For example, not wanting to renew the horizontal correction (illustration)
1 - Uncheck the Horizon correction on the reference image
2 - "Copy correction settings"
3 - Restore the correction of Horizon on the reference image (Ctrl / Cmd+ Z) then processed the others
   - Select one or more target images
4 - "
Paste correction settings"

D- Add an additional correction to a set of images already individually corrected

For example: Warm up all the pictures.
- Select a set of photos. The first will be the model
- Warm Tone Filter > Other special settings will be kept

Do not forget to cancel the selection before proceeding. ! CAUTION ! 


 I prefer this mode of operation than create a personal partial preset (even temporary).


   
Launch Nik Collection or an external editor



Use the "Export to Application" functionality to create a RGB (JPEG, linear DNG or TIFF) image that will open in another software.
This feature allows PhotoLab to continue processing with a pixel editor.

The "Nik Collection" button creates a TIFF file with extension
_Nik at the end of the name.

PL can send to Nik Collection only one image at a time. 


Post processing to create a mirror image (flip).
- Right Click on one or set of image-s > "Export to Application"

PL3: The number of entries increased to 10.

- First use: Select the target application by Browse e.g.
  Windows: Browse = C:\Program Files\XnViewMP\   xnviewmp.exe

  Mac OS: XnViewMP
- Options: Process in TIFF 16 bits> an image with extension _DxO.tif is created

- XnViewMP> Mirror flip and save as TIFF

- The image *_DxO.tif is updated in PL (F5 for Refresh Image Explorer)


To keep consistency of output formats (definition, compression, rendering) it is better to save in TIFF from the third-party software and reserve to PL the final export.

Lightroom users benefit from a particular gateway, see the tutorial on the DxO Academy.


Some users with ViewPoint and FilmPack products would like to use these products in their independent version. This method allows it, but it breaks the flexibility of a continuous flow in raw, or even loss of performance FilmPack process. 



  
Exporting photos



The final stage of image processing is export the images. PhotoLab offers three export formats: JPEG, TIFF and Linear DNG.


PhotoLab does not open these own DNG linear exports. 


Unlike other software, there is no requirement multiple versions of an image.
Accentuate the image as wish and the system transposes according to the desire dimensions.
Great efforts were made on this point during the release of PL1.
DxO recommends exporting small images with the bicubic option.

According to DxO: "The bicubic option provides (slightly) smoother results than bilinear. The bicubic and bilinear options are now better managed to avoid aliasing, making redundant the old options (auto and average)."


I did tests on detailed images and smooth (gradient) from 4000 pixels (Original 1:1).
I do not see any difference between bilinear and bicubic in ratio 1:2 and bicubic + net is too accentuated.
In ratios 1:4 and 1:8. I prefer sharper bicubic interpolation.
 

Output parameters

- Left Click on one or set of images > "Export to Disk" OR
- Export option list, above right the Image browser

- "Add a new option" button, rename it and activate it (we often forget)
- Quality (JPEG compression index) = 95%
(illustration)

JPEG compression value (and method) differs from software to software. It has no absolute meaning. For PL, 90% outputs produce files that are four times smaller. 


An interesting option of PL is to give a destination folder and a suffix to the exported images.
- Destination - Custom folder - path =
\3_TVHD or  .\3_TVHD or  ..\3_TVHD

A "3_TVHD" folder will be automatically created at the first export from the current folder.
The path meets unix standards .\ and ..\ (see Table 1). 

- Suffix = _DxO

The suffix is optional but applied permanently. It is not possible to propose a name on the fly.  


- Choose a ICC color profile: sRVB, Adobe RVB and others

Windows: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color
Mac OS:
/Users/~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/Recommended folder


Prophoto ICC profiles are available from these sites : 
https://sites.google.com/site/chromasoft/icmprofiles
   (this page also offers a few Prophoto variants)
http://www.color.org/chardata/rgb/rommrgb.xalter
   (don’t mind the ROMM RGB name, it’s Prophoto)

Take a look on this DxO forum page



Resize the image

I created several JPEG profiles depending of my need and the destination of the images.  


- Full JPEG = full format for comparison of different versions and small format prints
-
HDTV = big 1920 to smooth the viewing on the TV
-
Diffusion = large dimension 1280 pixels for a display without strips on "all" screens (dimension to perhaps update today?)
- Web = big dimension 800 pixels compressed at 90% for forums and send by mail

-
16-bit TIFF for processing in Affinity (see Table 2) and exigent prints


It is possible to export several formats into a command (Elite edition).


For images broadcasting recommended to reduce files size. Downsizing is more effective and qualitatively better than a high compression rate.

However, it is not possible to force an output file size. 

As well, the indication of a single "large dimension" is possible. Which makes no sense for a vertical image (1080x1920) to be viewed on a 16: 9 TV (1920x1080)! 
 

During installation, PL evaluates the
computer performance(*):
* Determines the number of photos to be processed simultaneously when exporting
A inappropriate number of parallel processes, depending on available memory, degrades
performance because the system is forced to swap
* Recommends to use the graphics card processor if it is significantly more powerful than the core (Windows)
* The output unit performances (read / write speed, buffer) are essentials

- The Edit / Application - Preferences - Performance menu provides access to these choices

(*) Delete the results file to restart the test.
Windows:
C:\ Users \ <user>\  DxO \ DxO PhotoLab <version> \ ocl64.cache
Mac OS: 
/ Users / ~ / Library / Caches / com.dxo.PhotoLab <version> /

See the chapter "Software Configuration".  





table1



table 2

   
sidecars.dop files and Database



PhotoLab never changes the original photo files.
Corrections are saved live in its database.

Sidecar files (file_name.dop) are an insurance against the corruption of this database or in case of unexpectedly displacement of original files.
Sidecars files contains all corrections and adjustments made. They are small and are produced in the same directory as the photos.


- Menu: Edit / File - Preferences - General tab "Load settings from sidecar file" option


* The sidecar files content is version dependent. PL is able to convert DxO sidecars automatically to the current version, but the files will not be able to be read old versions anymore
* Sidecar files can be created and maintained automatically (recommended)
* They can be automatically loaded (taken into account) if enabled. So their content is prioritized on the database
* PL saves the original pictures location to its database


Change the folder or the hardware storage media will lose the connection between the image and its editing details. You have to restore all folder location by one in case of movement.  

To move (or copy) a photo with its modifications, move the original file and the associated sidecar.

To reset the corrections already made, the easiest way is to move the photo files toward a new database unknown folder.
- Quit PL
- Delete sidecars files: file_name.dop with explorer / finder from Operating system
- Move the photo files to a new folder

To reuse the previous (empty) folder name.
- Open PL
- Destroy the previous folder from the PL source browser
- Rename the new folder name from the original folder name



The database is sometimes a source of problems, particularly slows down the system. It is desirable to rename it. After the PL next startup an empty database will be generated.
- Quit PL
- Rename the database PhotoLab.db available in the next folder:

Windows:
C:\ Users \ <user> \ AppData \ Roaming \ DxO\DxO PhotoLab <version> \ Database \
Mac OS: / Users /
~ / Library / DxO Photolab <version> /

See the chapter "Software Configuration".  


Deleting the database also destroys projects  and which requires folders reindex.  



  
Project Mode



It is a tool that is used to collect images from different folders (manual selection ou search result) into a single set of images.
Lr users use it by the specific import procedure.
It is useful to develop series of images in one step.

* The photos
stay in the original locations, the project only contains the link
* Deleting photo in a project doesn't delete the
file from disk

PL3: New sorting options for the image project list.
Sorting of projects by name, creation date or  modification date
.


An interesting use is to create a temporary project to limit navigation in the image browser. 



Software Configuration



4K Screen (Windows)

I use a 4K screen with 150% display for everyday life (internet, etc ...).
But I need the maximum definition of my 4K screen for photo processing and approach: 1
screen pixel = 1 DC pixel.
In other words, approach the 1: 1 permanent display on the screen (illustration).

With PL the menus font size is not the most important.


Editions
Differences between Essential and Elite editions

PhotoLab:   https://www.dxo.com/dxo-photolab/pricing/
FilmPack:   https://www.dxo.com/dxo-filmpack/pricing/

 
  

Release
To check the release of PL with which the photos were updated.
- Edit the sidecar.dop with a text editor

 
 

Update
PL is more often updated than the other two products, ViewPoint and FilmPack .
Sometimes DxO prompts users to update them too.

Two cases arise:

There is no additional action to take for ViewPoint and FilmPack add-in users in PhotoLab environment. The ViewPoint and FilmPack
code is included in PL.

For ViewPoint and FilmPack users in stand-alone or add-in other software, the procedure must be restarted. From a computer point of view they are different software.

User licenses are unique to products regardless of how they are used.
To enter the license code, it must be done once.
Either in PhotoLab
- Windows: Help menu / DxO ViewPoint (or FilmPack) / Enable DxO ...
- Mac OS: DxO PhotoLab / VP menu or FP / Enable ...
or in the stand alone version

Install files Windows:
https://download-center.dxo.com/PhotoLab/v3/Win/DxO_PhotoLab3_Setup.exe
Version Mac OS:
https://download-center.dxo.com/PhotoLab/v3/Mac/DxO_PhotoLab3.dmg


Memory Cache
It must be destroyed in case of reading error and slowdowns

%LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab 3\Cache
~/
Library/Caches/com.dxo.PhotoLab3

 

Useful Windows folders

Windows configuration -  Files explorer

Important files to back up 
Database:   %appdata%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab 3\Database\   PhotoLab.db
Licences:  
%ProgramData%\DxO Labs\Licenses

These files can be copied for
each major update from the last one
Presets:  
%LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab 3\Presets
Optics modules:   %LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab 3\Modules

Personal configuration - personal Palette, Output Options and workspaces
%LocalAppData%\DxO\   DxO.PhotoLab.exe_StrongName_XXX
Workspaces:   %LocalAppData%\DxO\DxO PhotoLab 3\Workspaces

Workspaces, palettes, and output options must be recreated during each major update.



Version Mac OS - Copy / paste with Finder

Important files to back up
Database:  ~/Library/DxO Photolab v3   DOPDatabase V3
Licences:   ~/Library/Application Support/DxO Labs/Licenses

These files can be copied for each major update from the last one
Presets:   ~/Library/DxO PhotoLab v3/Presets
Optics
modules:   ~/Library/DxO PhotoLab v3/Modules

Personal configuration - personal Palette, Output Options and workspaces
~/Library/Preferences/com.dxo.photolab3.plist
Workspaces:   ~/Library/Application Support/DxO PhotoLab v3/Workspaces

Workspaces, palettes, and output options must be recreated during each major update.



Support
Join the support:   https://support.dxo.com/hc/fr
Upload photos for analyse:   http://upload.dxo.com/


Files locations to be attached to the support - Windows

A order number is created each day the software is launched
Logs files:   %UserProfile%\Documents\DxO PhotoLab 3 logs

Crash files:   %UserProfile%\Documents\DxO PhotoLab 3 crashes

Files locations to be attached to the support - Mac OS
Crash files:    ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/
Logs files:   ~/Library/Logs


Resources

Web site DxO to ask questions
   https://feedback.dxo.com/latest




DxO PhotoLab 3-0 - Pascal Pelé - October 2019

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