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DevConvert Lightroom Plugin

Converts selected files from PV2003 to PV2010 according to pre-programmed methods driven by user-adjustable settings.

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Quick Links (intra-page)

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Revision History
Download

 

See the readme file after downloading for usage and other notes.

 

Sreenshot #1 - Some of DevConvert's settings (In the Plugin Manager)
settings

 

Sreenshot #2 -DevConvert's convenience collections...
settings

 

Sreenshot #3 -DevConvert getting ready for take off...
settings

 

DevConvert FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

(no particular order)


These FAQs come partly from users, and partly from my imagination. Please let me know if there are errors or omissions in this FAQ - thanks.

NOTE: The following Q&A's assume that the plugin is working as I expect... If, after your best effort, still "no go", please let me know.


Question: Why should I convert my photos from PV2003 to PV2010?

Answer: PV2010 has better raw conversion, sharpening, noise reduction, fill-light, and highlight recovery. However advantages in detail are less for already clean and sharp images. Advantages in fill-light and highlight recovery are mostly apparent when large values have been used.


Question: Whats better about PV2010 raw conversion?

Answer: Smoother, more homogenous grainy look, instead of blotchy artefacts - detail preservation - less painterly.


Question: Whats better about PV2010 color noise reduction? (and what's not)

Answer: Smoother, more homogenous grainy look, instead of blotchy artefacts - detail preservation - less painterly. However, its my experience that PV2010 color noise reduction can also rob dark-tones from areas where dark and light mix - leaving an absence of clarity and contrast that the clarity and contrast sliders won't return. This detail / contrast loss can mostly be restored by intelligent setting of noise reduction control sliders: amount, detail, and contrast.


Question: Whats better about PV2010 fill light?

Answer: Less halos when large values are used. Another difference that may or may not be considered an advantage is that PV2010 brightens the midtones more, and even the lights a little - compared to PV2003.


Question: Whats better about PV2010 highlight recovery?

Answer: Less halos when large values are used. Like fill (or should I say like the opposite of fill?), highlight recovery also pushes down the lights and midtones more in 2010 then 2003 did - this may or may not be a good thing, depending on the photo.


Question: Which photos should I convert?

Answer: Regarding detail, my experience is that if the photo is relatively sharp such that extreme sharpen settings won't be needed, then these guidelines (for Nikon D300) should be in the ball park:

Other times to convert are when extreme sharpening has been used to try and compensate for out of focus pictures - especially when high radius was used. Although sometimes I like the painterly look that high radius extreme PV2003 sharpening achieves for some photos. PV2010 high-radius sharpening looks more natural.

If high doses of fill-light or highlight-recovery have been used, this may be another reason to convert.


Question: Why not convert?

Answer: Again, if your photos don't have much noise, and have nice tone and detail, and there are no fill-light halos and highlight recovery has been used only sparingly, then it may be best not to convert, since you may not see any improvement, and they may even be worse (due to the robbing of dark tones by raw conversion process / color+lum noise reduction, and differences in fill, highlight, and vignette handling), without some finagling - or in some cases even with some finagling.


Question: Why use DevConvert to convert?

Answer: DevConvert will do some compensation for adjustments that don't translate well (or dont translate at all), and will fold manual lens corrections into profile-based lens corrections, plus organize the iffy-er conversions into collections to optimize post-conversion tweaking.


Question: What are the pitfalls of not using DevConvert?

Answer: Some of the most significant are:


Question: How to convert using DevConvert?

Answer: After installing DevConvert, select one or more photos then press Alt/Opt-F,S,V (in Lightroom). i.e. File Menu -> Plugin Extras -> DevConvert.


Question: What does DevConvert do?

Answer: The source code (included) is the final authority, but basically:

  1. Provides the opportunity to down-throttle fill-light and compensate with brightness reduction.
    1. It is better to use the tone curve but riskier to automate, thus I have settled for brightness compensation.
  2. Provides opportunity to scale sharpness settings, with special handling of radius.
  3. Provides opportunity to attenuate luminance noise reduction, with intelligent setting of luminance noise reduction detail and contrast.
  4. Provides the opportunity to scale color noise reduction, but only so much.
  5. Provides opportunity to migrate manual lens correction settings to a profile-based scheme.
  6. Provides the opportunity to add grain whose amount depends on iso and whose size depends on sharpen radius.
  7. Photos are put in collections depending on whether certain thresholds are exceeded, for post-conversion inspection of specific develop sections.

Question: What are the conversion formulas and settings, and what do they mean?

Answer: The source code (included) is the final authority, but:

  1. New Fill Light = Old Fill Light + ((Old Fill Light - Fill Light Base) * Fill Light Factor).
    1. In a nutshell: fill light will stay the same until it reaches a a threshold at which point it will begin to be scaled back by an amount that increases with the specified factor.
  2. New Brightness = Old Brightness - (Old Fill Light - Fill Light Base) * (Brightness Reduction Factor / (1 + (.01 * Highlight Recovery)))
    1. In a nutshell: brightness will be downthrottled by the reduction factor, mitigated by highlight recovery, but only if the fill light exceeds the threshold.
  3. Sharpness amount, detail, and mask factors are simply scale factors - for example, .9 will give 90%.
  4. New Sharpness Radius = .5 + ((Old Sharpness Radius - .5) * Sharpen Radius Factor)
    1. In a nutshell: A Radius of .5 will stay at .5, and other small radiuses will be increased by a smaller percentage than larger radiuses.
  5. Luminance Noise Reduction Detail = Luminance Noise Reduction Detail Base + (Luminance Noise Reduction Detail Factor * (Sharpen Detail Setting - Luminance Noise Reduction Detail Reference))
    1. In a nutshell: Luminance noise reduction detail will be higher if sharpening detail is set high, and vice versa.
  6. Luminance Noise Reduction Contrast = Clarity * Luminance Noise Reduction Contrast Factor.
    1. In a nutshell: Luminance noise reduction contrast depends on your clarity setting which will be scaled by the specified factor.
  7. Color noise reduction = base + (old-value - base) * scale factor.
    1. In a nutshell, attenuates color noise reduction as it exceeds the minimum threshold.
  8. Color Noise Reduction Detail depends on sharpen detail setting and clarity both.
  9. Profile-based lens corrections will be enabled and set if they aren't already (in the latter case, all lens corrections are skipped).
  10. Profile-based Lens Distortion will be set to 0 if manual is already present, otherwise the default.
  11. Profile-based Lens Vignette will be scaled by the specified factor if manual present, or set to the default (unless manual sacredity has been specified)
  12. Profile-based Chromatic Aberration will be set to the default value and manual values zeroed, unless prohibited.
  13. Grain Amount = Grain Amount Base + (iso - iso-threshold) / max-iso * grain-amount-factor.
    1. In a nutshell: Grain added to highest-iso shots whose amount depends on how high the ISO is.
  14. Grain Size = Grain Size Base + (sharpen-radius - .5) * Grain Size Factor.
    1. In a nutshell: Grain size goes up from base amount depending on sharpen radius and configuration.

Question: How well does the fill compensation work?

Answer: Before 1.4 - not so good. However, v1.4 does a pretty good job. If you used no compensation, all photos would be brighter, some much brighter. With the compensation most are a little brighter, some are same, and some are not quite as bright. But definitely closer to what you had in 2003, which was the primary objective. That said, you may want to tweak a little, especially for those photos that had heavy fill applied - that's what the fill collection is for.

*** If you're using an edited config file, I strongly recommend going in and setting fillBase to 0 (it used to default to 10), when upgrading to 1.4+.


Question: How well does the sharpening adjustments work.

Answer: Its a personal thing - but they work great for me.


Question: How well does the luminance noise reduction adjustments work.

Answer: Again, its a personal thing, but I've found linking luminance noise reduction detail to sharpening detail and luminance noise reduction contrast slider to clarity to be a great help.


Question: How well does the lens vignette correction work?

Answer: So-so, I guess. My experience is that vignette corrections in Lightroom are not perfect and need some manual intervention for best results regardless of what method is used. If your lens vignettes have already been perfected manually, maybe just turn off the migration to profile-based vignette correction. Personally, I like to have as much as possible done automatically, then add manual tweaking to finish the job - all photos with more than a modicum of vignette correction will be in a special collection for post-conversion inspection.


Question: How well do the profile-based chromatic aberration corrections hold up compared to manuals.

Answer: So far, it depends mostly on how well the manuals were done in the first place. But, the automatic is pretty good, and I prefer to start there, then tweak to taste as opposed to trusting the manuals entirely, but its your call, and all photos whose chromatic aberration has been converted will be in a collection after conversion for your perusal.


Question: Why don't you do anything with distortion migration / conversion?

Answer: Because I don't know how. If you do, please enlighten me so I can improve DevConvert on the next revision.


Question: What is this "DevConvert(AutoProfile)" thingy in my export history list.

Answer: Profile-based lens corrections need to be done in two distinct phases:

  1. Convert to auto mode, so Lightroom finds the correct lens profile, then once that "takes", -
  2. Profile-based settings can be tweaked.

Question: What's 'Ignore If Buried'? (in the plugin manager)

Answer: If your source photos come just from a folder, it doesn't do anything. But if your source photos come from a collection, bottom feeders are included in collections along with stack tops (arghh...) - setting this to true ignores the bottom feeders when collecting for conversion and/or doing conversions.


Question: What does 'Collect' do? (File Menu -> Dev Convert)

Answer: Adds selected photos to either the PV2003, PV2010, or PV-Undefined collection. This is not necessary if you're running DevMeta (Develop Settings Metadata Plugin), since it makes process version available as library filter or for smart collection, but it may help you discover the photos that remain unconverted, and see which ones are already using the latest PV.


Question: What does 'Finished' do? (File Menu -> Dev Convert)

Answer: Removes selected photos from all the 'Check' collections, and moves it to the appropriate PV collection. A convenience for when you've checked as much as you care to, and are finished with it, conversion-wise...


Question: What's a good workflow for PV2003 -> 2010 conversion.

Answer: That's kinda personal, but I personally recommend not doing your whole collection at once (since it may do more harm than good), and I recommending checking each photo after conversion, at least until you have DevConvert settings that you trust. Instead:

  1. Run "Dev Collect" and get a collection of 2003 candidates (or use DevMeta and PV Filter).
  2. Run "Dev Convert" to convert some of them (esp. high iso...).
  3. Go through each collection and check only for the things that are suggested based on the collection name, or just check them any way you want.
  4. Export them or whatever you do when they're finished.
  5. Run "Dev Finished" to remove them from the dev-convert collections (or just delete from the PV2003 collection if you're not using the "Check" collections nor DevMeta).

Question: I don't understand what all these settings do...

Answer: The defaults were chosen to hopefully work fairly well for most people.

One of the most likely things you'd want to change is the default profile-based lens distortion correction, and vignette corrections. I tend to leave distortion uncorrected by default (and lens correct only lightly) then correct on an as-needed basis, but some people prefer to correct everything near 100% and go from there...

Also, you can try tweaking various things based on results - if something is coming in too light-handed for you, then increasing the factor involved with it may strengthen...

Don't forget that some things are exposed in the plugin manager, and the rest are available in the plugin config file (click the 'Edit Config File' button in plugin manager).

See DevConvert_ServiceProvider.lua file / DevConvert._convertPhoto function for reference source code.


Question: I'm not a programmer, why should I have to edit a configuration file?

Answer: Well, you don't have to, but you may want to - as long as you just change the numeric values for the settings and leave the other stuff alone, everything should be fine. DevConvert will tell you if there are any errors that make its contents unreadable. The source code (DevConvert_ServiceProvider.lua file / DevConvert._convertPhoto function) has the formulas that may give a better idea what exactly these settings do, if you can glean from it.


Question: OK, how do I get at this config file of which you speak...?

Answer: Starting with version 1.3, just click the 'Edit Config File' button in the plugin manager.
*** You will need to have a default app configured for opening lua files.


Question: I am a programmer, or at least am willing to try, and I want to customize...

Answer: DevConvert_ServiceProvider.lua file / DevConvert._convertPhoto function has the formulas that you may tweak for results that suit you better - if you do this, please let me know.


Question: What are some of DevConvert's limitations and what are your plans for the future of DevConvert?

Answer:

  1. DevConvert does not check whether there are any local de-sharpening corrections - large negative sharpening values can do strong blurring in PV2010 compared to PV2003 - beware...
  2. Conversion formulas are oversimplistic and are designed to get closer than without them, but are far from "perfect". These may be tweaked as I do more conversions and get feedback from users.
  3. Presently, some stuff is configured using the plugin manager and some is configured by editing the lua plugin config file... - I just got lazy (er, I mean didn't have time...) - sorry...
  4. Maybe consolidate check collections:
    1. Fill + lens vignette (go through once at fit size and check both). Although, you can always select both collections now if you want (Ctrl/Cmd-Click).
    2. All Detail (go through once at 1:1 and check sharpen, noise reduction, grain, ...). Although you can always select Detail Collection & CA collection simultaneously and accomplish the same thing.

    (Now that I have the "Finished" function this change will probably never happen).

 


 

 

DevConvert Revision History

(reverse chronological order)


 

Version 1.4, released 2011-08-29

- Enhanced fill-light compensation - much better now: instead of just brightness reduction, there's tone curve adjustments. Note: If you're using an edited config file, I strongly recommend going in and setting fillBase to 0 (it used to default to 10).

 

Version 1.3.0, released 2011-07-16

- Looks for configuration support in a file named 'com.robcole.lightroom.develop.DevConvert.PluginConfig.lua' in the parent directory of the plugin (lrplugin folder), and then if not found, looks for 'PluginConfig.lua' in lrplugin folder. So, if you upgrade *and* if you've edited PluginConfig.lua, be sure to copy it to the parent directory and rename it to the aforementioned filename before doing any conversions.

- Added an 'Edit Config File' button to the plugin manager, which will take care of everything, if you've never edited the config file before, and so you won't have to go through the above rigamarol next time.

- Changed default log file name. If you want to have it, just delete the existing log file name and reload the plugin.

 

Version 1.2.2, released 2010-07-19

- Fixed bug: Color NR Factor was not being saved / restored in Plugin Manager.

 

Version 1.2.1, released 2010-07-15

- Fixed bug having to do with handling of profile-based lens distortion preference setting.

Version 1.2.0, released 2010-07-14

- Added 'Finished' menu item that removes selected photos from all "check" collections and updates process version collections.
- Added 'Ignore If Buried' setting to plugin manager, which defaults to false for compatibility with previous versions.
- Renamed 'No Check' category to 'General Check' category. If you have a 'No Check' collection from previous version, then after running this version, you can move photos from 'No Check' to 'General Check' and delete the 'No Check' collection.

Version 1.1.3, released 2010-07-14

- Fixed the problem with lens profile settling (hopefully).

 

Version 1.1.2, released 2010-07-13

- Fixed a potential problem with catalog contention between dev-convert and dev-meta.

Version 1.1.1, released 2010-07-13

- Performance enhancement and bug fix: Separated process into two distinct phases:
1. Lens correction assessment and profile assurance.
2. Conversion from PV2003 to PV2010.
Fixes problem where lens profile hadn't settled yet when conversion was attempted - also makes it faster.

 

Version 1.1.0, released 2010-07-07

- Added a function to separate selected photos into PV2003 & PV2010 collections.
- Added a 'No Check' - "Catch-All" collection so that all photos processed by DevConvert are available after the fact for inspection, even if they don't trigger any of the "Warning-Check" conditions.
- Attempted to alleviate an occasional bug whereby the auto profile selected in phase 1 doesn't seem to have percolated yet when embarking on phase 2 - don't know if the "fix" will do any good or not.

 

Version 1.0.0, released 2010-07-06

Initial release.


 

Please (IDENTIFY THE PLUGIN) let me know what you think, and please (IDENTIFY THE PLUGIN) report bugs.

 

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DevConvert 1.4 - newest release - this is the one to download.

DevConvert 1.3 - in case of problems with newest release, in which case: please let me know!).

 

Static content updated 2010-07-07 Copyright 2007 - robcole.com - all rights reserved. Dynamic content updated 01:28:24 PM