When To Colour Correct?

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When To Colour Correct?

Postby NikonUser on Mon May 22, 2006 9:08 pm

Hi there,

I'm just wondering when the best time to do colour correction in Post Processing is?

I always convert from RAW and try to get the White Balance as spiffy as possible. Sometimes though I can get better results once I'm in Photoshop by using the 'Shadow/Midtone/Highligh' droppers in the Levels and Curves dialouge box...

Should I do this colour correction right near the start of PP'ing (before any other levels, curves or other adjustments) or as one of the last steps?

I've read something about this before and that it's very important to get it right... but can't find the info anywhere.

Thanks
Paul
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Postby Matt. K on Mon May 22, 2006 9:54 pm

Yes
Get the levels/brightness right first and then the colour next. Sharpen last.
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Postby NikonUser on Mon May 22, 2006 9:57 pm

Cool

Thanks
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Postby admajic on Mon May 22, 2006 10:00 pm

At which step do you noise ninja? If required...
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Postby NikonUser on Mon May 22, 2006 10:04 pm

I do the noise reduction very early in the processing...

A lot of actions in Post Processing can make noise more visible. If it's not there at the start then there is less that can show up later on.

If it's a particularly noisey shot I will run a second noise reduction just before sharpening.... but will use layer masks to make sure detail isn't lost where it matters.

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Postby Matt. K on Mon May 22, 2006 11:24 pm

Paul
I do any noise reduction last but I'm not sure why? Maybe I need to look a little closer at this.
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Postby avkomp on Mon May 22, 2006 11:45 pm

I thought noise reduction should happen late
after usm as you will often see noise increase after usm.

just an observation on my part.

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Postby NikonUser on Mon May 22, 2006 11:52 pm

If you do noise reduction after sharpening you are basically undoing your sharpening aren't you? (My understanding is that noise reduction is done by introducing a slight blur?)

I've read in heaps of places that any 'major' noise reduction should be done early.

I've never actually tested any of this though.

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Postby NikonUser on Tue May 23, 2006 12:00 am

Here is some info from various FAQ's

From the NoiseWare site
Q: When in workflow Noiseware should be applied?
A: As a general guideline, we recommend applying Noiseware early in the workflow before major adjustments are made to ensure noise is not amplified further and in order to prevent the image details from potentially excessive alteration.


From the NeatImage site:
Q Is processing via Neat Image best done before or after any other processing (i.e. tonal/color correction)?
A


Such operations as tonal/color correction are quite conservative. Therefore, to filter before or after makes a little difference - as long as the device noise profile is built and applied at the same stage of image processing. For example, don't use a device noise profile built with an unprocessed image to filter a processed image.

Remember that some digital cameras apply some color correction internally. Other cameras allow access to unprocessed RAW data. Neat Image is a generic filter, which can be applied in both cases. The only requirement is to use matching profiles.

On the other hand, image sharpening applied to a noisy image makes it much more noisy. It is best to apply Neat Image filtration before sharpening (including internal camera sharpening). However, the sharpening and noise filters of Neat Image can be used together since the sharpening is applied AFTER noise filtration.


From NoiseNinja:
Q: Where should Noise Ninja be used in the workflow?

It is usually best to apply noise reduction as early as is practical in the workflow. Post-processing adjustments like sharpening, contrast stretching, and color balancing can alter pixel values and noise levels in unpredictable ways. Depending on the amount of adjustment, this can make it more difficult for Noise Ninja to estimate noise levels. Sharpening, for instance, is a nonlinear operation that can significantly distort the distribution of noise values.

If your workflow requires that you use Noise Ninja after some other operations, then try to create noise profiles using calibration images that have been put through the same operations.


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Postby avkomp on Tue May 23, 2006 12:05 am

I have ran noise reduction early on also.
from the info you just posted, it would seem that earlier is better.

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Postby NikonUser on Tue May 23, 2006 12:11 am

If I remember tomorrow I will do a test to see if it's better to do noise reduction before or after adjusting exposure.

Thoughts

1) It could be better to remove the noise from the shadows BEFORE you try and enhance them... But maybe the noise reduction program would ignore the noise since it's not visible.

2) If you enhance the shadows first then you'll bring out all the noise... then the noise reduction software can just do it's thing and get rid of it... but the extra reduction could cause loss of more details?


Paul
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