Welcome to the Labs!

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Welcome to the onOne Software Labs blog. This is the home for projects that our development team is working on, whether they are features for the next version of the Perfect Photo Suite or photographic apps that we haven’t yet announced.

The goal with onOne Labs is to give you a sense what we have in the pipeline. Some of the things we’ll show here are in the early stages of development, while others will be nearing completion. What we’re hoping is that you’ll give us feedback on features and product direction: what looks good and what needs work. With each post, you can tell us with a simple thumbs up/thumbs down rating — think, “I love this/I could care less” — and you can leave a comment with anything constructive that you’d like to add.

onOne Software is a small company, made up of photography lovers like you, and we’re always looking to improve what we do and how we do it. We’re hoping that, by being transparent and up front about the things that we’re working on, we’ll develop better products, products that you’ll want to use. Please let us know how we’re doing.

  

Browsing vs Importing

If you are like many photographers, you probably use Adobe® Lightroom® to manage your photos. Most of the time we love Lightroom, but it can be slow when it comes to downloading and importing photos. We have all been there. You just come back from a shoot, you are excited to see what you got. You start to import your photos into Lightroom and it can take several minutes before you can start to view and organize them. Its like watching a pizza cook in the oven. That’s because Lightroom is a database, not a browser. It needs to catalog every photo.

Sometimes you just want to see your photos and get to work right away. That’s one of the reasons we have been working on the new super-fast browsing capabilities for the Perfect Photo Suite. It will let you see your photos almost instantly, then start to zoom, compare, sort and organize them.

The Perfect Photo Suite has always been the perfect companion to Lightroom when it comes to retouching, masking and effects. Soon it will be the perfect front-end as well, allowing you get started faster, then helping you import your photos into Lightroom.

 

  

Perfect Eraser Improvements

The Perfect Eraser is one of the most popular new tools in Perfect Photo Suite 8. It has become a critical tool in many of our workflows. If you are not familiar with the Perfect Eraser, it is a content-aware fill brush that is perfect for removing distractions like unwanted people, power lines, road signs, etc. It works by filling in the object you want to remove with realistic, neighboring image detail. You can find it in Layers and Enhance. If you haven’t tried it, you should.

As great as the Perfect Eraser works, it does occasionally have issues with backgrounds with little detail. Skies, water and snow can be troublesome because they are gradients with low texture. The Perfect Eraser works by “patching” over areas with other similar “patches.” However in a gradient the patches must align perfectly and blend smoothly to maintain a consistent gradient.

Our image scientists have been working hard on this issue since the release of Perfect Photo Suite 8 and we are excited to show you the progress they have made. Soon the Perfect Eraser will easily handle these difficult gradient backgrounds with none of the tile-edge artifacts or modeling that you may occasionally see today.

  

Mobile devices and workflow

As mobile devices become more prevalent—and their capabilities grow—we know that many photographers will incorporate these devices into their creative workflow. Something that goes beyond the obvious “capture a photo, add a filter, post online” habits we have all been doing for the last few years with our smartphones and tablets.

During this transitional time, we have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about how to best integrate mobile platforms with our existing desktop photography tools.

Our position has always been consistent. The Perfect Photo Suite will allow you to work where you want and when you want, and we want to build serious workflow solutions for all photographers across all devices. We believe combining these two worlds in this quickly changing environment is the key for all who love photography.

How we accomplish that in the future is as much up to you as it is to us. We never want to develop products in a vacuum, so we would love to hear from you about how you currently use mobile devices in your workflow, and what you’d like to see down the road. Specifically:

  • How are you using mobile in your workflow?
  • How can we extend the power of the Perfect Photo Suite into mobile?
  • What has been your experience with mobile devices thus far?

You can either leave your comments here on the blog, or send us an email.

Thanks!
Patrick Smith
Mobile Product Manager

  

Lightning Fast Thumbnails in Browse

We have been pleasantly surprised by the response to the new Browse module from Perfect Photo Suite 8. We were not trying to replace a workflow tool like Lightroom or Aperture; instead, we wanted to offer a quick way for photographers — especially those using the Suite as a standalone app — to find the files they want to edit. (We think of it as a really nice Open dialog.)

However, photographers are telling us they want it to be a more-complete file management tool. They want to be able to import their images, make comparisons, rate them, and more. In response, we are working hard on those areas.

One of the top areas we are working on is preview speed. After a shoot, you really want to see your images quickly, so you can make decisions on what to keep and work on. Our engineering group has spent the last few months doing everything they can to improve the speed of viewing images in Browse.

The video above compares the current Browse module (on the left) with a prototype that has the new browsing code in it (on the right). Both are set to browse a large folder loaded with raw files, with 98 thumbnails shown in view. The current version of the Browse module takes about 30 seconds to load all 98 thumbnails. The prototype extracts low-quality thumbnails almost instantly, so you can see what you have and where you are at. Then in the background it generates large, high-quality thumbnails about twice as fast as the current version. This mean you can get to work on your images faster.

  

Masking Bug Preview

The Masking Bug is a flexible gradient mask tool that has long been part of the Perfect Photo Suite. It is used to blend layers or effects together. It is perfect for creating vignettes in Effects, replacing skies in Layers or Mask, and creating a tilt-shift lens look in FocalPoint. However, the existing Masking Bug’s unique control layout often hides its power, especially for many first-time and occasional Suite users.

One of our goals with the next version of the Suite is to make the Masking Bug more intuitive, easier to use, and overall, less mysterious. Here’s an update of where we’re at with it. In the next release, we will replace the insect-looking overlay with a straightforward new control and will offer presets to quickly create the mask you want. Tell us what you think.

 

  

Browser Update

Hello everyone! I just wanted to share an update on the new Browse module.

The module is taking shape nicely. With it, you will be able to find the images you want to edit no matter where they live: on your computer, an external drive, on your network or even online storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive. We think that this will be a huge improvement for our users who don’t use a tool like Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture to manage their images. It also works hand-in-hand with the new Perfect Batch processor. You can select a group of images in the Browse module and then perform a workflow through the new batch processor. Keep in mind this is still an early prototype so it doesn’t look exactly the way it will when you can get your hands on it, but let us know what you think about the direction here.

  

Perfect Enhance Update


Perfect Enhance is a new module designed give you everything you need to correct a photo and make it pop. It’s more about adjusting the brightness, contrast and color—not adding special effects. In addition to these basic image adjustments, you’ll also find sharpening and vignette options and tools for cropping and retouching. We think it will be the perfect first step in your image editing workflow, especially if you don’t use Adobe Lightroom or another tool for raw processing.

  

onOne Batch Processor

We are working on a new batch processing engine for the Perfect Photo Suite. The current batch processor supports only Perfect Resize, but soon you will be able to use it with all of the modules from the Suite. You will be able to select images in the Browser or from Lightroom and Aperture, or folder on disk, then batch-process them with multiple modules at the same time to solve complex workflows. For example a portait photographer can prepare images for a sales session by retouching every face, adding their stylized look and output small JPGs with their logo watermark, all in the same batch process.

Key batch processing features include:

  • Start with a selection of images from the Browser, or Lightroom and Aperture or any folder you select.
  • Batch process with a single module for simple jobs or create workflows where you string multiple modules together.
  • Save workflows to use over and over.
  • Pause on the first image to confirm your set-up, then automatically process the rest to match.
  • Add a visual watermark, like your logo, to every image.
  • Edit files in place or create new files with different size, name or file type.

Let us know what you think about this project, by clicking on the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down icons below or by leaving a comment.

  

Browser

We have been finding that many of you use the Perfect Photo Suite as a standalone application outside of common workflow tools like Adobe Photoshop®, Adobe Lightroom® or Apple® Aperture®, and we’re looking to build a simple, easy to use, image browser for getting to your photos. The Browser is intended to be the new home base inside the Suite. The Browser makes it easier to locate the images you want to work on whether they’re on your computer, network or on cloud-based storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive or Apple’s Photo Stream.

The Browser has an expansive full-screen experience with large, easy to view previews of your images along with critical metadata. The Browser is also intended to be the home to the improved onOne Batch Processor.

This will take best parts of the new Quick View Browser and the existing small browser on the left side of the window. You will get the larger previews, in a traditional light table view, of the Quick View Browser with the additional navigation and file info of the info panels.

Key features:

  • Find your images anywhere; on your computer, network or in the cloud.
  • Create favorites to quickly navigate to common locations like My Pictures.
  • View your images full-screen with metadata before you open them.

Let us know what you think about this project, by clicking on the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down icons below, and by leaving a comment. Is this something that you’d find helpful inside the Perfect Photo Suite? What else would it need?