Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Tango

  1. I came across this post when I got the error message that "Paint.net requires that the Platform Update for Windows is [sic] installed." When I saw that this was KB2670838 I rolled my eyes. Indeed I have blocked this update from appearing on my Windows update list years ago (it somehow got reinstalled anyway, so I had to banish it again, which is when I discovered that PDN stopped working the next time I tried to run it).


    There are indeed many problems with the KB2670838 update (I search for the details whenever I need to find them by Googling "evil update," if that's a clue!) In my case, it boils down to the fact that Windows Resource Monitor stops working with enlarged (125 dpi) screen resolution. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but after seeing all the other problems reported by others, it just seemed like a very buggy update which was never properly fixed subsequently.


    The only thing that didn't work for me without this update was IE 10 and IE 11, but who uses IE anyway (I installed IE 9 just incase)? And allegedly some games that I wouldn't care about. But now I find that PDN post 4.0.21 also does not work without this update.

    The PDN blog post at https://blog.getpaint.net/2018/04/01/paint-net-4-0-22-and-windows-7-platform-update/ explains the dependency. Various posts there by a user beavis@butt-head.com complained about this dependency, but he was not ummm ... very articulate, shall we say (or perhaps too articulate?), and didn't make his point well. And there were some surly responses by the author along the lines of suggesting that the complainer go back to the stone age if he didn't like updates (though the author's claim that "It’s not even a big update, and it doesn’t break anything" is quite false, as a simple search for "KB2670838 evil update" will reveal--yes, the update is a few years old but when has that meant that it's problem-free when it comes to Microsoft?). Anyway, it was not a productive exchange overall at that blog post and this forum thread seems more so.


    So my main purpose in writing this forum update is (1) to provide legitimacy (or at least empathy) for those who are indeed having an a problem with KB2670838 and quite rightfully don't want to install it. And (2) to indicate to those people, that indeed going back to version 4.0.21 of PDN would seem to be the only way to continue to use PDN without installing the "evil update" on Windows 7. That is indeed what I plan to do as long as I am on Windows 7, and forsake whatever improvements to PDN have been done since then.


    The official website for PDN does not seem to have older versions archived for some reason, but it's easy enough to find them. E.g., at <snip> (interestingly, 4.0.21 is the oldest one still on that archive, so get it while you can before it drops off the list). Make sure to do a Custom install and then disable the "Automatically check for updates" option so you don't inadvertently "upgrade" to a version that won't work for you.


    Incidentally, I found that Plugins are preserved over the Uninstall/Reinstall process (i.e., the Effects folder where plugins are stored was not deleted by the uninstall, although the FileTypes folder was, but perhaps only because it was empty?). If you want to play safe and avoid having to search again for plugins you may have previously installed, you could save the Effects and FileTypes subfolders in C:\Program Files\paint.net\ before uninstalling.

  2. Rick, couldn't see xod's video (guess he removed it once you saw it), but here is my screen-capture video that shows the problem on the actual editing task that inspired me to file this post. I've reduce the screen-capture video resolution to 720x404 to reduce the file size to <2 MB so it can be attached directly, but you can clearly see the problem. The first minute of the 2-min video shows the problem, the second minute shows a workaround using the union mode of the lasso select tool.


    My suggestion, which I try to explain verbally at around 0'35" is that (a) auto-scroll not zip across unrestrained, but just let's say an inch at a time (or 20% of the app window size in that dimension) and in addition that (b) the mouse pointer position scroll WITH the contents so that it remains at the last position on the image that I moved it to, and I can continue my lasso select operation. Meanwhile, a short-term improvement, as MJW suggested, would be to disable auto-scroll when any freehand tool (lasso select, paintbrush, pencil) is active since it is of little or no use in those modes (and generally a negative).


  3. (Using old-fashioned > for quotes to avoid clutter. All quotes are from BoltBait's last post)


    > We now have nearly zero daily posts about installing plugins... I'm never going back to the dark ages.  Deal.

    Ok, deal. Was a minor point, and certainly appreciate the counter-argument.


    >> 2. A "Reset All" button

    > Not possible, sorry.  This is a limitation of the paint.net indirect ui system.

    But could have sworn I've seen it in others. Yes, in fact the Shadow/Highlight Reduction Plugin has a Reset button that resets all 3 sliders (in the Advanced mode it even resets sliders on Tabs not visible).


    >> a "Preview/View Original" checkbox [is] needed.

    > I can add that.  Good idea, thanks.

    :CommitButton: (no thumbs up emoticon available here apparently ...)


    >> 3. I find it odd and somewhat disconcerting that the default values [are] already modifying my photo without my doing anything.

    > Many of the built-in effects do this.  For example, Gaussian Blur has a default of 2.  ... I'll have to think about this.

    I feel more strongly about this one, that given the nature of this plugin as a general-purpose one the reset default really really should be "no change." You are absolutely right that in cases like Gaussian Blur, Convert to Black+White, and other specific-single-function plugins, a default that does something makes sense since anyone who invokes that function wants to see a Blur, B/W, etc. But in this case, as a Combined Effects plugin, it is way too general purpose to have any reasonable default. In cases like Brightness and Contrast, there is absolutely no way of knowing whether someone wants to increase it or decrease it (the built-in Brightness/Contrast controls do default to 0, by the way). If I invoke Brightness, I almost always want to increase it, but your default would decrease it. Really, most of the time I don't need to touch it, and it's the control I would use most often. The FMA "Squarer" function, while interesting, is non-standard enough that I would never really be likely to use it (preferring instead the more linear white/black point adjustments and that too on the rare occasion I even need dynamic range increase), yet it has a default of 30. Do reconsider this!


    > I wrote all my help files at a very high level thinking that I would go back later to add details.  Maybe it is time for me to revisit them.

    If you want to send me a draft by PM, I'm happy to review and comment offline, or even write the draft for you if you give me a cryptic version of what each is doing. (It's the least I can do to collaborate a little on the execution!)


    > 6. As Tanel has posted the source code to his Shadow/Highlight Recovery plugin, this is possible.



    >> 7. White and black point adjustments

    > 7. Not possible as the histogram controls are not available to us plugin authors.

    I'm going to expound on this one at some length as well. The interactive histogram, while very useful, is really icing on the cake. And recreating all the functionality I described from scratch including all the histogram stuff is admittedly complex and reinventing the wheel. But yet, if no white point and black point adjustment controls are available to plugin authors even without the histogram, it's still a relatively simple function to recode, is it not? It's just a linear rescaling of the brightness value of each colour of each pixel between the new white point and black point values, after thresholding, true?


    I usually use this adjustment partially in lieu of, and generally in complement with brightness and contrast (hence my wanting it in the Combined Adjustments), often for an underexposed photo (less frequently for an overexposed photo which can generally not be improved upon as much). The histogram in this case shows almost no pixels on the white end of the spectrum, so I dial the white point down to a point close to where the histogram starts to show activity, knowing that I am losing very little information by doing so as very few pixels are being destroyed (converted to all-white). But even without the histogram, just looking at the picture I can tell from the lack of light tones that a white point adjustment is worth trying and similarly a black point adjustment in the case of a lack of dark tones. So I'd still find it useful even operating the control "blind."


    So if you can recode just the controls, this would still be useful. But yeah, it's somewhat more useful with at least an input histogram too. Would just a b/w input-only histogram be too much to ask to recreate?


    >> 8. Add "Auto Adjust" button that uses some algorithm to make (proposed) changes to the included functions automagically

    > 8. Again, not possible.  That's why the defaults of the sliders are somewhat general.


    OK, this is not a big deal for me. It was educational when I first started photo editing as a quick way to see what controls did what, but I rarely find a need to use it nowadays even on programs that support it. (But I'd still insist that zero-level defaults are better in that case ... not to harp on that point or anything ...:roll:.) If at some point in the future it becomes possible, my discussion above on white/black points provides a basis for an algorithm for the auto-setting of those two parameters at least.


    > Looking over your list, here's what I could build:

    > -Shadow/Highlight Recovery

    > -Brightness

    > -Contrast

    > -Temperature

    > -Tint

    > -Saturation

    > -Multiply

    > -Preview original image (checkbox)

    > I would have to trade out Noise Reduction for Shadow Recovery.

    > What do you think?  Worth doing?


    No issue on my side with trading out Noise Reduction for Shadow Recovery. Not because Noise Reduction isn't useful, but because much less is lost by having it be an independent control as its effect is largely orthogonal to the others.

    Now if you could add a basic (histogram-less) White and Black Point adjustment to the above list per my comments above, I'd be a very happy camper!

  4. Installed the 4.6 pack at your suggestion on my thread on Need Multiple Adjustment or Effect Controls active simultaneously. Here are my hopefully constructive comments and suggestions, but only on the "Combined Adjustments" plugin (except for Item 1).



    1. Perhaps just my paranoia, but it would be nice to have the option of just copying the appropriate files into the appropriate sub-directories of the Paint.net installation, i.e., a zip file of the actual files to be copied along with a short readme file on where to put each one. I just don't like to run .exe files where they're not really necessary. By all means include the .exe option as well for those who prefer a one-step "no-brainer" installation.


    *** The following comments are only on the "Combined Adjustments" plugin. ***



    2. A "Reset All" button and a "Preview/View Original" checkbox are needed.



    3. I find it odd and somewhat disconcerting that the default values (with everything reset) has Noise Reduction at 0.2, Brightness -10, Contrast +10, Saturation +5 and Final Multiply Adjustment (more on that later) 30, i.e., it's already modifying my photo without my doing anything. The reset values should always default to "No Change" on a general function like this. If you feel that these are "Typical" values that most photos need (though I would disagree), then by all means add a "Typical" button with these "standard" values, but the Reset values should really reflect "no change."



    4. The Help file is great, but I would really like more detail in it, specifically on the algorithm being used (even in general terms in the case of more complex algorithms). Even a casual user might find it useful or at least interesting, and the more technical user may actually want to know what exactly is being done to the image. Perhaps Brightness and Contrast don't need more explanation (though even there, a one-liner like "adds the specified number to each of the RGB values, within the range 0-255" would be useful). Of course those who would like even more detail could go to the source code, but this would be a nice intermediate step. Another useful item would be whether an item like Saturation just calls the built-in Saturation control function or whether it is a (perhaps differently operating) replacement. In the case of Noise Reduction, for example, where the built-in has two controls Radius and Strength and this Plugin has only one (Strength, presumably, but with a different default of 0.2 to boot), it would be especially useful to know what's being used as the default "Radius" parameter in this case.


    5. "Final Multiply Adjustment" really does need a detailed explanation. The current "really bring out the dynamic range of your image" doesn't really say much (in one of my photos that I tried this out on, it actually reduced the apparent dynamic range). The name suggests that it multiplies each of the other adjustments by some factor, but even if I set all the others to 0 (manually), this control still does something to the image.


    MY WISH LIST FOR NEW FUNCTIONS - This would be my "dream" v4.5 (v4.4 of course is the one that incorporates my suggestions above ;))! In priority order ...

    6. Shadow/Highlight Recovery: With the same three controls as in just the Basic portion of Tanel's plugin.

    7. White point and black point adjustments: Preferably as a subset of the built-in "Levels" adjustment, with the following feature subset:

       - Only overall level needed (no need for separate RGB controls)

       - Display both input and output histograms (without breaking out RGB separately for the input histogram, though it would be useful on the output histogram for the other controls that affect colour--perhaps a checkbox option to display b/w vs colour histogram)

       - Control white point and black point on input only (no need for control on output, nor on grey point control, but preferably with the control slider visually closer to the base of the histogram than on the built-in ...)

       - Display effect on output histogram

    8. Add "Auto Adjust" button that uses some algorithm to make (proposed) changes to the included functions automagically, showing on the sliders what changes were made (so the user can use as a starting point and further modify).

    9. Noise Reduction: Add Radius parameter as well to match the built-in.


    Sorry in advance for being greedy! To be clear, the ones I would really need on a Combined Adjustment control (that I use all the time with photos and frequently iterate between the controls so would really like them in one Plugin) are, in order of frequency of use (most frequent to least frequent):

    - Brightness

    - Contrast

    - *Shadow/Highlight Recovery (almost always Shadow, rarely Highlight)

    - Color temperature

    - *Black point/white point

    - Saturation

    *=Missing in current version


    The following I almost rarely (or at least rarely in a Combined way) but are already in the Combined Adjustments feature:

    - Tint (rarely, if I need to finetune after using high levels of Color Temperature and Saturation correction)

    - Final Multiple Adjustment (not sure what it really does)

    - Noise Reduction (never tried it, perhaps I should)

  5. Yes, it's definitely too fast as well (though with a limit on how much it scrolls like my proposed 20% the speed would no longer be a problem), but just slowing it down isn't the solution. Primarily, the mouse position MUST scroll with the image and secondarily it has to be prevented from over-scrolling. The standard Windows scroll-bars are always there for cases where you really do want to scroll "fast and furious."

  6. Currently, if I am using a paintbrush or pencil tool, and draw close to the edge of the displayed image (which is zoomed so that only part of the image is displayed), auto-scroll kicks in and rapidly moves the image (and furthermore doesn't stop unless I back off from the edge or it reaches the edge of the image). This results in a LONG unintended and undesired horizontal or vertical line from my drawing tool that I then have to undo and try again after re-positioning and/or zooming out.


    Even worse is if I am using a lasso selection tool, where my painstaking tracing of a detailed outline is then completely lost and must be restarted. And the lasso tool is one where I am indeed likely to want to use a high zoom level if I want precise tracing and really want auto-scrolling compatibility, but the current behaviour makes this detailed zoomed-in lasso selection all but impossible. (Other selection tools are not too problematic since you can just back up with just a minor annoyance factor if your rectangle select, for example, became way larger than you wanted owing to auto-scroll--it's the lasso selection where it really is a problem.)


    My proposed solution: Auto-scroll be changed to behave as follows:

    - Upon reaching the auto-scroll edge trigger point, the auto-scroll be limited to some smaller amount (perhaps 20% of the displayed amount in that dimension);

    - Fundamental: The pointer (mouse position) be moved WITH the scrolling window so no unintended line/selection is created by the auto-scroll;

    - Optional but nice: An indication of some sort when the mouse/pointer gets close to the auto-scroll threshold, to reduce the surprise factor. My suggestion: Highlight the border that is about to auto-scroll from the threshold line to the corresponding display edge, so the auto-scroll threshold zone on that edge becomes visible.


    If people have a good reason to want the current behaviour under other circumstances (though personally I couldn't think of realistic scenarios where I'd prefer the current behaviour to this one), I suppose an option could be added to have it function in the current mode.

  7. On 2/15/2017 at 3:11 PM, BoltBait said:

    If you had a specific list of effect sliders you want combined to a single effect, I could probably code it for you.

    Thanks, appreciate that offer! Let me take a look at your "Combined Effects" and also Tanel's "Basic Adjustments." They definitely help, but for sure I'll have others to add to the list, including at least the following that don't seem to be on either of those:

    - Color Temperature (that you were kind enough to code for me recently on a separate thread)

    - Shadow/Highlight Recovery (I downloaded the standalone plugin for that)

    - White Point and Black Point (built-in--though still scratching my head trying to understand the separate input vs. output controls on that)

    in addition to the various that are already on one or both of the previous two plugins (Brightness, Contrast, Tint, Saturation).


    What these have in common is that I can see iterating between them as a change in one may cause me to reevaluate a change in another. Haven't used "Noise Reduction" but since Shadow Recovery is often accompanied with more Noise, I'll have to play with that. Can I take a rain-check on the offer, so I can fine-tune my request list over the next month or so after playing with this a little longer with real photos?

  8. As a new paint.net user, I'm trying to replace Microsoft Photo Gallery (aka Windows Live Photo Gallery) so I have access to the more powerful features of paint.net.


    One unfortunate hitch I've run into, which for me is a major limitation, is the apparent (and surprising to me) inability of paint.net to have multiple adjustment windows open at once. If I want to adjust both Brightness/Contrast and Hue/Saturation, for example, I cannot have both those controls open at once so I can iterate between them. I have to close one before I open the other.


    For example, when I adjust Shadow/Highlight (using Tanel's plugin that I recently discovered), I find a frequently need to make small adjustments in contrast and then (for whatever reason) find that those adjustments have increased color saturation and I need to dial back Saturation a bit. With Photo Gallery I have all three (as well as others like White/Black Point, Hue/Saturation, etc.) all simultaneously accessible to iterate and fine tune as I need. With paint.net I need to close each Adjustment window in order to open the other, which is really awkward. To make matters worse, each time I click OK on one of the adjustments, the image is re-rendered, so to dial back a previous adjustment, I either have to do possibly several levels of Undo and then try to remember what I did before (unfeasible), or do the reverse adjustment (with possible unnecessary loss of quality).


    This sounds like an architectural limitation of paint.net, perhaps owing to the Plugin model, but it would sure be nice, at the very least from a useability standpoint if any number of Adjustment and/or Effect control windows could be simultaneously open for iterating between any of them that I may want to. Any comments from those familiar with the inner workings?


    While I'm on the subject, there are two other user-interface issues with the Adjustment/Effect windows that IMHO need some changes: One is counter-intuitive and the other "merely" annoying.


    1. If, for example, I bring up the Brightness/Contrast control and set Brightness +50, OK that, and then bring it up again (perhaps after having made some other changes but not necessarily), it comes back up set by default at +50. That suggests to my intuition that I could undo my previous +50 by dialing it back to zero (which actually would be nice per my earlier comments) but that's not how it works. It has by default added an ADDITIONAL +50 brightness. If that's the way it has to work, there should be no memory of my earlier change and it should always default to 0 (or neutral/no change values).


    2. These adjustment boxes all appear by default in the middle of the picture, almost always guaranteeing that I'm going to need to move it to see the effect. It should (a) appear somewhere off to the side and/or (b) the last position of each window should be recorded (in an .ini file or registry or whatever) so as to reopen in the last placed position.


  9. Yes, works great. Thanks again. Since you ask, for me it clearly belongs in the Adjustments menu since the similar linear color modifications like Hue/Saturation are there, and it is intended to correct an image, not add an artifact. Effects seem to have, appropriately, mostly enhancements to add effects not in the original picture (with the notable exception of Red Eye, but that is a non-linear adjustment at least). Either way, it's a minor point, just happy to have it.

  10. Thanks BoltBait, but the effect isn't what the Color Temperature control in WLPG does (and it doesn't have the desired effect in actual use either). You're increasing red and decreasing blue for "warmer," and the reverse for "cooler," but what WLPG does is not quite as simple. E.g., it is asymmetric (warmer and cooler are not the inverse of each other) and non-linear (intensity of adjustment of R/G/B are not linear with level of warming/cooler applied). There is even some (but very small) cross-correlation between what the level of one channel is to the effect of adjustment on the other channel (but it's so small that probably this can be ignored).


    I did some tests with 25%, 50% and 75% grey to come up with the above conclusions once I saw that BoltBait's script wasn't doing the same thing (and one with 75% R, 50% G, 25% B to check the cross-correlation) and here is the result (converted to image). I suppose one could come up with more intermediate points and come up with a heuristic curve that emulates the WLPG filter. Probably could improve upon it too since I sometimes need more than the max amount provided by WLPG and the additional range could be incorporated.


    I got curious and searched for a research paper on what such an equation might actually be (R, G and B levels as a function of desired color temperature adjustment). It must surely exist but I couldn't come up with it, at least not with a casual Google search.


  11. Background: I have been using Windows Live Photo Gallery (WLPG) for most of my simple photo editing as it has everything I need for global editing (no layers, no selecting portions of an image for editing). Have recently started using Paint.net (PN) for more complicated tasks.


    Problem: Have been able to find the equivalent of most of WLPG features in PN, with the notable exception of Color Temperature adjustment. Sure, I could play around with Level, Curves, Hue/Saturation and finally get what I want (and then some), but very often, a single-slider Color Temperature control is all I need to add back some warmth in skin tones in a photo taken with a flash, for example, or remove some in a photo taken with indoor (tungsten) light.



    (1) What is the simplest way to achieve that with built-in PN features?

    (2) Is there a recommended Plugin that will make it even simpler?



  • Create New...