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Is there a work flow sequence that should be followed,

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Is there a work flow sequence that should be followed, to fix Photo defects?

Am I expecting too much, from PDN?

I found some stock photo sites, and have a few pictures posted:

Sometimes, a photo is rejected for haze, soft focus or strong digital noise.

I can get some good shots, but dirty pictures, because of a dirty windshield or bad light. Two of the three pictures below, were rejected.

I have some VicMan software (Russian), to adjusts for color and noise, but this is not enough to clean up some of the problems (for my skill set).

What is the best way to clean up these shots, for on-line presentation.

I've been playing and learning, with PDN, but still have a long ways to go. I've searched for tutorials, but couldn't find anything.

I'm still a bit overwhelmed with everything.

Sorry about the size. I reduced them on Photobucket, but they still show large.

This sun set was through the windshield. It has an interesting look, unless you have good eyes.


This was rejected for soft focus and haze.


I did some simple doctoring on this, with the VicMan software. I spent a fair amount of time, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.


This is the result of that effort.


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There is no work flow sequence, unless it's the same problem with the photos.

Different flaws will need different type of methods to fix.

Paint.NET is 100% able to fix all the photo problems. Unless the photos taken is really really bad.

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Here are a couple very useful tools for photo touch-ups with the problems you specified:

GREYCstoration Wrapper Beta* - Anisotropic noise canceling

UnSharp Mask - Highly configurable sharpening

Shadow / Highlight Recovery - Configurable contrast ratio controller

Curves + - All-in-one color range manipulator

If you have all of those, you can tackle pretty much any photo problem that comes your way. If you want, post a link to one of the full-sizes of one of the photos that were rejected and we'll take a look at cleaning it up to your satisfaction. Once done, we can tell you just how we did it so you can look into taking others yourself.

* GREYCstoration is temporarily being hosted on my server, since the original thread is mysteriously missing. If the creator ever does return, this link will be closed.

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Stop taking photos through windshield! By doing it you deliberately destroy image quality.

I wouldn't try to fix photos with that many / large defects.

Haze can be reduced with Sharpen+ plugin (unsharp mask) @ amount 20, radius 80; but you won't get rid of the "windshield effect". :?

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Tanel, I don't often have much of a choice.

Many of the shots I get, I get at highway speeds, in all kinds of weather. I have to point and shoot, or miss the shot. Also, I'm 75 feet long, and can approach 110,000 pounds, at times.


Thanks, Ash. I saw a comment, somewhere, that mentioned a consisitent work flow, which suggested the need for a sequence. Likely I just didn't understand what he was saying.

Crazy Man Dan: You da Man. That is exactly what I was trying to figure out. I should have asked sooner, but I figured you could read my mind...

GREYCstoration Wrapper Beta* - Anisotropic noise canceling

Is this a stand alone application, or does it go into the PDN program directory, with the .dll in the Effects folder?

The mostest baddest picture is that one I tried the VicMan software on. It is 2.1 mb. ... G_0295.jpg

Here is one with rain on the windshield, less than 500k. I guess if I learn well, through your help with the one above, I should be able to handle rain drops and wiper smears. ... C00409.jpg

BTW: I impressed a younger woman the other day, with my knowledge of PS, PDN and $$, and a couple of other well chosen words.

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Honestly, delete bad photos right away - all photographers do. There's no way to make them look good.

For good photos I recommend following workflow order:

- Noise removal (use some special software for that)

- Crop

- Color correction (color balance plugin, white balance plugin)

- Exposure & contrast adjustment (levels, curves, shadow/highlight plugin)

- saturation adjustment

- Defects removal (Clone Stamp)

- Resizing

- Sharpening

You hardly need to go all those steps on a good photo, but it's a good order in general.

And don't "decorate" photos with the ugly date stamp unless you do forensic photography. :wink:

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GREYCstoration Wrapper Beta* - Anisotropic noise canceling

Is this a stand alone application, or does it go into the PDN program directory, with the .dll in the Effects folder?

Both the DLL and the EXE go in the Effects directory.

The GREYCstoration algorithm is actually it's own stand-alone command-line program (the EXE), but the DLL allows you to use the program from within Paint.NET, giving you a normal plugin window sliders to set the different variables available in the program.

Note that the wrapper is still buggy. The creator made it on a whim, but never returned to finish it. :(

When you open the plugin, a CMD (not me... <_<) window will open up. This is normal (when you open any effect, Paint.NET calls its output method to generate a preview). The command-line application uses the command-line interface therein to inform you of the progress.

Some of the bugs it has are:

  • [*:e6bb8]Closing the CMD window will crash Paint.NET: The plugin needs to receive a bitmap at the end of processing.
    [*:e6bb8]Cancel Button: The Cancel button of the Plugin will close the CMD window while it is processing. It's out of the plugin's control at that point. The plugin window will close, but the EXE will continue processing until it's done and will close on its own at that time.
    [*:e6bb8]There is no live-preview: Changing the sliders does not update the preview rendered when the plugin was first opened
    [*:e6bb8]Double Final-Render: When OK is clicked, if any sliders were moved between the first render and the click of the OK button, the final render will run twice, possibly the result of a not-fully-implemented live-preview.

Despite it's shakiness, it is an excellent algorithm, even beating some commercial noise-canceling programs for overall removal and resultant image clarity (I was going to link to the page, but it is no longer there).

Some handy usage tips (from your friendly local professional :wink:):

1) The algorithm can take quite a while on large images. For larger images, it is sometimes a good idea to select a small selection (200px - 300px square usually is good) of the most complex part of the image, and run the plugin on that selection. Since it doesn't have a live preview, you'll have to wait three renders until you see what it actually looks like. Making a small selection allows you to test more rapidly. Just [Ctrl]+[Z] if it doesn't look right and open it again, change the sliders you want, and press OK. Wash, rinse, repeat until it looks right, then [Ctrl]+[Z] to undo the effect on that selection, [Ctrl]+[D] to remove the selection, and [Ctrl]+[F] to do the whole image (the processing will only run once since no slider changes were made).

2) Don't misuse the Iterations slider. Each iteration will run the effect over again [x] times on the result of the last iteration. If you're going to use a higher Iterations setting, use a much lower Strength level. Also be aware that the number of renders will triple during the test-and-retesting stage (1(x) at startup, 2(x) and 3(x) at final). This is where 1 becomes very important.

3) Play around. I must admit even I don't know what each slider does exactly, and it's one of my most often used plugins. Use Strength to control the smoothing level, Anisotropy (Smoothing tab) and Contour Preservation (Sharpening tab) to control the detail preservation, and when time allows, disable Fast Approximation (Smoothing tab) checkbox for a higher quality result.

So play around, and have great fun!

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Tanel, I deleted some photos once, and regretted it. It took 4 years for me to get back to that spot, to get them, again.

Many times, it is a one-time chance to get a shot. Often, it is a one-of-a kind shot, as well. And, at highway speeds in a big truck, there is no time to plan the shot.

I learned about that date stamp, several months ago. It ain't thar' no more.

Thank you for that sequence list. That is now in a text file.

Crazy Man Dan, I scanned your post, and almost closed the browser. I put your entire post in a text file, as well. I'm collecting a lot of text files, these days.

After reading it, the 3rd time, I'm not so intimidated. I'll just be very careful, and use it with your instructions 'posted on the wall".

Thank you.

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Yeah, regarding number 3 under tips up there:

You'll need to be careful with the Anisotropy and Contour Preservation sliders. Raising both sliders increases edge definition, but increasing them too much causes the algorithm to preserve the edges of the noise as well. Using multiple iterations with lower Strength (usually <20) and slightly higher Anisotropy and / or Contour Preservation settings can sometimes provide a better result than a high Strength setting with slightly higher Anisotropy / Contour Preservation settings on one iteration, as it will take multiple hits at the Noise while preserving more edge detail than trying to take it all out at once.

...Man that's a lot of techy-speak. :roll:

Like I said, you'll have to play around. Each picture is different, so each will work better with different settings.

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