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Rapid Fixer not working for me
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Author Topic: Rapid Fixer not working for me  (Read 6009 times)
chrisgreen
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« on: August 16, 2006, 03:04:52 AM »

I have had Rapid Fixer for a few months, and have basically given up using it. It's a tad slow on my iMac G5 1.8, but the real issue is that using it often results in unexpected adjustments. I suspect that I need to troubleshoot some issues, but I am curious to know whether others have found this tool to be solid.

I make NEF files on my D200, ingest them with ImageIngester Pro (b8), and begin editing with ACR adjustments in Bridge 1.0.4. I have run the Fors script, and made the ACR default for my D200 based on those calibration values with Auto settings on the adjustments. I am currently running II Pro with [none] selected under the Camera Raw Settings menu. I will often try to use Rapid Fixer to make a small negative 'Highlight' adjustment on an image with the default Auto setting, and find that instead of darkening a small amount it actually gets much brighter. It will then be adjustable incrementally as expected.

I think that Rapid Fixer could be a very good tool for me if it worked properly. Can anyone suggest anything I might try to make things work properly?
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2006, 07:10:58 AM »

Chris,
The problem is the Auto adjustments.  There is no way for Bridge to hand off the current value of the auto adjustments to RapidFixer, so any time you make an adjustment to an control that is set to Auto, RapidFixer will have to set the image back to an arbitrary point, and start adjusting from there.

If you set your camera Raw Defaults to not use Auto (or to only use the Auto Shadows, as I do), then it will be predictable every time.

There are a couple additional reasons that I don't particularly like the Auto Adjustments.
1. It hides bracketing.  Since it will minimize the difference between bracketed images, you don't know which started out as a better frame, and therefore which will yield a better result.

2. It hides from me important feedback on how I am shooting.  It's helpful for me to know in initial review how well I am exposing images.  This is particularly true for the first few months after I put a new camera into service.

3. The rendering you see with Auto is likely to not be quite as sticky to the file as one made with known values.  As the algorithms for Auto change in Camera Raw, images might render differently.  The non-auto settings should not move as much over time.

That said, one nice thing about Auto is that it works pretty well (for proofing) most of the time.  So there's a trade-off.  It's why we put Full Auto in the RapidFixer buttons.

I'd suggest that you give this a try.  Make a new Camera Raw Default that uses only Auto Shadows, and sets the other values at known places (Mine is Exposure 0, Brightness 75, Contrast 25, if that ends up being bright for the way you shoot, try Brightness 50.  If that is dark for the way you shoot...you need to give your images more exposure.)

Peter
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chrisgreen
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 06:05:05 AM »

Peter,

I get it. I was doing exactly what you suggest, and got off track recently. I think it started with ImageIngestor Pro and it's Apply Camera Raw Settings (I see there may have been a problem which was addressed in b9). I was using Rapid Fixer much more successfully yesterday, although now I am back to a speed issue. Would you say my computer might be a tad slow for good Rapid Fixer performance? iMac G5 1.8, 1 GB RAM. Performance is decent, but I find myself opening image groups in ACR for a better flow.

Thank you, cg
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2006, 06:24:06 AM »

Chris--

As far as I know, the problem in Beta 8 and some earlier ImageIngesterPro betas with RapidFixer was that RapidFixer was unable to make any changes at all, either putting up an alert with a message, or simply not doing anything. I'm unaware of any case where the incompatibility caused RapidFixer to make unexpected changes.

--Marc
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2006, 08:21:12 AM »

Chris,
Do you let Bridge completely build the cache before you start work in RapidFixer?  Are you keeping your folders to less than 300 or so?

I find that the RapidFixer speed is perfectly adequate on my powerbook G4,(at least compared to trying to do that same work in ACR) so the iMac should be okay.

RapidFixer depends on the computer have enough processing cycles to lend to Bridge so that changes get spotted quickly and updated.  If you have a lot of other applications open (or maybe even a lot of folders open in Bridge) then the changes won't be noticed as fast.

I have also found that Bridge starts to notice the changes faster once I have really gotten going. The first change or two are a bit slow, then it speeds up.

Peter
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chrisgreen
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2006, 05:38:08 PM »

Let me respond to both previous posts. First, Marc I don't think I identified anything other than what you described. I think what happened is that something weird happened during ingestion with IIP8, and my Camera Raw Settings. I then set the value to [none] in II, and let Bridge apply default settings for my camera while it built the cache. My default settings included Auto for all adjustments, and I then ran into RF's inability to find a proper start value from the Auto settings. By the way, I have been using IIP9 today, and the Camera Raw Settings I am setting there are working properly. I have a set that turns Auto off for everything but shadows, and includes my Calibration settings. All is good. Great piece of work on your part. Thank you!

Peter, yes I let Bridge build the cache, and yes I keep folders under 300. I keep my open apps to a minimum, especially when doing real work. I think I've noticed that Rapid Fixer speeds up after a little after a few images, although it seems to me that Bridge slows down after a while too. I find myself quitting Bridge occasionally, and relaunching it to improve performance. I've been working with RF today with the approach you suggested, and I am finding it to be a better tool. It's starting to feel like more experience will help a lot.

Thank you both for helping me out. Also, while I may have both of you guys listening, I should tell you that I taught a 5 day workshop to 4 photographers on Cape Cod last week. We spent a great deal of time using ImageIngester, and I told all of them to buy The DAM Book. Three of my students were thrilled beyond reason with II (the fourth may have decided to take up poetry or harmonica or something less technical). The 3 initiates were all very happy to know there is a well-defined, cross-platform paradigm for DAM (a concept they were only subconsciously aware of). I think the next time I get my hands on them they will be ready to start with the real business.

cg
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Marc Rochkind
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2006, 06:55:20 PM »

Chris/cg --

Thanks for the feedback (and kind words) on Beta 9. I haven't gotten any other feedback on it, and I never know if that's because it's OK, or no one is using it, or it's such a f--- up that no one will talk to me. ;-)

(There's the story about the child who never talked, was taken to many doctors who found nothing physically wrong, and then, age 5, suddenly at breakfast one day said, "My eggs are cold!" His shocked parents asked him why he had never talked. "Everything was OK until now," he replied.)

--Marc
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chrisgreen
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2006, 07:01:51 PM »

Marc,

The IIPro app is killer. I love it! You're obviously developing this with passion. That will carry the day.

cg
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2006, 05:25:23 AM »

Three of my students were thrilled beyond reason with II

Chris,
I feel the same way...
Peter
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