Sagelight 4.3 Available

screenshot

(image created using the Retinex Function)

Announcing Sagelight Editor 4.3.

Sagelight 4.3 is now Available, and includes a number of new functions.

 

Release Notes Summary

 

  • Single-Frame HDR Functions Added
    • HDR Details. Allows you to bring out great details in your image, both photographic and Artistic,
    • HDR Highlights. HDR Highlights Allows you to bring out great details in another way, focusing on the Highlights, but also more algorithmic image blending (The “Blend Curve”)
    • Vivid Photo. Brings out your image with a light touch of HDR for details and color.
    • Black and White.  Gives your image that Ansel Adams look
    • Stark HDR. Like Black and White HDR, but for color images
    • Artificial HDR
  • Power Details Functions Added
    • Power Details.  Gives great detail and look to your image.  Like HDR details, but much harsher with contrast. For both photographic and effect-based results.
    • Power Details Highlights. Similar to the HDR Highlight Details, but with a more contrasty edge.  Can generate amazing contrast in your image.  See the example below.
  • One-Shot HDR Functions.  Over 35 various HDR & Power Details presets to automatically change your image.
  • Retinex HDR function Added.  An HDR algorithm that can do interesting things with your image. See below.
  • Lanzcos 2, Lanzcos 3, and Lanczos 5, 64-bit per-channel resizing added.  Yes, it’s finally here!
  • Latest RAW update, including fix for RAF files that were switching colors.
  • Plug-In Bug Fixes.  Some plugins were having problems. This should help out.
  • Nik Software/Vivesa 2 16-bit per-channel patch.  Vivesa now runs in 16-bit mode with this patch.
  • Diagnostics Window. This helps with issues that aren’t part of the Sagelight mainstream, but are affecting some users.

Where to Get it.

You can download the new release from http://www.sagelighteditor.com/Sagelight.exe

Or, you can get it from http://www.sagelighteditor.com/install_trial.exe – this may be a better option if Internet Explorer 9.0 gives you any problems (it knows about install_trial.exe; these two are exactly the same program anyway).

Release Notes (Full)

Single Frame HDR

Sagelight now has a number of Single-Frame HDR functions.  These functions are designed to be used for both photographic and artistic/effect-driven purposes.

With HDR functions and the associated controls (as well as the Undo Brush here and there), you can bring out fine details in your image, recover highlights, give your image an extra punch, or make it look like a great HDR artistic image from a single frame.

Now that cameras today are so far along, with both RAW and JPEG, getting HDR from single frames is very possible.  Many of the results with Single-Frame HDR look just as good as multi-frame HDR.

flower-new-500

HDR Details

HDR Details can bring out the fine details in your image, and can create great photographic effects without making the image look artificial, such as the image above.

You can also create real HDR-like effects:

hdrdog

The main difference is in how much HDR power you put into it, and how you blend the image with the easy-to-use blending controls in the HDR functions.

 

HDR Highlights

HDR Highlights allows you to work with highlights in your image, to recover them, or to bring out great definition in your overall image. This also includes the “Blend Curve”, giving you some great blending power, which can create great effects in your image.

 

sample1-new

Vivid Photo

The Vivid Photo HDR function can bring out great color and definition in your image with subtle HDR controls and effects.  The image above, for example, was processed with the Vivid Photo HDR function.

The main purpose for this function is to bring out depth and color in your image without losing any realism.

 

hdr-blackwhite

Black and White

HDR is great for Black and White, too.   The image above was created from a color image by using the Black and White HDR function.  This function gives a black and white image a lot of contrast and detail without destroying important tonal information.

The results are typically deep, punctuated black-and-white images.

 

Stark HDR

Stark HDR is much like the Black and White HDR, but for color images.  You can create moody and stark images with this function.

 

trainstation-hdr

Artistic HDR

The Artistic HDR function lets you create more artistic HDR images, such as the train station above.  With the multiple controls and control over your image, you can create some interesting effects very easily.

HDR Panel (Pro Function)

The HDR Panel is a Pro-level function.  This gives you complete and entire control over the HDR process, allowing you to explore your own directions and experiment with the HDR functions.  All of the other HDR functions can be created with this panel.

 

clahe-truck-new-650s-both

Power Details

Power Details is based on the CLAHE (Contrast-Limited Adaptive Histogram Equalization) algorithm, with a lot of Sagelight additives to make it work well for your picture, either to add realistic definition or to create artistic effects.

The image above, for example, was created with the Power Details function, with a mixture of artistic effect while keeping an amount of photo-realism (half-and-half).

See the next section for a photographic example.

 

clahehigh

Power Details Highlights

Power Details Highlights is similar to the HDR highlights, except that it is harsher on purpose, giving you great contrast easily.

The above example was made with the default settings and just a little push of the “Blend Curve” slider.  This is an example of how the Power Details can add definition to your image while keeping the photorealism.

Note the much higher definition in the clouds and overall contrast, adding impact to the image.

 

Power Details Panel (Pro Function)

This gives you even more access to work with the Power Details.  The Power Details Panel is a pro-level function, and gives you an amazing array of control over your image.

 

oneshot

One-Shot HDR Functions

One Shot Functions give you a very easy way to instantly create different effects for your image, both photographic and artistic.  Consisting of over 35 different presets from the various new HDR functions, the One-Shot HDR functions also give you control over other factors.  They’re easy to use, and you can then use the other HDR functions to do even more.

 

retinex1

Retinex

Retinex is a fairly well-known HDR algorithm that generates local contrast.  It can be used to brighten up images or to create interesting effects.

The above example was created using the Retinex function.

Here is a link to the NASA page on Retinex: http://dragon.larc.nasa.gov/retinex/pao/news/ – this has many examples of what Retinex can do, but is also far from showing all the things you can do with Retinex.

 

Retinex-screenshot

Retinex is also great for removing haze and water obscuring the image.  The above example was cleared up using the Retinex function.

The main image (the pink flower that introduced this release) was also created with the Retinex function.

If you’re seen Retinex before, you might have seen some very grayish, far-from-realistic images.  Sagelight’s implementation of Retinex is not only very fast, but provides a number of controls so that you can create even more interesting images, both for effect and for photorealism.

 

64-bit per-channel Lanczos Resizing

Lanczos resizing is now in Sagelight.  Lanczos 2,3 and 5 are supported.

Lanczos 2 is the default, as this is the best general overall method.

Lanczos 3 is provided since it can sometimes give a nice, sharp resize, both in reducing and enlarging the image.  Lanczos 2 is the default, as it avoids artifacts sometimes created by Lanczos 3.

Lanczos 5 is provided for enlarging images.  Out of all of the resizing provided in Sagelight (Bilinear, Bicubic, Spline, Lanczos 2, and Lanczos 3), Lanczos 5 tends to work the best. When enlarging your images, Lanczos 5 does a great job in keeping sharp detail, even when you are making your image much larger than the original.

64-bit per-channel, floating-point resize

The Lanczos resize in Sagelight is done in 64-bit per-channel and in floating point (192 bits total). This ensures the best resolution possible with the lowest loss on the conversion possible.

In testing, 32-bits per-channel was fine, but there seemed to be a small edge for 64-bits, so the logic was put in to keep it 64-bits throughout the entire process.

 

Latest RAW updates, including RAF files

The RAW functionality has been updated to support more cameras.  RAF files that were loading with the color planes mixed up is now fixed.

Plug-In Filter bug fixes

There were some Plug-In filters that were not working with Sagelight.  A number of bug fixes were put in that fixes all known plug-in problems.

Nik Software Viveza 2 Plugin Fix (and Patch)

Viveza 2 works with Sagelight, both in 8-bit per-channel and 16-bit per-channel.  However, to use the 16-bit version, you must turn on the patch in the Diagnostics window, as the problem with this plug-in does not appear to be a Sagelight issue.

Diagnostics Window

A Diagnostics Window was added to address some of the unique and lesser-known issues with Sagelight.

At the moment, there are two switches.

1. Turn off all shadows on Windows.  Some XP systems and Linux systems have problems with the shadows on the windows, where white boxes appear over the entire window and obscure it and preventing its use.

This will turn off all shadows.  You may need to restart Sagelight before it takes effect fully.

2. Turn on Nik Software, Viveza 2 plug-in Patch. This will activate the 16-bit per-channel patch to allow Viveza 2 to work with Sagelight.  As noted, this particular problem does not seem to be a Sagelight error.  It is still being diagnosed, and this patch will allow it to run just fine anyway.

 

Conclusion

Well, that’s it for now.  On to version 4.5!

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