Sagelight Version 4.2 Now Available

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Announcing Sagelight Version 4.2

As you may have noticed, things have been a little quiet on the blog for the last couple months.

That’s because I was busy doing the development for version 4.2 which has just been released!

This is part 1 of a 2-part release.  Part 2 will come in the next couple weeks and will have a couple added features and some UI improvements.

Downloading Sagelight (and System Requirements)

This version installs as a package and can be directly downloaded from http://www.sagelighteditor.com/Sagelight.exe. This installs as a trial or the full-version if you are already registered (If you are a registered user of version 4, it should not ask you for your registration code).

System Requirements
It is a 20 Megabyte Download. Windows XP, Vista, 2000, Windows 7, 32-or 64-bit is supported.. See the System Requirements link above for more information.

 

Features in Version 4.2 (Release Part I)

Bokeh, Lens Blur, and Fast Depth of Field

The Bokeh, Lens Blur, and Fast Depth of Field are a very powerful, comprehensive set of functions written to perform a number of depth of field, bokeh, and other blurring effects.  Written mostly in SSE2 and SSE4 code, these functions are written to be used easily and quickly in a free-form, real-time environment. You can use these functions with a vignette-style automatic mask and/or with your own easily-drawn (or created depth mask) to create advanced effects rapidly.

Bokeh, Lens Blur and Fast Depth of Field Features

  • See the next article for a feature list for Bokeh, Lens Blur, and Fast Depth of Field features.

External Image Browser and Raw Browsing Support

You can now set a path to an external Browser.   You can press E or Control-E to launch it.  When Sagelight receives the file from the external browser, it will load the image without starting another instance of Sagelight.  You can use ‘E’ in place of ‘O’ (Open File) is you choose to use an external browser.

Features

  • Launch External Browser easily .  Just use ‘E’ or Control-E

  • Ask for RAW options.  As an option, you can tell Sagelight to automatically ask for RAW options (instead of using defaults) when a RAW file is passed to it from an external browser.

  • Current Path Passed.  You can also tell Sagelight to pass the current directory when a file is opened.  This tells your external browser to start in the directory in which your open file resides.

  • Fast Loads.  When you load an image from an external browser, Sagelight drops it right into the opened Sagelight instance.  This means it is fast.  If Sagelight is not opened, the new load speed (see below) also keeps it fast.

 

More RAW support

An external browser can be used to browse RAW files windows cannot display, and some people use 3rd-party external browser for various reasons, rather than using the standard Windows Browser.

Windows support for RAW.

Windows now has support for RAW images in the Windows Browser.  In Sagelight testing, this means that Sagelight can now show the RAW thumbnails of most RAW images in the browser.  Use this link to to the Microsoft website to install it on your 32-bit or 64-bit Windows System:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26829#overview

 

ICC RAW Profile Support

This was more of a bug than a feature, but I thought it should be noted.  ICC profiles stored in RAW images are now loaded and the image is converted to that profile.

note about Adobe RGB with RAW images.  There has been a lot of discussion about using Adobe RGB embedded into RAW files.  It has been noted by many that colors seem to be oversaturated when loading RAW files with Adobe RGB profiles.  You may see this in Sagelight.  It is an issue with the concept of using an ICC profile with a RAW image.  My advice is to not use Adobe RGB ICC profiles with your camera.  If you want to use an Adobe RGB profile, shoot in sRGB (i.e. no profile) and then convert it to Adobe RGB after you’ve opened it.

 

Masking Enhancements

 

Various Masking improvements:

  • New Brushes.  The brushes have been revamped to work better.

  • Transparency Control.  You can now set transparency as well as hardness and pressure.

  • Auto Mask Save.  The mask now works more like an alpha channel.  When you dismiss it, it is still there and will come back the next time you activate the mask. For example, if you use the Bokeh controls, you can turn the mask back on and edit it, even if it wasn’t being used when you entered the function.

  • Load and Save Masks.  You can also load and save mask from/to files.

  • Import and Export to the Clipboard.  You can transfer the mask in from and out to the clipboard.  This facilitates easy usage of external editors.  For example, you can paste in a depth mask for use with the Lens Blur or DOF functions very easily.  You can also export a mask created in Sagelight to another editor.

  • Transfer to and from main image view.  You can convert the mask to the main image for better editing (and then go back to the main image).  You can also transfer the main image into a mask (converted to a LAB L channel), which has some benefits to be described in an article.

  • Mask menu Items.  There is now a ‘Mask’ menu item which has a host of entries in it to help make masking easier.

  • Saved Status.  The mask now remembers what you were doing the last time you were there.  It retains the settings (i.e. brush size, etc.) until you’ve loaded a new file.

 

Rapid Load Time

Not that the previous loading time was slow by any means, but it was getting longer because of all of the graphics that have been added in the last couple releases.  Now, it writes all of the compressed information to disk as uncompressed data.   When you first load it, it will take as long as normal.  After that, there will be at least a 5x increase in loading time.

I wanted to facilitate faster loading with external browsers, but also on Netbooks which tend to be much slower and the load time longer.

 

Reload Raw File With Options

This has been requested, and now you can reload your image quickly with RAW options. Sagelight will tell you to load with Highlight Recovery here and there, and now it is that much easier.  This also helps when images have been loaded with external editors, since the original path is either not completely known or is fairly long.

 

Undo Brush Upgrade and Bug Fix

The Undo Brush has had some features added and bugs fixed.

Features

  • Show Mask Button.  You can now look at the mask you’re generating.  This is helpful in two ways.

  1. You can show the mask as semi-opaque.  This allows you to work with edges you want to closely define. You can see the mask your building and the image, which allows you to exactly where the undo points will be.

  2. You can look at the mask as opaque.  This helps show streaks in areas you may have missed.  Typically, such streaks have zero effect and are nothing to worry about. But, if you’re created very large changes (such as blurring), then these missed areas may show up later when they are much harder to deal with.  You can click the Show Mask Button quickly to toggle it to see any missed areas.

  • Brushes Revamped.  This also includes the Clone Brush, and actually has a more pronounced effect with this function.  The brushes are smoother and work better.  In the case of the clone brush, the blending is significantly better (I was a little surprised, actually)

  • Display Bug Fixed.  The bug that caused the display to not return to normal when using the image view buttons has been fixed.

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