PhotoLab is a parametric software, which means that the corrections applied are written as numerical instructions (*) and are not applied directly to an image. User edits are applied during export according to a fixed procedure defined by DxO that the teams provided us.
(*) The sidecar *.dop is an easily viewable text file … but it is not recommended to modify.
– Optical corrections (sharpness, distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting) are applied first.
– Then white balance and noise reduction before demosaicing. This is a unique feature of PhotoLab
– Finally, exposure, smart lighting, selective tonality, contrast, micro contrast (and fine contrast), and then the tone curve. This first set of corrections is performed in the colour space of the camera sensor to be as close as possible to the image’s original appearance.
– Next is Clearview Plus and the colour modifications which are done in the AdobeRGB colour space.
DxO provided some feedback on this:
– Chromatic aberrations are removed before demosaicing. This avoids interpolating a colour channel based on information from the primary colour channels shifted due to this phenomenon.
– White balance is applied before demosaicing to avoid creating false colours. It is desirable to define grey first.
– The special feature of PhotoLab is that noise is reduced before demosaicing.
The layout of the palettes, the position and open or closed display of the corrections, is saved in a workspace
– menu Workspace / Save workspace to create or update it
PhotoLab offers two workspaces for a simple or expert presentation of the palettes, but custom workspaces can be created in the Elite version of PhotoLab.
– menu Workspaces / DxO Standard and DxO advanced
This Smart Workspace palette buttons on the top of the right hand panel presents tools in six categories.
Light, Color, Detail, Geometry, Local Settings and Water Mark & Effects
Two filters limit what will be seen in the display
– Active settings applied to the current image
– Favorite settings selected via a star next to each correction
The Smart Workspace palettes also offer a keyword search system (Ctrl+ F).
Please mind. The results will depend on the filters and tabs selected. You should not activate any tab for an exhaustive search.
An Interesting sidenote. The search results also include palettes not available in the smart workspace interface as well as the commands of the Local Settings.
– For example; “clear” also refers to the ClearView fix in the Local Settings palettevanced
In its initial configuration, this Smart Workspace is a bit confusing. However, It works very well with an abbreviated custom workspace that includes only the most commonly used tools.
Then, filtering by category provides quick access to lesser used tools. The Favourites button can be used to group even less used tools together.
Here is a summary of my setup:
* A custom palette containing only the basic and essential corrections (Exposure Compensation, Smart Lighting, Contrast, Horizon and Perspective, etc…) displayed when no category button is active.
* Select one of the Smart Workspace categories to access the secondary corrections. The Smart Workspace palette expands.
After becoming familiar with the contents of the Smart Workspace palettes it is very quick and easy to know which one to open to access the necessary correction tool.
* Click on the Favourites button (star) to find them easily.Don’t forget to save the workspace!
I stretched the window from my main 4K display onto the HD auxiliary display.
When using a dual screen setup, unlike other palettes, the Smart Workspace palette cannot be moved to the secondary monitor since this feature is attached to the main display.
The presentation of the corrections in alphabetical order is not relevant and should be changed soon.
They should be displayed in the same order as the dedicated palettes. Presentation of the tools in a different order in the filter than in the palette is counter-intuitive.
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