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Archive 2012 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin
  
 
JBPhotog
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Not sure what your workflow is but there is a very distinctly horrible difference in end result if you ONLY select Enhance Skin Only rather than go through the Female/Male face sculpt settings. If you are not using the face sculpt go through the procedure anyway and then turn it off after it renders, the skin results are way better than skipping this step. Yet another issue with this software since the difference between the facial sculpt and skin should NOT be connected.

The blotchiness is still evident either way, just 100x worse if you only use Enhance Skin Only and skip the facial sculpt process.



Jul 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM
jzucker
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Thanks for the tip. I always allow it to do the face sculpt and then turn it off at the end so i'm not seeing that particular bug. Have you reported the spot sensitivity bug? Any truth to the rumor that 64 bit version doesn't have the bug?


Jul 18, 2012 at 11:32 PM
JBPhotog
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I believe I did send them a note but with this latest development(especially Enhance Skin Only) I'm going to start a ticket.

For kicks you should try the straight to Enhance Skin Only method, your blotchiness will be magnified by factors of 10, in fact if you want the person to look like they have a nasty skin infection it can come in handy.

I am using the Studio 64 bit version 10.8.2 on Mac OS 10.6.8.



Jul 19, 2012 at 12:47 AM
jzucker
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


If you post a ticket, refer to my ticket 88699 because they are currently in denial over this and are acting like nobody else has reported this and they don't see the artifacts.


Jul 19, 2012 at 12:53 AM
jzucker
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I heard back from Anthropics support a few minutes ago. They now acknowledge the issue and have reported the bug against the set of defects slated for fixing in the next release.


Jul 19, 2012 at 03:55 PM
JBPhotog
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Submitted my ticket, haven't heard back yet.

Now when did they say v11 was coming out . . . . oh yeah over a year ago. These guys are affiliated with the software developers for RIM Blackberry's are they



Jul 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
jzucker
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


JBPhotog wrote:
Submitted my ticket, haven't heard back yet.

Now when did they say v11 was coming out . . . . oh yeah over a year ago. These guys are affiliated with the software developers for RIM Blackberry's are they


I asked them when 11 was coming out and they couldn't answer. Remember, they have been shipping this product for years with this bug and the majority of folks who buy it use it for web based images where they do not see the problem. They don't have much of an incentive to fix it for the new release.

As an engineer, I have seen this pattern before. A really sharp engineer develops some interesting technology. A venture capitalist buys the rights to it, assembles a marketing firm and outsources a support staff and sells the product. The engineer has long since moved on.

I believe that is what's going on here. As I said, I hope I'm wrong but I've seen it over and over in this industry.



Jul 19, 2012 at 08:04 PM
JBPhotog
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Sadly, I think you may be right with these folks. I did some digging when I was looking at this software and unfortunately I never came across this issue in any thread. If I had I would have spent my money on Imagenomics Portraiture, and may still do so, it all depends how Anthropics handle this bug and provide an update. It certainly won't get my recommendation until they do and fix the problems.


Jul 20, 2012 at 12:43 AM
jzucker
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I have portraiture 2. It works great but is a completely different approach to skin softening. What it does is offer various degrees of softening according to masking the parts of the image that are not skin. This works really well but it does not do the same type of job as PP in terms of contouring, lighting, skin toning, iris and white highlighting, etc. It also requires more healing brush work. When I use portraiture 2, I always have to manually do the eyes, lips, teeth, contouring, etc. My feeling is that you can accomplish most of what you see in portraiture by using surface blur and a skin mask. Portrait Professional has many more functions although if they don't work, it doesn't matter.

I think most folks don't see the problems because they are dealing with web images.



Jul 20, 2012 at 12:51 AM
JBPhotog
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Thanks for your perspective on Portraiture 2.

Got my ticket number and I have uploaded two Save session files for Anthropics support to view, will report back once they respond with a fix suggestion. One file is imported using the face sculpt procedure, the other is direct to Enhance Skin Only.

FYI, here is a sample of what I am getting for results:
Top Left: unprocessed image before PP Studio64.
Top Right: image processed using the face sculpt procedure then turned off, Young Woman 35-45 slider and 0-Spot Removal.
Bottom Left: Same as Top Right but Spot Removal set to default value for Young Woman 35-45, which is a value of 8. Notice the vertical highlights which are blotches linked together.
Bottom Right: skipped face sculpt on import and when straight to Enhance Skin Only, painted skin with the brush, then processed, default Spot Removal value of 5.

Test Image

Edited on Jul 30, 2012 at 06:21 PM · View previous versions



Jul 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
 

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jzucker
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Good job JB. Let us know what they say. If enough people complain, maybe they will hire someone to fix the problem but i'm not banking on it. I think the reason they will never comment on when version 11 is coming out is because there is no version 11 or development staff...


Jul 20, 2012 at 07:26 PM
JBPhotog
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Well here is their response:
"Thank you for sending us the session files. To help solve your issue with blotchy skin we suggest that you adjust some of the default settings.

To do this select the drop down menu 'Show Skin Controls' try adjust the Spot Removal default settings. Another adjustment you can make to reduce skin blotches is to the texture size, you will need to move the sliders to adjust the image manually.

I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any further problems."


The problem with this is it hasn't solved anything, in fact;
1. it is exactly how I told them to reduce the problem, no new solution provided by them.
2. problem NOT fixed.
3. they didn't even address the 'Enhance Skin Only' mode which is by far the worst situation.

What I did notice is the 'Enhance Skin Only' mode doesn't provide a slider in the Texture settings for Size. It is likely defaulting to a preset value that isn't adjustable.

Here are screen shots of the two edit steps:
Left, import image with the face sculpt parameters.
Right, import image with Enhance Skin Only method.
Portrait Pro Studio 64 Sliders



Jul 30, 2012 at 06:30 PM
jzucker
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


well, as I speculated...It's likely they are just a marketing firm who purchased existing technology with no developers. This would explain why they are not eager to touch the code base.


Jul 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM
JBPhotog
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Latest response from Anthropics is, no word on v11.

As for the 'Enhance Skin Only' import option, in their words "The reason that the Enhance Skin Only method doesn't work well, is because the software doesn't know the size of the head, so it cannot estimate the scale of the texture." Seems to me they should disable this option or at least tell people the issues with it since it is essentially non-functional.

As for addressing the blotchiness, not resolved and no new information on a work around from Anthropics. However, they did show me another problem, likely unintentional, when they retouched the file I sent them. If you use the 'Touch Up Brush' and then turn Off and then On again the Skin Control section, the Touch Up Brush adjustments you have made are lost and you will have to do them all over again.

So in summary here is my recommendations and work arounds:
1. Do spot removal before applying Portrait Professional, clone, healing brush etc.
2. Never use the 'Enhance Skin Only' import method, go straight to the Face Sculpt import even if you plan on not using the warping effects. Be accurate with the Face Sculpt positioning as this will affect skin texture around these masks.
3. If you use a preset such as 'Young Woman 35-45 Natural' make sure to find the right amount of 'Spot Removal' that best reduce the blotchiness, don't accept the default unless it is the best setting and you may indeed need to turn it off.*
4. Adjust the Texture Size slider to get the best results, they are not linear so -21 may be better than -15 or -26.*
5. If you use the Touch Up Brush, never turn Off the Skin Control button.*

*Caveats
You may find that one stab with Portrait Professional isn't giving you the best overall IQ. So working direct with the application is a weakness, use the PhotoShop plug-in and work in layers and masks to produce a blended final since one setting may be good for one area another setting another area.




Aug 07, 2012 at 05:19 PM
jzucker
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


And don't forget to turn off sculpt if you work in layers


Aug 07, 2012 at 07:28 PM
JBPhotog
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


I don't use sculpt but should have added that for those that do.


Aug 08, 2012 at 12:59 AM
ohansen
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


An old thread so maybe I shouldn't have revived it, however since it hints at Anthropics having said that this problem would be fixed from v10 to v11 I thought I'd add one small comment: it hasn't.

Below are a couple of examples, clearly unacceptable artifacts if one needs to work with the large size photos. (Obviously if one reduces the image size the artifacts will more or less go away).

So for those who contemplate Portrait Professional, take the advice above and disable "Spot Removal", no matter whether you use v10 or v11, unless you plan to reduce the image size. Unfortunately this should have been one of the most helpful features of the software.

This is from PP Studio 11:


And from PP Studio 10:



Dec 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM
jzucker
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Yes, I have also found that they didn't fix the blotchy skin problem and additionally, there is one more issue.

A couple days ago , my system crashed and I restored it from backup. However, PP no longer works because it thinks I'm trying to authenticate on a new machine and tells me that my tokens are already in use. I submitted an urgent help ticket but apparently they are on holiday.

I do have a second license on my laptop but the horsepower on that machine is significantly lower and I prefer not to edit on it.

If you are using this product in a professional workflow, my advice would be to always turn off the spot removal (the jaggies above) and to purchase at least 1 additional license in case you run into the authentication issue.



Dec 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM
ohansen
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


Well, I have a licensed PPS9 on the system I'm on now, and a licensed PPS10 as well as the trial of PPS11 on my Macbook. It might be that one is forced to upgrade as one upgrades one's camera for continued RAW support, but until that happens I can't really see any benefit at all in upgrading from 9. The automatic face detection in 11 is neat but not precise so there's little time to be saved for a single portrait.

A bit of grumpiness aside, I really like PPS and think it's a great product at a good price, but I'm not upgrading (at least not for now...) just to get a poorer end result...



Dec 28, 2012 at 02:52 PM
jzucker
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Portrait Professional problem - Produces blotchy skin


the new face detection saves me huge amounts of time. It's well worth the upgrade IMO. The fact that you can't properly add and delete license tokens is a huge issue though. Very poor feature management.


Dec 28, 2012 at 03:36 PM
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