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Archive 2013 · Corel AfterShot Pro
  
 
Bifurcator
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Corel AfterShot Pro


I just got this only a yesterday but I've found that's about the same as a few weeks for the less app-aggressive users out there.

Man, have you guys used this yet? Drop the poorly-written slow-as-molasses LightRoom and put aside CaptureOne for awhile and give this a try!
It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux so you're afforded a bit of platform freedom with it. There's a trial version available on the home site here.

The Corel site starts off the introductory blurb with "Corel® AfterShot™ Pro is a fast..." and as these kinds of blurbs typically go they're drastically
understating the case. Running AfterShot Pro on my ancient 2006 MacPro1,1 (w/32GB RAM, and 8-cores of x5355 Xeon at 2.67GHz & GTX570) acts
much faster than LR on my liquid-cooled 16-core 4+ GHz Boxx 8980 XTREME with dual Tesla cards and 32GB RAM!

All the usual raw processing tools plus some unexpected goodies are presented in a pretty slick highly customizable, gooey (GUI):



It's of course all non-destructive. The last 4 or 5 revision releases have offered OpenCL support as you can see from the image above. Totally sweet!
It has layer masks for selective editing and processing. Layer brushing can be as accurate as 2 pixels and selection areas are sub-pixel accurate. It has
options for independent layers which allow opacity and unique selection spline sets and/or brush strokes per layer. The selection splines can be edited
at any time during editing or after saving the files out. I guess the spline data is saved in either of it's two kinds of XMP sidecar files. It sports a plug-in
architecture but I haven't looked yet to see what APIs it's using nor if the plugs are compatible with those from/for other apps. Mine came with a souped
up version of NoiseNinja and B&W processor with selective color capabilities.



It supports catalogs which I personally dislike, and also OS hierarchal folder structures of your own devise - which is what I prefer. It uses just two
user definable folders for all of its cache, work, proofs, previews, and profiles so it won't make a mess of things either. The review-and-select tools
are similar to all other good PP apps I've tried so finding, sorting, and tagging stuff is done in the usual ways. Basically if you already know LR, CP1,
or Aperture, there's no learning curve to deal with - just a HUGE speed increase and who doesn't want that? It has some nice output features
but nothing others don't have IIRC. PDF files, Proof (Contact) Sheets, and so on. It also has a slide-show feature but it's fairly simplistic with just
interval, border offsets, and so on as available options. No fancy wipes or anything but this is a RAW processor so I'm not sure how fitting something
like wipes or etceteras, would be. It's got Versioning, Stacking, Keywording, Tagging, and Star Rating to help with progressive edit revisions and so
forth. And the various tool pallets can be docked and floated for us multi-monitor users.

My little old MP1,1 with GTX570 can select, apply many many adjustments, and display GH2 RAW files in 0.27s or 3 FPS depending how you look at it.
Processing, converting, and saving one raw-to-jpeg image at a time occurs in about 0.8 seconds with every slider and adjustment set to something
other than the as-shot defaults. Batch processing 100 such 16mpx GH2 raw files took considerably less time with an average 0.63 seconds for each.
That's fast in the extreme - given the machine spec!

So give this a try. DL the trial version, walk through all the preferences to optimize it for your particular system, then try out all the features, and
come back here and tell us what you thought - good or bad. I have a feeling some here will be typing CASP or ASP in their posts more often than LR
from now on. Me, I'm uninstalling LR all together - that's for sure! They've put together quite a system with hordes of free plug-ins and a fairly
energetic community.

Right now Amazon has it for sale for $14.99 as a download. But you can only take advantage of the deal if you're either in the USA or are using
something like a Tor network which makes you location independent.



Edited on Sep 11, 2013 at 12:42 PM · View previous versions



Sep 09, 2013 at 08:08 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Corel AfterShot Pro


I'll see how it plays on an old T60, 1.83GHz C2D, 32bit, maxed @ 3GB on Vista. I'm not a fan of the catalogs either, +1 @ hierarchical folders. Is it set up to interface well with PS, stand along or both?


Sep 09, 2013 at 08:28 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Corel AfterShot Pro


RustyBug wrote:
I'll see how it plays on an old T60, 1.83GHz C2D, 32bit, maxed @ 3GB on Vista. I'm not a fan of the catalogs either, +1 @ hierarchical folders. Is it set up to interface well with PS, stand along or both?


Cool, give it whirl! And I'm not sure about the PS thing yet. It has the usual "Edit In External App" feature and that worked with PS when I tried it. I set it to send a ProPhoto 16bit Tiff which CS6 liked. I haven't tried to see if it reads or uses XMP sidecar files yet tho I expect it doesn't.

EDIT- Just checked and yes it supports two kinds of XMP. "Standard XMP" which I assume is the PS standard, and also a special "AfterShot XMP".


EDIT: EDIT: Interestingly the XMP usage goes like:

ASP uses a different file name for it's XMPs.
ASP will read but not apply ACR XMP files (if renamed)
ASP will append its settings to the renamed ACR XMP. ***
ACR will overwrite any XMP file if a change is made in ACR.
ACR will read but not apply any ASP settings in the renamed XMP.
ACR will read but not apply any ASP settings in the "Standard XMP" created by ASP.

ASP XMP FileName: _1090096.RW2.xmp
ASP "Standard" XMP: _1090096.xmp
PhotoShop's XMP: _1090096.xmp

*** At that point the settings from both apps will live in the same XMP file but each app will only apply the settings it wrote to the XMP file in question - and to get ASP and ACR to use the same file it must be renamed back each time.


Edited on Sep 09, 2013 at 10:04 PM · View previous versions



Sep 09, 2013 at 08:35 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Ummm ... it has layers with opacity.


Sep 09, 2013 at 09:06 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Was it any faster on a single core (than LR or whatever you usually use)?

I ask because I have a hunch a lot of the speed gains I'm seeing are a combination of really efficient thread allocation slash resource utilization, and OpenCL. I dunno for sure but the "testimonial" blurb on the front page made me think so anyway. Here it is quoted:

    "Corel has done a fantastic job of taking full advantage of multicore CPUs that are shipping in a broad range of AMD VISION PCs. For instance, on our FX-8150 8-core desktop machines, we found performance increases of as much as 605 percent—an impressive speed improvement over the already fast experience we saw with a single core enabled. For photographers working with hundreds of images at a time, this is a huge time savings."
    John Taylor, Director of Client Product and Software Marketing, AMD

I suppose it's that and a mature well disciplined development team (ie. tight code!) - unusual these days really!



Sep 09, 2013 at 10:22 PM
aubsxc
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Thanks for the review. Will check out the trial.


Sep 09, 2013 at 10:32 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Corel AfterShot Pro


I can't speak much to speed just yet since I use PS one file at a time most things as I tweak individually. I suppose I could load up LR and go side by side, but it might be a day or two before I'd get around to it.

My initial impression was that I like the way it renders the color from the Kodak SLR/C ... something I've never really liked about ACR (hence part of the tweaking @ PS along with creative liberties). Will have to take a better look at things over the next week or so to compare with ACR. Looks like preferences allow it set for standard XMP or AfterShot Pro XMP.



Sep 09, 2013 at 11:16 PM
James_N
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Corel AfterShot Pro


So basically AfterShot Pro is analogous to earlier iterations of Adobe Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw?

Does color management work correctly in ASP? The complaints I've read is that the input (camera) profiles are a real weakness....this is not surprising, it took Adobe several tries (and the hiring of Eric Chan) to get it right.

Its already known that color management is broken in ASP's companion product PaintShop Pro X6: PSP X6 Colour Management
PaintShop Pro X6 does not convert embedded color spaces - specifically the ProPhoto color space - correctly. Can I be assured that if I open a TIFF or JPEG in ASP that the embedded color space will be read correctly?

Is it possible to use an X-Rite ColorChecker chart to create custom profiles in ASP as you can in ACR or Lightroom? I think I can guess at that answer.



Sep 09, 2013 at 11:43 PM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Corel AfterShot Pro


The color profiles are loaded from disk and not unique in any way. So anything which can make standard profiles can make them for use in this app (it looks like to me). It somehow found every profile I've ever created download or modified.

I wouldn't say it's "analogous to earlier iterations of Adobe Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw" although all of that photo-related functionality exists in ASP. I'd say it's more of an LR killer. Of course LR is only a kludged subset of Bridge and ACR - probably why it's so slow (the kludge aspect I mean).

AfterShot Pro is essentially what happened to "Bibble Pro". I dunno if you remember but at one time Bibble Pro was the best (or at least one of the very best) IMPs you could get. Then version 5 I think it was, released full of bugs. To make things worse LR and a few others entered the photographer's field of hyper awareness and those apps although considerably slower, had a workflow more interesting to RAW shooters - and of course stability. The Bibble Pro lead programmer and application designer essentially looked around and exclaimed he could beat everything that was coming out if we the photog community, could wait a little bit for a redesign. At the time I looked into the dev team's background and it was all really strong graphics development (something the others didn't have at the time - LR devs still not). But then there were other troubles which came about like money and stuff and "The New" redesigned Bibble Pro was delayed so long it kinda fell off everyone's radar. At some point (unbenounced to me) Corel and Bibble Labs got together and AfterShot Pro is the result.

Although I missed the first version all together it looks to me like it was well worth the wait and the dev team came through on all their claims and promises. While I've been busy doing other things they've put together quite a system with hordes of free plug-ins and a fairly energetic community.




Sep 10, 2013 at 01:52 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Corel AfterShot Pro


So Bif, was "The New" Bibble Pro the RAW converter you promised to tell me about a few years back, and never did ... since it didn't come to market.


Sep 10, 2013 at 04:26 AM
 

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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Hehe, damn, good memory dude! IIRC my meaning was that there were different and better alternatives (plural) to whatever RAW processor/s we were talking about at the time. But I don't remember which RAW processor/s we were talking about. I had created a list of 15 or 20 different RAW processors about a year or so prior to that but my post with the list (and links to all) in it wan't coming up in my searches - so that's why I didn't answer.


Sep 10, 2013 at 10:05 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Yeah, you were gonna toss me your "top 3" (iirc) for consideration in lieu of ACR, which I've never cared much for, but still use PS for its functionality. Seeing ASP with the ability to have layers/opacity adjustments ... sounds promising enough to put it in some effort toward the learning curve (old dog, new tricks, kinda slow @ change these days) to see how it goes @ harnessing what it has to offer.

Lot of folks rave @ LR (which I have and rarely use) in lieu of PS ... but without layers LR comes up short for me as a solution. Seeing ASP as LR type RAW converter + layers, yields promise (or at least some hope) in lieu of incurring large file sizes while working on RAW @ PS where I can get resource (RAM) constrained. Will have to see how it plays in Peoria as I give it a go.



Sep 10, 2013 at 01:33 PM
dcains
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Corel AfterShot Pro


RustyBug wrote:
So Bif, was "The New" Bibble Pro the RAW converter you promised to tell me about a few years back, and never did ... since it didn't come to market.


Must be, because it has all the same issues as the old BibblePro (5.x) had. Who likes magenta highlights (to name just one major flaw)? And, as far as I can tell, it's still slower than LR 5 (or 4, or 3) on any of my mac's. Bibble Labs failed for good reason, and while Corel likely got them for a song, this software is still too flawed, and is still way behind the curve. It's just a repackaged (barely) BibblePro 5, which couldn't compete with LR3 in image output. Maybe AFS 2 will be better, if it ever appears, but I'd doubt Corel will make the commitment. I'm no fan of Adobe, BTW, but they do continue to advance the technology, and for me LR still has the best results.



Sep 10, 2013 at 01:52 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Corel AfterShot Pro


dcains wrote:
this software is still too flawed, and is still way behind the curve.


Is that in reference to the basis of the old Bibble, or the current AfterShot Pro?

As to behind the curve ... RAW Converter + Layers doesn't seem to be lagging too far, imo.

+1 @ IQ is a must though. My preliminary on a couple challenging files yesterday looked encouraging, and yes it is too early to emphatically commit to it being the next best thing since sliced bread. But it does look interesting enough to give it a fair shake and see if they really did retool things. Harley Davidson changed things from the Shovelhead to the Evolution ... and the rest is history as the company built on from there. Could Corel/Bibble have done something similar ... we'll see.



Sep 10, 2013 at 02:09 PM
dcains
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Corel AfterShot Pro


IIRC, the version I have installed is 1.0.30.x, or something close. Updated just a few months ago. I was actually quite a Bibble Pro fan back in the 4.x days, but got burned paying in advance, and waiting for 2 tears or so, for the upgrade to 5.x.


Sep 10, 2013 at 02:36 PM
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Uh-oh, here come the nay-sayers who offer no proof or explanation.

To be expected I guess.

So you used an old version and your initial post boils down to: BP and ASP Suck! Use LR...! Heh.

And on top of that you have a financial axe to grind. Hehehe, nice..

Edited on Sep 10, 2013 at 02:46 PM · View previous versions



Sep 10, 2013 at 02:37 PM
dcains
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Corel AfterShot Pro


See my post above


Sep 10, 2013 at 02:38 PM
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Ye we posted at the same time. See my edit.


Sep 10, 2013 at 02:40 PM
dcains
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Corel AfterShot Pro


no worries


Sep 10, 2013 at 02:40 PM
James_N
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Corel AfterShot Pro


Bifurcator wrote:
The color profiles are loaded from disk and not unique in any way. So anything which can make standard profiles can make them for use in this app (it looks like to me). It somehow found every profile I've ever created download or modified.


I didn't say "color profiles" which are more or less industry standard. I specifically referred to custom CAMERA profiles which are called "input profiles" in AfterShot Pro. So can I create a custom profile in ASP that essentially calibrates the unique characteristics of my camera's sensor to produce industry standard color output (using ColorChecker)?

I wouldn't say it's "analogous to earlier iterations of Adobe Bridge/Adobe Camera Raw" although all of that photo-related functionality exists in ASP. I'd say it's more of an LR killer. Of course LR is only a kludged subset of Bridge and ACR - probably why it's so slow (the kludge aspect I mean).

Given Corel's track record of not adequately supporting products I doubt the "LR killer" claim. Whatever happened to WordPerfect after its acquisition by Corel?

AfterShot Pro is essentially what happened to "Bibble Pro". I dunno if you remember but at one time Bibble Pro was the best (or at least one of the very best) IMPs you could get. Then version 5 I think it was, released full of bugs. To make things worse LR and a few others entered the photographer's field of hyper awareness and those apps although considerably slower, had a workflow more interesting to RAW shooters - and of course stability. The Bibble Pro lead programmer and application designer essentially looked around and exclaimed he could beat everything that was coming...Show more

I remember when Bibble was a one or two-man operation out of Austin, Texas. After Adobe acquired Pixmantec RawShooter it was quite clear that small operations like Bibble couldn't compete with the resources available to Adobe.

Are you actually claiming that Thomas Knoll, the co-creator of Photoshop and creator of ACR, doesn't know much about graphics development? Or Eric Chan? You can easily read his bio here that disproves your claim: http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/

But then there were other troubles which came about like money and stuff and "The New" redesigned Bibble Pro was delayed so long it kinda fell off everyone's radar. At some point (unbenounced to me) Corel and Bibble Labs got together and AfterShot Pro is the result.

Although I missed the first version all together it looks to me like it was well worth the wait and the dev team came through on all their claims and promises. While I've been busy doing other things they've put together quite a system with hordes of free plug-ins and a fairly energetic.

...Show more

I suppose a $15 price will persuade some people but I need more than a low price to be persuaded. So far I don't see anything demonstrates superiority to what I can obtain from ACR or Lightroom.



Sep 10, 2013 at 02:53 PM
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