anything besides photoshop

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I need a good software program to compliment LR5 for masking and layers all suggestions would be highly appreciated, what do you folks use.
Thanks Randy
 

Jimmsp

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#2
I used to use PS Elements. Since moving to LR CC, I now use PS CC.
But Elements worked just fine for me for the masking and layers. I also used (and still do) Topaz Remask for complicated masking work.
 

Gnits

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Not well highlighted is the fact that most tools in Ps Elements are limited to editing in 8 bit. This may be irrelevant if not making tonal adjustments and tools, but significant if you do. I have almost felt this is a sneaky restriction as it is not obvious until you run into problems.

I think it also means that you cannot open 16 bit files. Someone more qualified than me might wish to clarify practicalities with this restriction. As I use the full version and do not have Elements installed I cannot check specifics.
 

Jimmsp

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#4
Not well highlighted is the fact that most tools in Ps Elements are limited to editing in 8 bit. ....
Good point. I was aware of this, and did all of my tonal editing before I entered PSE. However, I also exported jpegs (8 bit) for commercial printing, so I felt like I lost little.

However as my photography got better, editing in 16 bit was one of the reasons which drove me to CC when it became available.
 

Ad Astra

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#5
ON1 are about to release Photo RAW on November 23rd, a new raw processor / photo editor with layers that will work as a plug-in to Lightroom. Watching the training videos it looks powerful and more easy to use than Photoshop.
 

Gnits

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Many people will want to create masks so they can apply curve adjustment, etc.. The curve tool will have dramatically (exponentially) less dynamic range to work with and will solarise / breakup much earlier.
 

Ad Astra

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#7
Another new program worth checking out is Affinity Photo. It was a Mac only product, but now being ported to Windows and there is a free public beta of its software for Windows users available at:

Affinity Photo for Windows FREE beta
 
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Another new program worth checking out is Affinity Photo. It was a Mac only product, but now being ported to Windows and there is a free public beta of its software for Windows users available at:

Affinity Photo for Windows FREE beta
I was going to suggest Affinity Photo. It's what I was using till I bit the bullet and started the CC "photo subscription" (since I was having too many issues with CaptureOne Pro—mainly crashes while doing more "simple stuff": editing metadata). Anyway, it's pretty nice, but if you are really familiar with Photoshop and will be using it much, it's probably still worth paying for the Adobe CC subscription. I found some things in Affinity Photo were slowing me down a bit too much. That said, it's been improved a bit (I hear) since I used it last.

GIMP is, for my taste, way too clunky, but I guess it's okay if you just need to make an occasional edit and don't want to pay for that privilege. But again, it's been a while (even longer) since I last used GIMP.
 
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I would also suggest Affinity Photo. I have been a beta user since the beginning and, while it is not as flexible as Photoshop, it is a great replacement for the general stuff that I mostly need to do. Added to that it has some absolutely wonderful functionality. I use a Mac and I can only speak for the Mac version as I have no Windows system to run the Windows version of Affinity Photo on.

As an aside I thought Affinity Photo was also much easier to learn than Photoshop and, although I use the beta and thus have a version that I know is still under development and contains bugs, I have been very happy with it. It is produced by Serif and thus is backed up by a large corporation.

A second recommendation would be PhotoLine which I think comes from a small software operation but was rock solid stable when I used it. My only problem with it is that I found it hard to use and eventually moved to Affinity Photo. Nonetheless PhotoLine is very, very good and runs all of the Photoshop plugins (which Affinity Photo does not yet do).

Hope this helps.
 

davidedric

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#11
I use On1 current version. In my opinion, it's a lot easier to get to grips with than Photoshop. It's not as powerful as the full Photoshop, but works in 16 bit, and does everything I need. I won't be investing in their RAW product. I'm happy with Lightroom for my workflow and 95% of what I do.

Dave
 
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I also own the current version of On1 and I find it helpful, especially for masking, but there are some things I find I need that just are not in On1. For example, there is no perspective control and if I want to adjust the perspective of images from my UWA lens I can not do it in On1. There is no pano or HDR functionality and, although I seldom use it, no focus stacking. There are lots of other small stuff that is just missing from On1, at least for me, and some of my workflow tools can not use jpgs produced by On1 because they include the alpha channel and there is no On1 functionality to properly flatten that to make images acceptable to some tools like Dxo's Optics Pro.
 
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#13
I also own the current version of On1 and I find it helpful, especially for masking, but there are some things I find I need that just are not in On1. For example, there is no perspective control and if I want to adjust the perspective of images from my UWA lens I can not do it in On1. There is no pano or HDR functionality and, although I seldom use it, no focus stacking. There are lots of other small stuff that is just missing from On1, at least for me, and some of my workflow tools can not use jpgs produced by On1 because they include the alpha channel and there is no On1 functionality to properly flatten that to make images acceptable to some tools like Dxo's Optics Pro.
Not trying to defend the current version of On1, but the new On1 RAW (suggested above) will include some of that functionality. They are very open about what they plan to include or not, and they use a voting system to include additional features in future releases. You can find the status of the suggested new features here: Ideas – ON1, Inc.. I just found this a refreshing approach.
 

tspear

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#14
Not trying to defend the current version of On1, but the new On1 RAW (suggested above) will include some of that functionality. They are very open about what they plan to include or not, and they use a voting system to include additional features in future releases. You can find the status of the suggested new features here: Ideas – ON1, Inc.. I just found this a refreshing approach.
I would be curious if they actually stick/use the voting system.
 
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Not trying to defend the current version of On1, but the new On1 RAW (suggested above) will include some of that functionality. They are very open about what they plan to include or not, and they use a voting system to include additional features in future releases. You can find the status of the suggested new features here: Ideas – ON1, Inc.. I just found this a refreshing approach.
I have downloaded the new OnOne RAW and, as it turns out, none of the features I mentioned in my post are in it. No perspective correction, no HDR, no Panorama functionality, no focus stacking and still no way to flatten the alpha channel out of the photo.

I have to say that I did not see much new in the new release other than the ability to properly edit raw photos. The rest of the stuff (layers, resize, etc) seems identical to what existed before. The one nice thing is that they have added the ability to view the selected photo and also see a filmstrip of the other photos in the folder, similar to the way tools like Lightroom and CaptureOne display photos. That is nice.
 

Conrad Chavez

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#16
I would be curious if they actually stick/use the voting system.
Adobe also has a voting system for Lightroom and Photoshop, at feedback.photoshop.com, and on that site Adobe staff actually respond to and comment on feature requests or problem reports.

But no software company is going to base their upcoming features/fixes on a voting system alone. Even if a company wants to make use of their voting system, they will still balance highly voted requests against other features that fit the long-term strategic goals of the software, more immediate features Marketing wants for competitive reasons, and how soon features can be developed and tested (sometimes the architecture doesn't allow it easily). This probably applies to On1 as much as anyone.

The interesting thing about the Adobe system is that if you follow the release notes on Lightroom Journal, there's usually a section called "Customer Reported Issues Resolved" where Adobe often links bug fixes and feature requests in the list right back to their originating user posts on feedback.photoshop.com. Lightroom and Photoshop might still not do everything the way we want, but at least Adobe seems to make an effort in this area.
 

tspear

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#17
Adobe also has a voting system for Lightroom and Photoshop, at feedback.photoshop.com, and on that site Adobe staff actually respond to and comment on feature requests or problem reports.

But no software company is going to base their upcoming features/fixes on a voting system alone. Even if a company wants to make use of their voting system, they will still balance highly voted requests against other features that fit the long-term strategic goals of the software, more immediate features Marketing wants for competitive reasons, and how soon features can be developed and tested (sometimes the architecture doesn't allow it easily). This probably applies to On1 as much as anyone.

The interesting thing about the Adobe system is that if you follow the release notes on Lightroom Journal, there's usually a section called "Customer Reported Issues Resolved" where Adobe often links bug fixes and feature requests in the list right back to their originating user posts on feedback.photoshop.com. Lightroom and Photoshop might still not do everything the way we want, but at least Adobe seems to make an effort in this area.
Agreed. I have seen the links in the Adobe release notes, and actually get an email on occasion for issue I commented or watched or something (I forget what seems to be the trigger) when it was included in a release.
I was more curious about On1, who I do not use or follow.
 
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I have downloaded the new OnOne RAW and, as it turns out, none of the features I mentioned in my post are in it. No perspective correction, no HDR, no Panorama functionality, no focus stacking and still no way to flatten the alpha channel out of the photo.

I have to say that I did not see much new in the new release other than the ability to properly edit raw photos. The rest of the stuff (layers, resize, etc) seems identical to what existed before. The one nice thing is that they have added the ability to view the selected photo and also see a filmstrip of the other photos in the folder, similar to the way tools like Lightroom and CaptureOne display photos. That is nice.
You are correct, and that is probably why they called it a preview release. Their roadmap for the implementation of new features in 2017 is here: Coming Soon to ON1 Photo RAW – ON1, Inc.
 

Paul B

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I need a good software program to compliment LR5 for masking and layers all suggestions would be highly appreciated, what do you folks use.
Thanks Randy
As a Mac I user would heartily recommend Affinity Photo. Unless you want to battle with GIMP it's probably by far the best value for money on the market; and extremely capable. I would definitely give the Windows Beta a go. The Forum is very active and very helpful ... and with enthusiastic Affinity staff input. It is just a Beta though ... don't expect perfection just yet but it should be a damn fine product.