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Lightroom STILL doesn't make images unique

dkperez

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I've asked this over in the Lightroom Forum in the past, and I"ve never gotten a useful answer....

I take a set of images and run them through Helicon Focus. I render them with a specific setting and get back a .dng file with a unique name. I render a second time with a DIFFERENT set of parameters and get bad a DIFFERENT .dng file with a unique name. They're not the same, they don't look the same.

In Lightroom, in Library or in Develop, they show up THE SAME. At 1:1 they show up the same. Does anyone here have a way to make Lightroom display them as the actually are? It doesn't happen when I save as jpegs, and it doesn't happen when I save as tiffs, but with dng files I keep having to open them in Adobe Bridge to see the differences...
 
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My first thought is that the DNG files have the 'different' edits in the metadata, but LrC is only showing you the 'original' raw data.
Have you tried 'reading' the metadata from the files in LrC?
Select DNG files: MENU: Metadata > Read Metadata from Files.

Adobe Bridge would be automatically applying the different edits when it displays files as it works 'in real time' whereas LrC works from the Catalog info (that needs updating!).

And, as usual, you would need to then Export a Derivative TIF or JPG out of LrC to 'Bake in' the edits from the metadata.
 

dkperez

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I've got two files. Neither is the "original". They're different files with different names and different contents. They just happen to be .dng files. I can "read" the metadata, but there's no mismatch so it doesn't make any difference. I can create 1:1 previews and they STILL don't get shown as different in Lightroom. There are no edits for Bridge to apply. They haven't been touched.

Export anything doesn't make sense. I'm in Lightroom. I need Lightroom to recognize the .dng files are different and display them correctly.

It's actually WORSE than not recognizing the differences in two files rendered from the same image set... I can take 19 images and render them, then take a 7 image subset that only has the first 1/3 of the image sharp and render it - so now they're not SLIGHTLY different, they're HUGELY different, and when I get back into Lightroom, it displays them as the same. Faststone Viewer knows they're different. Photoshop when I send them from Lightroom knows they're different. Even Affinity Photo knows they're different. The only thing that DOESN'T know they're different, no matter what I've done (1:1 previews, read metadata, do the hokey-pokey) is Lightroom.
 

GregJ

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I focus stack with the GFX 100 a lot - anywhere from 15 to 250 images and export to Helicon as DNG. Then I render (usually with Method C) and head back to LR as a DNG and do my work and then export as a full size JPEG at 90% quality, which is about 50 MB, and I post it on Flickr I'm in the mood.
I can't follow what you are talking about. I do this a lot and can maybe help you, but I am lost as to the problem.

 

dkperez

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Thanks for the reply Greg... Take one of your stacks - I don't know what a GFX 100 is, but presuming you're doing focus stacks by changing focus.
Take one of your stacks - maybe a small one with 20 or 30 images. Presumably they're shot in RAW, imported into Lightroom, then sent in RAW to Helicon Focus.
Once there, render the stack in Method B, using the default radius (8) and smoothing (4). Save the output back to Lightroom as a .dng file. STAY in Helicon and change the method to C, set smoothing to 2 and render again. As you're likely aware, it's a LOT faster to do this than to export from Lightroom every time. Again, save the Method C render as a .dng.
STILL STAYING in Helicon Focus, select all the images but the first 8, and UNCHECK them. Switch back to Method B, render again. Save as a .dng.
Exit from Helicon Focus back to Lightroom and you'll now import 3 images, 1 with ALL the images rendered in Method B, one with ALL the images rendered in Method C, which will look VERY different than Method B, and one with only part of the stack (8 images worth) that is sharp, rendered in Method B, which will look extremely different than either of the others.
In Library, open the 3 images in Loupe view. Do they look as different as they actually are, or do all three look the same?
On all THREE of the Windows 10 systems I have done this on, across every version of Lightroom I've ever tried it on, they look exactly the same. With .dng files. In Lightroom. Tiffs look "normal (different)", JPEGS look "normal (different)", .dngs all look the same.
 
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If you look at them in some other program -- bridge even -- are they different? I.e. is this a lightroom display issue, or are the files actually not different inside the DNG's?
 

dkperez

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Yes, as I said in one of the earlier posts, " Faststone Viewer knows they're different. Photoshop when I send them from Lightroom knows they're different. Even Affinity Photo knows they're different. The only thing that DOESN'T know they're different, no matter what I've done (1:1 previews, read metadata, do the hokey-pokey) is Lightroom. "

I've even gone so far as to go into the metadata and edit the "capture time" to see if having a different TIME would matter. It didn't.
 
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Yes, as I said in one of the earlier posts,
Sorry, I need a big sign on my computer "don't answer posts after midnight", I missed that. No idea.

I've seen lightroom get its pointers confused internally, where two master files pointed to the same physical file. It was years ago and I can't recall exactly what did it, but it was related to file movement (e.g. drag and drop) that resulted in naming conflicts. That does not sound like your issue though. But it might be worth trying an experiment: If there's some crossover, LR will likely show its confusion in file movement. Once all three are imported and appear the same (but with different names), drag and drop (inside of LR) each file to a different folder, one by one, while watching the file in Explorer to see that it moves. Do all three move properly, separately? This would indicate if LR has attached the right physical file to the right catalog pointer.

If that yields no useful result, delete the files and start over but this time when you import, put the files in different folders before importing, and import one by one. If this works, it would seem to indicate the failure is on the import not on the file contents.

Just trying at random to draw a circle around the issue to narrow it down.
 
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Presumably they're shot in RAW, imported into Lightroom, then sent in RAW to Helicon Focus.
This may be your problem. Helicon Focus will read RAW file formats. Lightroom will read RAW file formats. I am not sure what Lightroom is exporting to Helicon Focus though . A DNG is not necessarily a RAW format. Only if you Export as original will Lightroom give your an unprocessed RAW HeliconFocus must demosiac and render RGB pixels before it can process the in focus pixels. RAW files contain RAW data from Photosites not RGB Pixels. Helicon Focus works by detecting which pixels are in focus and merging the in focus Pixels to produce a new RGB image. This RGB image is what is written into the DNG sent back to Lightroom.

If the files that you send to Helicon Focus are original RAW formats, Lightroom will export a CR2, NEF or other proprietary RAW file format along with an XMP sidecar file. Is this what happens and the file received by Helicon Focus is a NEF, CR2 or what ever proprietary RAW format produced by your camera? If Lightroom is sending a DNG to Helicon Focus, it is most likely a RGB file and not a RAW file at all.

Once received by Helicon focus, Helicon Focus must work with RGB pixels to process the data, Doing so it needs to set the colorspace for the RGB pixels While it says the colorspace is native to your RAW data this can't be true and RAW data has no colorspace and a colorspace needs to be assigned that will include all of the pixels in the image. Usually this would be ProPhotoRGB or Display P3. Note that a colorspace usually has "RGB" in the name. This is because Color Spaces are only applied to RGB pixels (not RAW data).
Now, why might the Helicon Focus files that are returned to Lightroom different? This might be because HF picks a differed WB during the process or adjusts the images accordingly HF has to render RAW files with some tone adjustments WB, NR, and sharpening. It could be that it picks a different images in the list of images to be used for focus stacking. IOW, there could be many HF related reasons that it does not duplicate results each time. If The Focus Stack image sent back is a DNG, it could contain unique rendering adjustments that LR renders when it applies the embedded edit parameters to the RGB pixels in the DNG.
 
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Yes, as I said in one of the earlier posts, " Faststone Viewer knows they're different. Photoshop when I send them from Lightroom knows they're different.
So when you sent them to photoshop, how did they go? Did you do an edit-original (I'm not sure you can for a DNG)?

So if you send them to photoshop, what happens if you change them slightly so it produces a new file, like a TIF or PSD, and takes it back into Lightroom -- I assume then they are different? It's just the DNG as-imported from Helicon that doesn't show differences?
 

PhilBurton

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Or maybe it's time to contact Helicon Tech Support??
 

dkperez

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Lemme see if I can answer these in order.

I took the three .dng images and moved them to 3 different folders in Lightroom (moved them in Lightroom). Yes, they move individually, and when viewed in a different tool, they look different, each in it’s folder. In Lightroom, however, selecting all 3 folders and viewing them in the loupe, they look the same.

I reran the Helicon Focus process and saved each image to a different folder. Then selected both folders and opened the images in loupe – nope, still the same.

Clee01: When I export to Helicon Focus from Nikon .NEF files (using “Original”), the list of files in Helicon Focus is .NEF. And they load very quickly – much more quickly than if I told it to export .tif or .dng from Lightroom. I presume that means it’s actually SENDING .NEF files.

I don’t know if Helicon gets the xmp files or not, and I don’t think it makes any difference since we’re dealing with what’s coming OUT of Helicon.

What happens inside Helicon as far as colorspace and whatever, not the issue. Don’t know what it’s doing inside. What it sends BACK is a .dng. Lightroom thinks it’s a .dng. Photoshop thinks it’s a .dng. so far EVERYTHING I’ve viewed them in thinks it’s a .dng. And everything BUT Lightroom shows them correctly. I’m not buying that it’s a Helicon problem.

If y’all are willing to download about 400 MB of .dng files I’ll put them up on the web server. They’re small D850 images, but they’re not compressed, so each .dng is about 120MB.

When I edit the .dng images in Photoshop from Lightroom, they show up in Photoshop as .dng files. Absolutely normal, ordinary .dng files. Lightroom doesn’t appear to ever ask me if a .dng file should have Lightroom adjustments, but NONE of these have any adjustments other than what MAY get done during the import.

No, once they’re .tif or .psd or .jpg there’s no problem – BUT there was NO problem in the FIRST PLACE if they were exported from Helicon as .tif or .jpg. It’s JUST the .dng files.
 

dkperez

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Just out of curiosity, WHY would I contact Helicon support about a Lightroom display problem? Is there ANY way you think Helicon is going to say "Oh, yeah, our .dng outputs screw up in Lightroom and don't display correctly!"
 
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Clee01: When I export to Helicon Focus from Nikon .NEF files (using “Original”), the list of files in Helicon Focus is .NEF. And they load very quickly – much more quickly than if I told it to export .tif or .dng from Lightroom. I presume that means it’s actually SENDING .NEF files.

I don’t know if Helicon gets the xmp files or not, and I don’t think it makes any difference since we’re dealing with what’s coming OUT of Helicon.

What happens inside Helicon as far as colorspace and whatever, not the issue. Don’t know what it’s doing inside. What it sends BACK is a .dng. Lightroom thinks it’s a .dng. Photoshop thinks it’s a .dng. so far EVERYTHING I’ve viewed them in thinks it’s a .dng. And everything BUT Lightroom shows them correctly. I’m not buying that it’s a Helicon problem.
. OK, HF is receiving RAW NEFs. It then must demosaic the data block and create an RGB file. To do this, it needs to apply some Colorspace and some tone, WB, NR to produce a viewable image. With the RGB it “finds” the in Focus pixels and merges the in Focus parts of the images into a single image. It probably does not read the XMP that Lightroom sends since it is doing its own automatic rendering of the RGB. The file sent to Lightroom is a DNG. It is not RAW, it is RGB pixel data. Just like a TIFF. The differences between a TIFF format and a DNG format are only in the file structure. The data block should be the same RGB pixels no matter which file format.

How do they “look different” in Lightroom?

As for contacting HF support “Helicon Focus uses Raw converter to open Raw files, there are several converter options to choose from. Adobe DNG Converter is one of the most powerful converters supporting the widest range of formats. So actually when you’re asking about supported Raw file formats you should refer to the list of formats supported by the Raw converter you are using.” What converter options are you using in HF? Are the converter options three same for the three DNG files that you send back to Lightroom?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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I use Helicon Focus ocassionally. I let it create a DNG file, because that DNG is similar to Lightroom panorama and/or HDR DNG files, meaning that it behaves like a raw file. So far each Helicon Focus DNG looks the way it should look it Lightroom, so again: let us have the DNG files to see if we can reproduce your problem. Without them I am not even going to speculate what could be the cause.
 

dkperez

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Are you running multiple renders using different Methods and subsets of the image set?
 
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OK, as the images look different in Lightroom to everybody but you, I suggest this is a problem with your previews. Try the following: Open your catalog folder and remove 'catalogname previews.lrdata'. Then start Lightroom. Lightroom will rebuild the previews which should solve the problem.
 

dkperez

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I looked at the previous reply and thought maybe displaying them in comparison view made them reload and become different, so I tried that. Opened them in loupe, switched to comparison, back to loupe. Nope. No different.
So I thought maybe it's the desktop computer. Put them on a flash drive and copied them to the laptop. Nope still the same.

All this, of course, is on a Windows 10 Pro, 64-bit system. Using the current version of Lightroom Classic. In the Library, in loupe view seeing one image at a time, moving through the three of them...
 
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OK, as the images look different in Lightroom to everybody but you, I suggest this is a problem with your previews. Try the following: Open your catalog folder and remove 'catalogname previews.lrdata'. Then start Lightroom. Lightroom will rebuild the previews which should solve the problem.
Actually, I don't think you do not need to be that drastic. Select the images in Lightroom Classic.
From the menu {Library}{Previews} {Discard 1:1 Previews} and then {Library}{Previews} {Build 1:1 Previews}
 
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I looked at the previous reply and thought maybe displaying them in comparison view made them reload and become different, so I tried that. Opened them in loupe, switched to comparison, back to loupe. Nope. No different.
So I thought maybe it's the desktop computer. Put them on a flash drive and copied them to the laptop. Nope still the same.

All this, of course, is on a Windows 10 Pro, 64-bit system. Using the current version of Lightroom Classic. In the Library, in loupe view seeing one image at a time, moving through the three of them...
Lightroom does not show you the images, it shows you previews that it generated from these images. That is why I suggest you force a rebuild of these previews to see if that solves the problem.
 

dkperez

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I thought for sure the nuclear option of deleting 36GB of previews would make these things unique... It certainly wouldn't be a fix, and definitely not a reasonable thing to do, but in this case it was worth a try.
Nope. Restarted Lightroom, opened the three images in loupe view, still the same. Created 1:1 previews to see if that would matter. Nope, still the same.

I also opened them in Adobe Bridge. On the first view they were different. After that, viewing them a second time, all the same.

Opened Faststone viewer to make sure they WERE different. Yup, different in there.
I even opened Luminar and opened the three images... Different.

I even ran Helicon Focus, rendered the images saved, exited back to Lightroom. Then took 8 of the 19 images exported back to Helicon and rendered those. Completely different executions.
Back to Lightroom, I now have 3 different images from 2 days ago, and 2 images created in separate executions of Helicon Focus this morning with unique names. 5 .dng files, days apart, at least 4 that are perceptibly different, all with unique names. ALL with "previews" created this morning after deleting the previews.
In Lightroom, they're all identical.

I have no idea what's different between the two computers I've tried this on here and what y'all are doing, but Lightroom here doesn't show the difference between the images. I figure it's going to be something stupid as soon as I know what it is. Preference? Something else?
 
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