New Feature Suggestions from a new user

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Joined: 15.01.2021 23:14

New Feature Suggestions from a new user

Post by tsuga50 »

Am a new user of Helicon Focus & Remote (on android) and after struggling with Save Project I have a few suggestions for improvement - assuming I finally have a correct understanding of Save Project.

First: Give a more detailed explanation of how to Save Project in the user guide. It says nothing about you can't save a project if Helicon Focus was launched as a plug-in from Lightroom. And then, if you forgo the Raw-in/DNG-out workflow and export your stack from Lightroom as tiffs - how it will only save one output file with the project, how to select which output file to save if you have multiple output files (common), or that if you use the "select alternate output as source" you can't save the project at all (also common). I spent a good amount of time experimenting and reading forum posts to figure this out, and still am not sure I understand best practices for saving projects and what limitations I may run into.

So - requested features
1) allow selecting and saving which output files to save with the project
2) allow using "select alternate output as source" and still save the project, along with whichever output files you want saved

As it is now, and given I can almost never finish a project in one sitting, I have to
1) process the stack and create multiple output files with different settings
2) pick which ones I'll want to use for retouching (often there's 2 - a B version and C version)
3) write down the settings I used for the one I THINK I'll use the least for retouching (the one that will take less time to use for retouching)
4) remove that output file from Helicon so I only have one (the one I THINK will take the most time to use for retouching)
5) do some retouching and when I have to stop, save the project
6) go back when I can and finish the retouching with the one output file I saved
7) repeat steps 5 and 6 as time permits
8) when I'm ready and THINK I can finish the retouching using the alternate source, look up my notes and reprocess the stack using the settings I want for the alternate source
9) select the new output file as an alternate source - knowing I'll no longer be able to save the project
10) HOPEFULLY - finish the retouching session using the alternate source. If I can't for whatever reason I'll either have to start again from step 8 - potentially losing all the retouching work done with the alternate source, or I'll have to accept a lower quality image as the final result.

The only alternative to the above is to leave my computer running with the project open in Helicon until I'm finished. This is not reasonable or feasible. It also makes it more difficult to work on multiple stacks/projects at once when that's desired.

Frustrated new user
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Joined: 29.04.2019 22:38

Re: New Feature Suggestions from a new user

Post by Catherine »

Thanks for your detailed message and thoughts!

I want to clarify one thing right away: you can queue up and process many stacks at the same time and have many outputs (or render the same stack multiple times with different parameters and have many outputs, it's the same thing). Every save action or export action work on the current stack/result. One result that you've selected. Except for "Save all" which works on ALL results at the same time. Saving a project is no different - you select one result, and the project is saved that recreates this single result.

The problem with Lightroom export or Capture one export is that it creates temporary files when you click "Export", runs Helicon Focus on these temporary files, and then deletes these files. So if you save a project during the export workflow the project refers to files that no longer exist, and nothing works. Even if you select "Export originals" in the Lightroom export settings, it still creates temporary copies of the original files.

We plan on mitigating this by copying all the source files into the project folder when saving the project. It will take a while and will take extra space, but it will work. Right now, saving from an export simply can't work.

As for "Use another output as source", the implementation of this function is more difficult than one might expect, and it was never designed to work with projects. There may be a workaround and we're looking into it with the intent to support this, but certainly not in the next update.
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