P: Poor photo in the library and develop module - smart previews

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LEGEND ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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I have a problem with version 10.0,
the photo is of poor quality in the library and in the develop module. I use smart previews (the disk with the original photos is disconnected).
smart previews in version 10.0 have poorer quality than in version 9.4
When I install the older version (9.4), the same photo with the same preset is of better quality (also smart previews).

It looks like there is a higher grain in the photo
Here are photos exported from smart previews.

Tested on: Mac pro 2013 (6core, 16gb ram, D500)

Macbook Pro 2014 2,7 ghz 4 core, 16gb ram

 

10.0:

Ver.10.0-b0348375-7ee4-43f6-bacf-3bf7316fa4d7-546901345.jpgVer.10.0-b0348375-7ee4-43f6-bacf-3bf7316fa4d7-546901345.jpg

9.4:

Ver9.4-bc03ff63-1ef6-43e0-9ea4-dd2806a97943-358141873.jpgVer9.4-bc03ff63-1ef6-43e0-9ea4-dd2806a97943-358141873.jpg

Photo exported after attaching a disk with the original photo:

568_DSA7405-959a0e03-16c7-429b-8073-0ddca9b69679-298407583.jpg568_DSA7405-959a0e03-16c7-429b-8073-0ddca9b69679-298407583.jpg
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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Nov 10, 2020 Nov 10, 2020

This has been confirmed by the team.

Until a fix is issued your workaround is to disable the Smart Preview workflow. 

  • Preferences>Perfomance | Develop
  • Uncheck 'Use Smart Previews instead of Originals for image editing'

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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*shmeckles Hey, is this easy to do? I didn't even know you could do this. I definitely want to do this until the issue is fixed. Thanks!

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Hi @MokusoUK ,

Do you have this preference (Use Smart Preview instead of Originals for image editing) checked ? If yes, could you uncheck that and let us know if you are still facing this issue ?

Thanks,

Arjun

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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To go back, use Creative Cloud application, next to the product you want to revert, click on... pick "other versions"


Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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After some more testing the above mentioned Smart Preview behavior is by design. Adobe added caching of full-size Develop module previews to allow reviewing multiple image files with minimal preview building delay.

After disconnecting the original image file you will need to view a different image file in the Develop module and then go back to the test file, which should now show a reduced size Smart Preview image.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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I believe I've found the cause of "poor quality" when using Smart Previews with the original files disconnected. In the case here and the other mentioned post Grain Effect was applied. It appears the Grain Effect tool applies a fixed size grain pattern regardless of the image file's resolution. So a 24 megapixel image file and a 4.3 megapixel Smart Preview will have the same size grain pattern mask applied. When viewed on screen the grain in the smaller Smart Preview image file will appear much larger and more pronounced.

To test this I created 6000 x 4000 and 2560 x 1707 test files, which are representative of the OP's raw file and Smart Preview size.  Inside LrC I applied the same Grain settings to both files. The below comparison clearly demonstrates the issue.

I tried matching the above test files and the required settings are not very intuitive. One possible solution would be for Adobe to add "automatic scaling" to the Grain tool so that it applies the same results, using the same settings, regardless of image size. 

6000 x 4000: Amount 100, Size 50, Roughness 50

2560 x 1707: Amount 35, Size 0, Roughness 100

(Right-click and select View Image)

6000x4000vs2560x1707-c466fcb3-5959-485e-8899-29531518b9de-1573363932.jpg

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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@todd_shaner_6660895 

I do agree that using some grain edits seems to be key but I think more testing is in order from those reporting these issues. 

FWIW. None of my testing was done with Smart Previews 'disconnected' from the original. Again, be useful if those making these reports would let us know if and how they are using Smart Previews. 


Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Participant ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Again, be useful if those making these reports would let us know if and how they are using Smart Previews. 

The OP said in his first post this was a case of using smart previews while the original was disconnected.

Nice work Todd Shaner!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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No such admission from the original OP reporting this issue earlier:

https://feedback.photoshop.com/conversations/lightroom-classic/lightroom-classic-image-previews-with...

Last post asks a useful question from an Adobe person:

Hi @MokusoUK ,

 

Do you have this preference (Use Smart Preview instead of Originals for image editing) checked ? If yes, could you uncheck that and let us know if you are still facing this issue ?

 

Thanks,

Arjun

Again, be useful if those making these reports would let us know if and how they are using Smart Previews. 


Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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The actual OP fotimelasku in his very first post above said, "I have a problem with version 10.0, the photo is of poor quality in the library and in the develop module. I use smart previews (the disk with the original photos is disconnected)."

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LEGEND ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Yes. I use smart previews as I wrote.
Exact workflow: from the SD card, I choose to import to LR with the destination folder on the external disk (the originals are moved there). The import is set to create smart previews. When the import is complete, I will unmount the original photo disc.

You are right about the grain size. The smaller the photo, the smaller the grain must be (although the same value)

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Hey Arjun, thanks for reaching out. I just checked and I did have that checked. I've unchecked the option now and it's kind of fixed it. 

It now initially shows the super grainy image when I click on the photo but after a second or so that disappears and shows me the image more accurately without me having to zoom in and out. It still reverts to grainy preview when clicking between files as well so it isn't a total fix (or at least it's still different to how the last version of Lightroom worked) but it's certainly faster than having to zoom in and out each time.

My iMac is at the end of it's lifespan now (2013 Quad Core 3.2ghz) so maybe the preview loading time will be faster for other users and not as noticeable, but for me it's certainly a downgrade in efficiency vs the previous version.

Thanks!

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New Here ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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I have the same problem after installation of new version of LR.

The important info is this:

"It's only a problem if noise is added in Develop before".

So if you don't  add any grain in Develop, the previews are OK (the same as in previous versions of LR).

The grain in develop is the cause of all of this. So in import preset I cancelled the noise adjustment and I am OK. 

But this is a BUG in new version of LR, no doubt.

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New Here ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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I have the same problem after installation of new version of LR.

 

The important info is this:

"It's only a problem if noise is added in Develop before".

 

So if you don't  add any grain in Develop, the previews are OK (the same as in previous versions of LR).

 

The grain in develop is the cause of all of this. So in import preset I cancelled the noise adjustment and I am OK. 

 

But this is a BUG in new version of LR, no doubt.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Yes, I'm a professional fashion photographer and add grain to nearly everything I produce (I apply a preset on import) so this is an annoyance but I understand that a lot of people won't add grain as much as I do so it won't impact everyone. 

That being said, it's not just on import. If I apply grain to an image that doesn't have it already it looks bad for a second or so until it renders properly. 

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New Here ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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yes, you’re right -  that’s why I add the grain just before exporting final images. It is the only work-around for this bug now as I am not able to come up with something better. 

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LEGEND ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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This issue is really frustrating. I add grain to most of my work, and do a lot of my processing with smart previews while away from my desk. Before version 10 the grain would remain the correct size relative to the full size raw file - now it seems to be applying the grain based on the size of the preview / smart preview, rather than the original image. And this is the case with new images shot and imported since the update, and images already in the catalogue before the update. It's also not affected by any of the obvious performance preferences. Please fix it ASAP Adobe!

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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*andrewmaybury Yes, same. I use Smart Previews to edit my work whilst out in the field so this is a pain.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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And the answer to Arjun on the other thread and what others should test:

Hey Arjun, thanks for reaching out. I just checked and I did have that checked. I've unchecked the option now and it's kind of fixed it. 


Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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@arjun_haarith 

The issue users are experiencing here and in the other post occur when using Smart Previews with the original files on an external drive that is disconnected. The issue is also present when using Preferences setting 'Use Smart Preview instead of Originals for image editing."  I identified the cause at the below link to the other post. I also tested LrC 9.4 and it exhibits the issue, but it is not as severe as 10.0. So it appears something has changed in LrC 10.0. Please let me know if you need more information.

https://feedback.photoshop.com/conversations/lightroom-classic/lightroom-classic-v10-poor-photo-in-t...

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Hi @todd_shaner_6660895 . Thanks for this, what you're saying isn't quite correct though. The issue still arises when "Use Smart Preview instead of Originals for image editing." is unchecked although it is considerably less severe as it doesn't require zooming in and out to fix, it is however still prevalent for the first second or so when clicking onto an image before it fully loads, something which wasn't an issue in the previous version of Lightroom.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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Hi Andrew, as you're referencing me here please keep in mind that the majority of people coming here for help (me included) don't spend our time on this forum usually and therefore it's not initially apparent what information would be useful to share. I've found usually when asking for help keeping the post simple and to the point is usually the best initial option until someone asks for more information (which I would have been happy to provide)

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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@todd_shaner_6660895 Also thanks for the info on this and how it seems to be a deliberate design decision by Adobe, hopefully this is looked into as it's certainly irritating for some users. By the way, I notice you talk about image size, I'm using a Sony A7riv so my file size is massive, does that mean that this issue is more pronounced on my images than it would be on someone using a camera with a smaller megapixel count? Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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it is however still prevalent for the first second or so when clicking onto an image before it fully loads, something which wasn't an issue in the previous version of Lightroom.

Possible cause is if you edited the image files using Smart Previews with the originals on a disconnected external drive. When you reconnect the external drive LrC has to rebuild the Library preview and camera raw cache with the full-size image data. If that delay wasn't present in LrC 9.4 then it's just another indicator that Adobe changed something in LrC 10.0.

I notice you talk about image size, I'm using a Sony A7riv so my file size is massive, does that mean that this issue is more pronounced on my images than it would be on someone using a camera with a smaller megapixel count? 

The same grain pattern mask is applied to both the original file and the smaller smart preview. So both a higher megapixel camera or smaller Smart Preview Size Catalog Setting will make the issue appear more pronounced.

Original File Long Edge divided by Smart Preview Size

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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I did further testing using Smart Previews with previous version  LrC 9.4 and can confirm it does NOT exhibit the issue. Interestingly my 6000x4000 and 2560x1707 test image files exhibit the same issue as LrC 10.0 in 9.4. So it appears the grain mask is still applied the same regardless of image size. However, Smart Previews have the grain properly scaled down to match the smaller image size in LrC 9.4, but not in 10.0. Confusing yes, but I think that about sums it up.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2020 Oct 28, 2020

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I did further testing using Smart Previews with previous version  LrC 9.4 and can confirm it does NOT exhibit the issue. Interestingly my 6000x4000 and 2560x1707 test image files exhibit the same issue as LrC 10.0 in 9.4. So it appears the grain mask is still applied the same regardless of image size. However, Smart Previews have the grain properly scaled down to match the smaller image size in LrC 9.4, but not in 10.0. Confusing yes, but I think that about sums it up.

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