P: Histogram behaviors are different from prior versions

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LEGEND ,
Jan 24, 2018 Jan 24, 2018

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I am experiencing problems with the histogram in 19.1.0. I am a mid-career fine art photographer by profession, and have been a PS user since Version 2. I am also a member of the Authors Guild, and write on photography for various publications. I have been purposely hanging back at PS 2015.5.1, as it has served me well. Yesterday, I decided enough, is enough, and installed 19.1.0.

This first histogram is at Cache Level 1 for the file values of a 36Kx24K pixel 16-bit grayscale file.

 

Please notice how there are "tails" (lines) out each side of the main body of data, indicating that there are small levels of data almost to the limits of range. For me, it is important to know about these tails exist so that I do not end up creating a clipped condition when applying a curve function. We use S-curve limiters to compact the tails without clipping.

Here is the exact same file at Cache Level 1 for the same 36Kx24K pixel 16-bit grayscale file, but this time in 19.1.0.

 

Please notice how there is no tail indicating data extending to the left, and rather a botched one going to the right. This is not helpful! You will also notice that the Mean and Standard Deviation values differ.

Further, it use to be nice to be able to take the cursor and scan across the histogram with a display of level and count showing up for whatever was under he cursor. This seems to have gone away in 2015.5, and is even worse in 19.1.0.

Thanks for your help.

Pete

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Adobe Employee , May 13, 2021 May 13, 2021
Hi,   We're happy to announce the release of Photoshop 22.4 which should include the fix for this issue. To update Photoshop to the latest version, you can check: https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/help/creative-cloud-updates.html   For information on other issues fixed with this update, please check: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/fixed-issues.html   Regards, Nikunj

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 05, 2020 May 05, 2020

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Pete, download Jeff's image file and see if it also exhibits the same issues. This will help determine if something in your files is causing the issue.

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LEGEND ,
May 05, 2020 May 05, 2020

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The two images above, are displaying the histogram at very different scales.  The histogram output has about 1.25 times as many pixels in the x direction and half as many in the y direction.  The tails seen could easily be in how the last row of the plot is computed.  I have wondered a number of times what has changed between version of PS and the histogram but never compared to the Curves or Levels displays.  I would recommend that the bottom row display everything below a certain level not just how the levels fall.
RONC 

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LEGEND ,
May 05, 2020 May 05, 2020

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The bottom row must show as white if there is a any pixel has the particular value. With the user expecting to be able to see the black and white points it is a necessity. It worked that way for a long time but I think it was changed and no one noticed
Someone needs to build a synthetic to test it. Because the program is working with normalized counts (scaled relative to peak count), any value greater than zero at an amplitude should be white in this example and for color data, the idea must be applied to for each color.
RONC

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Guys,

Here is a synthetic test.  Image is 512 x 512 in one shade of gray.  I inserted a square of different sizes with a darker gray.  If square is less than 64 x 64, the histogram doesn't show the information.  I tested 64 x 64 shown, 32 x 32, and 16 x 16.  It should show in all cases in my view of how to do it.  I think the monitor settings (scaling on laptop screens) also could affect what is seen.  



I think it is time for someone to view the software.  This probably affects histogram, levels, and curves in PS, LR, and ACR.  Other programs  might have the problem but I have no idea which.

Let me know if you need to discuss.

RONC

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Here's a 512 x 512 image with 32 x 32 lower density square. It looks normal and as expected except the Curves Adjustment layer histogram lines appear darker, but still visible.
I can't duplicate the issue with this image.



I suggest resetting your PS Preferences file as the next trouble shooting step. Close PS and rename the Prefs.psp as shown below and then restart PS. This will allow easily restoring it if of no help.

Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings/Prefs.psp.OLD

If the issue persists I suggest downloading Jeff's image file and see if it also exhibits the issue.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Launch QuickTime, Select File > New Screen Recording... then export the movie after you're done recording. You can record audio if you want to talk through the process. Post to drop box or some other file sharing platform and post the URL.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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I think that you understand the problem.  Look at the image below.  This has a 128 x 128 darker are and shows on the histogram.  It shows in two ways.  It is so tall because of the increased count for that amplitude.  It is also the same "color" as the full height one representing the rest of the images amplitude.  Now look at my previous image and you can barely see this short one as it is shorter and weaker on that histogram.  Looking at your image, the short one is even shorter or non-existent and darker too.  I contend for the histogram to be of value we must be able to see what on the bottom row of the histogram.   The bottom row is where the tails should be.  They must show even if their count is just 1 on the whole image.  How can the user see the lowest amplitude and highest amplitude points?   The problem is that the histogram is 100 px in height and any bin that has a count less that 1/100 of the maximum count is ignored.  This 128 x 128 square is shown, the 64 x 64 from my original is barely shown, and the 32 x 32 of yours almost doesn't show the low level bins.   The tall peak is 100 px tall no matter what but the lower ones should have at least one or two px height if they are not zero in count.

 This version of the histogram was coded without knowledge of its use.



The display in levels and curves is 200 px tall so the tails show unless they are 1/200 of the maximum bin count then they disappear.  

at some time in the past, the histogram display worked as I say it should but I can't tell you when it changed.  If Chris Cox is still around let explain what I'm saying as he probably did the first version.

Changing my preferences will not change this problem.

Let me know how I can help.

RONC  PS user since v3.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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"This 128 x 128 square is shown, the 64 x 64 from my original is barely shown, and the 32 x 32 of yours almost doesn't show the low level bins."

Ronald clearly your system is behaving differently than mine or *Jeffrey Tranberry's. Your 512x512 image file Histogram does not show the darker area when smaller than 64x64 px. Mine shows the darker area in the histogram with height proportional down to 32x32 px. Below 32x32px the histogram line height remains the same and visible including a 1x1px darker area. A 32x32 px area in a 512x512 image is very small (.4%) and I imagine that's the histogram display lower level limit to remain visible. So it appears to be working correctly on my system.
In addition you have the disappearing Histogram issue when trying to use a Curves Adjustment layer. The cause of that remains to be determined since neither I or Jeff can duplicate it. So we have two possibly related issues.

Jeff can correct me here, but further trouble shooting needs to be performed before this can be turned over to Adobe Engineer for review. That's why I suggested resetting the PS Preferences file as a simple next step to rule that out as a possible cause of your issues. A corrupted Preferences file can cause some very strange issues!

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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I changed preferences and see no difference.  I forgot to mention that I'm on a Win 10 laptop with latest Win and PS.

It looks like the values are interpolated which could reduce the strength of the bin in the display.  Interpolation at an edge can also decrease the strength unless proper padding is used.

I do not have the disappearing Histogram issue when trying to use a Curves Adjustment layer.  My problem is only what has been referred to as tails in the histogram display.  The difference between curves and histogram seems to be that the tails show more in the curves which is probably do to the fact there are more px in the vertical direction.  It might have been at one time that the display was nearest position.  I truly expect all bins with live data should have the same strength but different height.

RONC

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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For the disappearing Histogram see this parameter:



Open Histogram and right click on the >> on its title bar.  Bet if turned off the panel won't go away.  Might want to ask for another option.

RONC

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Sorry for the delay---out of the office today. Will get to the screen recording done tomorrow.

I knew someone was going to say "this will help determine if something in your files is causing the issue." I told my wife that was going to come up. NOT the issue.

The irritation is that I have been using PhotoShop since Version 2. I have 26-years in as a fine art photographer and all of my work has undergone digital post production in PS from the get-go. I pioneered digital monochrome photography in 2002 with the Kodak DCS 760m. I have written for most of the major photo magazines over the years. There isnt anything wrong with my image files, and I would never suggest an issue without testing across a vast array of image file types. What I have posted are typical examples of those failures.

The histogram issue has been a mess since 2015.5.

I sincerely doubt I have anything oddly configured in PS 2020 or the OS given that the computer is new, Apple installed the OS, and PS is installed fresh. My wife is a Director of Information Technology, use to work for Apple (among others), and watched in amusement as the histogram completely disappeared from the desktop each time I made an adjustment with the Curves function yesterday.

Just saying....

Pete

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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I have an update on the disappearing histogram function. It only does so when the screen is rotated 90 degrees and is in portrait mode. It does NOT disappear in normal horizontal orientation.

OK, lets see if that helps. I do a lot of vertical work, so most often have the screen rotated into portrait mode---hence why the bug is bugging me and not most users. 🙂

Pete

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Hi Jeff:
Trying again this morning, darn if the histogram function goes away once again in both horizontal and vertical modes! I can't believe it. I clearly saw the histogram function stay in place when I oriented in landscape mode and adjusted the Curves function last night. And frankly, I was so excited at the discovery that I forgot to look and see if the intersection line was work or not.

So this morning, I powered up in landscape mode, and the same disappearing Histogram function occurred as soon as I touched the Curves function.

I switched back to Portrait orientation, and the same thing happened. Then back to landscape, and the same thing happened.

But I DID see the Histogram function stay up while the Curves function was in use last night, and it was only in landscape mode. Why the heck it isnt working this morning is part of the grand mystery.

Pete

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Pete, we are trying to help you, but can only do so if we can duplicate the issues you are seeing on our systems.

First step towards doing that is to share an image file and compare screenshots of the Histogram displays. I'm asking again for you to please download *Jeffrey Tranberry's image file (see below link) and post screenshots of the Histograms as seen on your system. If you prefer to use one of your own files please do so and post the share link and histogram screenshots as viewed on your system. This is the minimum of what's need to assist with your observations and request.

https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/0b69dc6d-9649-4c70-4bef-58523b1dd1c7

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Pete, I can not duplicate this issue on my Windows 10 system. The histogram does not disappear with the display rotated to portrait mode when adjusting the Curves palette or the Curves Adjustment layer. Perhaps it is a Mac issue, which *Jeffrey Tranberry can check.

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Hi Jeff:

It could be "my bad" on the disappearing histogram function, but I don't know the intent of the designers. I did figure out what is going on and the work around.

I have a single column tool bar on the right side of the display where I dock commonly used functions, such as the histogram.

If I press on the histogram icon in the tool bar, the histogram pops up on the edge of the tool bar as planned.

If I use the Curves function, Levels function, filtering, etc, the moment I have those functions up and touch them, the histogram pooooooooooofs and goes away.

If I take the same histogram function, and drag it anywhere else on the desktop, it stays up and there are no issues (other then the intercept line not working on the Curves function, and the tails not showing properly on the histogram).

So is this "as designed" with the tools column? Are those functions suppose to disappear the moment some other function is used? If so, then totally my bad for not understanding that.

This is working in both portrait and landscape mode, so it is a solid diagnosis. Whether a bug, I don't know. In my little pea-sized brain, if you click on a tool column icon and the function comes up, it should stay up until dismissed. But perhaps it is design to minimize "clutter" on the desktop?

Pete

So we are down to the issue of the intercept line in Curves not working, and the trail not properly showing in the histograms (main histogram, Curves, Levels). As a minimum, we need a "show tails" option for the histograms, and obviously the intercept line needs to work in Curves. Need more info or are we good to go on those issues?

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Adobe Employee ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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That's a good clue. It sounds like bug - but I can't repro offhand even having the histogram on that side. There might be other ingredients to make it happen. Can you make a screenshot of your entire screen with the curves dialog and histogram open before you touch it to make it disappear and one after? That might give me more clues.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Will do!

Pete

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Did you look for this?   I posted it above.

For the disappearing Histogram see this parameter:



Open Histogram and right click on the >> on its title bar.  Bet if turned off the panel won't go away.  Might want to ask for another option.

RONC

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Thanks Ronald---that looks solid. I will give it a go, and I bet it will work.

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Per Jeff's request:

Steady state before selecting Curves (Cache 1)
Curves function selected, histogram Cache 1
Just after curves point moved---poooooof, gone
I will go and try Ron's suggestion.






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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Pete,
Please peruse my comments above relating to tails in the histograms.  I also think there has been a change in the display of the histograms and it subdues the tails (low count bins).

RONC

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Thank you Ron! Yes, that did solve the problem of the disappearing histogram function when touching curves.
PS Prefs--->Workspace---> uncheck "Auto-Collapse Iconic Panels"

Grateful to you Ron! Gold star. Much cheering! Thought I was loosing what little is left of my pea-sized brain. Happy Happy Happy

OK, so it was a "feature."

Jeff, I guess we are down to the intersect line  in Curves and the histogram tails (Curves, Levels, et al). Have everything you need from me?

And I would add cheer towards the suggestion of a much larger version of the Curves Function and the Histogram windows for greater accuracy and ease of use.

Pete

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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"Jeff, I guess we are down to the intersect line  in Curves and the histogram tails (Curves, Levels, et al). Have everything you need from me?"

Pete & Ronald you need to provide histogram screenshots using a shared test file that demonstrates the issue so Jeff and I can check it on our systems. I'm seeing tails in the histogram in Jeff's file as I posted earlier here. You can use his file or provide your own with screenshots. But either way we need a "reference" test file that we can all use for evaluation purposes.


https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/0b69dc6d-9649-4c70-4bef-58523b1dd1c7

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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I successfully downloaded the file and opened it up on my system. PS was reporting that the original file was using a "Dot Grain 20%" setting for the saved photo, and I opened it "as-is" (no changes) on a Gamma 2.2 curve.

With the probe, I could sense data down to Level 1 (Count 10), and Level 246 (Count 01). I had a count of 762 pixels and 0.01% below what was visible in the Cache 1 histogram, and 4881 Count and 0.04% above what was visible. So a lot was missing---the tails.

Here is the Cache 1 histogram:

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