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Mike - oh, don't worry, I have plenty of NASA contacts from college and Photoshop related work.
Im sure you do. I wish you the best Chris, but your company is on the verge of a marketing meltdown.
Um, no - he doesn't seem to have the background, much less advanced knowledge. He does seem to know a limited section of CG software usage, but none of the theory behind it.
Ok. Fair enough. The short list of softwares and/or graphics/CG products I've used, in the order I first introduced to them beginning in 1984:
Compugraphics 7770 Typesetter
Laird 1500 CG (with custom Font creation option)
Cubicomp Picturemaker 2.0-3.0
Aurora 240(3D Modeling, Animation, and Paint)
Softimage 3D 2.4 - 7.0
Softimage Eddie 3.0
Photoshop 3.? - CS3
Quantel Paintbox V Series Express
Chyron CG (don't remember the version)
Maya 1,5 - 2010
3DS Max 2.6-3.3
Softimage XSI 4,2-7.5
Nothing Real Shake 2.?-4.0
This doesn't include the video editors, dvd authoring software, tape machines or even the scientific visualization software I currently operate. I'm sure I'm forgetting something but I've produced real products with each application.
As for theory, what kind of theory? Application theory, interface theory, development theory, math theory? No I'm not a programmer, a decent scripter maybe, but not a programmer. I can't cite for you the precise math for premultiplication. But does that mean I am incapable of understanding how premultiplication is applied in compositing? Does that mean I, or anyone else reading this thread and has comped two images together is incapable of understanding that a 50% value alpha pixel is supposed to represent 50% transparency for the corresponding RGB pixel in our final comp?
No I am not a CG Mathematician. I know people where I work that are though, but that is beside the point. What kind of theory must I possess to know as a user of Photoshop that Photoshop is damaging my images, confiscating my alpha unecessarily, and providing a workflow which is in complete opposition to every paint and compositing application I have uses in the last 20 years?
He's being straightforward, yes. But his explanations are not that detailed, and contain a lot of mistakes when he tries to go into detail.
So please, tell me exactly what mistakes I made. I can take it.
Oh yeah, and exactly how am I mistaken that I cannot load and save my Softimage PIC or Maya IFF files using the Adobe Softimage or Maya importers, without Photoshop damaging the image?
I have given most of the details already in this thread.
Respectfully, no you haven't. You havent provided a detailed explanation as to why it is acceptable to alter anyones image without their permission. Or why alpha has to be APPLIED as transparency by default. You have repeatedly claimed that you are only following the specifications of the formats.
But what if the user does not want to composite the image with the alpha. What then? Well it has an alpha therefore it must absolutely float over other images? Whos rule is that? Why must it always float over other images, What if I don't want it to. What if I don't have any other images in the document? It has an alpha so what. Why should I as an image creator be forced to manually remove the alpha from my Softimage PIC file before loading it in Photoshop for it to be read the way I want it to be read?
The thing I don't get, why is is such a difficult concept to permit the alpha to go to a mask instead of transparency? They do the same thing, produce the same results. They possess the same lack of premultiplication. If the alpha is ingested to a Layer Mask instead of transparency I could edit the alpha, I could move the alpha across layers, I could still composite, I could even turn off the composite by disabling the mask, I could paint in the image, anywhere, and I could interogate any pixel anywhere in the image or alpha. In general I could do most of what I want to, if I could easily import the RGB plane without it being corrupted and the alpha straight to mask without it being quarantined in the Transparency plane.
But I can't, because it is determined by Adobe that the alpha must go to transparency instead of where I want it to go. Some of my image data gets deleted, and when i save the file its now corrupted.
The only real detail we have gotten is that the alpha must go to your transparency because it is called tranparency in the specification and that you have determined that is the only way to do this. We get that detail loud an clear. We're trying to tell you, just like the TGA folks did, that that procedure is unacceptable in many cases because it prevents us from using your software to do what we need it to do. Edit the alpha, the image, or both.
Transparency. Mask, What difference does it make, they do the same thing, just in different ways. I'm not asking that the Transparency layer be gotten rid of. We're asking for an alternative to that. What prevents there from being a Canvas layer anyway? You permit background layers, even video layers and adjustment layers, Why can there be a Layer type which is void of Transparency.
As for premult, why can't it be programmed as a Blend Mode? The layer doesn't always have to behave as premultiplied. Just when we need it to. Add a Premultply option to the Layer Blend Mode arsenal and program that option to composite with premultiplication. If it breaks someone elses workflow, they can just switch back to Normal, or Screen, or Overlay or whatever. Problem solved.
And the rest, well, I'm not sure where he got off on the wrong terminology or concepts. And really I don't have time to teach computer graphics 101 right now.
I'm not asking you to teach us Graphics 101. I'm asking you to teach us Photoshop Development Philosophy 401.
Imagine if someone walked into a NASA lab and honestly said "you're doing it all wrong, you need to use a flux capacitor to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow so the quantums can escape the arcane vortex." Would he be listened to, or hustled out of the building (possibly with a restraining order)? Yeah, it's kinda like that.
How very.....weird...... I actually happen to work at NASA as a visualization animator at my day job. Been there 13 years. In light of recent events, a new President, a new NASA administration, the Augustine Commission report, and the ongoing controversy with Ares,....I think if someone walked in with a flux capacitor right about now they would name a building after him..........
Tongue in cheek aside.....NASA is a very large organization comprised of the government, numerous private contractors large and small, including many educational institutions. It's scientists operate largely on the scientific principle and it is very open minded to many ideas presented to it, no matter how odd they might seem. People in this environment rarely ever take a "my way is the absoloutely only way" attitude about their work because they know their papers and ideas will eventually be judged and scrutinzed by their peers. So they go out of their way to listen to other peoples ideas, because they want to be listened to as well.
I'm not trying to be insulting, but, he's not contributing anything useful to the conversation.
I'm not insulted. To the contrary, I find this conversation to be fascinating and an an eye opening experience.
And I'm just hoping the entire CG industry isn't like this.
Nope, theyre not all like me. I'm the quiet type.
Joey - you don't know, or you wouldn't be making so many mistakes, or confusing simple concepts.
Photoshop isn't stealing, destroying, deleting, or doing anything else to your alpha channels.
But it does repurpose. confiscate, and steal my alpha from me. When I load my Softimage PIC image in Photoshop the alpha is quarantined from me to enable you, the developer, to make a Cutout(Transparency Layer) of it. But I didn't want a Cutout. I want my image and alpha intact so I can paint/edit on my image and/or alpha where I want to. Anywhere I want.
But I can't do that, because it was consifiscated, quarantined, stolen, imprisoned, whatever.... to make a Cutout that I did not want.
That is the issue we are at disagreement about. Many times, for some of us most of the time, we just want to edit the single image and its alpha. We don't want to, or have any need to composite anything. That is the simplest of concepts. Photoshop prohibits that simple concept depending on the image being loaded and the way it loads it.
I want the alpha channel to remain an alpha, I don't want my alpha turned into transparency. I don't want the image automatically converted to a cutout. Because I don't always want to composite the image.
Photoshop is simply opening the file and displaying them as the file format says they should be displayed (ok, with the exception of TGA because too many people complained when we followed the spec.).
So you do bend to what the customer wants then? TGA is a really old spec, about what, 30 years old, or older?. A product of Truevision, or was that AT&T, I don't remember....sometimes. They developed TIPS paint software too. I used that for years, it was all we had then and was the DOS precursor to most paint software and Photoshop.
Regardless, people were using this format a very specific way long before Photoshop even existed. My guess would be they didn't like being told that their format of choice should be altered in a way which harmed their established and accepted workflow. Don't you see a pattern here?
Photoshop may change some color values on some file formats when opening -- because the color values have no meaning in 100% transparent areas.
So are you then telling me that you think it is perfectly ok for Photoshop to be programmed to do whatever it wants to any part of my image data that Adobe wants to to summarily modify? Denying me the artist who created the image the ability and opportunity to preserve my image the way I want it preserved? Regardless the fact that I and most CGI users don't want Photoshop to alter our images in this way?
Do you honestly see nothing wrong with Adobe saying to us, "there...you see that part of your image, it doesn't belong to you anymore, because we think it should be deleted, you don't need it anway, and its better that way...because it makes Photoshop faster."?
Do you really think that is an acceptable amd appropriate course of action for any CG software developer?
Please, take the time to learn more about compositing so you can contribute something useful to the conversation.
For the record, I'm not a CG software developer. I am an animator/compositor. I was very up front and clear in my first paragraph of my first response to this thread about the applications I have used and my background. Could I learn more, sure, everyone can. If I'm still doing this in 20 years, there will stll be things I will need to learn.
My effort with my responses to this thread has been to impart on it an understanding of how I, and others like me...
1. Require the software they use to do no harm to their artwork
2. Require the developers of software I use to respect the workflow I depend upon.
3. Are impacted when my workflow is impeded and my product damaged by the current development philosohphy.
4. Would like the developer to create an alternative workflow, where possible, that improves your software and makes our job easier.
Photoshop automating my image into a cutout at load, putting may alpha in quarantine, and removing my data from my image to make Photoshop run more efficently does not make my job easier.
Pardon me for disagreeing. I think I have contributed plenty of useful information and opinion to this conversation.
There are no workflows. It's a free for all. Embrace garbage.
I totally agree on all the above listed bullet points! Is there some feature request form I can send to Adobe on the matter? I personally know a lot of people in this industry that do not like the way Alpha channels currently work in Photoshop. The people in this thread are not the only ones in the forest.
Joey - just accept that you shall be a victim for an extended period of time until Adobe has some real competition. Maybe then the crack smoking gerbils will understand.
Wow, you'd make a great polititian Chris.
Pretty much sums it up. The user is stupid and Adobe have everything right. That's why the wonderful world of graphics is so stream lined for the best possible pile of crap Adobe can deliver.
Mike Ornellas wrote:
Pretty much sums it up.
Mike, there's an old saying...if you can't say anything nice, keep your friggin' mouth shut. You think you know (but don't) the nature under which engineers like Chris work...but you don't have the empathy (ore the understanding). So, the question ya gotta ask yourself is...do you wanna be part of the problem or part of the solution. So far, you've always come down on the part of the problem side bud. I do honestly thing that deep down you do mean well but your evil twin keeps getting ahold of your keyboard and essentially stepping on your member. So, do you really want to have a positive impact? If so, you've done nothing to prove it...
Everyone has to live with their decisions in life Jeff. It's unfortunate my voice has become such a political sounding board - when in fact I hate politics more then anything... If you really see what Adobe is doing to its customers Jeff, you will understand the bigger picture. Not that you don't have an idea what is going on.... The dismantling of industries due to the power of one company for the sake of out of control features - for only profit margins, is corporate suicide. Tons of jobs are vaporizing in many areas of graphics or moving overseas to areas of the world that apparently Adobe could care less about strangely enough. Adobe is basically cutting their own throat through corporate marketing decisions that are half baked. When you only feed the mind and don't exercise the body, eventually the quality of life fails. Adobe is really cutting their nose off despite their face when dealing with how things should work vs. how things are done. I can only blame the developer for not whole heartily digging deeper into the true meaning of how industries function - right or wrong.
I have always been part of the solution Jeff, but arrogant attitudes of misunderstanding has been the blockage. If you cant take the heat, get out of the kitchen I always say. If you can't listen to the hard side of the real world, then maybe you should turn a deaf ear to the problems. That is pretty much my experience from Adobe. I'm not into blowing smoke up anyones a$$ telling you have done a great job. Nor am I interested in playing political tennis with a bunch of people that can't stand some harsh constructive criticism. The real problem is restriction and control of a product for the benefit of the ONE company and not for the industries they serve. Again, demise of the ONE theory.
Continued out of control features is not the solution to corporate health. People are pretty much getting fed up with the piles upon piles of nonsensical features that pretty much leave new and old users alike lost in a sea of confusion. I don't find that progress intelligently planned....
Don't worry about me shooting my mouth off Jeff. Worry about me when I stop talking...at that point, I don't care anymore...
Ive yet to hear details responses to the majority of Joeys concerns.
I've tried to address the big concerns. A lot of the mistakes he's made were already explained or corrected earlier in this topic. And all of it boils down to his lack of knowledge.
But much of what he's been ranting about just doesn't make sense and can't be addressed. He simply does not know enough about what he's talking about to carry on a meaningful conversation.
And that is the customer base Adobe is dealing with.
Keep building a product 1% can operate correctly.
Any individual who spends the vast majority of their time declaring that the other party in a conversation is ignorant, or doesn't understand anything, or doesn't have knowledge about the subject matter, or does not make sense,... that individual wastes a proportionate amount of time that they could have spent showing others how much they do understand.
(if thats an existing quote, credit goes to whoever said it)
Chris, I'll be straightforward here.
All we're after is an option to keep the Alpha Channel. We don't care if it's hidden away like ProEXR plugin.
We don't care if we're wrong
We don't care if there's premultiplication errors
We don't care what the file spec says
We use the Alpha Channel for a lot of uses too.
TGA files do it why can't we have an option for all the other formats or at least EXR and IFF? For all I care you may put a warning dialogue box that says "THIS IS WRONG!"
This is the real issue and this is why the thread is created. We don't need someone telling us how to use Alpha Channels. We just want to use them!
My sentiments exactly.
Toast - as already explained ad nauseum: as much as possible is ALREADY being kept intact.
You simply aren't seeing things the way you are used to (WYSIWYG versus "imagine if").
Or some people don't even understand what they're seeing.
TGA is a special case - the file format says we should load the fourth channel as transparency. But when we did that too many people complained. We went backto loading it as an alpha channel instead. That means that TGA is useless for compositing, but sometimes gives you what you want, unless you expected it to be premultiplied, etc.
We might be able to add options, but we don't want to bother everyone using file formats as they were intended with options that they don't need or care about. So we have to be careful -- that's what we ALREADY discussed in this topic.
Apparently some do need instruction, becuase they can't get basic concepts straight enough to discuss them in any rational manner.
Please, save the alpha channel! Have some compassion, dont just kill it you
big meanie. What did it do to you? Leave it alone, its not bothering
anybody. All alpha should have the basic right to free choice, to be
embedded or not to be. This is the nanny-state meets totalitarianism of
alpha. Tune in, drop out baby, this is America, I want my alpha back.
Toast - as already explained ad nauseum: as much as possible is ALREADY being kept intact.
Except premultiplication, which isn't even supported much less kept intact.
Oh and IFF and PIC file RGB channels are ALREADY far from being kept intact(see above). Their alphas look great though.
You simply aren't seeing things the way you are used to
Which means we've been seeing alphas separated from the image longer than Photoshop has been around. And we will continue to do so indefinetely, regardless how you want us to see them.
WYSIWYG versus "imagine if"
The day that a transparency layer, derived from alpha and displayed over checkerboard, is WYSIWYG, is the day that alpha channel is the same as alpha/transparency/opacity/mask.
You defined that level of rigidity to specification. Not I.
TGA is a special case
Its the primary case. Its how we have used, displayed, and manipulated these images and alphas in this industry for almost 3 decades. No effort by you or Adobe will ever change that,
Resistance is futile.
the file format says we should load the fourth channel as transparency. But when we did that too many people complained
Because they were right about how they used their images and you are wrong about how they used their images.
We went backto loading it as an alpha channel instead. That means that TGA is useless for compositing,
Thats just not true....
Load selection>Channl:Alpha 1
Layer>Add Layer Mask>Reveal Selection
Now you have a composite via layer mask. Which is what we want from images rendered with alpha.
We don't want automated transparency layers from alpha.
but sometimes gives you what you want, unless you expected it to be premultiplied, etc
We can't use premultiplied images with Transparency or Layer Mask. We have to render our images specifically as not premultiplied just to use them with Photoshop anyway. So what difference does "expecting it to be premultiplied" make.
We might be able to add options, but we don't want to bother everyone using file formats as they were intended with options that they don't need or care about.
Stop obsessing about what you think you can't do or what you think you have to do. Start thinking outside of the Photoshop. Just a little.
Add the options, then put a preference in the software to switch between Standard Image Loading and Advanced Image Loading. Advanced would turn the option dialogs on, standard ignores the dialog. Set Standard as the default install setting. Then all those folks that don't want to be bothered with our workflow don't have to deal with. In the meantime we are smart enough to find the preference and flip the switch. We'll be more than happy to search all bugger day long to find the switch.
So we have to be careful -- that's what we ALREADY discussed in this topic.
As carfeul as you are with the IFF and PIC files?
Apparently some do need instruction, becuase they can't get basic concepts straight enough to discuss them in any rational manner.
Thats correct, the basic concept is that we create our alpha channels and we want full control over our alpha channels. Thats as rational as it gets.
Well.. I was searching for a solution regarding EXR and alpha and found this thread. Man.. I swear, this is THE best thread in the entire Web. I dont remember when I was laughing that much. Chris, you are my favorite
The thread is now over 1 year old, and we still did not get the solution to the simplest case one can imagine. What can be simpler? Make alpha as separate channel as it was in previous version? Wow.. I need a rest from laugh
Ok Chris. Please pay a little attention one more time.
Back in the days of Photoshop 7. When it was released, there was a change in the way TGA files are loaded. There was exactly same situation as now with EXR - alpha now applies to the whole image and turns pixels into transparent, instead of loading as fourth channel. At that time, the problem WAS fixed by ADOBE. They released another loader, that user could install. Here is the link with description of problem:
Here is a quote from official Adobe statement (yes, its the place where you are working!):
Versions of Adobe Photoshop earlier than version 7.0 saved the first alpha channel in a file into the fourth channel when writing Targa files. Photoshop 7.0 changed the application's default behavior to save transparency information instead of an alpha channel, resulting in incompatibility with some existing workflows. In response to user feedback, this plug-in restores the earlier behavior of the Targa plug-in.
You see, they DID admit that problem exists and DID release an alternative loader. So what you can say now? Its still impossible?
Read the thread again "lamer".
You seem to have missed a lot.
Wow. I just read this entire ridiculous thread and I gotta say it is just about the most pointless waste of time I have ever experienced. I have been stymied for years as to why Photoshop suddenly forgot how to open a tiff file with a matte in it. It really has been a bottleneck and a puzzling quirk in an otherwise remarkable professional tool.
Chris, dude. Sorry to be blunt here but you're just about the most pig-headed person I've ever come across. But I say this in the nicest way. Okay, you win. You win, man! You're the smartest person on earth. You're right about everything. We're all ignorant morons and you're the main man who's righter than right.
Now can we please just have a frigging OPTION, for crying out loud, to open a file with a matte in it exactly as it was saved. Simple solution. Nobody cares if it's the right way or the wrong way. We just want to open the file without automatically applying the transparency information to the image. Is great big Adobe too stupid to figure that out or what?
Sorry to be blunt here but holy cow. I really don't know how else to put this except maybe in the future you could save us all about three hours of reading by just saying something like "Gee, thanks for the suggestion, we'll look into it."
I doubt this will be posted so you needn't bother answering.