P: Non-destructive filter layers instead of smart-filters

12 Votes
LEGEND ,
Mar 01, 2012 Mar 01, 2012

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the smart-filter functionality should be kicked.

i want photoshop to create a filter-layer (exactly like an adjustment layer)
to be able to really edit non destructive in an easy way.

i assume it would eat up cpu to calculate filters all the time in real-time.
if so, to avoid this, integrate a freeze button:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

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37 Comments
LEGEND ,
Mar 01, 2012 Mar 01, 2012

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Some apps get away with the concept on screen size images, but at higher resolutions - the computational complexity kills usability. If you do the math, you quickly figure out that live "filter layers" just can't work well on anything but tiny screen rez documents (and even then only if you use a few filters, stack more than 2 or 3 up and it gets painful to use).

Smart Filters give you the re-editability, an explicit update step (since realtime updates would kill performance and usability), and have the benefit of work on real world image sizes.

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2012 Mar 01, 2012

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well... please find a way because smart-filters are really killing the workflow!

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2012 Mar 01, 2012

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no professional digital artist or retoucher in germany i met - and i know lots - uses smart-objects regularly. because it`s not even close to user-friendly enough to fit in our workflow. it just plain stinks. the only reason to use it, is when you need to downscale images within a composing and want it to be non-destructive.

by the way - smart-filters also take ages to calculate if you use 2 or 3 of them.

i`m sure there are way better possibilities.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 01, 2012 Mar 01, 2012

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"No professional I know uses layers, because they're not user friendly in our workflow" - several users in 1998 (who all use layers now)

Many users, around the world, do use smart objects regularly because they are so powerful, friendly, and flexible. There are books written about the workflows that smart objects enable. They do a lot more than non-destructive transforms.

Smart Filters take a while to calculate, because that's how long the filter takes to run on the size document you are using - they don't add anything to the time it would take to run them manually. It would actually be slower if you tried to use those same filters as "filter layers", and if you tried to work under the filter layer, it would be painfully slow (or just offer a bad UI by disabling and re-enabling the filters all the time).

We've looked at the possibilities, we've tried a variety of approaches (including what you propose - which users hated once they tried it). What you've got in Smart Filters is probably the fastest and most flexible approach.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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okay - i believe you've tried. but if i add smart-objects to my files the get slow as hell. and this is a common problem all retouchers i know have. everyone is like: oh there are smart-objects in there, thats why.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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A Smart Object is no slower than using a flat layer of the same size, and much faster than having all the component layers in your document. Somehow, I think you misunderstand Smart Objects and how they work.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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and nearly all of the books by your so called professionals with photoshop secrets and great professional stuff are lame. for most of the stuff they hype, there are better, faster easier ways that are used in professional businesses. nobody thinks smart-objects are user-friendly. graphic designers use them a lot i heard. but not retouchers. i know nearly every single professional retoucher in germany by name - i talked to nearly all of them because i started writing a book about how people use photoshop in such different ways creating their own techniques - and i wanted to pick the best workarounds for this book. i have no chapter about smart-objects.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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i believe you when you say its faster than filter layers would be. I'm not a programmer just a user.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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»no professional digital artist or retoucher in germany i met - and i know lots - uses smart-objects regularly.«
I work in a small neighboring country and I have observed among many professional Photoshop users an obstinate ignorance of the benefits of Smart Objects.
But that does not mean that the benefits are not there, just that those users don’t comprehend them or maybe have not bothered to read the »What’s new«-section in the Help for Photoshop CS2 (and possibly subsequent releases) ...
If you do not use Smart Objects in your workflow I recommend giving the matter some thought.
http://forums.adobe.com/message/34828...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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I admire Mr.Cox restraint in the face of statements like this.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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well i said nothing bad or unpolite? it`s the truth.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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hey christoph, i use smart-objects myself for the reasons mentioned in your link. it`s great while composing because it`s maintaining color space, vector data, and so on... all i`m saying is, smart-filters don`t kick it.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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i`m not saying smart-objects should be kicked. smart-FILTERS should be 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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No issue with politeness, I just seem to perceive Smart Filters and/or their benefits differently.
Please forgive me being snide.

And, Mx.Cox, I hope you forgive for referring to you unnecessarily in a thread that you are involved in anyway.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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Retouchers use them quite frequently. Just because some of your acquaintances have no knowledge, or misinformation, about Smart Objects - that doesn't make them bad, just poorly understood.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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No problem Christoph. Yes, it is frustrating when someone confuses opinions based on a lack of information with truth.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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no don`t get me wrong we use smart-objects for the reasons i mentioned before - i mean smart-filters! we all know them, we`ve all tried them they just don`t fit in our workflow. maybe american retouchers have a different approach 🙂 ha

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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as i said, i`m not a programmer. i just don`t think smart-filters are the perfect solution 😉 if you read my messages, try to imagine me being a nice guy 🙂 without accentuation its often hard to understand written text the right way.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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adobe doesn`t even mention retouchers on their website as their target/user group :-)))

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LEGEND ,
Mar 02, 2012 Mar 02, 2012

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Nor do we mention all the other 300 known market segments....

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LEGEND ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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"Smart Filters take a while to calculate, because that's how long the filter takes to run on the size document you are using - they don't add anything to the time it would take to run them manually. It would actually be slower if you tried to use those same filters as "filter layers", and if you tried to work under the filter layer, it would be painfully slow (or just offer a bad UI by disabling and re-enabling the filters all the time). "

Smart filters could run hundreds to thousands of times faster if Photoshop updated its ancient filters to alternatives being evaluated by the GPU. There are other applications which do utilise the GPU to provide multiple stacked filters with which you interact with no perceptible lag, whereas Photoshop has to disable upper filters while you adjust one within the stack and then takes up to several seconds to refresh the image.

Even working with a single filter (except the recent introductions which are GPU-based) in standard non-Smart mode, Photoshop is a cross between a dinosaur and a sloth. There are alternative apps costing under $50 which make Photoshop look pitiful (in both performance and provided controls) when it comes to filters other than those which Ps does implement via the GPU - Liquify and Shift-Tilt Blur, for example, which are excellent.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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No, use of the GPU has nothing to do with this.
And "filter layers" as a concept only work for trivial filters on small images before the computation costs explode. That math doesn't change with the GPU, it just makes the explosion a small percentage less painful.

And because we allow third party filters, not all filters will be using the GPU. Also, many of the existing Photoshop filters would run slower on current and forseeable GPUs because of the operations being used.

Sorry, but GPUs are not a panacea. They have their own problems, and they don't solve the basic math involved here.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 20, 2012 Aug 20, 2012

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I never tried to suggest that GPUs are a panacea. My post was truthful in what it actually does say.

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Explorer ,
Aug 27, 2012 Aug 27, 2012

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Yeah, like apply a filter the EXACT same way that you can apply a filter In After Effects. Adobe does make that app too, assuming that all Adobe apps share a common core and UI, I would think this should be "easy" but I'm willing to bet that they are a mess of legacy code.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 24, 2014 Jun 24, 2014

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In the same way you can create filters to change level, brightness, color, etc, it would be great to be able to create filters that apply effects such as blur, sharpen, etc. With masking it would be a great way to losslessly retouch photos and apply depth/soft focus to illustrations.

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