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DPChallenge Forums >> Administrator Announcements >> Noise and Grain in Basic editing
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03/12/2007 08:10:18 PM · #1
Continuous and lengthy debate regarding the addition of noise (removal was always ok) in basic has yeilded the following clarification. Please forgive the lateness of the reply:

both "film grain" and "add noise" are OK in basic, but "grain" under textures is not. Equivalents of "film grain" and "add noise" in software other than Photoshop is permitted. No layers, masks or other selections are permitted when used with these features.
03/12/2007 08:14:03 PM · #2
Cool! Thanks for the info
03/13/2007 11:40:17 AM · #3
I agree, but isn't this amendment a significant change to this rule in Basic editing:

* use filters or stand-alone utilities designed to preserve image integrity (such as Neat Image, Unsharp Mask, Dust & Scratches, and color correction tools). These filters must be applied uniformly to the entire image, and must not be used in such a way that their use becomes a feature. No “effects” filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian Blur.
saturate, desaturate or change the colors of your entry, but no selections are allowed.


As per Photoshop, "Filter-->Noise-->Add Noise..." and "Filter-->Artistic-->Film Grain..." and their equivalents in other editors appear to be additions to this rule like the use of noise reduction software.

Am I mistaken or does this allow adding an effect which has never been allowed previously? Before now filtering was only allowed to "maintain the integrity" of the image. This changes that.

Digital camera noise is NOT the equivalent of film grain and does not produce the same effect. If grain is to be allowed in basic editing then filters must be allowed. They are the only way this unique film effect can easily be generated with a picture taken by a digital camera and has the added advantage that you can take pictures 'normally' and chose to either have grain or not.
03/13/2007 11:47:34 AM · #4
sounds like that particular rule section is 'cross-dressing'... ;}


03/13/2007 11:50:02 AM · #5
Originally posted by stdavidson:

... Am I mistaken or does this allow adding an effect which has never been allowed previously? Before now filtering was only allowed to "maintain the integrity" of the image. This changes that. ...

I agree. Sounds to me like a special exception is being made for this challenge. Perhaps the challenge description should be modified and include the special rule flag, rather than messing around with the core of the Basic Editing ruleset.
03/13/2007 11:55:23 AM · #6
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Am I mistaken or does this allow adding an effect which has never been allowed previously? Before now filtering was only allowed to "maintain the integrity" of the image.


From da rules: No “effects” filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian Blur.

Adding noise has always been allowed in Basic. We're just considering Film Grain to be an equivalent. The Grain filter under Texture is NOT an equivalent because it can/does look more like an effect than mere noise.

Message edited by author 2007-03-13 11:57:46.
03/13/2007 11:57:28 AM · #7
Shannon, thanks for the clarification.

Does anyone know if Film Grain is available in PS Elements? If it is, I can't seem to find it.

03/13/2007 12:34:53 PM · #8
It's definitely available in PS E 4 for Mac. I don't know if it's in pc versions.

Originally posted by pccjrose:

Shannon, thanks for the clarification.

Does anyone know if Film Grain is available in PS Elements? If it is, I can't seem to find it.
03/13/2007 12:56:58 PM · #9
Originally posted by pccjrose:

Shannon, thanks for the clarification.

Does anyone know if Film Grain is available in PS Elements? If it is, I can't seem to find it.


Elements 2: Filter > Artistic > Film Grain
03/13/2007 01:08:52 PM · #10
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

Am I mistaken or does this allow adding an effect which has never been allowed previously? Before now filtering was only allowed to "maintain the integrity" of the image.


From da rules: No “effects” filters may be applied to your image, with the exception of Noise and Gaussian Blur.

Adding noise has always been allowed in Basic. We're just considering Film Grain to be an equivalent. The Grain filter under Texture is NOT an equivalent because it can/does look more like an effect than mere noise.

Really? I was unaware of that particular usage with noise though I can't imagine why anyone would actually want to add digital noise to an image; it totally lacks the esthetics of film grain, imho. I always thought those filters were applied to remove noise rather than add it.

I might have thought the addition of film grain more appropriate to the 'advanced' ruleset over the purity of the 'basic' ruleset but do like the addition.

Advances in digital and software technology will have us continually re-evaluating our fundamental concepts in photography.

We've entered an exciting epoch in the world of still imaging rivaled only by the invention of photography itself.
03/13/2007 01:12:03 PM · #11
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Really? I was unaware of that particular usage with noise though I can't imagine why anyone would actually want to add digital noise to an image;


Noise can be used to get rid of jaggies found in the small canvas size of a DPC entry.
03/13/2007 01:12:05 PM · #12
Once again, the rules are Adobe based. Photoshop has got a duotone feature, it's legal in basic. Photoshop has got a film grain filter, now it's legal in basic. Other programs like Paint Shop Pro have neither of the above, and due to the program specific wording (which even reflects Photoshop menu structure: '"grain" under "textures"'), users who don't cling to Adobe are disadvantaged.
I understand that basic rules are method- rather than result-based, but there's no point in allowing effects with some programs only.
03/13/2007 01:15:42 PM · #13
Originally posted by gloda:

Once again, the rules are Adobe based. Photoshop has got a duotone feature, it's legal in basic. Photoshop has got a film grain filter, now it's legal in basic. Other programs like Paint Shop Pro have neither of the above, and due to the program specific wording (which even reflects Photoshop menu structure: '"grain" under "textures"'), users who don't cling to Adobe are disadvantaged.
I understand that basic rules are method- rather than result-based, but there's no point in allowing effects with some programs only.

Thanks. I was kinding of thinking that myself. Wonder if there's a PSP plugin equivalent out there? Of course then I'd worry if it was legal or not. :/
03/13/2007 01:30:34 PM · #14
Originally posted by gloda:

...users who don't cling to Adobe are disadvantaged. I understand that basic rules are method- rather than result-based, but there's no point in allowing effects with some programs only.


Read the original post: "Equivalents of "film grain" and "add noise" in software other than Photoshop is permitted."
03/13/2007 01:59:49 PM · #15
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

Really? I was unaware of that particular usage with noise though I can't imagine why anyone would actually want to add digital noise to an image;


Noise can be used to get rid of jaggies found in the small canvas size of a DPC entry.

Wow! I was totally unaware of this technique. They say you learn something new every day, maybe this is it for me. Thanks. :)

My technique for removing 'jaggies', and I hate 'jaggies', is to duplicate the flattened image and sharpen the duplicate layer for the greatest sharpness needed for its detail then adding a mask to the sharpened layer and mask out the oversharpening of affected areas. ('Advanced' rules only).

The only reason I mention it here is because I FAILED to do that on an image that is scoring higher right now than an image I sharpened 'properly' and both are in voting. That stuff always bugs me. Wish I had sharpened properly in the image scoring higher but which is technically inferior.
03/13/2007 02:06:53 PM · #16
Well, don't think you learned something too fast. I may be wrong. I had heard of the technique, but just tried it myself on a typical image and found that it doesn't do too much for it until you use pretty heavy noise.

Far better, is to use a very light gaussian blur to the image.

So I stand totally corrected.

EDIT: It could be I'm doing the technique incorrectly. I was trying to add noise after the resizing. Maybe if you add it before the resizing you get less jaggies after resizing. I dunno. Looks like gaussian is a better way to go.

Message edited by author 2007-03-13 14:09:30.
03/13/2007 02:32:01 PM · #17
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by gloda:

...users who don't cling to Adobe are disadvantaged. I understand that basic rules are method- rather than result-based, but there's no point in allowing effects with some programs only.


Read the original post: "Equivalents of "film grain" and "add noise" in software other than Photoshop is permitted."

Is there an equivalent in other software?

This is a software argument that has a lot of similarity to one directed to those users with better hardware like cameras, lenses, filters and other accessories. The site decision for equipment is to allow any camera and/or camera accesory or capability (except multiple exposures now).

Though the idea of leveling the playing field for all submitters is laudable, in the real world the playing field will NEVER be truly equal. People need to get over that. The only way for that to be possible is to require users, like is done in auto racing, where competitors are required to compete equally equiped. This is an unrealistic expectation.

The real trick for photographers is to learn to use the equipment and software that they have to their best advantage.
03/13/2007 02:34:26 PM · #18
Steve / Doc,
Couldn't you guys give an example of "jaggies" for the less initiated like myself here? Thanks.
03/13/2007 02:45:52 PM · #19
Originally posted by gg3rd:

Steve / Doc,
Couldn't you guys give an example of "jaggies" for the less initiated like myself here? Thanks.


' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/429/thumb/274179.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/429/thumb/274179.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

look at the stem. I was going to use gaussian on this one, but I wanted the sharpness, so I just left it.
03/13/2007 02:53:42 PM · #20
Got it, thanks a lot.
03/13/2007 02:58:30 PM · #21
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by gg3rd:

Steve / Doc,
Couldn't you guys give an example of "jaggies" for the less initiated like myself here? Thanks.


<image removed>

look at the stem. I was going to use gaussian on this one, but I wanted the sharpness, so I just left it.


OT (apologies), but I love how a thread on a rules change/clarification turns into a tutorial on image processing. Only at DPC . . .

Rob
03/13/2007 03:34:29 PM · #22
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by gg3rd:

Steve / Doc,
Couldn't you guys give an example of "jaggies" for the less initiated like myself here? Thanks.


' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/429/thumb/274179.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/429/thumb/274179.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

look at the stem. I was going to use gaussian on this one, but I wanted the sharpness, so I just left it.

This is a good example. Since Jason's image was submitted to a basic challenge that limits the ways you have to correct for it since everything you apply to a basic submission must be applied to the whole image. You cannot, for example, use the masking method that I suggested earlier.

However, I suspect that Jason's method suggested earlier would not work any better when applied in a 'basic' environment.
03/13/2007 05:05:42 PM · #23
::Scribbles notes::

Summary:
1. Allowed (CS2):
-Add noise
-Film Grain (NOT texture grain)
-Duotone
2. Remove jaggies in Basic:
-Light Gaussian blur
-Add noise before resize (less jaggies)
3. Remove jaggies in Adv:
-Flatten...Duplicate...Sharpen...Mask out oversharpened areas.

Thank you!!! This thread was VERY informative.
03/13/2007 05:47:58 PM · #24
Clubjuggle: And how are users of other software to tell whether their filter wouldn't be considered to be too close to the texture->grain filter, for example?

Stdavidson: That's not at all the issue I wanted to raise. If PSP simply didn't have that feature, bad luck. My problem is with software specific wording of rules.
03/13/2007 05:58:49 PM · #25
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by gloda:

...users who don't cling to Adobe are disadvantaged. I understand that basic rules are method- rather than result-based, but there's no point in allowing effects with some programs only.


Read the original post: "Equivalents of "film grain" and "add noise" in software other than Photoshop is permitted."


Is there an equivalent in other software?


In case anyone besides me is still using PhotoImpact, it has "add noise" (under Photo-Noise) and "film grain" (under Photo-Enhance). So you've got both available there, too.
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