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Author Topic: Qimage Ultimate for Complete Workflow?  (Read 21024 times)
Ron AKA
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« on: June 12, 2013, 05:41:05 PM »

I need to make a change to my software to accommodate a new camera (Sony RX100) which can use RAW format. Have not done that before and would like to try RAW, although I'm not sure I will stick with it (don't want to invest much until I know more). So, I'm looking for input from experienced users on options. I am not a real enthusiast, and do photography as an off and on hobby (for more than 50 years).

Current State - I am on my third version of Photoshop Elements (1, 4, 9). I like the import process for new images from a card. I set it up once and after that I let it do it's thing. I hate the organizer after that, and find it confuses things more than it helps. Windows Explorer is fine for me, or anything that simulates it well. I do a small amount of editing in PSE, but really only use a small portion of the suite of tools. Mainly:

Crop Tool - like it to get aspect ratio right and preserve all resolution

Clone Stamp Tool - My main fix it up approach. Red eye correction I can never make it work.

Enhance Menu - My prime approach is to use the auto tools and if it improves I work from there, and if not I try something else, and then refine the auto result with more detailed adjust Lighting, Adjust Color, etc.

I seldom use Layers or Filters

Batch Mode - Use it to produce low resolution images for e-mailing and on line use.

My practice is to fix it and save a copy. This has the down side of having multiple copies of the same photo in different sizes, resolutions, and aspect ratios, and increases the number of files to manage and find.

Printing - Really disliked early versions of PSE and bought Qimage Pro. Have used it for quite a few years and while it is somewhat different to use, I like the way it manages printing and the results it produces for resolution. I almost never sharpen in PSE and just let Qimage do it when I print.

Current Problem - PSE 9 does not support RX100 RAW files, so to stay with PSE I have to upgrade to PSE 11. Sony provides a RAW converter for the RX100 and I have downloaded it and took a peek. Another interface to master -- Yuk!

Going Forward - Can't see spending the money and investing in the learning curve of PS or LR, so I think it comes down to upgrading PSE or what I have been thinking of late, going to Qimage Ultimate for everything, except perhaps the occasional edit it cannot handle, and I would use PSE 9 for that.

Thoughts? I've never tried learning to use the editing tools in Qimage. I've just printed with it. Is it likely to meet my limited needs for editing? converting and editing RAW images? Or am I going to be disappointed and always going back to PSE?

The card unload tool looks similar to PSE and in principle I like it if it works. I like the concept that they always keep the original untouched (including RAW) and just attach a modification file to achieve the various versions of the original. I also like the sound of their batch mode resizing and e-mail feature. Although I am not sure it will work with the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail app that I use.

I appreciate that my workflow is quite simple compared to what some use. However, if possible I would like to make it more simple, and not go the other way.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 07:53:40 PM »

Hi Ron,
Qimage Ultimate can do most of that list and in many cases will do it much better than PS Elements.
QU does not have a clone stamp feature as such but has an excellent red-eye and blemish removal tool that is foolproof.
For processing raw images, QU Refine is the most straightforward interface out there. Minimal sliders and a few clicks on the screen is all that is needed.
The image editor can be used to further enhance a raw image and the usual other formats too. It includes the unique Deep Focus, artefact free, sharpening and Tone Targeted Sharpening.
As you know, QU is a program for printing which uses unique and superior re-sizing algorithms. These are also used for email and web copies with additional control of anti-aliasing for down sizing.
I hope that is of some help.
Terry
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weaverinva
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 04:59:05 AM »

Hi Terry,

This thread is old but I hope you don't mind replying.

I am a noob and was wondering if you could help me by specifying a really good starting workflow for Qimage.  I own Pro but will probably buy ultimate soon since I have a D7100 recently.

If you could also make any comments about what the best (or a good) folder structure is on the hard disk.

I would really appreciate your comments.  My folder structure stinks with bad habits that I need to convert from.....

Thank you in advance.

Mike W.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 06:19:27 AM »

Hi Mike,
I'll start with this one first:
Quote
If you could also make any comments about what the best (or a good) folder structure is on the hard disk.
We all have our preferences but I have one based on the year at top level and then sub-folders named with the date the shots were taken followed by a brief description. See 1st screen shot below of the structure and the settings in QU Flash card Copy-Move.
I usually manage to copy images the same day they were taken so use "today's date" for a folder name, otherwise use the "file date range"; see screen shots below. I add the description manually in FCCM, see last screen shot.

Quote
My folder structure stinks with bad habits that I need to convert from.....
When you upgrade the Ultimate 2014, there's a feature there to rescue that situation - "image databasing tools allow you to add user descriptions to any folder, album, or photo, with the ability to search those descriptions to locate important photos and events."
This means you can tag an existing folder structure, folders and images, so it is then very easy to find items, even in a messy folder structure.

My basic work flow is this - raw image files:
1. Copy images from card with QU FCCM to C drive and an external drive; folders named and tagged, images re-named with YY-MM-DD and camera image number - all in FCCM.
2. Allow thumbs and raw cache to build.
3. Refine raw images as required, usually being selective as to which ones: white balance, fill etc.
4. Edit images selectively, Deep Focus Sharpening, possibly smart colour boost, contrast etc.
5. Make e-mail copies as required.
6. Print the favourites, from raw image, initially as small sizes for album pages (a "hard copy" record), and larger for competition or exhibition.

The Nikon D7100 is supported by QU for raw so no problems there  Wink

Terry

« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 08:44:12 AM by Terry-M » Logged
Fred A
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 09:44:28 AM »

Quote
We all have our preferences but I have one based on the year at top level and then sub-folders named with the date the shots were taken followed by a brief description. See 1st screen shot below of the structure and the settings in QU Flash card Copy-Move.

Hi Mike,
I am not butting in.... Terry asked me to add my method to the mix.

Terry is an engineer, very methodical and precise.
I am a simple slob who still wants a way to find his images when needed.

1) The new Qimage Ultimate Data base will solve it all for you but you still should have system of sorts.
2) Your best friend is Flash Card Copy Move  (FCCM)
This is where it starts.

My card goes into the reader and FCCM sees it and is waiting for me to say how, where, and when.
I use COPY  for HOW. Where is next along the row, and When is the GO button.
See snap 134
I have COPY   PHOTOS    (Where)  The center box is the base location, and the right hand box will be your created folder for these images.

Let's stop here and revisit what I am doing and why.
I use Copy because I am "chicken" to wipe the card clean until I know I have the shots.  Mike tells me that FCCM double checks each image as it writes to the Hard disk so not to worry.   But I worry! He uses MOVE instead of Copy and he saves having to wipe the card later.

The center box ot the ROW is called the TO folder.   Windows would like you to store your pictures in C:\User\fred\documents\my documents\photos\ with Libraries thrown in for good measure.
This drives me nuts!
So I created a folder called PICS on the C: drive  That is what I "KEEP" in the TO folder.    ( I said KEEP, because I only have to browse and find that PICS folder once)
FCCM remembers it.
In the right side box of that row, is where I name the actual folder.  See snap 135

I type in the event and the date.  As you can see, I typed in TEST and 09-09=2013.   I right click and am offered to copy what I typed into all other rows...

** Now see snap  133

Snap 133 is the settings screen. Notice I have it all unchecked... (EDIT, SETTINGS) I do not rename my images... and for the moment, I don't need any extra sophistication.
By making the settings like this, FCCM allows me to set my own folder names (as in the right side box). Otherwise a lot of dates are added and override happens to me.
Remember, I told you I was a simple slob.

OK now back to Snap 136.  Look carefully at the bottom part where I typed in a descriptor for the folder...   I Typed "TEST"  This will be a tag name for that folder and I can call it up easily.
But in your case, you might want to type in, "Visiting London 2013".
A year from now, you need to find that folder. "Hmmm we went to London, what year was that?"   No worries!   With the new data base in Ultimate, you would just type "London" into the searcher.... Shazam!  There's your London visit folder.

Also if you check mark the boxes at the bottom area of the FCCM screen, after the transfer, the new images will appear on your screen automatically.
Then hit GO and you are done.

As Terry said, many approaches... most depend on what you shoot and how, and what are your needs...
Need a DVD of 1024 x 768 images to give to a customer as proofs? Then set that up in Settings, and Qimage will make a special folder, and 1024 x 768 images in the folder... all on the fly!

Last hint!
Do as you did today,,, ask, discuss, exchange ideas.... and have fun!

Fred
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weaverinva
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 01:50:54 AM »

Thank you Terry and Fred.  You two are great!

I will mull this over this week.  I am a computer guy and I demo high end software for colleges. My laptop runs server 2008 R2 and I have lots of technical stuff in my brain.  That said, we each have our specialties.  I have never seen the need as a hobby photographer to want to spent hours tweaking my photographs.  I have a D70 which I've had since it first came out.  I have used Qimage Pro since 2003-2004.  It worked so wonderfully for super high quality creations that were easily profiled to print at Costco and on my home canon.  I own Profile Prism and calibrated my printer in the past but have not for awhile.  I was surprised at the ease with which I created a Christmas collage of family pictures for about 5-6 years in a row.  I did it all in Qimage with blemish (wish there were a few more correction tools) control and cropping.  The color profiling and custom layout allowed me to create 8x11 collages and then later when I got tired of printing, I make high quality collages on 4x6 and 5x7 layouts with multiple pictures and then had them printed at Costco.

If I keep the D7100 as my upgrade for the D70, I may do more raw work.  I got such good jpegs from the D70 that I just processed in QI with that because it was easy and fast with less overhead.  I never upgraded to Studio to get the raw engine.  I also have a Canon S95 which I see is supported by QIU. Nice.

I have no problem repurchasing into a new model.  Mike needs some sort of support.  Lifetime upgrades is too good to be true especially for the small guy.  Things change.  Gmail may not always be free....you never know.

Because of the size of 24MP photos, I can see that my next step is an upgrade on my home PC to handle raw files and larger jpegs.

Do you concur that QI of the past (2010 vintage) got slower as images in a directory were over about 300?

I have always embedded the YYYY.MM.DD.time... as the name for all transferred photos.  I just have random folder names though like Inbox1,2,3....  (like I said a bad structure).

Don't know if QI has taken a back seat to Lightroom and/or DXO Optics since they came out.  I didn't seem them back in the mid 00's.  I have not done much since 2009 when I started a graduate program while working part time with 3 kids.  Now I'm back in it again and I want better!

I appreciate any and all pointers and will digest your posts while I'm traveling this week.  If you have any other pointers to posts or videos etc on good workflow please let me know.  I am going to review all the videos on the QI sight.

I sure would like to see Qimage Ultimate gain an even greater following for Mike and for development purposes.  It fills a particular quality yet streamlines niche.

Thank you again.  I think this conversation still fits the heading of entire workflows in QImage.
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weaverinva
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 01:52:32 AM »

Oh, I'll also have to compare how lens correction works.  I hope it works on a bunch of my Nikon lenses--I have about 7.  Wonder I have to process raw to do lens correction......I would assume so.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 06:31:09 AM »

Mike,
Quote
Oh, I'll also have to compare how lens correction works.  I hope it works on a bunch of my Nikon lenses--I have about 7.  Wonder I have to process raw to do lens correction......I would assume so.
Any lens correction is for raw images however it is not built into dcraw so Mike includes it in QU when required. However, the lens correction that is included so far is for a few micro 4/3rds camera lenses where there is a correction element missing and the correction is done by the camera firmware for jpegs or by the raw converter for raw images.
Terry
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Fred A
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 09:27:39 AM »

Quote
I have always embedded the YYYY.MM.DD.time... as the name for all transferred photos.  I just have random folder names though like Inbox1,2,3....  (like I said a bad structure).

Don't know if QI has taken a back seat to Lightroom and/or DXO Optics since they came out.  I didn't seem them back in the mid 00's.  I have not done much since 2009 when I started a graduate program while working part time with 3 kids.  Now I'm back in it again and I want better!

Just touching on a few points you made...  not the slightest of which is RAW mode, I 'grew" the same way you did, and I'll bet many others out there, from "My Jpgs are great, to "Why didn't I shoot raw sooner".
Raw gives you so many advantages to recover blown highlights and muddy shadows....   

You have this one backwards.
Lightroom has taken a back seat to Q-Ultimate in that it has a data base and search routine that really works. Plus (check Mike's web site) (see the comparison shots), Ultimate's rendering of raw images surpasses LR by leaps and bounds.
One other RAW point, please, Mike.  Q-Ultimate is designed so that a user does NOT have to put hours into developing his RAW images. It does it for you, yet leaving you all the controls you will ever need should you want to manually improve the results.

As you pointed out, the megapixels grew, and the filesize grew, and therefore we have to meet that demand.
Faster PC and Ultimate.
Ultimate handles the larger raw files as rapidly as possible due to Mike Chaney's 'Green light' cache system...

But the best, Mike, is DFS and TTS.... Deep focus sharpening, (Beats USM, and no haloes) and TTS, Tone targeted sharpening, where you can choose to sharpen by tome / color selection in RGB mode or tone mode; sharpen all except, or sharpen what I target... tons of combinations.

I get carried away. Forgive me.

See Snaps... DFS vs USM

Thanks for listening,
Fred
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Terry-M
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 01:05:17 PM »

Mike,
Quote
But the best, Mike, is DFS and TTS.... Deep focus sharpening, (Beats USM, and no haloes) and TTS, Tone targeted sharpening,
See them in action with the learning videos:
DFS http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=AiVoXcB1uzk&vq=hd1080

TTS http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=xn7Ipw8IAhQ&vq=hd720

It's worth checking out the other videoa too; a comprehensive list!
All videos: http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/learn.htm

Want to bring some sunshine into an image? See the post here: http://ddisoftware.com/tech/qimage-ultimate/smart-color-boost-simple-sample/msg14659/#msg14659
Another recent Chaney innovation, Smart Colour Boost  Grin

Terry
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 01:07:01 PM by Terry-M » Logged
Jeff
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 03:07:42 PM »

Quote
We all have our preferences but I have one based on the year at top level and then sub-folders named with the date the shots were taken followed by a brief description. See 1st screen shot below of the structure and the settings in QU Flash card Copy-Move.

Hi Mike,
I am not butting in.... Terry asked me to add my method to the mix.

Terry is an engineer, very methodical and precise.
I am a simple slob who still wants a way to find his images when needed.

1) The new Qimage Ultimate Data base will solve it all for you but you still should have system of sorts.
2) Your best friend is Flash Card Copy Move  (FCCM)
This is where it starts.

Fred



Fred

Your extensive FCCM instructions came at a opportune moment.

I am in process of updating my MO and that includes using FCCM for most file management.

I have previously never worked out how to move/backup the side car files with FCCM but using your extensive instructions I think the penny has at last dropped.

I Presume it is a two stage process - one line for the photos and another line for other.  Am I correct? it appears to work.  Screen shot below.

Like you the Windows file structure with Libraries and Favourites drives me nuts.

Jeff   
 
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Fred A
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 04:45:15 PM »

Quote
I have previously never worked out how to move/backup the side car files with FCCM but using your extensive instructions I think the penny has at last dropped.

I Presume it is a two stage process - one line for the photos and another line for other.  Am I correct? it appears to work.  Screen shot below.

Like you the Windows file structure with Libraries and Favourites drives me nuts.

Hi Jeff,
I presume you are referring to a folder that you were working in, and have developed some filter / sidecar files in the same folder, and now you want to move the entire shebang to a backup folder ,,,,, This is the way to do it.: buikt into FCCM is the ability to copy one folder to another in a different location, selectively!

 See snap 141. I am selecting the SOURCE folder (see my hand cursor)
See snap 142. Click on FILE and select destination folder where it will back up to.

See 143.. I am selecting the destination folder. In my system, I have deliberately named folder on my D drive, so the selection box is showing D:\PICS\SOUTH JETTY 3-11-2013.
See snap 145... You get a box that lets you choose what to move... ALL, New only, updated and new... whatever you want.
Click GO and that's all there is to it.

A note! No need to change anything in the main FCCM screen. Always leave that alone. This is a separate copy/move routine that doesn't affect the main job of FCCM

Fred
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Jeff
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 07:21:30 AM »

Thanks Fred

I will check that out later on Win7 machine, looks like I have missed a trick.

Jeff
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weaverinva
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2013, 01:37:36 PM »

Gentlemen....

Wonder if FCCM (newer flash pipe) has this feature....I want to reorganize my old folders of photos that already have some Qimage filters in them.  I tried to use FCCM to copy my photos and 'other' to another directory but the program is not smart enough to rename the filter appropriately.  Has Mike C. considered an ability to rework existing file names while retaining linkage to the filter file?  It would need to recognize and rename the filter file simulatneously.

A program called MediaMonkey does this for music and videos excellently....
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Terry-M
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 03:04:32 PM »

Quote
Has Mike C. considered an ability to rework existing file names while retaining linkage to the filter file?
Like most requests related to features for QU, it's already there  Wink
To re-name images, select and right click on a thumb and select "Rename", all stuff related to filters and raw refine files is taken care of when you do that. If you want to rename a batch of images, select "Auto Rename Images". There are numerous ways of doing that available.
Quote
I tried to use FCCM to copy my photos and 'other' to another directory but the program is not smart enough to rename the filter appropriately.
Well it is; from what you say "and other", indicates the wrong method was used - it's a little different from copying from a flash card.
Fred explained the correct procedure with screen shots in a previous post #11 on this thread here:
http://ddisoftware.com/tech/qimage-ultimate/qimage-ultimate-for-complete-workflow/msg14725/#msg14725
Note carefully his last sentence in that post. All you need do is click "Source" to select the source folder,  and then File - Update to choose the destination, either to an existing folder or a new one.
And do you know what, you can use FCCM Update for any type of file, music, video, documents etc.  Shocked  Grin
Hope that helps, come back if more information needed.
Terry

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