Processing question - using Silver Effex and other plug-ins

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
For you experienced folks, what is the workflow on using plug-ins? Assuming you use Lightroom and shoot RAW, do you use the plug-in as the very first action item after you import the RAW file into LR? Or do you do all the magic with LR first (crop, exposure, NR, sharpen) and then use the plug-in?
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
I would never consider myself an experienced PP'er, but I do cropping and exposure first, then plug-ins, and finally NR and sharpening
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I use Aperture, but all I generally do with it initially is crop/straighten, if needed. I find that Silver and Color Efex/Viveza can handle exposure, contrast, sharpening, tone curves, etc very well. Once I save it I'll occasionally use Aperture for some minor touch ups, as needed. NR I do in Nik dfine when it's needed, but NR in Aperture is pretty useless. I understand LR has much better NR, so I'd probably use that if I had it.

Since I started using the plug ins, Aperture is rarely used for more than initial raw processing, minor adjustments, and mostly as a cataloging program.

-Ray
 

krugorg

All-Pro
Sep 26, 2011
123
Minnesota USA
Kyle Krug
I import into LR and then do the basic corrections there first (crop, exposure, sharpening)... if I have some noise, I either use LR's NR, or run through to Define first, before editing in Silver Efex or Color Efex. I remember reading that Nik recommends NR first, if needed, before running through their other tools.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
Thanks for the tips folks. Sounds like a lot of steps though. Once you do your first edit in LR or Aperture, do you have to convert the file into JPG before doing edits in something like Silver Efex?
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Thanks for the tips folks. Sounds like a lot of steps though. Once you do your first edit in LR or Aperture, do you have to convert the file into JPG before doing edits in something like Silver Efex?
No, the plug in automatically creates a TIFF file to work on (whether your starting point is raw or jpeg) and saves it back as a version in Aperture or LR, still as a TIFF. And the TIFF files are huge, so once I've run through whatever plug in(s) I'm going to and am finished editing, I convert that TIFF back to a jpeg just to save space.

-Ray
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
123
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
Various CEFX and SEFX filters add noise/grain to an image, so there is not a lot of point in performing noise reduction afterwards; just add less to begin with. Also, any type of vignetting, edge burning or (cough) border effect needs to occur after any cropping has been done. The only thing I would commonly adjust after I have run an image through CEFX or SEFX is the curves to adjust exposure and contrast.
 

Petach

Hall of Famer
Oct 22, 2011
123
UK, Essex
Peter Tachauer
I import into LR. do my cropping, then r/click and edit in sfx. Save, then export from LR as jpeg into a named folder.....voila, no time at all.
 
Sep 8, 2010
123
London UK
Andy
When processing BEFORE using Siver Efex Pro - Over saturate the image with colour. THis should give SEP more data to deal with and you should get better results. It does seem to work.
 

Grant

Veteran
Nov 12, 2010
68
Lunenburg Nova Scotia
I use lots of tools and shoot all my images in raw. I process the raw image first trying to get the very best possible image I can, generally in Aperture but not exclusively. If I am going to apply filters I export to Photoshop so I can take advantages of the layers as well as the filters.
 

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