AfterShot Pro by Corel

BifurcatorBifurcator Grin CatcherRegistered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
edited October 25, 2013 in Digital Darkroom
I just got this only a yesterday but I've found that's about the same as a few weeks for the less app-aggressive users out there. :p

Man, have you guys used this yet? Drop the poorly-written slow-as-molasses LightRoom and put aside CaptureOne for awhile and give this a try!
It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux so you're afforded a bit of platform freedom with it. There's a trial version available on the home site here.

The Corel site starts off the introductory blurb with "Corel® AfterShot™ Pro is a fast..." and as these kinds of blurbs typically go they're drastically
understating the case. Running AfterShot Pro on my ancient 2006 MacPro1,1 (w/32GB RAM, and 8-cores of x5355 Xeon at 2.67GHz & GTX570) acts
much faster than LR on my liquid-cooled 16-core 4+ GHz Boxx 8980 XTREME with dual Tesla cards and 32GB RAM!

All the usual raw processing tools plus some unexpected goodies are presented in a pretty slick highly customizable, gooey (GUI):

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It's of course all non-destructive. The last 4 or 5 revision releases have offered OpenCL support as you can see from the image above. Totally sweet!
It has layer masks for selective editing and processing. Layer brushing can be as accurate as 2 pixels and selection areas are sub-pixel accurate. It has
options for independent layers which allow opacity and unique selection spline sets and/or brush strokes per layer. The selection splines can be edited
at any time during editing or after saving the files out. I guess the spline data is saved in either of it's two kinds of XMP sidecar files. It sports a plug-in
architecture but I haven't looked yet to see what APIs it's using nor if the plugs are compatible with those from/for other apps. Mine came with a souped
up version of NoiseNinja and B&W processor with selective color capabilities.

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It supports catalogs which I personally dislike, and also OS hierarchal folder structures of your own devise - which is what I prefer. It uses just two
user definable folders for all of its cache, work, proofs, previews, and profiles so it won't make a mess of things either. The review-and-select tools
are similar to all other good PP apps I've tried so finding, sorting, and tagging stuff is done in the usual ways. Basically if you already know LR, CP1,
or Aperture, there's no learning curve to deal with - just a HUGE speed increase and who doesn't want that? :D It has some nice output features
but nothing others don't have IIRC. PDF files, Proof (Contact) Sheets, and so on. It also has a slide-show feature but it's fairly simplistic with just
interval, border offsets, and so on as available options. No fancy wipes or anything but this is a RAW processor so I'm not sure how fitting something
like wipes or etceteras, would be. It's got Versioning, Stacking, Keywording, Tagging, and Star Rating to help with progressive edit revisions and so
forth. And the various tool pallets can be docked and floated for us multi-monitor users. ;)

My little old MP1,1 with GTX570 can select, apply many many adjustments, and display GH2 RAW files in 0.27s or 3 FPS depending how you look at it.
Processing, converting, and saving one raw-to-jpeg image at a time occurs in about 0.8 seconds with every slider and adjustment set to something
other than the as-shot defaults. Batch processing 100 such 16mpx GH2 raw files took considerably less time with an average 0.63 seconds for each.
That's fast in the extreme - given the machine spec!

So give this a try. DL the trial version, walk through all the preferences to optimize it for your particular system, then try out all the features, and
come back here and tell us what you thought - good or bad. I have a feeling some here will be typing CASP or ASP in their posts more often than LR
from now on. Me, I'm uninstalling LR all together - that's for sure! ;) They've put together quite a system with hordes of free plug-ins and a fairly
energetic community.

Right now Amazon has it for sale for $14.99 as a download. But you can only take advantage of the deal if you're either in the USA or are using
something like a Tor network which makes you location independent. :D

Comments

  • perronefordperroneford Major grins Registered Users Posts: 550 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2013
    First, this says Corel. That's a borderline no-go for me from the start.

    Second, neither LR nor Capture Pro run slowly on my machine, so that takes away what might be seen as the primary advantage of this software.

    Third, I do all my front end work (tags, captions, ratings) in PhotoMechanic which is as fast as I could ever imagine.

    So I guess the thing for me why do I want to add this? Is the IQ better than LR or Capture One? Does it do something those don't? I guess I am trying to reason out why I'd spend a workday trying this out. Not to say it won't work, and maybe work well, but will it work "better".
  • BifurcatorBifurcator Grin Catcher Registered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2013
    Is the IQ better than LR or Capture One? Does it do something those don't? I guess I am trying to reason out why I'd spend a workday trying this out. Not to say it won't work, and maybe work well, but will it work "better".

    First I can't believe LR is fast on any machine. "Fast enough for you" maybe but certainly not "fast" in a humanly relative sense. :P LR isn't even "fast" on my liquid cooled Boxx 8980 XTREME tricked out with dual Tesla cards.

    As for the questions you asked I believe they're answered already in the original post - given you already know the features available/unavailable in C1 and LR. ;) To me and a few others who I collaborate with the resulting IQ is on par with C1 but you arrive there in about half the time - one tenth the time for LR which produces a notably inferior IQ to C1.
  • perronefordperroneford Major grins Registered Users Posts: 550 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2013
    I am familiar with BOXX (they make nice machines). I find no significant difference in speed between processing in LR and Capture One. And I shoot tethered with a D800 to Capture One v7. I have not moved to LR 5 so maybe that's the difference.

    As for features, LR4 doesn't have layers but C1 does. C1 allows brush strokes per layer, though LR4 does not. Not sure about LR5. LR has an excellent plug in architecture, whereas C1 does not. C1 can do sessions or a catalog structure. Personally I like catalogs as I go through a LOT of files in a year. I am not sure if C1 does versioning, but LR does. Both have sorting, keywording, star ratings, etc.

    The Corel program sounds like it could be nice for some users. You seem very taken with it. Maybe others will be too.
  • JCJC Major grins Registered Users Posts: 768 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2013
    I use it, started using it when it was Bibble, and it was really the only really strong option for Linux. I don't even use any of it's catalog function. Plug-ins are good, many of them are hold-overs from Bibble. I was a little worried that Corel was just going to absorb it and then fork it in another direction, but it seems like Corel is keeping up with the Bibble standard.
    Yeah, if you recognize the avatar, new user name.
  • perronefordperroneford Major grins Registered Users Posts: 550 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2013
    OOOhhhhhh. This is Bibble! I read about that some years ago.
  • BifurcatorBifurcator Grin Catcher Registered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2013
    Yeah, but I dunno as I would say I was "taken" with it as if it were a political or emotional thing. Softwares are just tools. Complicated and elaborate for "tools" but tools just the same. If I were a house painter and someone told me i could get an airless spray rig with about the same features plus a few better ones and of the same quality for $15 instead of the usual $300 I'd be interested to know about it. And that's all we have here really. Similar or same output as C1, a few extra or slightly better features than C1, about double C1's speed and about 8 to 10 times LR's speed (all timed and tested on 3 differently configured machines) - currently going for $15 as opposed to $300 for C1P7... $130 for LR5... and about $100 for C1E7 (if it will support your camera).

    None are of course one-to-one matches for any other. Each has a feature or two different than the other naturally - which can be said for most other RAW editors as well no doubt. The couple of features different in ASP seem to be fairly significant in terms of the results they yield or the workflow they offer. And for a measly $15 with free upgrades the words "heck, why not" seem to bounce around in my head freely (along with the other junk in there ;) ). The high speeds on older or lesser capable hardware doesn't hurt nothing either. :)
  • perronefordperroneford Major grins Registered Users Posts: 550 Major grins
    edited September 11, 2013
    Where do you find the largest "speed gain" in your workflow with this software? I guess for me, the biggest detriment is that I already own the other software, so there's really little economic incentive there for me. If I was just starting out, and trying to figure out which way to go, this would like be a very persuasive review. :)
  • David_S85David_S85 Spotter of Dgrin Spam and Oddities ChicagolandAdministrators Posts: 12,789 moderator
    edited September 12, 2013
    I'd be interested if it did keystone correction in both X and Y directions, edit in at least RGB spaces separately, and could output 16-bit TIFFs. I could not find that info in Corel's specs. Can it do those things? I'd much prefer PSP if they ever realized they'd have a MAC market, but Corel and Jasc have kept that editor for PC only since forever.
    My Smugmug
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
  • BifurcatorBifurcator Grin Catcher Registered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
    edited September 12, 2013
    Where do you find the largest "speed gain" in your workflow with this software?

    In two areas with older hardware. 1) GUI Responsiveness and 2) Single and batch conversions on a multi-core system.

    No. 1 doesn't need an explanation I guess - just everything is buttery smooth. For no. 2 as mentioned in the OP, if I move every slider and apply every included plug-in then shot to shot navigational display happens at about 3fps or a tad less than a third of a second per 16.5mpx (16bit?) ProPhoto, RAW (preview) rendering. And batch output (again with everything applied and also with scaling) is just shy of 2FPS or about 0.63 seconds per saved image. That's basically one hundred 16.5mpx images heavily processed, scaled and saved to disk per minute. :) That's on a 7-year-old MacPro (specs in OP).

    But that's all in the original post so I'm not sure why you asked that. I tried not to leave too much out of the OP but I guess it's a little too condensed?

    On a $30K workstation the differences while in the same ratios, won't be as noticeable - except in LR which is incapable of making use of advanced hardware (OpenCL, CUDA, and multiple cores over about 3 or 4 cores).

    The editable selection tools, and editable brush strokes both available in independent layers with adjustable opacity, also mentioned in the OP, reduce the need to load up photoshop which is probably the biggest time saver when such things are needed.

    David_S85 wrote: »
    I'd be interested if it did keystone correction in both X and Y directions, edit in at least RGB spaces separately, and could output 16-bit TIFFs. I could not find that info in Corel's specs. Can it do those things?

    It outputs 16bit tiffs with any ICC profile you may have, yes. It has straightening natively but for perspective keystonning like I think you're talking about you have to install a free plug-in called zPerspector. And while you're installing plug-ins be sure to grab the wavelet based sharpener (no halos) and the wavelet based denoiser from their download pages. :) The later is handy on those rare occasions when the included NoiseNinja isn't cutting the mustard.


    .
  • BifurcatorBifurcator Grin Catcher Registered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2013
    Hmm, it looks like the highlight recovery tool (and the associated clamp which exists in the Exposure tool-box) doesn't work correctly.

    Kind of a big issue! I hope they fix this soon. We need highlight adjustments on a lot of images a lot of the time. :p
  • BifurcatorBifurcator Grin Catcher Registered Users Posts: 109 Major grins
    edited October 25, 2013
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