Artificial Intelligence on PhotoLab: what do you expect for?

Personally, I’m OK with AI on all aspect but “artistic” ones.

  • Suggesting keywords based on DeepLearning,
  • DeepPRIME,
  • etc.
    These are examples where AI applies well imho. They are practical and non-artistic stuffs. For DeepPRIME, there’s no “artistic” choice involved. Basically we want the least noise while retaining the most details and that’s it.

I wouldn’t want to see DxO turning into some kind of AI-powered software that “improves” everything for you. I still think it’s cool to say that the end result is “my” end-result.


You may be interested in this:

Looks like I’m late to the party but….
I think I don’t need AI sky replacement because I just got it yesterday with a new Photoshop.

First thing I would like to have is Auto Mask with more AI capabilities. Auto Mask as it is works fine most of the times but sometimes it just can’t handle certain photos like hair or fur for example.

Second thing I would like to have is a separate AI slider for highlights. This slider would not interfere with mid tones. It would be something like ‘’DeepHIGHLIGHTS’’ or ‘’Highlights Plus’’.
It would have two functions – to recovery highlights and also to recreate highlights (artificially rebuild/rescue/restore part of the image with unrecoverable highlights).

1 Like

Joanna wrote:
Please don’t take this the wrong way but, if you used ETTR (expose to the right) metering, then you wouldn’t need to fix this kind of problem.

I think this is a matter of opinion from which side do you look.
I could also say – if you use exposure to the left you won’t have to deal with shadows in Photolab; you just replace the sky.
I could also be a smart a** and say – if someone is such an exposure master he could expose to left and right and shoot perfectly exposed jpegs straight from the camera so there is no need to use Photolab to ‘’repair’’ the images.

Mark wrote in other thread:
I’ve never run into a properly exposed file that I could not recover shadows and highlights on with PL4 using a combination of smart lighting, selective tone sliders, advanced contrast sliders(Filmpack 5), local adjustments and very rarely exposure compensation. I understand that this process is too lengthy if you have 100s of photos to be delivered under a deadline. In which case I suggest just using C1 or LR and not altering PL4’s exceptionally good highlight/shadow recovery toolset and leaving it as it is for those of us who like it and have the time to use it properly.

If I understand correctly: file is PROPERLY exposed but someone would still had to use a combination of 5 (five!!!) tools in Photolab to deal with shadows and highlights.
I wonder how many tools and combinations would you need if the image is a little less ‘’properly’’ exposed?

And if I continue - ‘‘time to use it properly’’? :

‘’ … leaving it as it is for those of us who like it and have the time to use it properly ‘’.

Hmmm; do I need to think first for a few days if I have enough time to ‘’use Photolab properly’’ before I buy it? How much time do I need to have? Half an hour per image? Perhaps more?

We have espresso machine at home. I don’t like it and I don’t use it. I use caffettiera.
But just because I don’t like it and I don’t use it I DON’T LIMIT the others. WHO AM I to tell them what they need and what they don’t need. If they like it they can have it and I have nothing against if they use it.


Perhaps I should clarify:

By “properly exposed” I mean that the highlights on the RAW files are not overexposed to the point of being completely white(no ink applied to the paper on a print) with no detail left to recover. No app is capable of recovering these lost highlights without manufacturing false details to replace the lost ones. Anything “less properly exposed” would fall into this category. The detail is either there to be recovered or not there at all.

Five tools? I should have said " using a combination of up to these 5 tools". Only rarely do I need more than smart lighting, selective tone and advanced contrast. The selective tone Highlight adjustment alone will recover the highlights but, as you point out, also affects the mid-tones and shadows as well as their selective contrast ranges so the other tools are used in order to compensate in a seamless manner.

I don’t know what your thought process is or should be before you buy a photo editing app but most files take 30 seconds to 5 minutes to recover highlights and shadows and adjust the mid-tones to seamlessly match. This process may take a little bit more time if local adjustments are required, but nowhere near 30 minutes. Still 5 minutes per image is too long for someone with 500 images to deliver tomorrow. I suggested the use of LR or C1 in these cases.

I’m not sure that I understand your espresso machine analogy here, but I’m guessing that the espresso machine is the more complicated process and represents PL4 here. If so, I’m not trying to force you to use it, that’s why I suggested the use of LR or C1 if the process was too lengthy. I love espresso and don’t mind the process of making it, so I just don’t want the espresso machine to be disposed of.

I want to evolve.
I want to nail the exposure the first time.
I want to find the composition that no one but me thought of.
I want to push myself beyond what I did last week. Last year. Or ever.
I want a tool that refines and encourage my ideas of creativity.

I don’t want something that replaces the sky I invested my soul in after travelling thousands of miles.
I don’t want something deleting objects I that moment choose to capture.
I don’t want something interfering with my thoughts.
I don’t want an application to outwit my work.

I want to go to bed knowing that today I have out done myself ones again. And that tomorrow I’ll push my creativity beyond what I did today and ever have done before.
I want my tools to support me and my vision - not to replace them.

And yes. It’s way to late and today I did not push myself enough.
Tomorrow - I will.
No one else will do that for me.


Laudable but lofty goals. I wish you the best in your efforts. :smiley:

1 Like

« You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’ you’re tryin’ now
Another year and then you’d be happy
Just one more year and then you’d be happy »

1 Like

Still 5 minutes per image is too long for someone with 500 images to deliver tomorrow. I suggested the use of LR or C1 in these cases.

I suppose that’s why professional photographers are using LR and C1P.
I hope this is not official DxO philosophy: ‘’If you don’t like Photolab use something else’’.
I think you know what sooner or later happens to companies with philosophy like: ‘’If you don’t like it go somewhere else’’?

I’m not sure that I understand your espresso machine analogy

It was an example – different users have different needs. In our home there are lots of different ‘’tools’’. I use some and I don’t use other but I don’t tell no one what he needs and what he does not need.
The same goes for new tools in Photolab.
You stance ‘’go use LR or C1P’’ will not bring new users and more profit to DxO.

Thanks for all your last contributions.

What do you expect for AI features?

  • Best results (e.g. #2. AI Highlight recovery)
  • Improved ease of use (e.g. #6. Sensor dust removal, #1. AI mask)
  • Extending capabilities (e.g. #3. Out of the frame filling with AI after a perspective transformation, #8. AI Objects detect, and replace)
  • New features (e.g. #5 AI-assisted DAM, #7. AI photographic criteria scoring / help to selection)

and overall, a high level of reliability and performance for the best efficiency. No one here is talking about giving AI the responsibility of making photographic or stylistic choices.

Efficiency is really the key: if AI helps me to do what I want better than me, quickly and easily, I want it! And if I no longer need to switch to another software to complete my treatment, that’s fine.

1 Like

#9. AI auto color correction or auto white balance
It is a proposal that @Corros and @florisvaneck made, but I confess it is not clear for me how AI should improve the color balance process.
• By selecting a mood and apply the choice? For example: candle light, cozy living room (warm incandescent light), creepy basement neon, surgery block’s halogen lamp, sodium street lamp, bright winter day, rainy Sunday afternoon, misty morning, summer sunset, full moon night, arctic midnight day…
• By offering new tools to control or drift colors (temperature, tint, hue, saturation… or color wheel) for low, medium, and high lights, in order to make more easy and ergonomic carrying out new preset styles, in a creative spirit
• By selecting a set of pictures and giving to all of them the same balance color (and brightness too maybe)

What do you need?

Ah, but not everyone is in such a big hurry and like the results of the lengthier process. More customers that way too. :wink:

I am not opposed to DXO offering a new selective tone schema alongside of the existing one. Are you agreeable to that proposal?

I am not opposed to DXO offering a new selective tone schema alongside of the existing one . Are you agreeable to that proposal?

Mark; this would be great. Personally I would like to have more conventional Selective tone sliders.
I suppose they could only add a switch to existing Selective tone tool:
Switch position one: Photolab behaviour of sliders
Switch position two: Conventional behaviour of sliders (Highlights slider affects highlights and nothing else…etc)
It would be nice but I think I won’t live long enough to see this happen.

To draw a line….
I was thinking about the words you wrote: ‘’If you don’t like Photolab then use LR or C1P’’.
I think you are right!
I’m trying to figure out this ‘’DxO highlight and shadows recovery logic’’ but I just can’t. I guess it’s time to give up so I will use Photolab for high ISO images (Deep Prime) and then export DNG to other RAW converter.
I guess RAW converters are just like cars. I can have such a nice ride on asphalt with my car but it was not built for off road. For that I would need a different car.

#10. AI super resolution
See here:

Nice improvement for older 6-8 Mpixel cameras. Combined with deepPrime, this features would give a new youth to old pictures. A smart way to merge old pictures with new ones.
I voted.

1 Like

Photolab has a different workflow than Lightroom or CaptureOne. Personally I much prefer the Photolab workflow which centers around creating your own presets and working from them. Photolab has some excellent AI-type smart tools already: Smart Lighting, DeepPrime, ClearView Plus. I really only use DeepPrime these days (after finishing everything else, as previewing with noise reduction on slows everything down) and in much smaller doses than default. Smart Lighting I occasionally use in small doses. Generally I can get everything I wan from Lens Sharpness and Fine Contrast and selective tone.

The AI tools were useful to learn the capabilities of the software.

To respond to @m9k, I find working in Photolab a magnitude faster than Lightroom or CaptureOne. The U-point technology for local adjustments is a game changer over layer masks in terms of speed. Moreover, my results in Photolab are consistently better than what I could achieve in Lightroom or CaptureOne. Photolab leaves Lightroom and particularly CaptureOne in the dust in terms of high ISO processing.

So I don’t see why the world needs another Lightroom clone. Lightroom exists already. DxO’s users are here because Lightroom didn’t satisfy us. The only RAW processing software for which I felt such an affinity was Apple Aperture (not v3.x which was already dumbed down, on its way to iPhoto but v2.x).

AI Features I would like, 2021 edition

  • Auto-clean up of sensor dust and/or scan dust from photographing negatives using Nikon’s ES-2.
  • Auto HDR at least from a single RAW image. HDR is usually awful but some kind of automated understated natural process with two or three sliders could be useful to create high impact images.
  • AI highlight recovery. It’s great when bringing back highlights when there’s some kind of convincing tone/detail there. Highlight recovery could be tweaked to have a film-like quality to it.

In terms of AI and DAM, I honestly don’t think DxO should be in the DAM business at all. DAM has been a ball and chain around DxO’s legs and Photolab for at least five years now. DxO should be partnering hard with all the great DAM solutions out there to be their recommended image processor. Adding its own DAM solution makes competitors out of partners.


Alec, can I just ask how you might go about creating the Orton Effect, which seems to involve all sorts of multiple layer manipulation in Photoshop but I believe should be possible in PL using local adjustments?

I have made a simple first attempt and it’s “sort of” OK(ish) but was wondering if anyone had already done something like this?

1 Like

Someone did create a preset. I have it. It works better on some images than on others. I’m not at home right now, but I’ll upload it when I get a chance


That’ll be me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I was having a discussion with some friends and they were adamant that I couldn’t do the same as Photoshop because PL doesn’t have layers but I began to think that local adjustments can be “layered” and was trying to use that idea instead of just flat global adjustments.

1 Like

Sorry, I didn’t recall that it was you who created it. I’ve used it a few times to try to create that dreamy orton effect. As I indicated, In my experience it works better on some images than on others.


Interesting question, Joanna. If I were after the Orton Effect in its traditional form, I’d export two versions from Photolab and then combine them as layers in Affinity Photo (which has a dreadful RAW module but is otherwise an extremely powerful, and high performance bitmap editor, and replace Photoshop perfectly except for compatibility with some Photoshop plugins.

If I were trying to add a pseudo-Orton Effect, I’d pick the places I want diffusion and glow and use U-point and local adjustments. I’m not big on diffusion and glow in my own work so I haven’t wrestled with the problem in earnest.