Getting Started With Silkypix - it's easy!

Started Oct 4, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Trevor G
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Getting Started With Silkypix - it's easy!
Oct 4, 2010

There are at least 5 things in Silkypix's favour:

1) It's free, bundled with Panasonic cameras.

2) It works on JPEG and RAW images, using the same GUI and the same methodolgy. You don't have to learn 2 new programs.

3) It's laid out in a very methodical, orderly workflow. Each tool appears in sequence. It is thus easy to learn to use.

4) No matter what you do, you can never save changes to the original image, or alter it by mistake, even. Silkypix forces you to save any changes as a new image, both with RAW and JPEG files.

5) You can save favourite or frequently used settings as a "Taste" and quickly apply it the next time you have a similar image.

Starting Out With Silkypix

Basics:

1) The tools are in the left column - start at the top and work down.

2) Each tool has an icon and a tooltip, which is revealed when you hover your mouse over the icon

3a) Each tool has a dropdown list on the right which makes coarser, preset adjustments to the image.

3b) Each tool has a slider or three which open out down below the tool list once you either click the icon or open the dropdown list.

4) The very top tool (shown by a gear wheel icon) is the Taste/parameter tool, which allows you to use preset image "looks" which mimic various classic film settings, including B&W. This is not unlike the Film mode selection on the camera, but is definitely not the same.

5) After working vertically through each tool that you want to use in the left column (you don't need to use them all) you then work along the bottom row of icons. These provide some more tools which are not needed as often, but can be very powerful.

6) When starting out, avoid using the big + button on the side, which is used to save or recall favourite settings (or "Tastes" in Silkypix language).

7) Each slider control has a default position, shown by the ^ symbol. You can always easily take settings back to their original position.

8) Never open a modified image and work on it some more - always go back to the original, which will show you where you left it at last use.

Start:

1) Drag Silkypix work window to about 3/4 of your screen size. Don't run full screen.

2a) Open the Histogram tool from the bottom icon list (first on the left) and position the histogram display either below the Spx window on the left, or just above the icons. You can drag the edge of the H tool to increase its size.

2b) Always compare what you are doing with the exposure tools in the left column with what appears in the histogram - this way you will avoid over-exposing highlights or compressing shadows too much. Unless you want to, of course!

2c) Always check the results of your adjustment, which take place in real-time in the image window. Some changes will take time (10 seconds) to finish even at preview level - you can speed this up by temporarily reducing the size of the window as much as possibly. Also see 4) below. Select 100% or 50% to see at a magnified view, and to make it easier to pick abberations.

3) As you open any of the extra tools from the icon list along the bottom edge, the window for that tool can then be dragged to the right or left hand edge, outside of the Silkypx work space, so that it does not interfere with your view of the image.

These sub-tools can be "stuck" together and, unless you reclick their icon, will re-open everytime you open Spx.

4) Double click the image in the work window to make it full-screen inside that window. A size-control slider also opens at the bottom of the work space to make it easy then to resize the working image. You can also use a dropdown list or just make fine adjustments with the slider.

5) If doing geometric (lens related) or perspective (position related) corrections open the Grid tool, which is found under View, or by clicking Alt + G. I have a simple tutorial on perspective corrections at

http://photo.computerwyse.com/tutorials/silkypix/tutorialspx.html

6) Spx saves an ini-type file in a sub-directory (called SILKYPIX_DS) which records all the changes made when you last closed the image.

You can start from scratch by deleting the approximately 10kb file in that sub-directory which relates to the image you wish to work on, or you could simply copy the image you are working on to another folder and start again. The original is never altered by Silkypix in any way.

Final processing:

1) Use the Develop icon (a gear wheel chewing a floppy disk) fourth from the end on the right. Or use Development on the file menu.

2) Select a file name and location - always use a new folder to save to. You cannot save or make changes to the original file, whether JPEG or RAW, when using Spx - isn't that great?

3) Reduce size and use USM if required, but check it using Preview. In Preview mode, open the image full screen (click on the + symbol at the top) to see what will happen with USM, then check it at the other preset sizes.

4) Click Save and it's all done.

Sorry about the lack of pics to go with this explanation - I've been meaning to do a full tute for 12 months now. I'll get a round tuit one day...

Cheers

Trevor G

http://photo.computerwyse.com

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