Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...

Started Dec 20, 2016 | Discussions
David morel Senior Member • Posts: 2,100
Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...

All, I have a really strange occurrence in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I recently upgraded to a new computer, Dell XPS15 9550, and installed NIk to be used with Pshop and LightRoom. Well, I have noticed some strange pixelation when I try using Silver Efex. See the screen shots below, but when using the filter, a pixelation band shows up on the sides of the image...bottom and right side. The pixelation changes with the different presets and color filters I select. When I accept the filter changes, some but not all of the pixelation makes it to my image, just on the edges.

Anyone have any ideas? I have uninstalled and reinstalled Nik, not changes. I am on Windows 10 and the most recent version of Adobe CC.

Here you can see  no pixelation in the original image

Notice the pixelation band at the bottom of the filter window. The band changes depending upon the preset or the color filter chosen.

After accepting the filter change, the actual image shows some pixelation at the bottom, a much thinner band of pixelation.

OP David morel Senior Member • Posts: 2,100
Re: Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...

Did some experimentation and it appears the problem is only in Photoshop, not in Lightroom.  I tried using it with GPU on and off, on my laptop screen and monitor screen.

Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,527
Re: Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...

This looks like either a software problem.  Try uninstalling NIK collection and reinstalling it.

Are your original images 16-bit ProPhoto or 8-bit JPG? This doesn't look like the typical pixelation caused by using 8-bits, but pixelation is much more common with 8-bit images.

If you start with RAW I recommend working with 16-bit ProPhoto images right up to the point you save the final image as an 8-bit sRGB JPG for the web or smart device.

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Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,746
Re: Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...
1

Sailor Blue wrote:

This looks like either a software problem. Try uninstalling NIK collection and reinstalling it.

Are your original images 16-bit ProPhoto or 8-bit JPG? This doesn't look like the typical pixelation caused by using 8-bits, but pixelation is much more common with 8-bit images.

If you start with RAW I recommend working with 16-bit ProPhoto images right up to the point you save the final image as an 8-bit sRGB JPG for the web or smart device.

I am gonna guess it's a RAM issue - somewhere in the RAM management between PS as the host and Nik as the plugin. It could also be a hardware issue (RAM chip), but perhaps that's unlikely.

When Nik runs from LR it is a standalone app - i.e. its own OS process. When it runs from PS it is under PS's OS process. Hence why I think it'll be something in terms of underlying resource usage... and that's therefore going to be RAM, GPU, and indeed GPU-RAM.

Things I would try are just see how it is with 8-bit images (as they use less RAM), and then play with the RAM prefs in PS itself. Under Preferences... Performance. Try also smaller resolution images (again as they use less RAM). Try a much higher resolution one and see also if it gets worse.

OP also wasn't clear where he has changed the GPU on and off. There are two places - in Silver Efex and in PS itself. I would try all 4 combinations and again just see what happens.

I suppose other thing is to check is that all the graphics drivers are up-to-date.

I am then presuming it is also not occuring in only that one image and is in all images taken into Silver Efex!!!

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OP David morel Senior Member • Posts: 2,100
Re: Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...

Thanks for the feedback. I did turn of GPU in pshop and it still happens.  Didn't know there was a setting in Nik.  Strange that I don't get this with other nik filters.  Is Silver Efex more ram intensive? I will try 8-bits.  The images I have been using are all 16bit.

OP David morel Senior Member • Posts: 2,100
Re: Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...

Bingo! It looks like turning off the GPU acceleration in Nik worked! I will continue to test it. Now, the question is what do I need to do to get it back working? Update drivers if needed on the display, this is what is in my laptop NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M.

I bought the laptop from Dell refurbished, wonder if the issue was the graphics card.  I will see what I can do to test the card, any ideas?

Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,746
Re: Strange Pixelation in Nik Silver Efex PRo 2...

David morel wrote:

Bingo! It looks like turning off the GPU acceleration in Nik worked! I will continue to test it. Now, the question is what do I need to do to get it back working? Update drivers if needed on the display, this is what is in my laptop NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M.

I bought the laptop from Dell refurbished, wonder if the issue was the graphics card. I will see what I can do to test the card, any ideas?

Nope..  no ideas how to test the graphics card, maybe try posting in the PC group here or check NVIDIA forums if they have??

Could just be something in Nik  (Silver Efex) for that card/GPU.

It has something also to do with PS also though - because you said all works OK with LR. I would guess it's caused somehow by GPU memory, but whether that's a case of just not having enough or actually a physical issue on the chips on the card I do not know.

[ I am actually a Mac user for all my photo processing. ]

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