View Full Version : I can see what I've done -

Nick Temple-Fry
11th June 2008, 10:54 PM
but how did I do it?

Glancing at some of my earlier images I realised I couldn't exactly recall what post processing I'd applied to get the image.

I work mostly in The GIMP and although I can guess (there are a few techniques I habitually apply) it would be nice to be able to record as much of the pp as possible in case I ever want to regenerate the image.

Am I missing a trick?. How do you cope?

It seems a bit lame, as well as an unnecessary chore, to scribble down notes and transcribe them to a file. Particularly as some images go through several attempts before they are as I want them.

Any thoughts?


11th June 2008, 11:15 PM
Good point! I too would like to know the answer to this one.


12th June 2008, 07:48 AM
For a photo I really like, and so am more likely to want to recreate the effect, I save as a layered TIFF or PSD. When I am working on it I use layers and try to keep the changes per layer only one or two, and name each one accordingly. I also use adjustment layers wherever possible. This gives at least some indication of what I have done.
I don't really know about other apps but this is certainly possible in Photoshop and GIMP.

I suppose you could always add it to the metadata too if you wanted? The digital equivalent of writing on a scrap of paper.

All the best,

12th June 2008, 08:14 AM
I have a note book, well a couple A4 in size. If I see a technique on a the web then I will print it out and stick it the book. Do the same with images I have made a mess of (always learn from your mistakes :D) successful stuff I sometimes screen shot and make notes.

A bit long winded I agree but I find if I write things down then I am more likely to remember and it is good to have a record.

Mind you it is not always like that as I have a few images and when I look I think "How the hell did I do that???" *shrug :D

12th June 2008, 09:19 AM
I'm with you, Nick.

I tweak the picture.
I like the results.
I forget how its done.



Nick Temple-Fry
12th June 2008, 10:49 AM
But why not - all the computer knows is numbers going into a subroutine (which will be some form of mathmatical function). So why doesn't it write a log.

Layer - Duplicate
Colour - Levels - Black 5, Grey 176, White 231
Merge down - SoftLight - 55%
USM - rad 5, strength 0.7, threshold 32

OK selections on areas and cloning or painting may be harder to express in a record, but even then an indication of roughly where/what should be possible. At least enough to indicate the nature and order of actions. After all it is surely only a record keeping enhancement to 'undo'.

It seems so obvious - I can't help feel I'm missing something?


12th June 2008, 11:34 AM
. So why doesn't it write a log.

Maybe it has not been a Buisness Functional Requirement for one. I don't know about GIMP but PS wrting out log files?

PS is resource hungry at the best of times so I think getting to write out log files would push the limits of the system.

Also it would be a mess, me thinks, think of all the fiddeling you do when experimenting with things, change staturation, alter image size, mess with levels etc etc etc, knowing the way log files write out I think you would get fed up with trawling throught them looking for what you have done. *zzz

I know I have enough problems following Microsofts Event files and our own error logging files :confused:

12th June 2008, 04:47 PM
Keeping track of changes in Photoshop can be done using the History Log, once it has been enabled in preferences see details below.

Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > General (Mac OS).

Click the History Log preference to toggle from on to off or vice versa.
In the History Log Options panel, choose one of the following options:

Metadata Saves the history log as metadata embedded in each file.

Text File Exports the history log to a text file. You are prompted to name the text file and choose a location in which to store it.

Both Stores metadata in the file and creates a text file.

Generally PS log files tend to be small so I do not think they will be much of a burdon on the system.



12th June 2008, 08:51 PM
Slighty different for me, all my tone mapped shots I save the settings file *.xmp, means I can batch process a set of shots if I like the effect, I thinkI must have around 50 settings files :o