DxO ViewPoint

Getting Started with DxO ViewPoint 2

In collaboration with Gilles Theophile

DxO ViewPoint is a highly-specialized software dedicated to correcting geometrical problems in your images: distortion, volume deformation, and perspective. The aim of this tutorial is to help you get started using the software by presenting you will a certain number of basic corrections that you can with with DxO ViewPoint as a standalone application. (DxO ViewPoint can also be used as a plugin for DxO OpticsPro, Lightroom, Aperture, and Photoshop.

The DxO ViewPoint 2 standalone application interface

To follow this tutorial, you will need:

  • DxO ViewPoint 2 standalone application
  • Some photos in either RAW, JPEG or TIFF format

1- Introducing DxO ViewPoint

A geometrical correction tool

DxO ViewPoint is a highly-specialized software whose role is to correct geometrical problems in images:

  • Distortion: An optical flaw that can be more or less obvious as either barrel or pincushion form, depending on the type and model of the lens used to shoot.
  • Volume deformation: This type of defect manifests itself as a form of stretching of spherical and/or cylindrical objects, notably along their perimeters, and often occurs with the use of very-wide-angle lenses.
  • Perspective: This problem affects the straightness of vertical and horizonal lines, due to a shooting angle that is not perfectly perpendicular with respect to the subject. Parallel lines end up converging or diverging, and is particularly noticeable in architectural photos.

How DxO ViewPoint works

Version 2 of DxO ViewPoint automatically corrects distortion by using DxO Optics Module, on condition that the equipment is supported. The strength of the software also resides in its manual correction tools.

As for correcting volume deformation, this is automatically, and does not depend on DxO Optics Modules. Of course, the intensity of this correction can be adjusted manually.

DxO ViewPoint 2 offers 4 different straightening modes for handling perspective problems: force vertical parallels, force horizontal parallels, force rectangle, and 8-point correction. These last two corrections let you act on the four sides of an image.

Note

Automatic distortion correction requires an internet connection for downloading and installing DxO Optics Modules.

Where to begin

For purposes of this tutorial, we will present the functions of the standalone version of DxO ViewPoint, which lets you correct images in JPEG and TIFF (8- or 16-bit) formats.

After launching the software, proceed as follows:

  • Select Open in the File menu.
  • In the dialog box that opens, locate and select the file you want to correct, and click on Open.
  • After opening the image in DxO ViewPoint, make your corrections as described in parts 2 and 3.
  • As soon as you finish your corrections, choose Save as in the File menu.
  • Finally, in the dialog box, choose where and the format (JPEG or TIFF) in which you will save the corrected image file.

Note

So long as you do not save the file, the corrections are reversible.

2- Correcting volume deformation

Functional modes

The volume deformation correction is automatic, and is available in two different modes. Choose the mode that addresses the problem that is visible in your image:

  • Horizontal/Vertical: This mode lets you correct the stretching of objects in either the vertical or horizontal senses of the image. A concrete example is that of a group photo in which the people on the sides of the image are stretched toward the edges.
  • Diagonal: This tool lets you the stretching towards the corners of the image as with, for example, the head of a person located in one of the upper corners of the image, which results in an oval deformation of a spherical element.

Example of diagonal volume deformation correction using DxO ViewPoint 2’s dedicated tool

Correcting volume deformation

To correct the deformation of spherical or cylindrical elements in an image:

  • Open the image you want to correct by following the procedure in section s1.
  • As soon as your image opens, assess what type of deformation is present (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.)
  • In the control panel on the right, in the Volume deformation palette, click on the appropriate button (Horizontal/Vertical or Diagonal).
  • The correction is automatically applied.
  • Save (see part 1).

If necessary, you can make manual adjustments to the correction by using the Intensity slider. Correcting volume deformation always results in loss of part of the image along the perimeter. After each correction, you can check the Crop  box in the dedicated palette so that DxO ViewPoint will apply a crop automatically.

Note

By default, automatic cropping preserves the original proportions of the image (Aspect ratio: Preserve).

Using DxO ViewPoint 2’s crop tool in manual mode

3- Correcting perspective

Functional modes

Now we will introduce you to DxO ViewPoint’s four modes for correcting perspective: Force parallels and Force rectangle, which are:

  • Force vertical parallels  : Lets you fix, for example, a building with strongly convergent lines, by acting on the two sides.
  • Force horizontal parallels  : The same principle as for vertical parallels.
  • Force rectangle  : Lets you fix the lines of an image along four sides. This is a particularly useful feature for squaring a painting or a door or a window that was not photographed straight-on.
  • 8 points  : Same principle as Force rectangle, except that each of the four sides can be corrected completely independently of the other sides. You use this tool when the lines to fix are not on the same plane, or if they a located at different distances from the camera.

Fixing perspective also offers two correction intensities:

  • Complete: The correction occurs at 100%, that is, the vertical lines are perfectly vertical after correction.
  • Natural: The intensity of the correction is set to 75% by default. You would use this mode, for example, when fixing a building that has been shot from ground level (with lines converging toward the top). If you fix it at 100%, the human eye will perceive the building as deformed in the opposite sense at the top, even though the geometry is in fact perfectly respected. This mode lets you give a more natural aspect to your corrected image.

The same image corrected using the Perspective tool in Complete and Natural modes

Forcing vertical parallels

To straighten the vertical lines of a building:

  • Open an image to correct, following the procedure in section 1.
  • In the Perspective palette in the control panel on the right, click on the first button (Force vertical parallels).
  • Select either the Complete or Natural mode under the four straightening mode buttons.
  • Two vertical lines will appear on the image.
  • Using the mouse, grab the left line and place it (by eye) along the vertical line that you want to straighten in the image.
  • Refine the placement of the line by using the mouse to grab and move the points one at a time on either end of the line.
  • Repeat the same operation for the right-side line.
  • Click on Preview under the image to display the rendering after correction.
  • Make any necessary adjustments according to your tastes.
  • When you are done with your corrections, click on Apply.
  • Save (see part 1).

Straightening verticals in natural mode (intensity 75%).

Note

You can use Loupe tool on the bottom right to place your lines and points with the greatest possible position, which will also let you avoid zooming in on the entire image.

DxO ViewPoint loupe tool

Forcing a rectangle

To fix the four sides of a square or rectangular subject:

  • Open an image to correct, following the procedure in section 1.
  • In the Perspective palette in the control panel on the right, click on Force rectangle button .
  • Use the mouse to grab a line and to place it on one of the lines of the subject you want to straighten.
  • Repeat the operation for the other three sides.
  • Refine the placement of the lines by using the mouse to grab and move the points on the ends of the lines. Be sure to keep in mind that when you grab a point to move a line, you will end up moving two lines.
  • Repeat the same operation for the other lines.
  • Click on Preview under the image to display the correction rendering.
  • Adjust the correction to suit your tastes.
  • When your correction is finished, click on Apply.
  • Save (see part 1).

Force rectangle tool

Note

You can choose to display a reference grid to help you with your corrections. Go to the Display menu and select Toggle grid overlay (or click on the Grid button in the toolbar, or simply use the keyboard shortcut G).

Display grid

Note

If the straightening lines, which are blue by default, are too hard to see because of the colors in your image, you can change their color by clicking on the small (default blue) Line color square on the bottom left . That will open up a color picker from which you can choose the color you prefer.

Cropping

Of course, you can activate automatic cropping by clicking on the  button in the Crop palette. By default, the height/width ratio of the image is preserved, but you can change it via the Aspect ratio menu.

Crop tool

4- Going further

If you would like to learn more about the possibilities that DxO ViewPoint offers, see our tutorials and videos or the user guide.

Photos credits: Constantin Foniadakis, Olivier Lambolez, Bruce Ashford