Using DxO ViewPoint 2 as a plugin for DxO OpticsPro 10
In collaboration with Gilles Theophile
At first, DxO ViewPoint was designed to be used as an external editor with Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture, as well as a standalone software tool. The tools it offers – volume deformation correction, fixing of perspective problems – already exist in DxO OpticsPro, but in an older and less ergonomic form. These tools are replaced by those of DxO ViewPoint as soon as it is installed on your computer with DxO OpticsPro 10.
This way you end up benefitting from the best of both applications: powerful and effective tools, combined with a 100% RAW workflow.
This tutorial is a complement to Getting Started with DxO ViewPoint 2.
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
The DxO ViewPoint palette appears in DxO OpticsPro 10’s Customize tab as soon as the two software products are installed on the same computer. The installation is automatic — there is nothing to configure and essentially no options to choose in the preferences for either program.
The DxO ViewPoint palette in the Customize tab
The DxO ViewPoint palette contains two sub-palettes::
- Perspective: Lets you fix vertical and horizontal lines and restore the image’s proper geometry by using the Force parallels, Rectangle, and 8-point tools.
- Volume deformation: Lets you correct the shapes of cylindrical or spherical objects that are deformed when you use lenses with a short focal length.
Certain tools in the standalone version or in the external editor version are not found in the DxO ViewPoint palette in DxO OpticsPro 10:
You will find these tools instead in the various other palettes in DxO OpticsPro’s Customize tab..
The 8-point tool is available starting with version 2 of DxO ViewPoint. As a plugin for DxO OpticsPro 10, the buttons that correct vertical and horizontal parallels are combined together into a single button called Parallels.
If you use Lightroom and DxO OpticsPro 10, you can take advantage of the workflow between the two software applications (see the dedicated tutorial) to use DxO ViewPoint’s tools, rather than having to go through an external editor that will require you to create a TIFF or JPEG file before making your corrections.
2- The 8-point correction
How it works
Our previous tutorial about DxO ViewPoint 2 already presented the Volume deformation, Force parallels, and Rectanglecorrection tools.
To complement that tutorial, here is an example of a correction using the 8-point tool. It works in the much the same way as the Rectangle tool, with four reference lines — on the left, right, top, and bottom. The difference is that with the 8-point tool, these tools are not tied together by the control points, but are instead completely independent.
Whereas you use the Rectangle tool when all of the elements in the image are located at the same distance from the camera, you should use the 8-point tool to choose the reference lines that are located at different distances.
This photo shows a building that was shot at a three-quarter angle, and so the vertical reference lines are at different distances. Before fixing the perspective, we are going to apply some basic corrections as follows:
- Open the image in DxO OpticsPro 10.
- The default DxO Standard preset automatically corrects the image for tone, noise, color (etc.), and the DxO Optics Module associated with your shooting equipment automatically corrects distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration, and lens softness.
Here we see the advantage of working with RAW files, which let you maximally benefit from DxO OpticsPro’s automatic correction algorithms that combine ease of use, effectiveness, and speed.
Image before 8-point correction: the divergent lines created by the shooting angle must be straightened, and the building leans to the right.
To fix perspective, go into the DxO ViewPoint palette, then proceed as follows:
- In the Perspective sub-palette, click on the third Tool button, which will activate the 8-point correction.
- Four colored lines will be superimposed on the image.
You can change the color of these lines by clicking on the colored tiles in the toolbar underneath the image.
- Place the four lines on the horizontal and vertical reference lines in the image by simply grabbing and moving each line with the mouse.
- To rotate or change the length of the lines, grab one of the control points at either end of the line.
Placing the correction lines
You do not have to use the four lines. In fact, it may be that the highest line will correspond with the top of the building, and that it won’t be necessary to correct it. As for the bottom line, it can be used to fix a leaning subject.
- Zoom in on the image to place the lines and control points with greater precision.
In zoom mode for placing the correction lines
As a plugin for DxO OpticsPro 10, DxO ViewPoint does not offer the Loupe palette, so you will need to use the display tools you usually use in DxO OpticsPro.
- After you have placed your lines, click on Preview under the image: you will see the corrected image, along with the parts of the image that will be eliminated because of the unavoidable cropping.
- If you are pleased with the results, click on Apply.
Preview of the image after 8-point correction in Complete mode
Since we are in a RAW workflow, the correction is reversible. You can make changes at any time by reactivating the 8-point tool.
3- Refining the correction
The Complete mode and the Natural modes
The Complete mode provides corrections at 100%, that is, the building or object will be completely straightened, and the Naturalmode, which applies a 75% correction, which provides a more natural-looking result.
These modes can be selected directly by clicking on their respective buttons in the Perspective sub-palette.
Comparing Complete mode vs. Natural mode
The Original button lets you return to the original look of the photo.
The Perspective sub-palette offers four sliders for refining your corrections, depending on the circumstance:
- Top/Bottom: Widens the image from the top or the bottom, with the aim of forcing the correction of the other elements in the image which are not corrected using the reference lines.
- Left/Right: The same principle as Top/Bottom, except this time the widening occurs toward the left or right in the image.
- X/Y ratio: This slider lets you stretch or squeeze the image in the vertical sense, notably in order to restore a more natural look to the image after a perspective correction.
- Intensity: Controls the strength of the correction. Its default value is 100 in Complete mode, and 75 in Natural mode.
The sliders in the Perspective sub-palette
Effect of the Top/Bottom slider
Effect of the Left/Right slider
Effect of the X/Y slider
If you need to use one of these sliders, you should do so while displaying the grid (either via the Display menu or by using the G key) as a reference. You can adjust the size and color of the grid in the Preferences.
Photos credits: Gilles Théophile