Working with the RAW Fine Tuning Controls

You can modify how the Mac OS decodes RAW files using the adjustment controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD. The Mac OS characterizes the RAW file format for each digital camera supported by Aperture. This calibration data usually results in the optimal decoding of the RAW image files for a particular camera. However, certain types of images may require adjustments to how the Mac OS decodes the RAW image file.

The RAW Fine Tuning controls include the following parameters:

Note: Some controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector and the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD appear dimmed if these settings are not available for use with images derived from a particular RAW file format. Some camera models can create multiple types of RAW file formats, and different controls may be available for each of these RAW file formats.

Using these controls, you can fine-tune your RAW decoding settings on an image-by-image basis. Aperture also enables you to save your customized RAW decoding settings as presets or as the default settings always used with a specific camera, so they are easily applied to newly imported images. For more information about saving your custom RAW Fine Tuning settings as the default for a specific camera, see Setting the Camera Default.

If the RAW Fine Tuning controls do not appear, the selected image is from a previous version of Aperture. You must first reprocess the image using Aperture 3 image processing. For more information, see Reprocessing Images from Previous Versions of Aperture.

Figure. Dialog for reprocessing an image from a previous version of Aperture.

Using the Boost Controls

The Mac OS characterizes each digital camera’s RAW file format to determine an optimal contrast setting. The Boost controls allow you to set the strength of the contrast when the RAW file is decoded. The Hue Boost controls are used to maintain the hues in the image as the contrast is increased using the Boost controls. When the Hue Boost parameter is set to 1.00 and the Boost parameter is set to 1.00, the hues of the primary and secondary colors are pinned to their pure color values, resulting in a shift of all the hues in the image. For images that consist of saturated primary and secondary colors, such as an image of flowers in a lush garden, shifting the hues to their true values has a desirable visual effect. However, this is not visually desirable for images containing skin tones. Shifting the hues most often causes the skin to appear yellow. Setting the Hue Boost parameter to 0.00 increases the color contrast in the image while preserving the original hues in the image.

To adjust the Boost parameters
  1. Select a RAW image imported with or reprocessed using Aperture 3 image processing.

    Note: If the RAW Fine Tuning controls do not appear in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, the selected image is from a previous version of Aperture. You must first reprocess the image using Aperture 3 image processing. For more information, see Reprocessing Images from Previous Versions of Aperture.

  2. In the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Boost parameter by doing one of the following:

    • By default, the Boost slider is set to 1.00. Drag the Boost slider to the left to decrease the amount of contrast applied to the image during the RAW decoding process, and drag the Boost slider back to the right to increase the contrast.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Boost value slider to adjust the contrast by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Boost value slider, then enter a value from 0.00 to 1.00 and press Return.

      Figure. Boost controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.

    A value of 0.00 applies no contrast adjustment to the image during the RAW decoding process. A value greater than 0.00 increases the contrast adjustment to the image. A value of 1.00 applies the full Apple-recommended contrast adjustment for the specific camera model.

  3. Adjust the Hue Boost parameter by doing one of the following:

    • By default, the Hue Boost slider is set to 1.00. Drag the Hue Boost slider to the left to preserve the accuracy of the hues, and drag the Hue Boost slider back to the right to allow the hues to shift during the RAW decoding process.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Hue Boost value slider to adjust the accuracy of the hues by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Hue Boost value slider, then enter a value from 0.00 to 1.00 and press Return.

      Figure. Hue Boost controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.

    A value of 0.00 preserves the original hues in the image in relation to the Boost adjustment (color contrast) during the RAW decoding process. A value greater than 0.00 increases the hue adjustment to the image. A value of 1.00 applies the full Apple-recommended hue adjustment for the specific camera model.

Using the Sharpening Controls

You can adjust sharpening during the RAW decoding process by using the RAW Fine Tuning Sharpening controls in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD.

Note: The effect of sharpening an image or group of images using the RAW Fine Tuning adjustment is very subtle. More sharpening effects can be obtained using the Edge Sharpen adjustment. For more information about the Edge Sharpen adjustment, see Working with the Edge Sharpen Controls.

To adjust the sharpening applied during the RAW decoding process
  1. Select a RAW image imported with or reprocessed using Aperture 3 image processing.

    Note: If the RAW Fine Tuning controls do not appear in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, the selected image is from a previous version of Aperture. You must first reprocess the image using Aperture 3 image processing. For more information, see Reprocessing Images from Previous Versions of Aperture.

  2. Adjust the strength of the sharpening effect by doing one of the following:

    • The default value for the Sharpening slider and value slider is determined by the camera used to create the RAW image file. Drag the Sharpening slider to the right to increase the strength of the sharpening effect applied during the RAW decoding process, and drag the Sharpening slider back to the left to reduce the sharpening effect.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Sharpening value slider to adjust the strength of the sharpening effect by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Sharpening value slider, then enter a value from 0.00 to 1.00 and press Return.

      Figure. Sharpening controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.

    A value of 0.00 applies no sharpening effect to the image during the RAW decoding process. A value greater than 0.00 increases the sharpening effect to the image.

  3. Adjust how the sharpening effect is applied to edges by doing one of the following:

    • The default value for the Edges slider and value slider is determined by the camera used to create the RAW image file. Drag the Edges slider to the right to intensify the sharpening effect that occurs at “hard” edges (areas where significant color changes occur) during the RAW decoding process, and drag the Edges slider back to the left to limit the sharpening effect.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Edges value slider to adjust the strength of the sharpening effect that occurs at hard edges by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Edges value slider, then enter a value from 0.00 to 1.00 and press Return.

      Figure. Edges controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.

    A value greater than 0.00 intensifies the sharpening effect on hard edges.

Using the Moire Controls

Digital images often have color artifacts that appear around edges and lines because of noise created by digital image sensors. Images whose subjects have linear patterns often introduce a moire pattern that gives the subject a wrinkled or rainbow-colored appearance. In addition, cameras with image sensors employing Bayer patterns often introduce noise into monochromatic images. The Moire adjustment controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD identify these patterns and correct these artifacts.

Figure. Image showing a moire pattern rainbow effect in the blinds of a window.

Because many digital cameras have weak anti-aliasing filters, the Moire and Radius parameters are specifically used to correct aliasing in an image caused by edges with high color contrast. Weak anti-aliasing filters tend to curve edges, skewing the colors in the process. During the RAW decoding process, the Mac OS scans for high-frequency information in the RAW file, looking for blended colors, and then replaces the blended colors with the edge colors that originally existed in the scene. The Moire parameter adjusts the amount of signal to apply the adjustment to. The Radius parameter adjusts the pixel area (visual threshold) the adjustment is applied to.

Note: The Moire controls replace the Chroma Blur controls found in previous versions of Aperture.

To adjust the Moire and Radius parameters
  1. Select a RAW image imported with or reprocessed using Aperture 3 image processing.

    Note: If the RAW Fine Tuning controls do not appear in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, the selected image is from a previous version of Aperture. You must first reprocess the image using Aperture 3 image processing. For more information, see Reprocessing Images from Previous Versions of Aperture.

  2. Adjust the amount of signal to apply the Moire adjustment to by doing one of the following:

    • The default value for the Moire slider and value slider is 0.00. Drag the Moire slider to the right to increase the amount of signal the Moire adjustment is applied to during the RAW decoding process, and drag the Moire slider back to the left to reduce it.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Moire value slider to adjust the intensity by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Moire value slider, then enter a value from 0.00 to 1.00 and press Return.

      Figure. Moire controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.

    A value of 0.00 applies no moire correction during the RAW decoding process. A value greater than 0.00 applies moire correction during the RAW decoding process.

  3. Adjust the pixel area (visual threshold) the Moire adjustment is applied to by doing one of the following:

    • The default value for the Radius slider and value slider is 4.00 pixels. Drag the Radius slider to the right to increase the area over which the Moire adjustment is applied during the RAW decoding process, and drag the Radius slider back to the left to reduce the area.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Moire value slider to adjust the radius by 10 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Radius value slider, then enter a value from 0.10 to 25.00 and press Return.

      Figure. Radius controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.

    A value of 0.10 is the most limited area over which the moire correction can be applied during the RAW decoding process. A value greater than 0.10 increases the area over which the moire correction is applied during the RAW decoding process.

Turning On Automatic Noise-Compensation Adjustments

Digital image sensors produce noisy images at certain settings (generally high ISO settings and long exposures). The Mac OS analyzes the noise characteristics of each camera’s RAW file format and uses them to control parameters such as sharpness. You can turn on the automatic adjustment by selecting the Auto Noise Compensation checkbox.

To turn on the automatic noise-compensation adjustment
  1. Select a RAW image imported with or reprocessed using Aperture 3 image processing.

    Note: If the RAW Fine Tuning controls do not appear in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, the selected image is from a previous version of Aperture. You must first reprocess the image using Aperture 3 image processing. For more information, see Reprocessing Images from Previous Versions of Aperture.

  2. In the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, select the Auto Noise Compensation checkbox.

    Figure. Auto Noise Compensation checkbox in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.

Aperture applies the automatic noise-compensation adjustment during the RAW decoding process.

Working with DNG Files

In Aperture, you can adjust how the Mac OS decodes RAW images in the DNG format. If the digital camera that captured an image is supported by Aperture, the calibration data for that camera is used to decode the RAW file in the same manner as if it were decoded from the RAW file format itself. If the DNG file is from an unsupported camera, Aperture uses the camera information stored in the DNG file to decode the image.

To adjust the RAW Fine Tuning parameters of a DNG file
  1. Select a DNG file imported with or reprocessed using Aperture 3 image processing.

    Note: If the RAW Fine Tuning controls do not appear in the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, the selected image is from a previous version of Aperture. You must first reprocess the image using Aperture 3 image processing. For more information, see Reprocessing Images from Previous Versions of Aperture.

  2. Adjust the RAW Fine Tuning parameters as necessary for the image.

Setting the Camera Default

When you’ve modified the RAW decoding settings using the controls in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, you can save these settings as the default parameter values for the camera model. All RAW image files from this camera model that are imported into Aperture are decoded using these saved settings.

Figure. Camera field in the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector.
To set the camera default
  1. In the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, choose Save as Camera Default from the Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon) for the RAW Fine Tuning adjustment.

    Figure. Action pop-up menu showing the Save as Camera Default command.

    The RAW Fine Tuning Adjustment Presets dialog appears.

  2. Enter a name for the preset and click OK.

The Action pop-up menu for the RAW Fine Tuning adjustment displays the preset’s name with a checkmark next to it.

You can always clear the saved camera default settings. To remove a RAW Fine Tuning adjustment preset from the list of camera default settings, you have to delete it.

To clear the camera default settings
  1. In the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, choose Apple from the Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon) to make it the camera default setting, then choose Edit Presets from the Action pop-up menu.

    The RAW Fine Tuning Adjustment Presets dialog appears.

  2. Select the RAW Fine Tuning preset you want to remove, then press the Delete key.

  3. In the dialog that appears, click the Delete Adjustment Presets button.

    The adjustment preset is removed from the RAW Fine Tuning Adjustment Presets dialog, and the adjustment preset no longer appears in the RAW Fine Tuning Action pop-up menu.

You can also set the RAW Fine Tuning controls to use the Apple-recommended RAW decoding settings.

To use the Apple-recommended camera default settings
  • In the RAW Fine Tuning area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, choose Apple from the Action pop-up menu (with a gear icon).

A checkmark appears next to Apple in the Action pop-up menu.