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NX2 Batch and Bake Part1

Logo Capture NX2

Nikon Capture NX2

Several months ago, I found out that I was unwittingly adding a global output sharpening element to my camera images via the NIKON D3 Shooting menu. I knew how to undo this on an individual files in NX2 from my teachings with Jason Odell.  However when I started to add Image harvesting in my creative workflow I created a need for a batch process. I have been searching for many months for a simple “Batch and Bake” process using NX2, ACR and CS5.  I wanted the best elements of every application and an easy process to get it.

This is going to be a very useful tip and workflow for those NIKON users who still believe that NX2 is the best RAW convertor and want to take advantage of the NX2 proprietary ability to adjust out of camera your RAW in-camera setting.   Next, I’ll show you how to create a preset of those adjustments.  Then use NX2 to batch run using your preset on your source NEFs (which are externally sourced) which will BAKE them into TIFF’s. Then you can open the TIFF using Camera RAw and save and rename them as PSD into your Source PSD file folder. All in the same color space of prophoto RBG.

What’s my purpose for this. For a batch of Images to be used in Photoshop, (1) I want to use the NX2 raw convertor and (2) I want to use Nx2′s develop section to reset in-camera pre-sharpening to zero and create a preset, and (3) I want to use NX2′s batch utility, use my preset, then bake and store those images as TIFF for conversion in ACR to Photoshop PSD files.

So why should you use this work flow ?

  1. I believe that NX2 has the best NIKON Raw convertor (I have tested and tried them all). I want the best,100% of it.
  2. If you set your Nikon to sharpen your Images in your camera via Shooting Menu, that sharpening setting is:
    1. Really only useful for you to see the sharpness in the back of the LCD window.
    2. You have also unwittingly pre sharpened the Raw Image to compensate for the antialsing of the Bayer filter
    3. This global sharpening amount will now be
      1. baked and applied as what is know as an Output sharpen or Pre-sharpener once you process your image as non NEF
  3. I want to control sharpening on my own terms, so I want to turnoff the pre-sharpener this is done in NX2 Picture control
  4. I do not want to use NX2 Picture Control for sharpening because it is lackluster:
    1. Only one slider for intensity, cannot control edge detection or size of sharpening halos
    2. Cannot be applied selectivity, with masks or layers, so artifacts are global and cumulative to future actions.
  5. I also typically do not want to sharpen in NX2, I have found using two other sharpening processes in CS5 which are better.
  6. I typically want the image to have Picture Control set to Neutral.
  7. Next I want to take a batch of preselected NEF and put them in a Source folder, subfolder called source NEF
    1. Then run a preset of my NX2 settings on these files
    2. Then after he batch, output them to another subfolder called source TIFF
      1. Baking your NEF in NX2 to TiFF is a must.
      2. Going directly from RAW NEF to PSD is just bad behavior because you’ve bypassed the NX2 convertor and its baking of a NX2 TIFF is different than ACR.

A picture is worth a thousand words so here we go, and everything is really quite simple:

First open NX2 and open (1) develop section and open (2) camera settings

Capture NX2-1

Open Camera settings

Next open (1) Picture Control and select from drop down list Neutral (or if you shot with Vivid or Standard, then select  Vivid or Standard) the figure on the left is before making any changes:

Capture NX2-3

Make changes in this section to zero

Capture NX 2-2

Okay now back to the top of the develop section, open (1) the gear icon and Save and Name this adjustment:

Capture Nx2_4

Open, Save and Name

  

Save and Name Preset

Capture NX2-6

Save Adjustment - Select Picture Control and Save as

So now that we have our Adjustment saved we will do Part 2 of the NX2 Batch and Bake process ..

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