Control Points - Change the shape of the circle as well as the size

A nice feature for a future update in PhotoLab and Nik Collection would be to change the shape of the circle of a control point as well as the size to fit the subject you are masking. Other software products are now doing this.

Dennis Richards

I am voting with the opinion that the u-point realization in Photolab should be completely reconsidered and reworked.

The problem is that although we often share in many topics that the implementation of this technology is much worse in a PhotoLab than in a Capture NX2, the voting topics do not collect enough votes to be taken into account by the developers.

Here is one of the topics in which I commented in detail.

Currently the rights over the u-point technology belong to DXO. And I don’t understand what prevents this technology from being as good today (or better) than it was 15 years ago, when it was created by Nick Software.

I hope that this time we will gather enough votes for the change for the better…

Koko :slight_smile:

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Agreed and voted.

Started with NIK Filters 15 years ago …

If it is the cluttering of the image circles in PL, DxO could add an option (like right click – I’m on Windows) to hide them, so they are in ‘streamline’ with the Nik Collection.

What bothers me far more are limitations in PL, set by the current masking possibilities, like

  • combining masks
    [could be virtual layers]

  • drawing or erasing straight lines
    [in PS click brush / eraser, press + hold ALT key and click brush / eraser at new position …]

  • and support of Wacom tablet to draw them

have fun, Wolfgang

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You probably know, but if you move your cursor away from the image, the circles do disappear. I agree that when you need to add more points, it would be good to have them disappear, and straight lines masks would also be useful.

I’m not sure what you mean by combining masks, as they are all added to the same mask until you click on new mask.

It is possible to see the different masks and adjustments in Photolab 4 and disable each individually or all at once. You can also rename them (in example shown, bosy should be body by the way :grinning: )

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The problem is that when I work with u-points, the cursor is on the image because I adjust the point correction. In Capture NX2, you only see the target range of the point as you push it. Once you release the mouse button, it also disappears. Note that this area of action is relative. It can affect only part of it or go beyond it. It all depends on the specific image. Importantly, the Capture NX2 gives natural-looking results in a very wide range of adjustments. Much more natural than a PhotoLab.

This is the case in Photolab. In Capture NX2, however, you can do much more. If I press the Alt key and try to move the point, I create a copy of it. Initially, it has the same settings as the parent point. But I can change them without changing the others. In addition, I can have points with zero adjustments. Thus, in a virtual layer, I can have a large number of points with completely different adjustments. This is very convenient when you make quick adjustments to reportage photos with a large number of people, which will then be printed.

In conclusion, I will repeat once again that at the stage of advanced editing, working with RGB controls is much more convenient than manipulating color temperature, tint and hue.
I see modern design trends. Just look at my phone and the latest updates that came with Android 11. But when this beautiful trend takes me longer to do something for the same money, it is not wanted by me.

i think we, forum, had this conversation earlier.
There is something about the way controlpoints work, and its outside the circle and amorfe in form, that prevent or make it useless to have ovals as selection. (i think that was the conclusion.)

A new function would be color and lumination selective layers.
Say like we select a point with the “eye” and then start painting over everything we like to adres to.

Smart Brush works abit like that but not sensitve enough.
i think it reacts on edge-detection not color detection itself.

So i would like a “controlpoint” selection type with a maskbrush.

edit found two:

edit 2: i watched that luminosity video and i must say it’would be a great adition to the controlpoint features
(i listed and he said use global or brush so my earlier comment fits nicely in this. the controlpoint eye as “color/luminance picker” and the brush or global as area selection and then the finetuning in the menu as shown.
:pleading_face: :heart_eyes:

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You can duplicate masks in Photolab and then adjust the settings individually without it affecting the original point.

It sounds like Capture NX2 is ticking more boxes for you. I came from Lightroom and confess initially I didn’t like the control points, but now I think they are very powerful.

This possibility is not the same. As I said above in Capture NX2, the duplicate points are in the same “layer”. And in this “layer” you can have points with different adjustments.
The option you offer duplicates the entire “layer” (all the points it contains) and the design is a single adjustment for multiple selection points (for selection and deselection).
Control points are a powerful tool that, when good realized, fascinates the photographer and he uses it more and more over time. I started more than 10 years ago is 2-3 points. Currently I very often use over 20 with different adjustments in one “layer”. Sometimes I add a second “layer” with a few more. I put a “layer” in quotes, because DXO calls it a mask, and Nik software a step, but the behavior is like a virtual layer.

I came from Capture NX2. I was looking for a powerful solution for faster editing of a large number of photos. I tried a lot of software, starting with Lightroom. But I didn’t like Lightroom. Capture ONE seemed unintuitive to me. Luminar was a disappointment. At this time, DXO bought the rights to Nik software and I was drawn to the good old contol points. Although the implementation of the control points in PhotoLab is not the best, I was attracted by the other powerful tools of PhotoLab.
I know the control points and their capabilities very well. I have been using them for more than 10 years. Both I and the other colleagues in this forum who have experience with Capture NX2, are trying to help with a better implementation of the control points in PhotoLab.

Some Niks allow for a grouping of a selection of control points. It implies that some control points could be ungrouped just as easily. I see that this isn’t quite as straightforward as what you are used to in NX2, but it would be more powerful ; there are always trade-offs between simplicity and power.
About your initial suggestion, I fail to see any advantage. The circle that we adjust is just to determine an area of influence. The actual selection is completely independent of the shape of such area of influence ; the result is much more refined, varied and subtle.
I understand that you want to contribute and I thank you for that.

Actually the bigger the circle the more subtle the selection is.
Best way to get a kind of selection that’s color and luminace and global, hole image, is large circles overlapping just so that the masks are equal spread.
If we look at the tool you see the small circle, the pupil, that’s the selector. Then we have the iris, the three parts make a circle, that’s the selector of the next to the color the pupil selected, aka feathering colors. Note the more you zoom in to select the more precise the mask is in color and luminance.
The last circle, the eyeball, is also a feathering system,why? The larger the influence area the more smooth the mask is blending even outside the eyeballs area.

This is as local tool the most versatel masking tool. So making a oval would do something but not much. It’s very powerfull and with some training very easy to use in difficult adjustments.
The luminositymask the videoclip shows is a good adition to this feature.
And maybe a HSL feature in controlpointmenu , whow, that would be stunning.
A amorfe selection and i can change the color four anything i like without changing WB of the rest of the image.
Much better then the color tone sliders, wbsliders in the menu we have now.


If the accuracy of the control points is improved, there is really no need for other geometric shapes to select the target range of the controls. In other software (Capture NX2, Viveza) the circle is sufficient.
The idea of ​​my inclusion in the discussion was to gather in one place all the wishes for improvements in terms of control poits. Because topics appear regularly, but gather several votes. Eventually, they remain invisible to developers, and we continue to work more slowly.
Some of my wishes have been realized in Viveza. But they are not built into the PhotoLab.
Of course, I realize that DXO is also aiming for bigger sales of the Nik collection. But I’m not ready to pay for the realization as a plugin. If it is built into a PhotoLab in the same way as ViewPoint and Filmpack, I will buy it. But I would only buy the Viveza, not the whole Nik package.

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Don’t know if it’s improved. I just learned to use it better by understanding how it select.
The circle is not a restriction only a more free form can help in some shapes to select more tide. By that i agree. But as improvement of editing those luminosity masking technique are an other aproache and every aproach from a different angle can help to tackle a problem. So the more angles i have the easier i can solve the problem.
One thing the controlpoint can have is the feathering controlled by a slider. But the opacity slider in the toolwindow does help in that also. By lowering opacity you can feather /smoothen the selection.

The threads i digged up shows that it isn’t a fast task in the agenda of dxo.

Note 1: This is a duplication of this post.

Note 2: I suspect(?) a lack of understanding here in the way that PL’s Control-Points work … See this.

Regards, John M

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John-M, You might be right about some folk not understanding of how the control points work. That does seem to be what underlies the desire to change their shape. I can see the use of being able to adjust the shape but one can always adjust effective overall shape by adding copies of the same point, …

HOWEVER, I do understand how they work, having used them for at least ten years (since Capture NX) and the way they work in PL doesn’t satisfy me. It’s a disappointment for me because I depend on it working well for editing my beach calligraphy shots. I’m attaching two screenshots where I have the mask / selection shown. The left monitor shows PL and I have the same image open in Capture NX2 on the right with the same selections points at the same size and in the same position. The first one only has one selection point in the shadow. Notice how much less defined the selection of the shadows is in PL.
In the second example I have a control point on the highlights and one of those negative ones on the shadows. Notice how poorly selected the shadows are. You can see a dark area around the negative selection point whereas in Capture NX2 you wouldn’t be able to tell where that second control point is if it weren’t for the marker.

This problem leaves the PL control points almost useless to me in many cases.

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I have another gripe about the PL control points - a frustration that has me tearing my hair our sometimes:

The warmth function on the equaliser is way too over-reactive. I work a lot on beaches and I need my warmth adjustments to be subtle. This is proving a serious frustration for me. Even if I put my mouse in sniper mode I find it impossible. The smallest increment I can make it jump in is about 175 K.

Same applies to hue and tint. These are usually something you only want to make subtle adjustments to but I find it impossible to shift the slider in increments of 1. If I’m really careful, with my mouse in sniper mode the best I can do is get it to click along in increments of 3 or 2.

Even with that sideways drag it’s frustrating to make a subtle adjustment. By the time you’ve dragged across to get first gear, you’re out by a thousand kelvin and then it’s practically impossible to get it back to the range you were working in because now the increments are too small. At least the tool gives you a Kelvin readout so you know where you started.

It’s implemented counter-intuitively. It should be that the initial drag of the mouse gives you small increments while a sideways drag can shift it up a gear. Who starts his car in top gear and then moves down to first?!

The other problem I find is that the warmth function seems a bit of a crude yellow to me but I’d be happy to admit that I just don’t really have a good enough handle on how it works in tandem with Hue and Tint.

Maybe you should create a separate feature request for that, Andrew. I think others are as interested in improving the control of local adjustment sliders, so it would be good to gather their votes and opinions in a way that doesn’t affect discussion about control points here. :+1:

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Fair enough, Andrew - that’s well explained, thanks.

[ I usually make a point of “pushing back” on these topics (of which there’s been many similar, since CPs were first introduced), as some users are unfamiliar with the actual way in which CPs select those parts of the image that will be corrected - - - I see that this does not apply to you.]

Yes, I’m completely with you on this one … I have an outstanding UI improvement request here that argues for ability to adjust LA sliders using the Up/Down,Left/Right cursor keys - for ease of fine-tuning AND consistency with ALL other PL sliders … as of now, it has 17 votes.

John M

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Ooo, I’d love to have the use of Up/Down,Left/Right cursor keys for the sliders! Brilliant idea!!! I’ll go over and give it some support.

And you make a very important point regarding consistency. Human interface designers need to see the visual interface as a sort of language - where you put something, what something like sliding does, the order in which you place things, all become a visual language complete with a sort of grammar / logic and it’s frustrating and confusing if you have a “word”/ convention that works one way here and then another way just next door. If you see each slider as an adjective, like “contrasty” or “warm”, and then see the sliding action as an adverb like “more”, or “less”, then it is confusing and frustrating if, in the case of one adjective, the same adverb is made to mean “a little bit” but, when applied to the one next door it means “a heck of a lot” !

Another example: one of my frustrations is how the Escape key works like Enter when you’re cropping. Arg! And then if you want to Undo, you actually have to reverse out through all the minor changes you made while setting your crop.

To be fair, I still like that PL has control points and I like the added functionality and I do use them, just not nearly as much as I did with Capture NX because that lack of definition in the selection spoils them for me.

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Yes, I wonder about that. Makes sense. Not sure. Either way, it doesn’t work nearly as well as it did in Capture NX2. See my comment above for a comparison.