Request: Fine tuning local-adjustment sliders (Consistency issue)

I know it is very difficult to use the tool this way. I struggled with it for quite a while myself. I’m not sure what size monitor you have. Mine is a 28 inch 4k monitor. I don’t always need precise values for every local adjustment slider, but when I want one I can achieve it with this technique.


I can’t understand how it is possible to create tools and kill their real usefulness just by not giving a way to easily enter precise values in them. That’s not the hard part to develop isn’t it ?
So why ?

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It reminds me a time when majority of 3d software runned to have the same functionality as other 3d softwares. On the paper they had same functionality. But when using them, this was not the same at all. Some were unusable. And with time those softwares, even if they had some great part in them, died.

You are asking a question I can’t answer.


Yes, to keyboard control to fine tune sliders! Absolute must-have.
Regular (arrow) single keystroke to move by a single smallest unit,
holding shift+arrow to move five or ten units for larger, quicker adjustments (ACR has this behaviour).

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Of course, if everybody were happy with moving the sliders to a palette, rather than the equaliser, this problem would disappear, because we would then have text boxes or stepper controls just like regular adjustments.

Unfortunately, there seems to be two camps…

  1. Don’t you dare take away the “U-Point” equaliser
  2. We want local adjustments for everything

And, equally unfortunately, there is no way the two can both be satisfied.

If any more complexity were to be added to the equaliser, it would soon get too large and unwieldy, getting in the way of seeing the effect of changes to smaller areas. As it is presently, we need to zoom in considerably to stand a chance of seeing what is happening, only to lose the context of the change for the whole image.

I had the idea of providing a right/Ctrl click popup that showed a small “context menu” type popup dialog with a text field and slider, but that is also going to consume far too much space and obscure seeing the effect of a change.

U-Point was a wonderful idea for when there was only a limited number of adjustments, but the Light section, which I suspect is the most commonly used, already contains eight sliders, the Colour section contains five and the Detail section, which I suspect to be the least used, only two. It is never going to work if people’s lust for more adjustments to be available locally - especially for adjustments that require more than a simple slider (e.g. the HSL adjustment) is ever to be satisfied.

Then there’s the camp who would like to see a more layer based approach, which is already satisfied to some degree with local adjustments but, the idea soon melds into having all adjustments available locally.

The question is - would those wanting fine control of local adjustments be prepared to accept the move to having local tools in palettes on the sidebar, where it would be so much easier to implement and use?

@StevenL would you have anything to add to this discussion?

Supplementary question

Do we really need accuracy when I believe the idea behind U-Point is that you simply adjust until it looks right, not until it matches a certain value?


Hello, (seems i am the only one to say hello in a post but i will continue)

i voted for it a long time ago (i am a Windows user).

Using the local sliders is regularly uselessly painful, especially for adjusting luminosity (the scale is too big, should be non linear, typically i want to increase exposure by 0.1, 0.3 max on a face for instance). It is not so a question of accuracy for exposure but to use low values.
Who is using the full scale of exposure slider ?

Same difficulty for adjusting white balance/temperature. If you want to apply same value between two pictures, good luck ! (Of course you can copy LA but not as quick and sometimes relevant).
The method Mark is reminding us is too slow to my taste.

Dxo has launched the trend to use palettes in the sidebar (for chroma and luminosity masks adjustments). I find disturbing to be half way, and i am struggling to see consistency in the UI.

The fact that within local adjustments the sliders can hide your working zone without possibility to move the sliders (just to make it disappear with E), is another thing i dislike sometimes.

I would add that it is sort of standard among all other softwares i use or know to have masks settings in the side bar.


I don’t think there are camps. Just the need to think how to organize things.

Been able to adjust, mask and blend EVERY existing and future tool as needed (with U points, masked layers or anything else), with ease to get very fast, with the right (configurable ?) sensitivity, with instant visual feedback the right value (and very easily been able to reproduce this same value again) is certainly the only camp.

And for sure U points as they exist now with every photolab tool in one equalizer wouldn’t be usable.

@Joanna are we talking here about something in the process of happening or are we speculating in an idealistic mood ?

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Moving the sliders to the sidebar has been openly discussed by DxO and, if you look at some of the Nik Collection apps, you will see it is already there. Plus we already now have some local adjustment tools in the sidebar for mask management.

I’ve got nik collection, so I know you already have some useable interface to handle this.

The question was :
1 - is masking every tools (those processed after demosaicing at least - even if denoising would benefit a lot of this) - in the pipeline ? (u point masking way is good and could be improved in the future).
2 - is finding a way to adjust with ease, with the right (configurable ?) sensitivity, with instant visual feedback those tools values in the pipeline ?

and I would add a third one we didn’t talk very explicitly :
3 - is some kind of blending beetween those tools other than opacity (as we have now in local adjustment) in the pipeline ?


Did you see the outcry from some Nik users when this happened?

That is something, upon which, we can only speculate and hope.

I had a discussion with @StevenL about this sometime back and I suggested that once all the local adjustments are in the LA palette and the equalizer is removed, the palette could be dragged onto the edit screen and made transparent in some way. That might satisfy both camps.


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Just as an idea: Here’s how Lightroom Classic organises LA. No need to re-invent the powder.

LAs are in a separate palette (growing in length as new adjustments are added) in the righthand sidebar, shown above in the “automatic sky selection” mode, which has been added recently, along other things.

The issue is that many users of the current U-Point technology going back to the original Nik collection from the late 90s, and which is also used in Nikon’s NX Studio, are loathe to give up that functionality and don’t want those sliders moved to a palette off the editing screen. I personally think the on-screen equalizer has outlived its usefulness, but apparently many people posting here disagree with that and want it to remain.

Of course, as Joanna pointed out, retaining the on-screen equalizer affects the addition of local adjustments. As it is a number of LA features are now when the local adjustment panel, and even if the equalizer is retained, any new local adjustments will likely also be located in the LA panel.



…why not make it a user selectable option? Would make everybody happy…

At first glance that sounds right, but already a number of LA features are only available in the local adjustment palette. If, as is hoped, the color wheel, tone curves, and other features, are eventually added to local adjustments they would, by their nature, have to be located in the LA palette not the equalizer.

Ultimately, the number of local adjustment features will be too many and too varied to be accommodated in the current equalizer structure. When local adjustment choices were simple and limited in number, the equalizer structure may have been effective, but as the number of features grows that older interface is becoming less and less useful.


Indeed, that is why I think that DxO should move the tools to the sidecar, be it in a separate palette or a selection like the favorites or used tools…and not wait for the next paid release. Bring in the foundation now and add tools later.

Some time back DxO acknowledged that the Equaliser is limited and they indicated they were looking at all options to improve the usability of the sliders in LAs.

I am going to speculate here (disclaimer: I have no inside knowledge of what is happening at DxO) and say that PL6 will fix this and those in the Eary Access program may get to influence what they do. Let’s see if I am right.

The foundation is there. A local adjustments palette already exists.


I’m hoping it will be addressed in PL 6, but I try to avoid speculating about the timing for future enhancements. It can just set you up for disappointment.