Time for a facelift?

now that DxO has Nik, maybe it’s time for some change.
hear me out, nik has nice control point, for every adjustment you do!
PL? well… there is some control point but pretty restraint, aren’t they? even if you have filmpack or viewpoint, every adjustment are applied to the entire pictures. sure, you can use the control point that PL has, but with limited adjustment and small control, no? well… where are all those 6 contrast adjustment if you have filmpack, not in control point, if you want to use the colour wheel, not in control point. i think i made my point and don’t have to keep going.

i understand dxo isn’t going the path of layers, fine, but it would be nice to unlock the adjustments with positive and negative control point. There haven’t been any changes to PL control point and they don’t reflect PL adjustments, at least not it’s potential imo. you already remastered Nik, is PL next on the list?

As far as I know the only thing that is really new in Nik Software is the so called “Diffuse” slider that constraints the feathering of the control point from circled area outwards. And there are some additional functionality in terms of layers and grouping I think. Other than that PhotoLab is pretty much similar if not same.

As for adding ability to adjust all settings with control points. I think it would be useful, but not critical. If DXO team ads it to PhotoLab I would not complain, but for me at least, I can’t really think of any situations where I would use it.

Just curious, can you provide practical real world examples where this kind off functionality would be indescribable?

I think they have add a rudimentary layers option in DXO but its quite limited, I don’t know if they plan to expand on it. But improvements would be welcomed.

I think in the manual DXO calls it mask list, but its basically very basic layer structure.


i wasn’t going to made a full list of what would/could be practical but i did mention those 2 as a starting point : colour wheel and contrast adjustment. those are 2 i don’t really bother in PL because it apply to the entire image and not specific point, but there’s also some other adjustment that would be nice to have. if they don’t go control point for all setting, at least upgrade the existing control point setting to more capabilities.

Fair enoguh. I was however curious if you could provide actual image(s) that you would want to adjust and can’t do it with current tools. What kind of case scenario are we talking about, exactly?

Facelifting is for appearance only…but it looks like @mikerofoto proposes to bring tools/implementations from other DxO products into PhotoLab.

I find three distinct wishes

  • positive and negative control points (please elaborate: what’s a negative CP?)
  • local use of the contrast tool as enriched by FilmPack
  • local use of the HSL tool

What else? We need to know before we can vote. :person_shrugging:

As far as I know, most controls have a negative value in CP and we can also use control points as inverted mask, basically a negative value.


"You can apply a protective Control Point, which prevents another Control Point from applying its correction to a portion of the image. In the toolbar below the image, click on the Control Point icon with the “–” (minus) sign, then click to place the protective Control Point where you want it. Make your corrections with the Equalizer: they will not be applied to the protected area. You can also combine one or more protective Control points with a Control line. "

As far as I know this is also included:

The correction settings associated with local adjustments are displayed as vertical sliders in the Equalizer. These sliders are divided into three distinct groups – Light, Color and Detail – arranged vertically on the left hand side of the Equalizer.

Light group (from left to right):

Exposure: adjusts the brightness in the mask. Drag the slider up to lighten, and down to darken.

Contrast: adjusts the contrast in the mask. Drag the slider up to increase the contrast, and down to decrease the contrast.

Microcontrast: Enhances or reduces the local contrast of microdetails (textures and such). Drag the slider up to enhance the presence of elements covered by the mask, and down to diffuse the micro-details.

ClearView Plus: Reduces atmospheric haze and haze by restoring black tones, which also enhances contrast and saturation.

Highlights: restores detail in the highlights by moving the slider down, and amplifies their brightness by moving the slider up.

Midtones: affects the brightness of the midtones, increasing it upwards and reducing it downwards.

Shadows: makes shadows and dark areas lighter by moving the slider up, and makes them denser by moving down.

Blacks: sets the threshold for the darkest tones, lighter towards the top, denser towards the bottom.

This also works.

Color Group (from left to right):

Vibrance: accentuates or reduces the saturation of colors in a non-linear way. Colors are enhanced without affecting the already saturated hues.

Saturation: increases the intensity of a color hue.

Temperature* (RAW files only): adjusts the white balance locally, warmer up, cooler down.

Hue* (RAW files only) – compensate for any color drift in the shadows after adjusting the Temperature. Compensate with magenta up, and green down.

Tint (TSL): changes the tint of the selected color channel.

The Warmth and Hue sliders take into account the image’s overall white balance. This is indicated by the blue buttons; the other buttons are shown in black. You can check the values (displayed in K for warmth and on a scale of –200 to +200 for hue) by hovering over the boxes.

Hence I have no clear idea what original poster meant, but I would love to see an image he wants to modify and see where he fails to do so.

To apply Local Adjustments in Nik,
we only have Control Points *)

  • and in the case of Nik5 ColorEfexPro 5 positive and negative ones.
    Screen Shot 06-24-23 at 08.19 PM
    ( don’t know if it looks the same in Nik6 )

*) correction – see here …

To apply Local Adjustments in PL,
we have several tools (not only CPs).
Screen Shot 06-24-23 at 08.07 PM

  • to visualize the Control Point in PL6
    Screen Shot 06-24-23 at 07.42 PM
    Screen Shot 06-24-23 at 07.41 PM
    with a “positive” Control Point
    Screen Shot 06-24-23 at 07.40 PM 001
    with an additional “negative” Control Point
    → to protect from the correction

    in PL6 (shown here in Windows)

    hold down ALT + Click to protect an area
    (= the equivalent of Nik’s negative Control Point)
    to handle (select) Chrominance and Luminance values
    Screen Shot 06-24-23 at 08.23 PM
    The only thing what’s new in Nik6 is the already mentioned Diffuse function,
    which I guess we will get some time in PL as well.
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I would welcome having the Filmpack fine contrast sliders added to local adjustments. In most cases, to my eyes, they give superior results compared to the more aggressive Microcontrast and ClearView Plus tools.

For example, cloudy skies can be enhanced with the use of the fine contrast highlights slider - with less artefacts than the existing local correction tools.

However, it can produce blown areas which require negative exposure correction. Which can be provided by using a control line (or lines). It can take a bit of juggling between the two tools to get exactly the desired result. Having the fine contrast controls right there next to the exposure sliders would obviously make this easier.

Meanwhile, other highlights in the image may have been undesirably affected which might require correction or using a different but less desirable approach to enhance contrast.

That’s just one example. I frequently use any or all of the fine contrast tools and being able to control where they are applied seems to be a very reasonable feature request.

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yes, that one :+1:

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Hi Wolfgang. The latest version of Nik Collection now has Control line and Graduation filters. So, to me it looks like DxO is heading in the direction you want.

correct, i couldn’t the right word.
yes for fine contrast, which has a different impact than micro contrast and the regular contrast. but it’s part of filmpack and doesn’t shows as option in control point of PL.

colour wheel, just this on it’s own should have option for control point, that little slider in the PL control point don’t have option for selective colour.

nik 6 as all PL cp option, within each and every adjustment you can add. that simple. so why would PL couldn’t be similar, simplicity.


‘facelifting’ provides an opportunity to smooth out the ui/ux interface challenges that everyone here has commented on over the years. Differences between windows and mac implementations. Differences in integration with viewpoint and filmpack. There is currently no possibility for the meaningful use of alternative or assistive keyboard and tablet devices. Rationalizing and simplifying license conditions for basic and ‘elite’ software entitlements. And so on.

The ideal product would be the one providing all tools of all apps, in a easily usable way and at low cost. We’ll never see such a product though, and I was trying to point out the essence of this request.

DxO checks our input and puts our proposals in the backlog along their own priorities. Sadly, our priorities often don’t match theirs.


Ah ok – didn’t know. My last version is Nik5, otherwise Nik3.3.

  • check this video at 6:50 → about Control Lines

FP’s Fine contrast slider with Highlight, Midtone and Shadow aren’t still part of PL’s LAs.

on the other hand, DxO was Optic Pro few years ago, maybe now it’s time to adjust PL with different functionality.

I’m quite sure that DxO will come up with a few additions this autumn and hope they’ll address some of the requests that have been posted here. I also expect some discussions about pricing :wink:

Hope you are right and I will be very surprised if DXO won´t walk the same way as Adobe and Capture One that also has a main track of subscription now. On mature markets many software companies now turn to subscriptions since it is more and more difficult to convince people to upgrade because of a few new features they might not even be interested in. With the subscriptions the money will just continue pouring in despite what you will do as a developer in the short run.

Where do you go then Milan? @MSmithy

There will always be a market for non subscription because its a value proposition by default. You buy instead of rent software. And with the anti-subscription sentiments on the rise… don’t underestimate people who do it on principle. Going head to head with giant companies that work by different rules, legally and financially is suicidal, but filling in the demand for what large companies leave behind it a niche that can be won.

Wherever forced subscription is our there or not. Maybe you want to not own anything and be happy eating zee bugs, and there will be pod people around, but there will also be anti pod people around as well. Because its far bigger than mere subscription model of one company or another company in this one area. its a global movement one way and the other. If you dig a little big you will find that there is a growing and throwing and subscription movement in all areas of life, because its the pressure to mandate it. Its too big of a topic and too much outside of just this area to cover it all, but trust me, there will always be non subscription market, because people, believe it or not want to actually own the things they paid for. And they want to have control over pricing and they don’t want to pay for the privilege of being involuntary beta testers. Hell, if large companies were not greedy and criminal as they are, pirate market would not exist or it would be tiny. And yet it is growing. Its not that people want to pirate software, its that its a better alternative and more and more they are morally justified to do so. Since companies like Adobe have no problem threatening to sue people who legally paid for their software such as they case in the pushing people from Lightroom 6 to subscription model or with pantone color swatches… if you are familiar with those… well people started pirating after that more and more and there was a whole movement “life after Adobe”. With rise of Davinici resolve, Affinity and other software, even clones of entire Adobe suite by a kickstarter who is not being sued by Adobe itself… I’m pretty sure this story about subscription or not, its far from over.


There was a similar situation with so called “content creators” on major social media platforms. As long as there was less politics and occupation involved and less purge campaigns, shenanigans like shadow banning people, copyright strikes that have nothing to do with copyrights etc. trust was high and everyone was happy. And than when all that shenanigans started, people were either force to find or start alternative solutions and now any smart content creator is a multi platform poster. A necessary persecution against being shut down and too dependent on one platform. Similar things exists in freelance world or studio world where creatives have to relay on more than one software and reduce vulnerabilities and points of failure. Subscription companies like Adobe can restrict features, raise prices etc at any point and if you are only on that platform , you are screwed. So there is that angle as well. People might be forced to use Adobe software because of some job requirement or compatibility etc, but many are uneasy with one sided power relations so they might look for alternatives. Personally that is how I ended up using DXO more and more. I don’t even have Lightroom installed anymore, but I still use Photoshop. I don’t use Premier pro anymore, I use Davinci Resolve. Maybe one day I won’t have to use any Adobe software, but I’m sure I won’t be using it exclusively anytime soon. And I’m also pretty sure I’m not the only one.

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I think your view is just a little skewed on a few points. Pirated software as well as music and movies has been around way before Adobe made any changes. It doesn’t affect just subscription software. Every time DXO makes any updates to their software, the pirated version is posted within hours which implies it is very easily reversed engineered. The current cost of PS plus Lightroom is $9.99 a month and has been that for quite some time. This may be something you refuse to pay for whatever reasons, but for many professionals it is a minor cost that gets figured into the business model. Time spent processing and final output are just two considerations for application choice, and for many, Adobe as well as Capture One are much more streamlined for production.

What you say is true, but there was upswing in pirated software across the board in recent years because of built in limitations of the software as well. You can read some of this stuff on YouTube, where people were making videos about it, you can read it in comments section even on Adobe forums. For example the constant internet connection for authentication that some companies demand. With sketch internet connection or working offline because you are on location and you have a problem where you could not authenticate software you pay for because of internet connection. Topaz Video AI version 3. something had this issue and people commented on that they have to pirate the software they bought simply because it didn’t work. Same happened to Adobe service, and in fact one of the ways this was somewhat corrected in Adobe was when they released their AI text to speech for premier pro and recent remove tool in Photoshop, where they specifically made it work offline even if its AI based. This is results of many people both complaining and giving feedback on Adobe forums that if you have to use internet for these types of features it will sabotage the very features they are promoting. And in any serious production this is a big deal. If you have to work with clients on location, last thing you need is sketch internet connection. So people started creating offline authentication even using paid software they had to use pirated version of the software just to be able to use it for work.

Also someone was making a comparison of all the junk services Adobe put in the background to communicate with servers in the cloud, do authentication and collect telemetry. Its absurd how many of these processes run in the background and sometimes eat up resources both ram and CPU, but provide no benefit to the user. So people started using pirated version to avoid this.

Recent incident was where Pantone color swatches would stop working , even if you open old projects in Adobe applications, soon as you open old project, because Adobe had some issues with Pantone they would modify your projects, because they work online. Absurd.

I posted about this in another threat.

I Have to Pirate COLOURS Now?? - Pantone Connect + Adobe split

Louis Rossmann who runs a repair shop for laptops, smartphones, etc. and is an advocate for right to repair talks about these problems across a wide range of services. He lobbies for the right to repair legislation, he advocates legit usage, but sometimes the system is so abusive and broken, pirating is morally justified and sometimes the only solution. Because greedy corporations produce inferior products and services.


There was also a story of kickstarter guy making alternative to Adobe, and getting suid for copyright.

I Was Sued For 55 Million Dollars Adobe Alternative Abode Advise

There are countless examples where greedy corporations are promoting alternatives by being so greedy and anti consumer. And some of the alterntives are not just alt tech, but also pirating. With the advent of subcription service sand “you will own nothing and be happy” agendas, its not just a matter of features, but also principles.

And this attitude and policies are far bigger than mere photo editing software niche. Its in everything from cars, to tractors to housing and smartphones, digital ID, CBDC, carbon credits etc. My point is that yes its true pirating has been around for a while, but there is far bigger clash of values and profit that is taking place on a scale that dwarfs previous ones.

For example after counter productive and idiotic policy of sanctions against Russia, now half the world is pirating everything from Netflix to cinema releases. And when I say pirating I mean showing freely in movie theaters, because even if they wanted to they can’t pay for the service. They are put under ideological and illegal sanctions. So Russians and other countries finally said, screw it. We will stream it openly as if its out own .

My point is that its bigger phenomenon than juts editing software, and editing software is just pat of that bigger phenomena and that war will continue for the foreseeable future. The best way to reduce pirating is to provide better more valuable service than pirates do. Simple as that. And its not really a matter of cost as much as one thinks, sometimes its just about functionality and values.

If you for example buy big screen TV from some companies they will actually shot ads on your home menu of the so called “smart TV”. Even if you bought the TV and don’t want the ads, there is no way to opt out of this greedy practice that does not benefit you at all and its insulting as it is annoying. Hence you will hack the darn thing and use pirated version of software, probably.

Or when you pay for YouTube premium and you get no benefit over using adblocker, but you get tone of limited functionality because Google wants it that way. . People started using API to create better YouTube app for phones, and they use adblocker on desktop. Instead of fixing this, Google tried to play dirty as they always do and threaten with lawsuit the creator of this app, even if he created the app with open source software.

Or when Google would run ads on youtube channels that are no monetized by creators. but have lot of views. And google will run ads on it just to get ad money for eyeballs. These kind of scummy tactics make people go for pirated software more than normal and they feel morally justified to do so.

Furthermore subscription software takes all the power away from users, producing inferior service, not to mention you pay for perpetual beta software and are forced to be a beta tester. With no subscription there is more balanced and healthy relations between customer and company, resulting in better service overall.

The best gift to pirates is greedy corporations, screwing over their customers.