New Features in Picture Window Pro 5.0

released March 2009

Welcome to PWP 5.0. This is probably the biggest release we have had since the original Picture Window introduction fifteen years ago. This release is filled with new features, including many that you, the Picture Window user community, have asked for and even helped develop.


The new Raw Converter

3-zone adjustment

3-Zone Adjustment Before & After


New Transformations

2-zone and 3-zone adjustment: These transformations increase the vibrancy of your images by enhancing local contrast throughout the image. They are automated versions of the extremely popular multi-zone workflow pioneered by Den. (Check the message board for numerous examples and references.) (See the new Multi-Zone Adjustment white paper for details.)

Bilateral Sharpen: This new method of sharpening can improve sharpness more radically than unsharp mask before exhibiting undesirable artifacts. It is now an additional option in the Sharpen transformation.

Color Remap: This transformation lets you select a color from the image and then map it to a different color. The selection is based on hue, brightness and saturation. Selectivity can be adjusted from very sharp to broad. The control can be used to make subtle changes -- like deepen sky colors or bring out certain features. It can also be used to introduce wild false color effects.

Level: This transformation makes it easy to quickly level an image by simply drawing a horizontal or vertical line on your image.

Channel Mixer: This transformation gives you greater control over conversion of color images to B+W. It is now an additional option in the Monochrome transformation.

Light Falloff and Lens Distortion: These transformation have been totally revised for greater accuracy.

Color Balance: This transformation has been improved. It has an automatic mode for use in workflows, has a better curves feature and can accept up to seven points across the tonality range. The 7-point mode allows you to include a gray scale in your image and get extremely accurate color balance across the entire tonal range. (See the newly revised Color Balance white paper for details.)

High Dynamic Range: The Stack Images transformation for handling high dynamic range lighting with bracketed exposures has been enhanced. You can now adjust each of the images individually before stacking them. You can also save curves, making applying the transformation repeatedly much easier. (See the updated Stack Images white paper for details.)

Special Effects: Conformal Mapping lets you distort images for interesting abstract effects. Drop Shadow allows creating a variety of shadow effects.

Blink: Blink has been extended to allow comparison of more than two images.


Automation Features

Settings of most transformations are now automatically saved as you work. This new History feature gives you many new opportunities in how you edit your images. Here are some of the options:

  • Redo a previous transformation and then automatically re-apply all subsequent changes.

  • Edit similar images automatically by applying a workflow you developed for one image to as many others as you like.

  • Save the workflow as a sidecar file of the original image. You will have the option to apply the workflow when you next open the image.

  • Open the workflow in a workflow window and operate on it as you would any other workflow.

History Display

History displays operations in outline form.

An operation can be applied to additional images or re-applied, with changes, to the original image.

New Widgets: Many more transformations are now available as widgets. New 5.0 widgets includes Raw Conversion, most special effects transformations, Match Reference, Color Correction, Warp, Two-Zone and Three-Zone Adjustments and others.

New Raw Workflow

The Raw processor has been entirely rewritten. The new dialog now gives you much more control over the conversion process. The raw dialog is tabbed. Tabs are dedicated to controls for Color, Exposure/Brightness/Contrast, Sharpening and Noise Reduction and Image Properties.

  • Color controls give you several alternate ways to balance the image. You can use white balance settings, use a probe to choose a balance point in the image or use temperature and tint controls. A color histogram is displayed for guidance.

  • Brightness contols include exposure, shadow, midtone, and highlght brightness, dynamic range and gamma.

  • Advanced features like highlight recovery, noise reduction, and bad pixel repair are included. Sharpen is available. The images below show how highlight recovery can be used to correct flash burn. Note the difference in the histograms.

Three dialog tabs—Color, Gray, and Sharpen and Noise— are shown above. A fourth tab displays file properties.

  • Settings are saved in a sidecar file that is stored along with the raw image. Sidecar files are standard PW workflow files so they are easily applied to other raw images to automate raw conversion.

Highlight Recovery is often effective in recovering blown highlights as in the above before and after images.


New Features for Better Prints

Getting high quality prints that faithfully reproduce the image that you see on your screen continues to be a challenge. PWP 5.0 adds several features that make getting good prints easier and less frustrating.

  • Printer Proofing lets you simulate your printer on your display. In PWP 5.0, new toolbar buttons let you toggle between proofing and regular display modes, making this feature convenient enough to use routinely.

  • Monitor Curves is a new function that takes printer proofing to a new level. Printer proofing assumes standard lighting—lighting that is far brighter and more like sunlight than is normally encountered in typical indoor situations. Because of this, prints that you hang in your home may look disappointingly dull. The new Monitor Curves function uses your monitor to simulate your actual viewing conditions so you can it adjust for best appearance.

  • Quadtone Printing. Monitor curves can also be used to preview the tonality of blacks in black and white prints using ink jet printers, particularly with quadtone and other custom ink sets.

See the newly updated Color Management white paper for details.

New Tools

  • Histogram Tool A new Histogram tool lets you inspect the histogram of any image, any time. It gives you a choice of HSV, HSL and RGB color spaces. In addition to letting you examine any channel individually, it lets you also examine HS channels together.

  • A Floodfill Tool in the masking dialog lets you easily select areas with recognizable boundaries. The tool is similar to the magic wand in other programs.

  • A Texture Mask Tool applies a mask to textured area. Such texture masks are especially useful in selectively sharpening images.

Other Enhancements

  • A Transformation Toolbar can now be used for selecting transformations for those who prefer this to using menus. The toolbar is configurable, so you can add buttons for the transformations you use most frequently.

  • Saving Tiff LZW Compressed images is now supported. Formerly, only reading LZW compressed file was supported.

  • IPTC Comments in files are now preserved when the file is saved.