New Features in Picture Window Pro 7.0

released June 2013

Multi-core support for significantly higher performance

Nearly all transformations are now multi-tasked, so that they use all the cores your system provides. Generally this increases performance by a factor equal to the number of cores available.

Related changes: A new Number of Threads setting has been added to File/Preferences. It allows you set the maximum number of threads that will be launched for multi-tasked operations. You can set this number to the number of cores on the system, twice the number of cores, or to one. The latter setting disables multi-tasking. Also workflows now defaults a single background process. Since nearly all transformations are multi-tasked, there is rarely an advantage to launching multiple processes.

Frame and Mat Transformation

This new transformation lets you explore many framing and mat options and arrive at a design which displays your image to its best advantage. You can experiment with single and double mat designs and with different colors and textures and different framing options. For example, you can choose among a variety of frame profiles, varying width and color to suit your image. More intricate frames, like the one in the example at right, are also available. These are automatically constructed by the transformation from images of frame sections.

Once you have come up with the best design, you can use it in a variety of ways:

  • You can use your design to cut the mats and make the frame. The transformation can print out the dimensions and other parameters of your design.

  • You can print our your image together with the textured mats in your chosen colors and place them into a frame.

  • You can output the matted and framed image, save it as an image file, post it on a web site, etc. See Matting and Framing (Chapt 19) for details.

The transformation is under Transformation/Special Effects.

double-matted photo

Wave Transformation for Making Patterns

The Wave transformation lets you create patterns composed of interlocking shapes and color transitions. The transformation creates a single repeat of the pattern. The pattern can then be tiled to produce as large an image as required, like the example shown at right. These patterns can be used to create interesting borders, mats and backgrounds.

The transformation is located under SDpecial Effects in the Transformation menu. See Wave Transformation Notes for details.

pattern made using wave

Watercolor Transformation

water color effect

The Watercolor transformation gives images the look of a watercolor painting by simulating brush strokes and darkening edges to simulate the way watercolors pool near brush boundaries. You can control the look by controlling the amount of blurring within the 'brush stroke' and the sharpening and darkening of stroke boundaries. See Watercolor Transformation Notes for details.

The transformation can be found under Transformation/Special Effects.

Defringe Transformation

Defringe before and after images

The Defringe transformation removes or reduces purple fringe artifacts which can be frequently seen near over-exposed pixels. Fringing can often be seen around backlit detail such as tree branches against a bright sky or when the image has specular highlights like the railroad tracks in the before and after images shown above. Cleaning up fringing, even when it is not particularly noticeable, produces a cleaner, crisper image.

Purple fringing is sometimes confused with chromatic aberration. However it has a different cause and structure and so requires a customized tool. See Defringe Transformation Notes for details on how to recognize the difference between these types of fringing and select the right correction tool.

The transformation can be found under Transformation/Color.

Calibrating Cameras and Scanners

The Build Camera/Scanner profle function creates ICC color profiles of cameras and scanners. This is essentially the same function as Profile Mechanic - Scanner, previously available as a separate application. The function creates profiles from images of calibration targets created by the camera or scanner to be calibrated. The profile can then be used within Picture Window to accurately display the image. See Build Camera-Scanner Profile (Chapt 20) for details.

The function can be found under File/Build Scanner-Camera Profile.

Bad Pixels Transformation

This transformation detects bad pixels in a camera sensor and constructs a bad pixel file that you can use in the Raw dialog to fill in the damaged pixels. To use the transformation, you make two test exposures and then use the transformation to analyze them and create the bad pixel file.

The transformation is located under Transformation/Special Effects.

Contour Transformation

The Contour transformation analyzes an image and creates contour lines along brightness boundaries. You can control the the number of brightness contours created and the color of the contour lines. The lines can be superimposed over the image or the image itself can be supressed as in the example at right.

The transformation is located under Transformation/Special Effects.

contour - input image contour - output image

Monocolor Transformation

The Monocolor transformation creates an image which uses black plus a single other color. The second color may be red, green, or blue. The transformation can be used through a mask. The background may be deemphasized, for instance by running the transformation through a mask of the background.

The transformation is located under Transformation/Special Effeects

Transformation Enhancements

Blur Transformation
Two new methods have been added to blur -- Precision Gaussian and a chroma-only Precision Gaussian. The full precision gaussian method reduces halo effects when masks are used. It gives a cleaner look and is now the recommended method for selectively blurring backgounds. An added bonus is that precision gaussian creates what many feel is an ideal bokeh.

The chroma-only methods is useful for reducing noise in shadow areas. It selectively smooths color 'speckling' which is otherwise the most apparent form of noise in areas of low light.

The two precision gaussian methods require considerably more calculation and are thus slower than other blur methods. You should continue to use the other blur methods when the special advantages of the new methods are not applicable. See Precision Gaussian Blur Notes for details.

Extract Jpeg from Raw Widget

A new widget allow you to extract the jpeg image encoded into most raw files. This image is adjusted according to the camera manufacturer's specifications. It provides the simplest and fastest way to extract an image from a raw file. The Extract widget must be the first widget in a workflow. It is bypassed for non-raw images.

Advanced Sharpen Widget

The Advanced Sharpen Transformatiion is now supported by a corresponding widget.

Other Changes

Color Management Settings:

Color Management now includes a new option for monitor profile. PWP can now set the monitor profile from the official system monitor profile setting (as shown in the Windows Display control panel - Advanced settings - Color Management tab). This is useful in cases where, for example, monitor calibration software updates the windows profile setting and thus update PWP at the same time. The previous option of specifying monitor color profile explicitly is available as before and is the default. Thus PWP operation remains the same unless you specifically change it.

Font Size Control

The size of the font used in most of the displays can now be set in File/Preferences. This allows you to set it according to the size and resolution of your monitor and your preferences.

Levels and Color Transformation:

A slider to control Contrast has been added to the transformation's existing midtone brightness, dynamic range, color balance and saturation controls. Thus the transformation offers a quick way to make the most commonly used image adjustments.

Special Effects/Conformal Mapping Transformation
The Joukowsky and Inverse Joukowsky transformations have been added to Conformal Mapping. The Joukowsky transformation creates fluid distortions of an image. Since it behaves differently in each of the four quadrants of the x-y plane, applying it to a 2x2 tile of an image will quickly give you four different distortions to choose from for each setting of the controls. An example is shown below.

Examples of Joukowsky transform.


When files are converted from 8 bit to 16 bit formats, the new lower eight bits are now assigned random values instead of being set to zero. This will result in smoother-looking images and and gradients.


Texture can now create color textures in addition to b+w ones.