Articles, Blog

On1 Photo RAW 2020 Weather Filter – Does it Work?

November 21, 2019


hello I’m Robin Whalley welcome to Lenscraft today we’re taking a closer look at the new weather filter in On1
photo RAW if you haven’t seen the weather filter it’s a new release in On1 photo RAW 2020 now I’m going to start this review with a disclaimer
whilst I’m a big fan of On1 photo RAW and upgraded immediately to the 2020
version I absolutely hate simulated weather effects but before I explain why
I hate these effects so much I’ll start by explaining how to use the filter to
help I’ve created this image which is totally black this is to help you see
the effect of the controls more clearly I’ll start by adding a new weather
filter at the top of the filter we have three
styles that allow you to quickly apply creative weather effects there’s also a
drop-down list with a couple of additional effects as well as the
ability to save a new style when I click the foghorn effect you can
see the effect of the fog against the black background notice that this gives
a fog effect at the top and below this is a stronger slightly lighter band
after that it transitions to being clear and you can see the black again in the
filter the controls are arranged into three sections which you can use to
apply the adjustments in the top section we’ve got the precipitation controls and
these relate to the rain and snow effects next there’s transform and this
controls the scale and orientation of the effect on the image and at the
bottom we have the fog section to control the fog effects if I move the
amount slider left and right you can see the strength of the effect is adjusted
moving the distance slider moves the effect up and down this allows you to better position and
align the effect with your image the rotation slider allows you to then
rotate the angle of the fog as well you can also use this position drop down
and this contains different presets to allow you to control the effects without
using the other two sliders the distance and the rotation the final slider here
is transition and this controls the transition zone between the clear area
here where is black and the fog effect here and if I move this over to the
right you can see the transition gets much larger move it to the left and the
effect becomes much harder if I move it to zero you can see we’ve got just a
hard line no let’s change the weather style from foghorn to Blizzard
in this style we’ve got a combination of fog controlled by the fog section at the
bottom and also the precipitation which is controlled in the top section we can
use the controls in the precipitation section to refine the effect here we can
use the opacity slider to either reduce the effect and make it more transparent
or we can increase it and make the snowflakes more obvious we can also
change the type of precipitation using this drop-down list here we’ve got
alpine or maybe we want one of the rain effects instead now that you know how the filter works
let’s see how it performs using an actual image this first image is a
simple sunset as shot recently in the late district let’s apply a weather
filter and we’ll apply the foghorn adjustment
as you can see the result isn’t exactly believable the same happens if I select
the blizzard filter or the Seattle rain filter this illustrates one of the reasons why
I don’t like weather simulation filters most of the images that people create
with these don’t appear believable this is partly because the weather we’re
trying to simulate doesn’t match the lighting conditions in the image now if
we change the style to something a little different so let’s try sticking what we find is something that is
actually a little bit more believable it could really be snowing at sunset but
there is another problem with this effect
I clearly shot the image using a wide-angle lens but look at the
snowflakes here they are shot with a different focal length now there is a
scale option here but it only makes the problem worse let’s then try the filter on a different
image that may suit it a little bit more in this image we already have weather
conditions that are foggy and frost day know when I apply the fog horn style we
create a more believable effect we can also refine this effect to make
it more believable using a luminosity mask combining the filter with a mask is a
good idea it prevents the effect from being uniform across the entire image
and that makes it much more believable no let’s add a second weather filter to
the image to simulate snow rather than trying to apply both snow and fog
together and as before we can refine this by
applying a mask to remove the snow from the sky if you compare this to the starting
image you can see that the new adjustment
actually appears quite realistic although it has lightened the entire
image quite a lot I would say that the filter is a useful addition providing
you use it with care don’t expect it to convert any image and create a realistic
and believable in fact it doesn’t work like that it’s much better when you are
enhancing an image that already has that type of weather effect but you also need
to apply it in a way that keeps the effect realistic don’t have a uniform
adjustment across the entire image that is unless you’re trying to create a
highly stylized image but I’ll save that for another video I’m Robin Whalley you’ve been watching Lenscraft I’ll see you next time for another video

11 Comments

  • Reply The PNW Rider November 14, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I looks really fake. I can see why you don’t care for them.

  • Reply Kemer Thomson November 14, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I agree with your assessment of such filters, but I find your demonstrations of features across the many photo editing software packages to be very interesting. I think some of these packages, such as ON1 and Luminar, are aimed at a different audience than myself. I feel the same way about most (if not all) presets, but I understand their appeal to some.

  • Reply Dan Buchman November 14, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    It looks like the filter is best used when working on an image that already has the attributes of the effect (i.e. overcast with snow). Rain in a landscape only makes sense if the ground is wet already. At most this filter seems to be of extremely limited use since if you’re working on an image that you want to make believable then just shoot in the rain or snow… Another very informative video, thanks for doing this.

  • Reply Tony Greenwood November 14, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks Robin. I agree – unless handled with great care, ON1's Weather Filter can produce really awful results – but then again, so can "traditional" Dodging and Burning! I sometimes wonder whether some of the objections to the simulation effects in the newer post production apps (e.g. sky replacement in Luminary 4) is that it makes these type of effects really incredibly easy i.e. too easy? Although you can do the same or similar in Photoshop or Affinity Photo, you have to have a pretty high skill level to do them well. Personally, ON1 is my main post software and I also use Capture One and Affinity – like all packages, they each have their strengths and weaknesses – and it's great to have such a range of post software to chose from!

  • Reply Steve McKenzie November 14, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks Robin. Seems there's a plethora of "artificial" enhancement tools being added to more and more editing suites. I'm sure they'll appeal to the shoot and post brigade but not for me.

  • Reply J-P. Scherrer November 14, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    In the first B/W examples, I can clearly see banding in the White to Black effect…. less in the other images with landscapes… anyway, I'm not fan of "filters"… 😉 !

  • Reply Rick Berger November 14, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Thanks. A very clear easy to understand demonstration unlike so many other which get so involved they become a ball of confusion.

  • Reply Duncan McEwan November 14, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Brilliant! Not the filters, but your use of the black photo to display the result of moving the controls. I suspect that technique can be applied to a whole range of other effects. The Weather Effect is right down there at the bottom with Sun Flare in my opinion. I have my own Bokeh effect created by pure accident straight out of the camera 😂😎

  • Reply Andy November 15, 2019 at 1:56 am

    Nice overview Robin. I'm a big fan of ON1 Photo RAW, but I struggle to see the value of this filter. I hope ON1 keep their eye on the ball and continue to deliver a serious Lightroom alternative and not get too distracted by developing more gimmicky filters like this one. That's what Skylum ended up doing and look where that's got them, Luminar 4 is nothing more than a toy now.

  • Reply R Garlin November 15, 2019 at 6:08 am

    Thank you for doing this Robin – I briefly looked at the filter earlier on and soon turned to other things. Now I know better as to when – in fact, if – it's worth employing,

  • Reply Graham Payne November 18, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Although I do like the ON1 software I think that the software engineers would be better off using their talents to correct the bugs and speed up some of the program functions. When I first heard about the new 2020 version I thought great this is it but after I purchased and tried it I was very disapointed about the many bugs that are still in the system. With very large raw files the image rotation doesn't always work and if you try and enter a numeric number in the temperature the image goes completely mental with very mauve/lilac/pink (completely OTT). I have tried it on several PC's and high end lap tops with the same result.

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