Do you adjust curves before or after Nik

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by tomO2013, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    I've been playing around with Lightroom and Nik / Topaz plugins and trying to understand the best workflow.
    As it stands now, I only make small adjustments to highlights, shadows and exposure and disable all other options in Lightroom.
    From there I go into DFine to adjust noise. Next step into Nik for presharpening.
    Roundtrip into Clarity/Color efex to enhance the color profile etc...
    Finally to output sharpener.

    With respect to adjusting the tonal curve, I know that Clarity and Color Efex adjust this more or less when you apply Clarity (topaz) or Tonal Contrast (color efex ). However lightroom also gives you a nice tone curve adjustment tool. Would I be better off sending a 'flat' file into Topaz / Nik or alternatively would it be better to adjust the tonal curve in LR before reducing the noise and before clarity in topaz?

    I'm thinking that I should be sending a flat tonal curve image into Nik/Topaz if I am going to be playing around with contrasts in these apps ? Right?

    Any advice is really appreciated.

  2. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Real Name:
    Marc Sitkin
    I think Nik recommends in one of their video tutorials to do as much of the work in Nik as possible, doing just RAW processing in LR. They also recommend dialing LR sharpening to 0 and using the Nik RAW presharpener instead. It's a toss up in my mind if there is a benefit to running DFine before the presharpen.