(Click on a Question to Reveal Answer)
RESTORE (for Windows and Mac OS X) is designed to help scanned images look their best. In particular, RESTORE improves faded heirloom images from scanned photos and slides.
Land & Sea SCUBA (for Windows and Mac OS X) helps underwater images look their best, and works on topside images, too. It is designed for all depths, and improves a wide variety of file types including JPG, TIF, DNG and a wide variety of RAW formats.
While the appearance of the products is very similar, they are quite different “under the hood.”
All Vivid-Pix products can also be used to improve cell phone and digital camera images.
The following chart will give you a good idea of the different features and functions.
FEATURES AND FUNCTIONS
A: Please click on buy/activate at the top of the program to activate your copy. Follow the instructions using the email you used to purchase. We track your purchase via your email address, so please use the same email that you used for purchase when activating the software.
A: Purchasing RESTORE and Land & Sea SCUBA provides you with two licenses.
If your computer has not changed, choose the appropriate below link to download and install.
If your computer has changed, use the appropriate below link and you will use the second license.
Please use the link appropriate to the program you own:
Download SCUBA Win Software File for Windows, or for Mac,
Download SCUBA Mac Software File for Mac.
Download RESTORE Win Software File for Windows
You do not need to enter any code on the website.
Using the link, download the application and install it. When you start the application for the first time, please use 5VIP when the application asks for a POP code. This gets you to the point of having a working trial version.
Ignore/Skip messages about trial if you have purchased (we activate this version as a fully licensed version).
If you do not have a “buy/activate” button at the top of the program screen, you are done…the application is activated and you need not do anything more to use the fully licensed version.
If the buy/activate button is present at the top of the application, please click it and following the activation instructions, enter your email address and click the activate button.
You should be good to go. If not, please email support and we’ll get you up and running by other means.
A: Your original image is never modified or overwritten. We add a suffix to the name of the original and save the adjusted version in the same folder as the original. In RESTORE, you also have the option to store the saved image in a sub-folder. You can save the full resolution adjusted image, a second image that is generally smaller and useful for sharing, or both.
A: While Vivid-Pix is specially designed for underwater pictures, it also does a very nice job on above water pictures! Some things you may notice are improved color balance, contrast, sharpness and details in your pictures. Additionally, you can crop the original to improve the image.
You’ll see a noticeable improvement in most “topside” photos when you adjust lightness and contrast to make the area of interest “pop.”
A: Not yet. Our programs currently work only on still pictures. While the image correction principles are the same, interface, computer memory management, and development resources necessary are not trivial. We have no release date at this time, but would be happy to consider your investment in the company to get a video product to market. ;-)
How to use the application:
The Depth Removal function is designed to help images with a blue-green cast, such as those captured deep in the ocean without flash illumination.
Land & Sea SCUBA automatically calculates and implements an depth removal setting and presents it in the 9-up screen. However, the automatic fix is not perfect, and may not be enough or too much. After you pick the image you like best from the 9, you can further adjust depth removal by moving the slider. A rule of thumb for using the slider is to move it to the right as far as you can until the image begins to look a bit too red or magenta, and then back the slider off a little by moving it to the left.
The Emerald Removal function is designed to help images that have a very green cast, such as those captured in algae-filled water. Fresh water images often benefit from emerald removal.
Land & Sea SCUBA automatically calculates and implements an emerald removal setting and presents it in the 9-up screen. After you pick the image you like best from that screen, you can further adjust emerald removal by moving the slider. A rule of thumb for using the slider is to move it to the right as far as you can until the image begins to look a bit too blue, and then back the slider off a little by moving it to the left.
Used in conjunction with the depth removal slider, even on images that do not look particularly green, emerald removal can provide outstanding results. A tip: It often does a great job of bringing back the exquisite blue of the ocean in the background of your photos. Experiment and see what works best for you!
If you’d like to save a particular setting so that you can use it again, please follow the following method. If you have numerous images that are very similar, it can be a time saver to save a setting and then tweak each image as necessary after that setting is applied.
To save a setting, adjust the controls so that you have the image looking as you’d like, and then click on “Edit Setting.” In the box that appears, select “Save current setting.” In the next box, enter a name that will help you remember what the setting is, and then click OK. That setting is now saved, and it is active, as you can see in the “Setting name” area to the left of “Edit Settings.” This setting will stay active until you change or remove the setting.
To get back to the automatic 9-up screen (or to “calculated starting settings” with no 9-up, or to “no corrections"), use the triangle selector (the drop down arrow) to the right of the setting name. You can also use this triangle selector to return to the settings you have saved.
By repeating this process, you can save any number of settings for future use. You can also update the corrections for a particular setting name, or delete a setting after clicking on "edit setting."
To correct the fisheye effect (also called barrel distortion) in your images, click on the fisheye correction checkbox. The fisheye correction “stretches” images in a manner that helps to straighten out those curved horizons or other should-be-straighter lines that appear when pictures are captured with a wide angle lens and with many Point Of View (POV) action cameras.
This feature is not intended as a complete fix to make things completely “square.” The correction is designed to make images that suffer from severe fisheye distortion a little more pleasing.
To control sharpness, click on the Preferences button on the main toolbar.
In the Preferences dialog, you will see 2 controls to control sharpening: Sharpening Radius and Sharpening Sigma (or Intensity). Each controls a different facet of sharpening.
The Sharpening Radius control determines the area for consideration in computing sharpening for a pixel. For well focussed images, this number is usually best toward the lower end of the scale. A large Radius number is useful for images that are slightly blurry to begin with. Note that very blurry images are beyond the capabilities of sharpness enhancement.
The Sharpening Sigma (or Intensity) control sets a measure of sharpening aggressiveness (should be less than the Radius). This number is like the gas pedal for how much sharpening is added.
In a nutshell, larger values of Sharpening Radius and Sharpening Sigma tend to sharpen more. The rule of thumb is that if you can tell the saved image has been sharpened, you’ve sharpened too much. Note that you should evaluate sharpening in the saved image, not the side by side in the program, because sharpening is image size (really “resolution”) dependent, and it is nearly impossible to simulate the effect of sharpening in the saved image in the lower resolution side by side screen.
We have chosen the values you see to please most people. You may want to try some other values to suit your personal preference. Don't worry about the warning in the Preferences dialog. You can always click the Reset Sharpening Parameters button to return to default values.
If you wish to remove sharpening from the image path, uncheck “Enable Sharpening.” This action may be appropriate for images that are small, or for those images that have been previously sharpened.
SELECTING THE "Fix" SETTING
You need to determine which "Fix" setting works best for you for the image you are working on. Multiple selections have been provided because variations in the manner pictures fade can be quite different. Usually, you will select one and work on many images with that same fix. If you find that the selected setting is not working the way you would like, try another until you find the best one for the particular image you are working on. Experiment and have fun!
Each setting is different in the manner in which it attempts to improve your images. Here is some guidance as to which one is best for particular types of images.
FADED PRINT OR SLIDE
This fix is used for most aged scanned images. It expands contrast and matches colors in a manner that brings faded photos and slides back to life. Don’t be fooled by the name…this fix will also improve digital images that may not be exposed properly.
Badly Faded Print or Slide
This correction is designed to be used with images that are extremely faded and off color. While the FADED PRINT OR SLIDE setting will provide the best results for most images, on occasion the correction techniques used are not appropriate. This is particularly true of images that have really suffered due to the passage of time. This setting is also useful when the selected image is very poorly exposed, or has a severe color shift. Note also that there is no clipping in this correction, as explained below for Pixel Preservation.
This fix preserves all the input image data. There is no clipping or any loss of data. All of the color in each of the color channels is preserved, although improved. You may wish to use this setting if you want to make sure that none of the data from the original is lost while you work with the image in RESTORE. If this is your desire, you will also want to select TIFF output, so that no data is lost during compression when saving. Also, you may wish to disable sharpening via the checkbox on the main screen.
Digital or Cell Phone Camera
This setting is for cell phone and digital camera images that need common photo improvements such as improvements to excessive darkness or lightness, haze, tilt, and other issues. The Digital or Cell Phone Camera setting analyzes and modifies contrast and brightness (and sharpens, which can be turned off in the preferences menu if you wish). This can also be useful with an image where you only want to crop or tweak.
CHANGING "Fix" SETTINGS On The 2-Up IMAGE SCREEN
When you first see a new image in RESTORE on the 9-up image screen, the current Fix setting is applied to the new image. RESTORE shows the new image with several variations in contrast and brightness that it automatically calculates, based on RESTORE's image analysis and subsequent calculations. The 9-up image screen shows a “starting point,” which is the center image on the 9-up image screen The images surrounding the center image result from the starting point image but have slight variations in brightness and/or contrast. When you select a different Fix setting in the 9-up image screen, the entire analysis process restarts, causing new calculations associated with the change in the Fix setting.
When you select the best rendition by clicking on one of the 9-up images, RESTORE moves to the 2-up image screen. On this screen, you can refine the changes made to the selected image in the 9-up image screen. In the 2-up image screen, if you select a new Fix setting, the refinements you've made are not changed. This means that any refinements you've made are not changed back to the starting value (like they would be in the 9-up image screen) . The refinements stay as you have selected them, while the image gets the basic correction for the selected Fix. The new Fix setting is applied to the image, but refinements made to lightness, contrast, colors and vividness stay as you have previously selected on the 2-up screen.
If you wish to make a change to the selected Fix, and to have RESTORE automatically make the other contrast and density refinements automatically, simply click on “Reset Corrections”. If you click "Reset Corrections," RESTORE will return to the 9-up image screen with the current image, and with a starting refinement resulting from its analysis and calculation, just as if you had initially selected the image. Your refinements on the 9-up image screen will be lost. Using "Reset Corrections" can be a good technique should you become confused about what to do, or if the image is not appearing as you would like. Using "Reset Corrections" is a good way to select a different Fix setting and to see the results, with slight variations that are automatically applied.
THE WORK WINDOW
The size of the work window is fixed. If you need to see the corrections better for a particular part of the image, you can use the following trick as a workaround for not being able to resize the screen. When you work on an image, you can crop to the important portion of the image, make all your corrections, reset crop, and then crop again. If you answer that you wish to reset the crop, the entire image will appear again, but all your corrections will remain as you have set them. Then you can crop to what you want for your final image.
Note that in order to keep processing as fast as possible, we have limited the resolution of the imagery in the work window. So if you crop to a very small portion of the window, the image may appear pixelated. If you are working with a large original, this may actually not be the case...the work window may misrepresent the final image. So if you wish to save a small portion of a large image, note that you should not expect what you see in the work window to be exactly the same as the image that is saved. In most cases, the saved image will be far superior to the lower resolution view in the work window. This is particularly true for small articles cropped from a high resolution scan of a newspaper.
RESTORE provides the ability for you to save settings to be used again and again on different images. You can access this feature at the lower left of the main screen. If you click on the downward pointing triangle to the right of “Setting Name,” a menu of settings will appear. To save the current settings, for example in a situation where you have many similar images, click on “Save Current Settings…” A dialog box will appear, into which you can type a descriptive name for your setting. When you click “OK”, the setting will be saved, and you can apply that exact setting to any image you wish. To go back to using the 9-up screen, scroll up the menu to “Calculated starting settings with 9-image choice.”
The desired corrections for scanned documents are significantly different from those for photos. That being the case, our standard fixes may not do a good job of improving documents. Far superior are the selections for document starting points, which can be found at the lower left of the main screen. If you click on the downward pointing triangle to the right of “Setting Name,” a menu of settings will appear. You will see multiple document starting points. A quick run through of these starting points by selecting each in turn will show you which initial correction is best for your document.
The settings provided are exactly what they are called...“Starting Points.” Unless you are completely satisfied with one of the document starting points, you will want to experiment for correcting your scans of letters, newspaper clippings, envelopes, etc. And, you can save your own document settings appropriate to your documents. You may want to save multiple document settings for different types of documents.
FULL COLOR, BLACK & WHITE, SEPIA
On the 2-up screen, RESTORE provides buttons to easily select B&W and Sepia effects for your images. You only need to select the proper button to get the effect you desire. If you do select B&W or Sepia, you can return to full color with no modifications to the original full color fix unless you have changed the sliders while in B&W or Sepia mode.
In Sepia mode, you can move the color tint sliders to create the sepia effect you prefer. There are many different intensities of color that are termed sepia, and you may wish to modify the one we have selected. For more intense sepia effects, experiment with increasing red and increasing yellow. You may want to save a setting that is the exact sepia tone you prefer.
To enable or disable sharpening, please use the checkbox in the middle of the main screen. You may wish to disable sharpening when an image has a good deal of dirt or speckling (usually termed “visual noise”) on the surface, or if the photo printing used textured paper. This is a judgement call you’ll need to make based on your perception of the tradeoff between a sharper image and the unwanted bits of highlights that can become worse when sharpened.
Please note that the true sharpness of the image should not be judged by the work image...the true test is the saved, full resolution image. So please save the image and review it to be sure you are getting what you want in terms of sharpening.
To control the amount of sharpening when sharpening is enabled, click on the Preferences button on the main toolbar at the top of the RESTORE screen. In the Preferences dialog, you will see 2 controls for sharpening: Sharpening Radius and Sharpening Sigma. Each controls a different facet of sharpening.
The Sharpening Radius control determines the area for consideration in computing sharpening for a pixel. Unsharp originals usually benefit from a larger radius.
The Sharpening Sigma control sets a measure of sharpening aggressiveness. This control should be less than the Radius. It is the “gas pedal” for sharpening.
In a nutshell, larger values of Sharpening Radius and Sharpening Sigma tend to sharpen more. The rule of thumb for sharpening is that if you really notice that an image has been sharpened, you’ve gone too far. Sharpening helps most images, but the effect should be subtle. We have chosen the values you see to please most people. You may want to try some other values to suit your personal preference. Don't worry about the warning in the Preferences dialog. You can always click the Reset Sharpening Parameters button to return to default values.
If you make adjustments in the Preferences window, these preferences will remain in effect until you change them. As an example, if you may make an adjustment for a particular image, but prefer to have the program default settings ongoing, you should “Reset Sharpening Parameters”.
Also in the Preferences menu is “Lightness and Contrast spread”. This “spread” adjusts the 9-up screen and the range of lightness and contrast difference around the center image.
On the Mac, if you use iPhoto or Photo to view your images, that program imports images from folders, so the saved image won't immediately appear in iPhoto without importing it. The issue with finding images is that iPhoto requires that images are imported into its library to be able to use them. When Vivid-Pix works on an image, we don't have any way to directly export into iPhoto, so you will need to import them after you finish saving.
One customer came up with this solution. She took the picture from her iPhoto library and dragged it to her desktop. (An alternative would be to drag the images to a specific folder or onto an inserted SD card.) She then directed the Vivid-Pix program to select the picture from the desktop and adjusted it. The adjusted image was saved back to the desktop. From there she dragged the Vivid-Pix image back into iPhoto (imported it) and it would save it next to the original. That seemed easier for her.
Another customer decided to use the Vivid-Pix program on images still on his memory card, and then imported them to iPhoto after Vivid-Pix improved them and saved them back to the memory card.
When iPhoto or Photo imports your photos, it makes a copy of the image file that exists in another folder. If that folder is in your computer somewhere in addition to the iPhoto Library, it is accessible by any program, such as Picture-Fix, and any program can use the original image file.
Once the image file is imported (copied) into the iPhoto or Photo library, and the original is no longer available (deleted or SD card removed, etc.) only iPhoto, Photo and Apple applications have access to it. The only way for another program to use these photos is as described...a copy must be made from the iPhoto or Photo library if you would like to work on it outside of iPhoto or Photo. There are ways around this, but you run the risk of corrupting the file structure and library, so they are not recommended. This is the result of how Apple has designed their photo browser, iPhoto or Photo.
Vivid-Pix is unable to access the photos in the iPhoto or Photo library directly with our programs. We would love to be able to do this, but Apple does not allow it.
One more thing…to find the pictures you have already corrected, search for the name of the uncorrected file, and the corrected one should also appear with the suffix “VIVID” or whatever you have selected for the suffix in the preferences menu.
On the Mac, if you use searchlight to search for “vivid”, the suffix we append to the originals, then you may be able to find the images.
After the center image is created (it is not your original) contrast and brightness are varied around that central image, because we can’t be sure what the subject is, and different people prefer different variations of contrast and brightness. The color is actually the same across all the images, even though it may appear slightly different because of the differing contrast and brightness.
The easy-to-use crop function is used as follows:
- In the side-by-side view, click on the right side picture, hold down and drag...then release.
- The right image shows only the crop you have selected.
- Don't like the crop? Click on the image again, make the appropriate selection, and the full image will be displayed once again.
You can also select standard aspect ratios. (Under “View” on Mac, on top program bar on Windows)
A: The following Windows versions are supported:
Windows 7 (please note that Windows 7 installations may be problematic. Microsoft will not be supporting Windows 7 after January of 2020, so we are not spending many resources insuring compatibility with Windows 7.)
The Mac version does not have this feature at this time.