Luminar 4 Architecture and Multi Threading

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    Fleming Thompson

    I see we have no comment so far but wanted to provide some data because it's truly shocking.  Again, dont mistake my intentions, this is meant to be constructive because I prefer your product over Adobe... 

    Time to Export 70 unedited RAW files to 50% JPEG with no metadata

    Luminar 4: 14 minutes 44 seconds

    Adobe Lightroom Classic: 0 minutes 33 seconds

    I have attached images from my hardware monitor.  They are obviously static captures but they communicate my point.  Luminar causes individual CPUs to surge or rev up in cycles and never fully utilizes thread bandwith.  Lightroom actually places a lower workload on your hardware and opens up the bandwidth to all CPUs evenly distributing workload.  

    The top image is from Luminar about 30 seconds into the test.  You see all cores running at almost 4.3 ghz with low utilization.  The hardware is being stressed but no work is being done.  The bottom image is from Adobe about 25 seconds in (I had to cut early because I was scared I wouldn't get a shot).  You can see all cores are actually running slower at 4.17 ghz but the workload is evenly distributed across all threads.  They stayed pegged at full throttle and never revved back down.

    These tests are obviously not perfect and you can nit pick my method.  A video would be better.  (Its actually pretty cool to watch for yourself and think about what's going on behind the scenes.) But the results have such stark contrast that I believe they facilitate discussion. 

     

    Luminar

     

    Lightroom

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    Kate Williams

    Hi Fleming,

    Thanks for sharing your detailed feedback with us. 

    We're doing our best to provide our customers the greatest photo editing experience and even beyond, although we're not magicians and our resources are limited, so we just don't have the physical ability to focus equally on both the cutting-edge photo enhancement algorithms and optimizing the performance for the wide variety of different hardware out there. However, we're really trying to. We know your pain, we share it too, and that's our everyday goal to make it go away. At the moment, our development team has two major tasks: the algorithm performance improvements and resource use optimization. These are large-scale tasks that in the long-term perspective will give the app a significant boost as well as increase the development speed. Therefore, please rest assured that every day Luminar is getting better.

    We hope you'll be there with us to see this progress

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    Franci Carlsson

    Flemming-- my old Lightroom won't recognize my new camera so I really wanted to give Luminar a good try.  I don't want to pay the monthly fee to Adobe, but I guess it has come down to that.  I gave Luminar all the info they asked for and did what they asked, but you are saying that Lum just isn't good enough.   I'll read their next reply, but I may just have to start over with Lightroom and reedit the 500 pics I've already edited in the Lum catalog.

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    Fleming Thompson

    @ Franci Carlsson

    It wouldn't recognize my wife's 2010 Rebel either.  We got a CF card reader and simply ejected the card from the camera to transfer the images directly from the card instead of plugging in the camera to overcome that problem.  Eventually we got a new camera but we still use the "remove the card" method for transferring files because it seems faster.

    But it's not that Luminar isnt good enough, they are just lagging behind in the software department and still writing their code for computer hardware that was built back in 2010... back when you had 2 cores with 2 threads sending as much juice as possible down a single "pipe" because nobody knew how to write software that distributed workload.

    Luminar will catch up, but we have to push them. 

    @ Kate Williams

    Good to hear resource optimization is a priority for you.  Do you know when we can expect some progress on the multi-threading issue?  Is this a Luminar 5 feature or an interim release for Luminar 4?  Months or years?

    The thing about AI is that it relies on horsepower to chug through thousands of tiny calculations.  The more AI you put into your software the worse this problem is going to get.  The best presets in the world dont matter if the software crashes and I can't use the preview features to figure out which images are sharp and in focus.  I struggle to sort and filter when it takes 12 seconds to flip from picture to picture and I'm trying to compare subtle details and determine where the focus point is from image to image.  

    I know I have rambled.  Please share the 14 minutes vs 30 seconds data point with as many Skylum developers as possible and point the technical guys to my two images.  I am happy to shoot video or provide more data.  If you guys haven't seen the back and forth between Intel and AMD recently, they're pushing out CPUs with lower clock speeds and higher thread counts (the opposite of what you're doing) and if you guys cant figure out how to hitch your wagon to that horse you're going to lose customers. 

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    Josh Sheffield

    Hi Kate,

    I would like to echo the same thoughts given so far. I am finally looking for an Aperture replacement and am giving Luminar 4 a try. I am on an 8-core 16-thread Mac Pro and find that Luminar's ability to make use of my hardware is lacking quite a bit compared even to Aperture (which saw its last compatibility update in 2014).

    Aperture would often saturate 8 cores (leaving the hyper thread function less used). But it would also make use of my graphics card for photo processing and face detection. Aperture also allowed me to work on and edit photos while import and processing took place.

    Luminar, on the other hand, will only saturate 2 cores and make no use (so far in my Trial experience) of my graphics card.

    I have found the same thing to be true with performance comparison in using Aperture as FT has found with Lightroom. I might get around to doing some library performance comparisons on my Mac for the thread (Its on the bottom of my list of things to do, so I might not. I think my charts would look very similar to FTs just with 16 cores not 24).

    I will continue to trial Luminar. I like a lot of what I see, but if I am going to have to deal with imports and exports an order of magnitude slower than Aperture, I may look elsewhere for my replacement.

    I would also like to repeat this statement and question, "Good to hear resource optimization is a priority for you. Do you know when we can expect some progress on the multi-threading issue? Is this a Luminar 5 feature or an interim release for Luminar 4? Months or years?"

    I don't make software decisions based of future proposed features, but in the balance of Skylum's desire to release new features and provide performance increases where are they all falling? If Luminar 4.5 will have true multi-threaded performance increases in six months I will certainly bite the bullet and deal with the performance difference for a few months. If Luminar 5 has a significant re-write coming for multi thread support at its foundation and will be out in a year, I might likely stay with luminar. However, If the intent is to incrementally increase support for performance and a release for high thread counts will come when it comes I need to know. Help me make my decision please. Is it on the roadmap? Can we know if it has been added into a testing build of V4.X or V5?

    THanks

     

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    Helena Carter

    Hi Josh,

    I completely understand how this functionality is important for you and we value your interest in our software. However, for now, we're not yet able to provide you with any kind of ETA. This actually doesn't mean that multi-threading won't be implemented - it definitely will be, but we don't want to make false promises regarding the time period. However, once there is any official info, we will definitely share it with our customers. Please, stay tuned.

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    Scott Weiner

    I think you should consider making false promises because the product right now represents a pretty large false promise and we have no way to move forward without information anyway so we have to abandon the platform if we can't gauge when to expect at least a beta of a solution. Photos are taking me hours to edit on a beefed up Mac Pro. It's ridiculous, nothing is slow on this machine, Video edits with 10 layers are instant.  What I suspect is the real issue is there is a brute force processing model that doesn't optimize for common use cases and previewing. Why update what isn't on the screen? When I make one pixel change on the screen why should it ever take 5-10 minutes to update? I know the response is "we understand, we are sorry...: nevertheless the company sold us something that doesn't work and now says "trust us we are working on it but won't give you any updates"  If you cared about customers and trust you would send out weekly updates on progress. So short of that it's pretty obvious customers don't come first.

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    Fleming Thompson

    Helena,

    We're calling this a multi-threading issue because like my post shows above, that's how the issue presents on our hardware,  and that's what we understand the problem to be. 

    On my computer, it takes Luminar 14 minutes 44 seconds to accomplish an export task that takes Lightroom 33 seconds. 

    Does Luminar acknowledge that there is a performance problem here and that it's a serious, huge, big fat hairy deal that's keeping them out of the big leagues?

    If so, what does Luminar perceive the issue to be? Do you think the problem is multi-threading or is it something else. Be specific if you can... not just "performance improvements" and "resource optimization" 

    Where in your priorities does solving this issue fall?  Again please be specific

    Is there a technical expert we can talk to? 

    Can we get a thread going that's led by one of your software guys?

    We're an understanding group, and if you were to say hey, we know the issue is multi-threading and we're working that problem, it's priority #2 under this other thing but we're really struggling with implementing the solution because we're hung up on X, Y, and Z... I think if you give specific examples, technical examples, you will find that we're less likely to throw our hands up and walk away.  

    Last question... If we can't get answers from this forum, why does it exist? 

     

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    Fleming Thompson

    Is your plan to close this thread due to inactivity?

     

    If you will not answer our questions, why does this forum exist?

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    Margaret Bright

    Hi everyone,

    Please note that the forum mostly exists for our artists being able to communicate and share their experiences with each other. We are here to assist and answer your questions if you have any. However, if you would like our technical support to address each of your particular issues, we would like to kindly ask you to reach out to us via https://skylum.com/support.

    Our team will be happy to review your cases and give you a specified response. Each particular case can be caused by different reasons. That is why if you would like us to take a deeper look at your issues, please send a request to our Support Team. They will be happy to help!

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    Fleming Thompson

    Hi Margaret,
    Were not looking for technical support.
    Were looking for technical experts to speak technically about your technical improvements.
    ... big difference
    This is a forum topic that requires one of Skylums technical experts to weigh in.

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    Jean-Francois Laplante

    I second that.  It's is not a technical support issue but it is an important experience to discuss.  When presenting your product as a Lightroom alternative a few years back, you kinda entered that path, I liked it and I followed you in it.  It's getting better but multi-threading would really enhance the asset management and rending aspect of the software.  Most modern high end CPUs have 8+ cores and twice as many threads and most GPU offer compute APIs to help on top of than.

    The photo editing tools are more than sufficient for my needs (speaking only for myself) but going thru 1500 Nikon D850 raw files @ 50mb each is a PITA compared to Lightroom.  I truly think you could shift 'some' ressources toward performance enhancement at this point.

    People of Skylum, thanks for following this thread.

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