TLDR; so much promise but so many little annoyances ... I would love to see you hire a contractor who specializes (or hire someone permanently, but that's a bit much for most smaller outfits) in helping finish out human workflow experiences.
This might get removed. If so I'll kind of take it as an answer as to whether these things are going to get attention from Skylum in the near future. If that's a bit defensive, well, over the years of following the company on Facebook I've seen many things get shuffled offf.
That said ... please take the time to get a focus group of your various users (photographers, artists, hobbyists) and sit down with them and someone who is trained on UI and human interface engineering. I am not saying your devs don't "get" UIs ... I'm saying there is a different type of person who can document actual end-user use cases and needs and better translate them to a guideline for your devs. I'm not asking to be in this group, I'm not local to you and am barely qualified from either end (user or human interface engineer) ... I just have enough experience with both to feel like this would really help.
I've wanted to post a note like this nearly every time over the last 2 years that I tried to make Aurora & Luminar one of my primary apps. Some of the items listed below may well be doable as-is and I've missed the way to configure it. However the ones below are just from 1 hour tonight, every time I use the programs I come away with something similar.
* Aurora ... simple one: The list of presets should stay set on the one I used last. This includes in selecting presets in the Batch dialogues. Present the last used if available.
If none have been registered as used before (weird edge case of a reinstall with existing prefs remaining), but I have custom user presets, that should be the default one presented.
* Aurora ... batch ... drag and drop to fix when Aurora doesn't automatically select brackets correctly. Sometimes I've taken multiple brackets that I want to merge as 1 instead of 3-5 sets of brackets. Other times Aurora simply isn't detecting a 3 exposure bracket right based on some parameter from my camera not happening. Most times it detects the 3 exposures correctly but every session has at least 1 time I wanted to be able to adjust the brackets after Aurora auto-selected.
* Luminar ... Lens Correction should be able to be saved as part of a preset. The main reason I would want to apply a Luminar preset to a batch of images most definitely would include the Lens Correction settings. A toggle within the save dialog settings for "automatically change lens information based on EXIF [Y/n]" would make sense here. But batch definitely needed lens correction and is a large part of my decision tonight to look into yet another software package. Money lost for both of us, time lost for me.
* Both: Escape key should close any dialogue. Definitely didn't work tonight on various times invoking the Open and Batch menus. I'm sure many others don't as well. Keyboard shortcuts should be a primary focus on UI tweaking.
* Luminar not having the DAM. Yeah, I realize it's planned. You realize it is way late. But I mention it here because it COULD be a way to address many of the workflow issues that come up with the tools. I'll check it out but I'm already deciding on a different DAM because of the delays and can't be the only one. Getting us to switch yet again is going to be a huge problem for you because it is going to have to be amazing. And that means it -needs- the human interface details when it is released even more than the basic tools do right now. To the point my professional advice would be to delay it even longer to make sure it works smoothly for as many people as possible because it may be the last chance.
That's just tonight. Other times would be things like wishing it were easier to get back to 0 on a slider with my mouse rather than having to always type in a number value when I'm getting a sticky slider that insists there is no 0 between -1 and 1. Etc. Things many other software packages also have issues with. I'm not trying to make my list above all inclusive ... just pointing out things that could be tweaked/added to make the software a place I want to spend hours and days in rather than dreading when I feel the need to look at things.
Another place I'd like to see work is the ability to edit RAW files similar to using Adobe and .XMP files such that I could set .XMP-style tweaks in Luminar to a set of RAW files that Aurora could then read in and use the adjustments without needing separate PNG/etc files exported from Luminar. That might simply not be something Skylum is interested in, but would go a long way to helping my workflow.
* I'm "just" a photo hobbyist. I don't shoot for money. But ... I do have a long background in various forms of technical marketing and project management. And tbh, a hobbyist is paying you as much as a pro. We actually have higher needs in some ways because we don't have the budget to buy a tool for every processing job. Typically an Adobe license is a bit out of reach and is part of what brought us here along with Adobe doing a bad job at HDR post-processing given an equal amount of time in the app.
* I've owned Aurora since it came out for PC. I have current licenses for both Aurora and Luminar 2019. I'm just not going to be using either for most stuff anymore (not going to say what I'm going to use, this isn't meant to drive people away) until things improve on these fronts.
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