Picktorial - Q&A


We are thrilled with all the excitement around Picktorial from people in the photography community! We’ve gotten amazing response to Picktorial’s intuitive workflow and editing capabilities, and we’re pleased to offer a lot of value to those of you seeking for a photo editor that is easy to learn, fun to use, and provides a lot of options for creativity. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Picktorial.

What does Picktorial do that other RAW processors don’t?

There are many differences, but here are the main three:
First, Picktorial’s retouching capabilities are much more powerful than basic adjustments like tone and color. Picktorial handles advanced layering systems behind the scenes, to simplify tasks like lens blur, skin smoothing (based on Frequency Separation), two-scale sharpening and more - all in a non-destructive manner - so you can always refine your very first edits without undoing the latest ones.

Secondly, importing photos is super easy. Instead of referencing individual image files, you reference folders - which makes organization a lot easier, as Picktorial automatically monitors changes in referenced folders.

Picktorial also stores and syncs adjustments, keywords, ratings, and all other relevant information in the files themselves (XMP sidecars for RAW files). This means that working on multiple computers is a breeze: files can be placed on an external drive, or on a cloud folder (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc), and adjustments and metadata changes are natively accessible from wherever the original files are. This also makes backup easy, as it’s much simpler to backup individual files than backing up a dynamic and huge database file.

Third, Picktorial takes advantage of compatible graphic hardware to accelerate the entire processing pipeline: from the initial RAW development settings, to local adjustments and layers. Thus Picktorial provides the fastest RAW processing experience, with immediate response for all operations.

Can I use Picktorial as an extension for macOS Photos?

Yes! Picktorial 1.1 makes all editing tools available as a single extension for Photos. It is now available in the new Beta version. Try it!

How does Picktorial handle colors and profiles?

Picktorial uses camera profiles in DCP format, which is compatible with Adobe Lightroom and DNG. Picktorial comes with two profiles for each camera (Standard and Neutral), and you can create your own color profiles that match your scenes’ lighting with tools like X-Rite, or download creative profiles from providers like PSKiss.

Internally, Picktorial uses ProPhoto RGB which is the industry standard color profile for editing purposes.

What processing engine powers Picktorial?

Picktorial is powered by a proprietary processing engine designed in-house, and is engineered to take advantage of modern graphics hardware. It drives the entire pipeline from RAW processing to local adjustments and overlay layers. It’s blazing fast and enables us to add more and more features overtime.

What cameras are supported?

We started with over 500 cameras, and we continue to add more cameras as time goes on, with priority given to cameras requested by users. Picktorial also provides great support for DNG files, so RAW files from unsupported cameras can be used by converting them to DNG format. The full, growing list of cameras can be found here. If your camera isn’t listed, let us know.

How does files management work? Does Picktorial use keywords and ratings to manage photos?

Picktorial’s workflow is based on referenced folders that reflect the actual folders on your file system - so no need to organize your folders twice! You can label photos with keywords and search for photos by keywords, rating, camera model and so on. We also plan to add smart collections for saving searches you create.

Where does Picktorial store metadata and non-destructive edits?

Picktorial stores non-destructive edits and other metadata in XMP format. These are embedded into JPEG and DNG files, or saved in a sidecar file for RAW format. Saving adjustments into files makes them available anywhere with the original file, so you never lose track of your edits, even if you store your photos on an external drive or a Dropbox-like folder. This also makes it easy to backup your adjustments, with Time-Machine or any other backup solution.

I’m coming from Aperture, does Picktorial provide a migration tool for me?

No need for a migration tool! Picktorial can natively read your Aperture libraries, and even multiple libraries at the same time. Simply drag them to Picktorial library and they will be available there right away. Picktorial can’t modify Aperture edits but you can choose between viewing the original file or the preview, and make new edits to the original file or additional edits on top of the preview file. Alternatively, you can use macOS Photos migration tool from Aperture and use Picktorial as an extension for macOS Photos.

Does Picktorial support local adjustments and retouching tools?

This is one of the parts of Picktorial that we are the most proud of. Local adjustments in Picktorial go far beyond light and color. Picktorial currently offers 5 different local tools (under the Retouch section):
Tone: Adjust light and color locally.
Patch: Remove spots or distracting objects.
Smooth: Allows you to independently adjust smoothness of skin texture and surface. The Smooth tool is especially unique and makes professional portrait editing faster. It’s based on a Frequency Separation technique and gives full control to adjust parameters for achieving professional, natural-looking results.
Sharpen: Allows user to independently adjust sharpness in two scales.
Defocus: Simulate depth-of-focus by blurring out parts of the image.

How local adjustments regions are defined?

The Tone, Smooth, Sharpen and Defocus adjustments are applied on masks that you can define using brushes, linear gradients, or radial gradients. You can brush over or erase from a layer? defined by a linear or a radial gradient.

Can I create custom presets?

You can easily create custom presets, by simply saving your current adjustments as a preset. You can also copy adjustments between photos while specifying which editing sections are not affected when pasting adjustments or applying presets.

What about a mobile version?

An iOS version is planned for the future. Sign up below for our newsletter to stay in the loop.

Where is Picktorial going from here? What are your next steps?

There are a lot of features we plan to add, including lens correction, color noise reduction, additional types of local adjustment tools, batch processing and more. We’re investing a lot of thought in adding all of these while keeping the user interface as simple as possible. To subscribe to our newsletter for updates and news, download the beta below.