On1 Photo RAW Workflow – Does Filter Order Matter

Let’s be honest, the On1 Photo RAW workflow can be confusing. There are the Development tools, Local adjustments, Layers, and Effects. Each one has a huge array of tools and you can use these in an almost infinite order. After a while, most people find their own way of working but are often left with a nagging question. When it comes to the Effects filters, does the order matter?

Recently someone asked this question again and my answer was, yes it does. I then went on to explain that some of the On1 Photo RAW Effects filters will work against and negate other filters. For example, if you apply a glow filter it will blur detail in the image. But if you then apply a Dynamic Contrast filter over this, the additional contrast will reduce or remove the glow. It all made logical sense and there are lots of other people who agree with this approach to the On1 Photo RAW workflow.

But then I started to think, have I tested it recently? The answer was no. That’s when I decided to check my facts and discovered some rather surprising results. You can see everything in this short video I created.


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Checking Your Filter Combinations

If you want to check if you’re favourite On1 Photo RAW filters affect each other, you can try the following.

Open a test image in Photoshop and duplicate this to two new layers. Select the first layer in the Layers window by clicking it and then select to edit the layer using On1 Photo RAW. Add the two adjustment effects that you want to check and then apply these. On1 Photo RAW will then close and apply the adjustments to the layer you selected.

Next, select the second layer and again open this for editing in On1 Photo RAW. Your effects from the previous adjustment should open and appear in the Effects window. You can now drag and drop the bottom filter effect onto the top. Be sure not to change any of the adjustments for the two effects when you do this. Close On1 Photo RAW so that it applies the effects to your second layer.

You can now hide the top layer by clicking the visibility icon in the Layers window. When you turn the layer visibility off and then on, any differences between the two layers should become obvious.

If you don’t have Photoshop, you can always apply your adjustments and save the resulting image as a new JPEG. You can then open and compare both JPEGs to check for differences.

Summary

In short, the filters in On1 Photo RAW do affect each other. This, however, is much less than you might expect. Additionally, if you are applying an adjustment, you will apply that based on the other adjustments you have already made. Therefore in the On1 Photo RAW workflow, it’s not that important what order you apply the filter effects. What is more important, is that you don’t reorder the effects filters without making further checks and adjustments.

If you have a question about the On1 Photo RAW workflow, get in contact. If it’s one that could affect a lot of people, I may well investigate it for you.

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