New User, a Few Questions

I just just purchased and started using FRV and have a couple of questions/comments...
 
I was having some speed issues, though I think a video driver update has helped.  I am seeing load times of about 1/2 second between images (as seen in the "File Load/processing time" in the bottom bar.  I am using the spacebar to advance for the tests. I think I read somewhere that maybe it should still be faster (4+ per second), though I was seeing over a second each before the driver update, so it is doing better.  I am using a high end machine, with images on a local SSD drive.  When using "P" to cycle through the highlighting, the display update is instantaneous. I am not really complaining, I just want to make sure I am getting the most speed I can. If It should be any faster, let me know what else to check.  Note that I  also have a another product called FastPictureViewer installed which is much faster (though I know it is probably not doing as much in the background with the raw files, etc).
 
Questions/Possible Feature requests...
On the filmstrip it is hard for me to see which image is the currently selected image.  I can see a little of the background color (as displayed in the grid mode), though it is just barely visible.  I noticed at times the border of an image in the filmstrip is red when it is loading.  Is there a way to set the border in a similar way (a different color) if the photo is selected?  If not I think this could be useful.
 
I am using filters to sort images.  The shortcut for remembering/enabling the filter is useful.  However, it is limited for me as it seems it can only remember one filter.  I think it would be useful to allow multiple filters to be saved and recalled from a keyboard shortcut.  (and having the filter name displayed in the bottom bar).  This would allow a user to quickly toggle between photos that have been tagged differently.
 
Is there a way to configure FRV to keep looping through the images in the input folder when advancing to the next file instead of stopping at the end? I often don't make a keep/discard decision on all photos on the first go through.  I would like to be able to just keep going through the images until I have tagged or keep/discarded them all.
 
Thanks for a great product, overall I am very happy with FRV.

Dear Sir:

Thank you for being our customer, and for your kind words.

> I am seeing load times of about 1/2 second between images

The very first question is, as always, what camera is it ;)

If you used Windows update to get the fresh driver, it may be not good enough. Please check the links on https://www.fastrawviewer.com/download under "If Your Browsing Speed is Low, or You are Experiencing Graphics Issues".

Next, please try switching to OpenGL: FastRawViewer Preferences -> GPU Processing -> Graphics Engine, and select "OpenGL" in the corresponding drop-down.

If that doesn't help, please send us debug log and a sample raw file.

For Debug log:
1) Set FastRawViewer Preferences -> Other -> Debug log messages to "All"
2) Restart FastRawViewer (we need startup log messages as well)
3) Open some image, than browse next 5-6 images using spacebar
4) Menu -> Help -> Debug log -> Save to File and e-mail this file to support@fastrawviewer.com

The procedure is described on page 112 of the FastRawViewer Manual. For your convenience, the Manual (pdf) comes with the installation and is accessible through main FastRawViewer Menu - Help - "PDF Manual", or you can download it separately from our Download page, https://www.fastrawviewer.com/download

Debug log will show detailed timing for internal steps, so that we will see if there is any specific problem.

You can upload a sample raw file to some file sharing service (some of the "free" ones are Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer) and e-mail the link to it to support@fastrawviewer.com

> On the filmstrip it is hard for me to see which image is the currently selected image.

Could you please try FastRawViewer Preferences -> Interface -> "Selected / active files contrast" slider. This slider affects both the current file and selected files.

Another setting that might be useful is:
FastRawViewer Preferences -> Interface -> Selected files background (note: current file is not necessarily the selected file, this setting affect selected files only)

More detailed descriptions are on page 125 of the Manual.

> a way to configure FRV to keep looping through the images in the input folder
You may find "Open first file in folder" shortcut somewhat helpfu (page 175 of the Manual)l:
Windows: Ctrl + Shift + Left arrow
OS X: ⇧⌘←
There is also a shortcut for the last file in the folder.

> The shortcut for remembering/enabling the filter is useful.
Saving/recalling named filters looks like a good idea, we will see what we can do without significant interface changes. Maybe just a drop-down with saved filters and only two hotkeys (next/prev filter from saved set)? Another question is timestamp filters: should we remember/recall exact date ranges, or 'date shortcuts' (today, yesterday, etc).

Thanks for the quick reply.
 
I am using the driver directly from NVIDIA (not windows update) and had done a full reboot.
 
I have tried most (if not all) of the GPU combinations including OpenGL.  I am not seeing big speed changes with most of them (I always quit and restart FRV between changes), the best combination I have found is DirectX 11, Bicubic, None.  OpenGL speeds are almost identical to DirectX 11 for me.
 
I was testing with both Sony ARW files from a RX10M4 and Canon CR2 files from a 7DM2. I also downloaded some RW/JPG pairs from a Sony A7RIII since that camera is in my immediate future and wanted to see the speed impact on the larger files.
 
The speed on the first two are about the same, the A7RII files are taking twice as long, which seems pretty good, since the RAW files are 80MB instead of around 20MB of the other cameras.
 
I have emailed the log files to support@fastrawviewer.com (along with a link to this thread)
 
Again, thanks for having a look at this.  Everything may be normal, or something else on my system is causing it to run a little slower than the other viewer application.
 
 
As far as the other items...
 
I have played with the "Selected / active files contrast" slider and if I set it high, it does help with the filmstrip.  However at the same time it makes the backgrounds in the Grid view so light it displeasing to my eyes.
As you mention the "Selected files background" has no effect for the currently opened file in the viewer (unless it also happens to be selected.)
So at this point it seems my options are too set the contrast higher for both filmstrip and grid, or just live with it the way it is.
 
As far as the "looping" I am using the "Open first file in folder" shortcut and it is better than nothing.  However it still slows down the process.  One issue is that if I have several similar images and I reach the end, keep pushing the spacebar, nothing happens.  It does not beep or alert me in any way.  In my tests I has a set of photos shot using the cameras continuous shutter mode that I was not sure if I was at the last file or not.  Since it is hard to see on the filmstrip, I need to look at the image count in the bottom bar to be sure.  I don't want to have to keep checking there.  I think the ability to cycle from the start (perhaps with a beep, as one of your competitors does) would be a great added option that I would hope would require very much in the way of changes to the application.  No nothing about how FRV is coded, I would think that it would not require any changes in the GUI other than an option checkbox and when activated, a reset to the array where the photo list is stored (just guessing).
 
In regard to the filters, I always think more options are best.  My usage does not use the dates, simply the XMP label values.  As soon as I get the file from the camera I process them and everything is "gone"" when I am done. However, I would think that the option of date ranges would be useful for some workflows.  I would think that hard coded dates would not likely be as useful.

Dear Sir:

thank you for the log files. What we see (on Sony A7R-III but picture is the same for all cameras) for 'Next file' called:

- RAW is prefetched, so about 60msec for RAW processing (as expected);

- (external) JPEG decode takes about 250msec (this is normal for 40Mp JPEG)

- prepared-for-display RAW data upload to GPU takes about 400 msec (this is way too much).

So, our suggestions:

I. Graphics settings:

1. OpenGL mode should be much faster on your videocard (at least, it is so on my PC with same NVidia GTX 1080). Switch to it and restart FRV.  Also, please make sure your videocard uses at least 8x PCI-e connection (right click on desktop, NVidia Control Panel, Menu - Help - System Information; scroll to Bus line, it should be PCI Express x8 or x16 Gen3 (if less xN or Gen2, than your system is limited to graphics card connection).

2. Faster settings:  Image Resampling either Bicubic or No resampling, Downsampling: None. All other settings will use dual RGB presentation uploaded to GPU, one for display, one for Edge/Details focus peaking.

3. It looks like you turned off [ ] Store compiled GPU programs (shaders). Nothing bad, but it slows down FRV startup

II. JPEG Handling

If you do not use JPEG view(s), but only RAW view, you can save about 250msec on each file by:

External JPEG: Preferences - RAW+JPEG - Handle Raw+jpeg box - uncheck Decode and Show external JPEGS

Embedded JPEG: check [] Ignore internal JPEGs on same Preferences page.

With these settings, RAW+JPEG pairing will continue to work for file copy-move-move to _Rejected, but embedded and associated JPEG files will not be decoded, resulting in faster file display time (about 250ms save for 40Mp files). Alone JPEGs will continue to work OK.

III Other requests

1. Current file outline: looks like you want separate control for current (but not selected) file. OK, recorded in TODO (will play with wider and/or more contrast border line for current file to not change existing controls).

2. Custom behaviour on last/first file in Filmstrip (Just Stop, Beep, Loop): Also recorded in TODO, but will require many minor internals change (for example: if Loop selected, then RAW Prefetch logic should prefetch first files in folder instead of nothing).

3. Save/recall filters: we need some internal discussion on it, because Timestamp range filters are not as simple as it visible. Also in TODO, but do not expect it in nearest releases.

P.S. We're working on massive FRV file display speed update right now (by moving RAW processing to GPU and by more flexible JPEG handling), but it is not yet ready for public testing. Hope, we'll start public beta tests this June, please monitor the Blog section on this site (we may notify you by E-mail if you're interested)

 

An Update...

I have switched to OpenGL (along with the other settings you recommended), though there is almost no speed difference compared to DirectX11.  The NVIDIA Control panel confirms that it is in a "PCI Express x16 Gen3" slot.
 
Turning off the "Decode and Show external JPEGS" does increase the speed noticeably, though as David Clark mentioned in this thread (https://www.fastrawviewer.com/node/437), I have found the best workflow is set FRV to display the jpeg images and then switch to raw to view the exposure when desired.  The display of the raw images is not clear enough (for me) to make decisions about fine focus.
 
My only other thought is that I am running four monitors, I don't know if this could have any impact on how the GTX 1080 performs.  At some point I will run a test with only one monitor connected and see if it makes a difference.
 
I am interested in any updates and happy to beta test a new version.  I will check the blog and feel free to send me a notification by email.
 
As I mentioned earlier (I think), the speed is not so bad that it is unusable and I truly appreciate your efforts to help me improve it.
 
Also, thanks for considering my feature requests.
 
Lou

1. OpenGL vs DirectX:

I use same Nvidia 1080 GTX card (but PCIe x8, not x16, because another wide PCIe slot is used by  other card). My computer is Intel i7-7700k running latest Windows 10 1803, video drivers are 397.64 (not sure the latest one, but updated in mid-May).



I've just run lot of tests for FRV graphics performance. In my case, OpenGL mode is ~30msec faster than DirectX (both 9 and 11) while displaying 40Mpix RAW images (Sony A7R-II). It should be even faster for full-size JPEGs because JPEGs use more data to transfer to GPU.

Unfortunately, this performance gain is very small compared to current  FRV JPEG handling:

2. JPEGs:

In current FRV versions, JPEGs are prefetched in compressed form (to save used RAM amount) and decoded when user presses 'go to next file' key. So,  user need to wait for JPEG decode (it is about 150 msec for 40Mpix JPEG on my computer described above, so about 50% of full RAW+JPEG processing time if RAW data is already prefetched and decoded).

We're working on more flexible handling options for next FRV version: 

 а) decode on prefetch (it will use much more memory, but may be not an issue for today workstations with 32-64-... GB of RAM)

 b) decode on demand if default image to display is RAW and JPEGs are rarely used (not your case because you use JPEG as primary display option).



Hope, we'll publish 'Technology preview' with this feature in ~2 weeks or so.

Followup: we just published FRV 1.4.7 Technology Preview II: https://www.fastrawviewer.com/blog/FastRawViewer-1-4-7-technology-previe...

In this update we add tunable JPEG decode mode: in older versions JPEGs was decoded 'while file opening', in this new versions two additional modes are added:

 - on prefetch: JPEGs will be decoded in background (but this mode uses lot of RAM)

 - on demand: JPEGs will be decoded on first RAW-to-JPEG switching (J key)

In both cases, switching to next file in sequental browsing mode should be about 2x faster than before.



This update also includes Technical Preview I: https://www.fastrawviewer.com/blog/FastRawViewer-1-4-7-technology-preview

In TechPreview-I we've added 'RAW on GPU processing' with slightly better demosaic quality. In preview, this mode is not enabled by default, see blog post for more details.

Thanks for letting me know.  I will do some testing with the TechPreview version as soon as I have a little time.

I finally got some time to test and the new preview version is a night and day difference for me.  I am using external jpegs (20MB) and uncompressed raw files(82MB) from the A7RIII and the performance is very fast.  I am using the "on prefetch" settings and with my tests it shows just about 6GB or RAM used.  So, if you have the memory to spare, it makes a very signicant difference when working with the large files.  I have not fully tested it out, though no issues to report as of yet.  Thanks again.

Dear Sir:

thank you for your feedback.

1) Unfortunately, there was a small error in External JPEGs/On-demand handling, that prevents it to work properly in some (not all) conditions, it really worked as before.  Just fixed in new build (see link below).

2) 6Gb per 20  (standard JPEG cache size) 40-Mpix files is expected RAM amount. (320Mb per 40Mpix RGBA x 20 = 6400).

3) Our new GPU-based demosaic is better in acutance than older (CPU-based) one. RAW rendering is not sharpened by default, so it will look not as sharp as out-of-camera JPEG, but you can use Preferences - Sharpening - Sharpen RAW files only setting to use screen sharpening only for RAWs.

We just published FRV 1.4.7-release candidate: https://www.fastrawviewer.com/blog/FastRawViewer-1-4-7-release-candidate

In this version GPU RAW Processing (including new/better demosaic for Bayer images) is turned on by default, so no need to use Alt-G hotkey to switch it on as it was in Technical Preview versions.

If new demosaic method is OK for you (with or without screen sharpening), you may switch Preferences - RAW+JPEG - default image to display back to (default) RAW value and External JPEGs decode priority to On demand. This will result in even faster image browsing and less CPU/Memory usage, because only RAW representation will be decoded in most cases (until you press J key to switch to JPEG).

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