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Vuescan & Erik Krause's Advanced Workflow = BROKEN

Rishi J , Nov 19, 2008; 09:10 p.m.


I was a big fan of Erik Krause's Advanced Workflow for scanning color negative film with the Nikon film scanners.

It went something like this:

-Lock Exposure
-Preview again
-Lock Film Base Color
-Amongst the 'film base colors' in the 'Color' tab, the 'film base red' is always of the highest value. Divide it by itself to get 1; insert this under 'red analog gain'
-Divide 'film base red' value by 'film base green' value; insert this value under 'green analog gain'
-Divide 'film base red' value by 'film base blue' value; insert this value under 'blue analog gain'
-Uncheck 'lock film base color'
-Preview again
-Now, when you check 'Lock film base color', under the 'color' tab, 'film base red' should equal 'film base green' should equal 'film base blue'
-If not, repeat above procedure until they do.

This was a way of getting rid of the orange mask from roll to roll. The above process was carried out for any given roll, and then the rest of the roll was scanned with 'Lock exposure' activated as well as 'lock film base color' activated, with 'film base red/green/blue' values set to '1' under the Color tab. This led to color-unbiased scans of negative film by using the individual channel analog gains on Nikon scanners.

This no longer works on the latest Vuescan (I've tested on 8.4.60 and up). Presumably because the software is automatically doing some orange mask subtraction when 'color negative' is selected as 'media type'... negating the need or option for red/green/blue analog gain adjustments to get rid of the orange mask.

Can anyone else confirm this?

Can anyone else comment on HOW Vuescan determines the orange mask color? Does it scan spaces in between frames? If so, how accurate is it, and is there really any advantage then to Erik Krause's advanced workflow using red/green/blue channel analog gains to get rid of the orange mask cast using Nikon scanners?

Roger Smith & Mendel Leisk, in particular, dying to hear your comments :)



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Mendel Leisk , Nov 19, 2008; 10:14 p.m.

"Amongst the 'film base colors' in the 'Color' tab, the 'film base red' is always of the highest value."

The above is not always the case for me. I'll cut-and-paste from my spreadsheet of the few color neg rolls I've redone with Super Advanced Workflow, at the end of this posting. I know Photo.net wraps single carriage returns, so hopefully it will behave...

Also, doing and the SAW and *then* doing Lock Film Base Color seems to me (but I'm not sure) to be superflous, ie: doing SAW takes over the task of LFBC. I'm still a little puzzled by LFBC, at least when outputting only Vuescan Raw File, which are supposed to *ignore* Color Tab settings, and I believe this is true.

There is one exception to raw output ignoring Color Tab settings: "Color|Scanner Color Space", which *will* change the raws, if they're saved at "Save". It's imperative to leave that setting on "Built In". This is contrary to Vuescan documentation, but is my experience, and I've read of others corraborating this.

Regarding using SAW and setting Input|Media to "Color Negative": I wonder about this, specifically, I think I'll repeat the exercise, but set media to "Image". I do know Vuescan shifts the green and blue channels dramatically if media is set to Color Negative

Regarding Vuescan's ability to "lock film base color" on the fly, from a regular frame of film, I don't think it does that well. Ed Hamrick suggests using clear leader to accomplish this, as being the best approach, hence "Advanced Workflow". Do this: preview a regular frame with LFB unticked. Now tick it and refresh if needed. No change, right? Check the film base values in the Color Tab. They're markedly *different* than the similar values obtained previewing the leader...

Also, I'm going to post a couple of Raw File Examples. The first, in this post, is with Vuescan Advanced Workflow. I'll post a second, which is with Erik's Super Advanced Workflow. It's frame 1 of roll 1.

My Super Advanced Workflow calcs follows (the few rolls I've redone this way):

(note, roll 7 is the one that is "misbehaving", giving apparently underexposed raw file output, not sure what to make of it)


film base gain

red 0.674 1.448

gre 0.686 1.423

blu 0.976 1.000

rgb exp 1.519

inf exp 1.173


film base gain

red 0.971 1.000

gre 0.754 1.288

blu 0.946 1.026

rgb exp 1.964

inf exp 1.166


film base gain

red 0.979 1.000

gre 0.867 1.129

blu 0.967 1.012

rgb exp 1.858

inf exp 1.166

Roll 1, Frame 1 - Vuescan Advanced Workflow

Mendel Leisk , Nov 19, 2008; 10:16 p.m.

Same frame, but Super Advance Workflow (these are reduced raw files, btw)

Super Advance Workflow (thanks to Erik Krause)

Mendel Leisk , Nov 19, 2008; 10:19 p.m.

My third para should start:

"Also, doing SAW"

Roger Smith , Nov 19, 2008; 10:24 p.m.

Did you save any .ini files for film types from older versions of Vuescan? If so, try reusing the analog gain values for your new roll of film, assuming it's the same type as the old. There shouldn't be too much variation from roll to roll.

Mendel Leisk , Nov 19, 2008; 11:11 p.m.

Just for kicks, try this:

1. Set Input|Media to Image (or Slide Film, with type Generic Slide Film, looks to close to or identical)

2. Untick any and all Exposures and Lock Film Base Color, then preview leader (crop to exclude border)

3. Adjust the 3 analog gain settings to get all 3 peaks near right end and sync'd. This will take multiple previews to show the results. Move mouse around preview and watch the values. Out-of-focus previews might be better for this.

4. Scan thus and save Raw only. I'm finding this to be very close to the color balance, but slightly "punchier", comparing to SAW with media set to color negative.

Note, this is more-or-less per Bart van der Wolf's Scan Elite 5400 color negative workflow.

So, Exposure not locked, media set to Image, and analog gain values (for me, based on my roll 1 leader)

Here's a downsampled raw, same frame doing this workflow, again roll 1, frame 1:

(BTW, this is using version 8.4.94)

Bart's workflow (media set to image, analog gain adjusted directly from leader preview to approximate white)

Mendel Leisk , Nov 19, 2008; 11:39 p.m.

The above worked very well with my problematic roll 7, where SAW yielded grossly underexposed raw files, ie: no pixels above 80.

Setting Vuescan's image type to "image", and then ajusting analog gain to achieve white preview of leader, seems to be doing a similar neutralizing of the film base.

*Not* locking exposure seems to be working as well. When you go onto real frames, Vuescan assesses exposure, frame-by-frame, but seems to keep applying the color bias you've set with the custom analog gain settings.

One thing doing this workflow: the previews don't look to hot, basically like somwhat washed-out color negative images, but without the orange look. The Vuescan Raw Files look good though.

I've yet to do some scan-from-disk from these, and am still sceptical: it's often the case that something looks promising, but then you hit snags. Anway, give it a try if you like, and see how it's working for you. I'll post some more once I do say a whole roll, output raws, and scan-from-disk from the lot.

Mendel Leisk , Nov 20, 2008; 12:53 a.m.

However good the raws look, the scan-from-disk results aren't that great. Put it aside for a while I think.

Jay F , Nov 20, 2008; 03:47 p.m.

Holy Moley!

I must have been away from school that day!

I have had Vuescan for a few months, but, I have never heard tell of this sort of thing. I looked-up Erik Krause's web page, but, it seemed to be all about stitching panoramas and contrast masking...nothing about Vuescan.

Would one of you kind souls please point me towards a source for these Vuescan "Advanced" and "Super Advanced" workflows? I would like to read-up on this and give it a try.

Thanks in Advance!

Cheers! Jay

Mendel Leisk , Nov 20, 2008; 09:24 p.m.

Jay, Vuescan's Advanced Workflow is as close as the Vuescan help file:


and for Erik Krause's Super Advanced Workflow:


(first hit on Google search of above string)

Here's my take on SAW:


Super Advanced Workflow:

(Vuescan Advanced workflow, following up with adjusted anolog gain settings adjusted according to film base color settings)

(Thanks to Erik Kraus, the author)

1. Ensure Input|Lock Exposure and Input|Lock Film Base Color (if showing) are both un-ticked.

2. Preview a clear leader. Set crop to a smallish but decently representative area near center, the uniformest dark area. For insurance, Set Crop|Buffer to 15% (this will insure 15% within your crop edge is ignored).

2. Do a second preview. (Not 100% sure this re-preview is needed, but it doesn't take long) After the preview, tick Input|Lock Exposure. Do a third preview, and then tick Input|Lock Film Base Color.

(Steps to here are essentially Vuescan's "Advanced Workflow")

3. Record the values:

Input|RGB Exposure

Input|Infrared Exposure

Color|Film Base Color Red

Color|Film Base Color Green

Color|Film Base Color Blue

4. Untick Input|Lock Film Base Color, but leave Input|Lock Exposure ticked.

5. Set the Input Tab's Analogue Gain for the the color channel having the largest film base color value to be: 1.

6. Divide one of the lesser FBC values into the largest FBC value, and assign that result as the Analogue Gain for that lesser color.

7. Divide the second lesser FBC value into the largest FBC value, and assign that result as the Analogue Gain for that lesser color.

8. Untick Input|Lock film base color, but leave the Input Tab Exposure values set,

To check: do a preview. Tick Input|Lock Film Base Color and verify in the Color Tab that all Film Base Color's are close to value 1.000. If they are way off, something is wrong, and you need to repeat the process. If they *are* close to 1, override them: set all 3 to values 1.000.

Note, a spreadsheet is very useful, both for logging the values for various rolls of film, and to do the Analog Gain setting calculation.


And yet another color negative scanning approach you might try:

Click on the link:


on the following Scanhancer site page:


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