Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot forum

AfterShot Pro General Questions & Getting Started Forum
Alex Brazeau
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Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot forum

Post by Alex Brazeau »

Hi there everyone:

I’d like to just take a quick moment to introduce myself to the forum community. My name is Alex Brazeau and I’m a new member of the photo products team here at Corel—supporting PaintShop Pro & AfterShot Pro. Before joining in the team in the fall, I spent the last 5 years or so managing digital communications strategy and overseeing community engagement with several corporations. But I’m not just a social media or PR guy, though… I’m also an avid photo enthusiast and love taking pictures with my Canon T3i.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working closely with Greg Wood (Photo Group’s Senior Product Manager, whom some of you may know) to bring myself up to speed on all things PSP and ASP. I’ve also been spending a lot of time here in the forum, getting familiar with many of the concerns that have been raised here and through our various other social media channels.

After reading through many threads (some dating back a year or two), it’s clear to me that we’ve got some work to do in terms of communicating what’s going on here at Corel with the family of photo products—and that’s what I’d like to change.

As we move ahead, I will be available to help escalate bugs and address problems or concerns that may arise with our photo products. That’s not to say I will be in here commenting on all of your conversations because I feel it’s important this forum remain a user-to-user community. But, as part of this new direction, I will be checking-in with the forum on a regular basis to see what kind of issues or concerns (and maybe even praises) are being posted.

My goal here is to take a much more active and open approach to engaging and working with you—the members of our amazing online communities. The future of our products depends on open communication with our user base, which, as we move forward, will allow us to inform our approach as we bring exciting new and improved tools and features to both PaintShop Pro and AfterShot.

Thanks for taking a few moments to read this and I look forward to speaking with many of you in the days and weeks ahead.

Cheers,
Alex
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by ferdinand-paris »

Welcome Alex. ff you've read through this forum then you'll have a good idea of the range of reactions that you'll receive.

I think that a bug reporting and tracking tool would be a very good thing. There was such a tool back in the Bibble days, although only certain users had access to it, but at least there was feedback that something was in the bug log. The webmonkey tool that Corel has used was very unsatisfactory. There was never any confirmation that the report had been received and logged. It was like a black hole. If you want users to go to the trouble to report bugs then it needs to be easier and more transparent and some feedback mechanism is needed.
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by dFlyer »

Welcome. After reading your post I have some concerns about Corel continued support of Linux with AfterShot Pro as your closing statement was:

"The future of our products depends on open communication with our user base, which, as we move forward, will allow us to inform our approach as we bring exciting new and improved tools and features to both PaintShop Pro and AfterShot."

AfterShot 2 doen't support linux and if linux isn't going to be supported in the future I believe linux users have a right and need to know so they don't invest any further is a dead project. I hope I'm wrong about this, but when you only use AfterShot and not AfterShot Pro the only linux version I'm a bit scared to invest any further, as I've been using this software since early bibble days.
Thanks.
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by Tadjio »

Hi Alex

I've already welcomed you on the PSP Forum so I thought I would just add a little regarding ASP:

Did you know one of the first versions was AfterShotPro_6.0.0.16 just over 3 years ago? (Bibble 6;)
Craig Copley asked me to be one of the first beta testers then and we have seen it develop and improve but I and others feel frustrated on some counts.

The introduction of OpenCL Hardware Acceleration seems to me to have been a distraction and waste of resources. I suspect it was 'imposed on the project' from above.

The recent 'fascination' with changing the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for its own sake in ASP2 has been a similar distraction. Many of us were happy with the way it was but when asked to comment, our suggestions and improvements ignored.

These two issues apart, the product is fantastic and has great potential. The potential just needs realising with fixes to long-standing bugs and improvements to features such as Highlight Recovery and even better Raw Conversion.

(Interestingly, in the same time frame of 3 years, PSP has moved on from X3 to X7 with significant improvements)
Tadjio
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by TheDude »

dFlyer wrote:... I believe linux users have a right and need to know so they don't invest any further is a dead project. ...
+1
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by Hobgoblin »

TheDude wrote:
dFlyer wrote:... I believe linux users have a right and need to know so they don't invest any further is a dead project. ...
+1
+1
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by Dutchmm »

I don't know whether we linux users have a right to know what Corel's future plans are.
Corel does perhaps need to know that if the linux version of ASP2 dies, or falls a long way behind the Windows version, then this linux user won't be running a Corel product in the Windows VM I should have to start running.
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by dFlyer »

Dutchmm wrote:I don't know whether we linux users have a right to know what Corel's future plans are.
Corel does perhaps need to know that if the linux version of ASP2 dies, or falls a long way behind the Windows version, then this linux user won't be running a Corel product in the Windows VM I should have to start running.
Yes, I will not run windows evem in VM. if AfterShot Pro is dead, I want to know. I will need to learn one of the open source programs that are out there and not waist my time or money with ASP. It would be a sad time for me as I've enjoyed using both bibble and AfterShot Pro.
Thanks.
Gary Garibaldi
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Alex Brazeau
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by Alex Brazeau »

Thanks to those who have jumped in so far to extend a warm welcome and provide me with a snapshot of some of your ideas. I'm excited to see the feedback rolling in already as this is the type of open and constructive conversation I've envisioned and one Greg, Joseph and I really value.

Some of you seem a little concerned by my initial comments, where I chose to refer to AfterShot Pro 2 as simply "AfterShot 2". Some were worried this was a hidden message about how Corel is planning to drop Linux support for ASP. Linux support is a very significant part of AfterShot and development for the Linux platform remains on the road map for future updates. There are no plans to eliminate Linux support for AfterShot Pro. In fact, just yesterday, we officially announced AfterShot Pro 2.1.1, which (aside from the 7 new RAW profiles it adds and various bug fixes) brings AfterShot 2 to both Linux and Mac platforms.

Again, thank you all for your feedback so far. It's these types of conversations that I hope to have with many of you as we move forward to better inform our products.
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by bcelasun »

Welcome, Alex.

It is good and relieving to hear your continued support for Linux users.

An update (2.1.1) is also most welcome in showing ASP is alive :)
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by mikkokan »

Yes, thank you!

Actually only issue that is a somekind of a showstopper is noise remover. It's uneffective, produces bad quality, it's hidden in some "sub page" and it produces sometimes some weird lines=buggy. If I use ASP, I use it with noise remover turned off and remove noise with another program.
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by dFlyer »

Yes, thank you for the linux update. It's nice to receive feedback.
Thanks.
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by TheDude »

Great to hear that Corel continues Linux support.
From my point of view the next important step to be taken is catching up with respect to image quality, which affects most of the basic algorithms in ASP (demosaicing for X-Trans AND Bayer sensors, sharpening, highlight recovery,...).
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by MarkZ »

Alex:

I'm adding my welcome and look forward to future interaction.

My greatest frustration with ASP2 is the incredible backward step with the user interface. Although I've been using this program since the first beta, in the current configuration I need to hunt for functions because they are almost invisible, so well hidden. What is more frustrating is the in spite of many postings about the deficiencies of the UI, here we are many months later without a change to most aspects of it. I've just found out that there is a new version (no notice distributed about that to the users - communication) so I'll see now go see if we have been heard.

I hope you will hear more and more expressions of thanks and appreciation in the coming months, not just complaints such as mine.
Mark
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Re: Introducing Alex Brazeau, Corel Photo Group- Aftershot f

Post by Arnfinn »

Hi and welcome, Alex.

Actually this is good news, as the development of AfterShot seems to be more integrated with PaintShop through the Photo Group/photo products team. This is positive, as AfterShot in my understanding has been more of a lone product after the BibblePro takeover. As a follower of Corel products ever since CorelDraw 3.0 I have noticed that many products have been neglected for long time periods after Corel has purhased the branding and technology. In that matter, AfterShot Pro has followed that pattern up till today. After aquiring new softwares, Corel has done the very minimum for that software until after some major version upgrades, when the software finally has reached a certain momentum in the market. Then there seems to not be any limitations to the resources Corel are willing to assign to that software. AfterShot has yet to reach that momentum, so the current situation is that it in many ways is seriousely lagging behind it's strongest competition. But, there should be no reason for this, and I will explain why Corel has to invest more resources into AfterShot;

Corel is mainly composed of products for graphic and media production and editing in a market where everyone has a camera wether it's an high-end SLR or in your cell phone. AfterShot as an image organizer and converter for images should in itself be the reason for enhanced development efforts as it would greatly benefit the entire Corel family of products.

1. Organizing
With the rise in the amount of images for everyone with a camera, it's even more important to have a software that can structure and organize your collection of images and media files. Corel doesn't have that. At least not as good as the competition or what it could have. AfterShot has the opportunity to organize images with keywords and labels, but it's far from the quality and level that it should have been. It's also strictly limited to image files, and only those that's supported by AfterShot.
AfterShot could have been more valuable to the entire Corel family of products if the browser had supported all the media files that any of the other Corel products do support. With that I mean that it should be possible to organize and keyword any of your graphic and media files in the AfterShot browser. If that file is supported for editing within AfterShot, i.e raw and other media files, it will open in AfterShot. If that file isn't directly supported by AfterShot, it should be automaticallyopened with the appropriate Corel program. Adobe has a better cross program integration, and better organisation through Bridge and their organisation module in Lightroom. Here, Corel has good room for improvements. A proper DAM module should be a hughe benefit for, not only AfterShot, but the whole Corel family...

2. User interface
The user interface has gone through a deevolution ever since the purchase of Bibble Labs, with each version a bit more awkward than the previous. Much can be said about this. The most frequently used buttons is grouped in all possible directions around the real estate, some above left at the screen, some above in the middle, some above at far right, some below left and some below at the far right. What's the logic behind this? In the latest version, image names is only shown on hover-over, and on the smallest icon sizes it cuts away the last part of the filename if it's too long. In most cases the last part of a file name is a number. Maybe you browse through the images because you want to open that file in another program, or find the file to copy it elsewhere and you need to find the correct file name. Sometimes you do have many similiar images so that it isn't always easy when you can't directly see the full file name. You shouldn't have to call investigators from the FBI to find which one is which when you browse through your images.
Another thing is that it has been relative common for several years to have more than one screen on your computer. AfterShot doesn't use/support more than one screen. Why?

3. Plugins
Plugins can enhance the software in many ways where the main software has it's limits. Back in the times when Bibble Labs developed the product there was a great community and enthusiasm towards developing plugins for the product. The fact that the AfterShot's plugin technology allows plugins to access functions and assign them before even some of the main products internal functions is unique.
For Corel and it's development team it should be more appreciated, than what seems to be the situation today, that highly skilled individuals invest time and effort to enhance the software. In the Bibble days it might have been due to the fact that it was a small company that was one of the contributing reasons for the thriving and enthusiastic plugin community. You feel that your work and contribution matters to other people. Corel is a hughe company, in total seemingly without any limits in resources. You expect something from a hughe company. Why make anything for them? Do I have anything to gain or is it only more revenue in the pockets of the stock holders? Why doesn't they invest more resources into development themselves? They doesn't lack resources. As a social media/PR guy you have to develop a strategy that can bring back the enthusiasm into the plugin community. As Corel doesn't have the benefits of a small company with close relations to it's users, you might have to find other incentives to encourage the very people that enhances and improves your software. Maybe a reward policy for useful plugins? Maybe an assigned contact in the development team that assists plugin developers on a more regular basis? Something has to be done. The excisting plugins is mostly the same plugins that was developed way back under Bibble. Many of the plugins under Bibble and some of the old developers have been discontinued and disappeared. The 64 bit transition has been slow. The fault isn't at the plugin developers. In most cases they don't get anything back for their time and effort. Nothing new has been developed since the Corel takeover. Please Alex, find a way to bring the enthusiasm back.

One of the most used and requested plugins is the Gradient plugin. It seems to have been mothballed by the developer and it isn't enhanced any furter or rewritten for 64 bit. It's current version is limited to darkening and lightening with a color in a gradient. Seriousely, it shouldn't have been a plugin at all. It should have been a layer selection tool within the main program, just as any of the other selective layer regions you can apply to layers within the software. Gradient selections where you can apply all kinds of ajustment settings has been available in Adobe Lightroom for years. What's taking Corel so long? The Corel organisation in general doesn't seem to lack any development resources, AfterShot does.

There are many other parts of AfterShot where serious improvements is not only wanted but highly needed.

You state that you want to improve the contact between the users and the development team. I think that the most valuable thing you can do in that regard is using your PR skills to convince the Corel organisation about the potential and high value AfterShot represents as glue and entry point for images and media files in regards to the whole Corel family of products. The technologies AfterShot is built upon is unique and solid, but it has a long way to go before it shines in all it's glory. Enthusiasm for the product is dependant on action and commitment, not words.

Welcome Alex, and good luck with the continuance...
Long time AfterShot Pro & Bibble user...
http://creativewithlight.com/
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