Bibble 5 Pro; Asset Management & Nondestructive Editing Page 2

Bibble can also work with existing sidecar XMP data or create its own, so if you’ve imported Raw files that you’ve processed elsewhere (or want to go back there afterward), Bibble won’t run interference. This again creates a smoother workflow.


While I was delighted to find a lizard in the Valley of Fire, this specimen turned out to be drab because of its camouflage coloration. So I opted to give it more sparkle. I painstakingly used the layering brush to “paint in” a new color scheme using a combination of selected hues, saturation, and luminosity settings. The toes and tip of the tail required a very delicate touch. There was also the problem of an intrusive twig in the foreground, which I cloned out in another layer. And I’d also noticed a shadow merging with the lizard’s shadow at the snout, so that shadow had to be dealt with by using the layers tools as well. The point is—the software allowed for all these changes to be made with relative ease.

Retouching And Layers
One of the strongest additions to Bibble 5 Pro is the ability to work in layers—a feature that allows all sorts of retouching and manipulation to the image involving the adjustment tools. As with other aspects of image editing in this application, you can also copy and paste layers from one image to another or a group of images or versions to apply a wide range of changes or simply clear dust spots without needless repetition.

Within each layer are regions that define the various changes you make. Each image can have a maximum of 10 layers with up to 11 regions in each. Plus there is an additional heal/clone layer that supports up to 30 regions. Click on the layer to make the regions visible. You can also deselect any region or layer at any time. This step is useful to avoid cluttering the screen. But don’t forget to re-select them.

White Balance And Look Profile

I liked this fisheye shot but didn’t care for the color scheme. Instant solution: change the white balance setting to fluorescent. I left the Look Profile at Product Reduced because the Product setting produced tones that were too warm and rich, overwhelming the design aspects captured in the lines and shapes that are a strong part of this image.

When cloning, you can define a region using circles, polygons, or curves. You can anchor the source and target region or freely move them around and modify feathering (also size for circles). The circle can metamorphose into a healing tool or back to a cloning tool at your discretion, but as a healing tool it works best with amorphous, uniform tones, such as sky, primarily to remove dust spots. Otherwise, the healing tool may create a blurred region that mars the image.

Select Settings To Copy And Paste

You can copy selected settings that were applied to any image and paste them into other images or versions. This screen grab shows all selected, which is one option when simply choosing to copy and paste. But you’d likely want to be more selective. For instance, you might want to copy and paste copyright data or healed dust spots.

The adjustment brush is my favorite. I used it to change the colors on a lizard, employing selected hue, saturation, and luminance adjustment sliders. I was able to adjust the size and intensity of the brush so that when it came to the tail and toes, I could lessen the effect to lend it greater credibility. And when the brush strayed or if I got heavy-handed, selecting the negative brush allowed me to remove the excess. Beyond that, the cloning tools made it possible to remove a distracting twig in the foreground and a shadow that merged with the lizard’s own shadow right at the snout. Finally, since a skittish critter and close-focusing limits combined to limit how close I could approach with my zoom, the cropping tool let me trim the surrounding area and focus attention on the lizard.

Dust Spots

After carefully screening these shots of frigate birds, I noted the numerous dust spots. So I picked one shot and used the healing tool inside the heal/clone layer to identify the culprits and remove them. Then I copied the healing layer from that image and pasted it into this image. Because the healing tool can produce unforeseen consequences if used on a broad scale, I don’t recommend applying it to all images. And in this instance I noted that a couple of the healing regions created some disturbing effects, blurring key areas on the bird, so I deselected them, leaving all the rest in place. (The screen grab doesn’t show all the healing regions, but you can see that one has been deselected from the list that’s visible in the Layers panel.)

In The Final Analysis
Bibble 5 Pro hasn’t shown itself to be the speed demon it claims to be. In fact, very often the program failed to track cursor movements in real time, lagging behind just enough to interfere with the workflow it seeks to improve. The History panel, too, has its idiosyncrasies. Instead of the slider remaining in place, it resets to an earlier position when you return to an image—and that has led to several errors when I was trying to undo previous steps. Also, you can’t delete interim steps, so when you do step backward do so with caution, as every step afterward is permanently erased. However, this is where the global Undo (under the Edit menu) can come to the rescue, reverting the History to an earlier stage. Also, I found the search engine to be somewhat wanting, as it occasionally failed to return images I knew were already cataloged. I should also point out that while Bibble 5 Pro supports quite a number of popular Raw formats, it does not support DNG conversions, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

Bibble 5 Pro was a long time coming, until we got release 5.1 and finally 5.2, which seemed to round out the package to the point where I would not hesitate recommending it. At its core, Bibble 5 Pro delivers competent Raw processing and image editing, with tools you won’t necessarily find at this price. As for asset management and workflow, I still think there is room for improvement, but not enough to drive me away. In fact, unless photo composition and pixel-level image editing are in the forecast, you’ll find this little package will take your images where they need to go.

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