Negative Lab Pro v3.0 - The Next Level of Film Processing



Roll Analysis, Preset Management, Undo/Redo & More…

Over the past four years of working on Negative Lab Pro, I’ve constantly pushed to make it better – improving image processing quality, compatibility, editing control and raw workflow.

And I’m thrilled to be taking it to the next level with V3!

V3 is the culmination of thousands of hours of research, experimentation and learning – all with the goal of making it faster and easier for you to bring out the incredible tones and colors in your own film workflow.

And (not surprisingly), I went a bit overboard with all the new features included in this update. So my apologies for being about 6 months behind schedule :man_facepalming:, but thank you all for your patience and I can’t wait for you to try it! :pray:



  1. Roll Analysis
    Improve the quality and consistency of your conversions

  2. Preset Management
    Save, edit and share your own editing styles

  3. Included Presets
    Simple presets I use in my workflow

  4. Undo/Redo

  5. Copy/Paste/Sync
    Speed up your editing workflow

  6. And lots more…

  7. Download & Upgrade Information


1. Roll Analysis

Improve the Quality and Consistency of Your Conversions

I’ve made hundreds of improvements to Negative Lab Pro, but the initial conversion algorithm remained the same. The simple reason for that is there is only so much information I can pull from a single negative to determine the proper conversion.

But, for a while now, I’ve been researching and experimenting with something I called “Roll Analysis.”

After lots of experimentation, going back and pouring through the data of every roll I’ve ever shot, I’m thrilled to finally introduce Roll Analysis!

(LEFT Image: Standard single frame analysis in NLP v2.4.2. RIGHT Image: With Roll Analysis in NLP v3.0)

TIP: Drag the slider above to compare the before and after.

The results of Roll Analysis can be really astounding. For instance, here, the single-image analysis (left side) freaked out with all the yellow and tried to remove it, weakening the intensity of the bold color in this shot and causing the shadows to turn a strong blue tint.

But by using data from the larger roll to provide context to this frame, the frame using Roll Analysis (right side) was able to produce a dramatically better initial conversion.

How Roll Analysis Improves Conversions

While single-frame analysis can work very well, there are two issues with it.

First, single-frame conversions are very scene dependent. The conversion relies entirely on what is (and isn’t) included within that single frame. Some scenes will convert almost perfectly, and others will convert very poorly.

Second, single-frame conversions create a greater need for editing post conversion because there are variances in the conversion between frames.

Roll Analysis brings together data from the entire roll to build a profile that is truer to the film stock and less scene dependent. It also creates more consistency across the entire roll, and a faster, more reliable editing experience.

While Roll Analysis should help your entire editing experience, you may find it particularly helpful in the following scenarios:

  1. Single-color dominant scenes
    These scenes tend to have their distinctive color neutralized with single-frame analysis.
  2. Scenes capturing very warm or cool lighting
    Sunsets and blue hour scenes tend to lose their color with single image analysis.
  3. Bright portraits
    Bright portraits tend to be rendered with too much cyan in single-frame analysis.
  4. Bright blue Skies
    Without context, blue skies will tend to render more cyan in single-frame analysis.

Let’s compare some actual examples of conversions using just the single-frame analysis in Negative Lab Pro with the new Roll Analysis in v3.

(LEFT: Standard single frame analysis in NLP v2.4.2. RIGHT: Roll Analysis in NLP v3.0)

TIP: On all these photos, you can drag the slider to compare the before and after.

The above negative is a good example of a single dominant color, where the green grass really dominates. Single image analysis (left image) will tend to turn the green shadows more neutral, and add too much magenta to try to offset the green. On the other hand, with Roll Analysis (right image), the dominant green color comes through.

The single-image analysis (left) gets thrown off by the bright sky, and adds too much yellow to the highlights, throwing off the conversion. Everything’s looking way better using Roll Analysis!

In the single-frame analysis (left side, above), the bright lights and neon are rendered toward pure white, losing their distinctive warmth. But with Roll Analysis (right), there is a more consistent, warm color balance.

I took the photo above during blue-hour in Philadelphia, but the single-frame analysis tries to render the brightest part of the blue sky as white, throwing off the color balance. With Roll Analysis, the rich blue evening sky comes through beautifully.

Here, I wanted to capture the intense red and orange light coming from this Disney World attraction. Fortunately, with Roll Analysis (right image) it brought out the intense colors I wanted to capture.

Another example of how bright skies tend to be thrown off by single-image analysis (left side) and improved with Roll Analysis (right side).

Consistency Improvements with Roll Analysis

Not every shot will be dramatically improved, and in some cases, you may still prefer the initial render of an individual analysis, BUT you should always see an improvement to consistency between frames.

For instance, here is a roll using only individual analysis.

Even though some of these have turned out fine individually, there is a lot of variance in between shots that will require some post editing.

Now, let’s look at the same roll using Roll Analysis in v3:

See how much more consistency there is between frames? With this as the initial output, it would be easy for me to correct the color balance and general tones on the entire roll at once, with only very minor tonal edits on individual frames.

How to Use Roll Analysis

The process is simple, but like everything, your output will only be as good as your input.

1. First, pick a roll…

Although I realize it may not always be possible, having a single, whole roll to process is what I recommend.

Using the same physical roll for analysis helps to limit variables that could throw off the analysis (film type, film age, developer chemicals, etc) and provides a good amount of data for Roll Analysis to work with.

With that said, feel free to experiment. I’ve intentionally made the tool versatile so you can use it with however works best with your workflow!

2. Now, digitize exactly the same way across the entire roll.

You don’t want to introduce variations in your digitization in-between frames because that can throw off the analysis later.*

  1. Use the same light source on the same settings for the entire roll. (For instance, don’t change the brightness or the color temperature of the light source in between shots.)
  2. If you are using a digital camera, use the same ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed for every shot (i.e. shoot in manual mode, not in aperture priority). A simple way to do this is as follows: Set your ISO to your camera’s base ISO (usually 100 or 200) and your aperture to the sharpest aperture for your lens that doesn’t produce vignetting (usually F8). Then, with your light table turned on (but no film added yet) adjust the shutter speed until the entire light table is clipped to pure white. Then keep these settings as you add your film and begin digitizing. This should be the ideal setting, as the base of your film stock will always be just a bit shy of clipping.
  3. In Lightroom, use the same white balance on every shot in the roll (skip this step if you are scanning tiffs). To ensure it is the same, white balance just the first frame using the white balance picker on the film border. Then “sync” those white balance settings across to the rest of the roll.

3. OK! Now let’s convert with Roll Analysis!

  1. Select all the frames in your roll
  2. Open Negative Lab Pro (ctrl+N on Mac // ctrl+alt+N on Windows)
  3. Make sure you’ve either cropped out any non-film elements, or use border-buffer to ensure only the film emulsion is showing
  4. Check the Roll Analysis checkbox
  5. Hit Convert Negative


And that’s it! The results that come back will now be using the roll for the conversion analysis.

The “Roll” Tab

To see the new Roll Analysis you created, you can head over to the new “Roll” tab.


You can see that it has automatically named the roll you just created based on the folder where the images are as well as the number of images used in the conversion. I usually name and organize my folders by roll when I import, similar to how labs typically share scans by roll, but it’s OK if you don’t.

Clicking on the Analysis dropdown, you’ll see you have a number of options.


  • Use the “This Image Only” analysis. It’s easy to switch back to the single-image conversion analysis for comparison. The single image analysis is always created and saved to the negative, even when “Roll Analysis” is selected during conversion.
  • Switch to any of the previous Roll Analysis you’ve made. These are organized by groups. The default group is “user”, but you can create your own groups.
  • Rename or delete the roll.
  • Manage roll groups (which lets you hide or show groups of rolls).

You’ll also see a new “Roll Process” setting, which controls the algorithm used for Roll Analysis. Right now, there are three algorithms to choose from:

Roll Process

  1. Pro Lab (default) - Performs an advanced statistical analysis on the roll and then normalizes those results to fit the dynamic range of the current frame. This produces a very finished looking image.
  2. Basic Lab - Same as above, but is less adaptive to the individual frame. This usually looks less “finished” but is often closer to the first pass of a lab scanner.
  3. Darkroom Paper - Performs a simpler analysis on the roll, and does not adjust dynamic range.

In some cases, you will see a large difference between these algorithms, and in other cases, they will appear identical. It really just depends on the variation of frames within the roll as well as density differences between frames.

More on Roll Analysis…

This is just scratching the surface on Roll Analysis. To keep this announcement post a reasonable length, I’m adding a separate post with common questions and techniques with Roll Analysis… such as how to use on already converted rolls, how to use calibration targets with Roll Analysis, and more…

Roll Analysis Q+A Thread →


2. Preset Management

Save, edit and share your own editing styles

Since originally launching Negative Lab Pro, one of the most common feature requests I’ve received is for the ability to save presets. Now in v3.0, this is finally a reality!

If you’re familiar with how presets work in Lightroom Classic, then working with presets in Negative Lab Pro will feel very familiar.


At the top of the edit tab, you’ll see this fancy new “Settings” box. The dropdown menu to the right of it is where you can load, edit and save your presets.


To create a new preset:

  1. First, make sure all of your settings are how you’d like them (obviously)
  2. Then, click the Preset menu dropdown, and select Create New Preset
  3. Next, you can name your preset and add it to a group (or create a new group to organize it into)
  4. Finally, select the settings you want to save on that preset (more on this later), and select Save Preset

What if I want to update a preset later?
With the preset selected that you want to update, click the preset dropdown and select “Update.” You’ll be prompted again to choose which settings you’d like to include in the preset.

Can I make a preset the default preset, so that new conversions automatically use it?
Yep! With the preset selected that you want to be the default, just click the preset dropdown and set “Make Default.” Future (new) conversions will then automatically use these settings when first converted.

Which settings should I include in my preset?
That’s up to you, but here are settings I typically include:

I usually find that Roll, Exposure, Brightness, Contrast and WB can be more image specific settings, so I usually leave these clear, so that any presets I make will be generally applicable, and then I can edit further on those image specific settings by image.

Can I have separate presets for Color vs B+W?
Yep! When you converted a photo with the “Color Model” set to B+W, it will automatically load presets made for B+W. You can set a different “default” preset for color vs B+W and any presets you make while editing a black and white image will be specifically available for B+W shots.

Can I share presets with others?
Absolutely! All of your presets live in the following folders:
On Mac: / Users / { username} / Library / Application Support / Negative Lab Pro / Presets
On Windows: C: \ Users \ [username] \ AppData \ Roaming \ Negative Lab Pro \ Presets
You can copy any presets you want to share from these folders. Or, if someone has shared presets with you, you can load them into this folder, and then reload Negative Lab Pro and they should now be available to you.

When I edit my settings, I notice that that an asterisk (*) appears next to the preset name. What does this mean?
This is just a helpful indicator to let you know that you’ve modified the preset settings in some way. If you’ve made edits and later decide you want to go back to the original preset, you can click the preset dropdown, and select “Reload” and it will reload the original preset settings.

3. Included Presets

Of course, I couldn’t help but include some presets of my own for you to play around with!

The idea of these presets isn’t necessarily that it will be a “1-Click-And-Done” sort of thing, but rather, they can help you explore some different style options. You will still usually need to adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, and white balance to taste.

Color Presets

  • Cinestill - Pairs great with cine films. Uses a simple cinematic log curve
  • Clean Contrast - Keeps contrast consistent through mid tones, creating more of a slide film feel
  • Clean Contrast [+] - Same as above but a bit stronger
  • Frontier - A bit of warmth and fade in the shadows
  • Fuji Crystal Archive Paper - Rich, subtractive print colors
  • Fuji Superia - Rich tones with a preference for green
  • Kodak Gold - Rich with warm undertones
  • Kodak Portra - Softer with warm undertone
  • Kodak Portra - Airy - A bit lighter tonality
  • NLP - Neutral - A less opinionated starting point for further editing
  • NLP - Rich - Deeper tonality
  • NLP - Standard - The Classic!
  • Noritsu (Green Shadows) – One of my favorite looks from Noritsu scanners
  • Pakon (Clean & Rich) - Strong colors and strong neutrals (careful - can show banding)
  • Portrait (Fashion)– Soft and creamy high tones
  • Portrait (Warm and Soft) - Emulates some very warm fashion photography prints

Here are just a few examples…

The Noritsu (Green Shadows) preset adds just a bit of that classic green, lifted shadows that you often find from Noritsu scans. It makes use of the new “Classic Toning” setting in the advanced settings (which I’ll get to later).

The Portra - Airy setting adds a warm undertone along with pushing up the midtones. By setting a negative value on the “LabFade” setting, it also pushes up the shadows while keeping a good black point for reference.

This “Fuji - Crystal Archive Paper” preset makes use of the Crystal LUT* to bring rich, subtractive print colors to your conversion.

The “Frontier” setting adds a bit of that distinctive Frontier warmth and shadow fade.

The “Clean Contrast” settings use the “whites” and “blacks” sliders to add the appearance of contrast. The difference between this method and using the “contrast” slider is that with this method, the contrast remains more constant through a broader range of the image. To my eyes at least, this produces more of a “slide film” look, with a narrower dynamic range.

* Note for historic Lightroom 6 users: you may find some of the included presets render differently for you since historic Lightroom 6 does not support LUTs.

Black And White Presets

These are adapted from research I did a few years back on black and white toner and paper options (which I used to create the X-Chrome preset pack for digital cameras). You can learn more from my guide to the paper/toner options in X-Chrome.

  • Cooltone // Matte - inspired by Ilford Cooltone Paper
  • Copper & Iron - Intense toning with cyan shadows and copper highlights
  • Fine Art - Cotton // Natural // Pure – Subdued brightness w/slight matte finish
  • Fine Art - Satin - Natural // Pure – Slight fade and rich tonal blacks
  • Fomatone // Matte – Intense golden toning
  • Kodak Brown Toner // Matte – Antique brown toning with slight matte finish
  • NLP Standard - B+W – The classic!
  • Selenium #1 – Warm yellow highlights and cool blue shadows, with rich blacks and bright whites
  • Selenium #2 – Yellow & green toning with slide matte finish
  • Selenium #3 – Yellow & green toning with strong matte finish
  • Warmtone // Matte – inspired by Ilford Warmtone Paper

And here are a few examples using the included B+W presets:

This is the Fine Art Satin Natural preset. It has rich, tonal blacks with a slight fade to the highlights. The “natural” variant here adds a hint of natural, warm toning. All of the “Fine Art” presets will work well in most situations.

The “Kodak Brown Toner” preset adds a ton of character to any shot, with strong “antique” brown toning.

I also really like using the “Warmtone” presets. They add just the right touch of warmth.

4. Undo/Redo

Another useful feature that users have suggested since the first release was “undo/redo.”

The “undo” button won’t be visible unless there are undo steps available (and “redo” won’t be visible unless there are changes to redo).

So make your first change, and you’ll see the “undo” button appear. And if you undo a change, the “redo” button will appear.


It’s pretty straightforward, but I have found it to be quite useful, so I hope you will, too.

A few notes on undo/redo:

  • Undo/Redo only applies to editing changes (unlike Lightroom, which has undo/redo apply to anything you do, like navigating to a new photo).
  • In batch mode, undo/redo will only apply to the currently selected image. So, for instance, if you sync settings to other images in your batch, that is not currently available for undo/redo.
  • Yes, I’d LOVE to use keyboard shortcuts (ctrl +z) for this, but currently, there is no way to do this in the Lightroom SDK. I’m investigating a broader solution to keyboard shortcuts, but that is TBD.

5. Better Batch Editing - Copy/Paste/Sync

The new batch editing tools make it easier to synchronize your edits.


Copy/Paste Settings
This is a really lightweight way to move settings between frames, whether you are working in batch mode or just working on individual images.

Note that the copied settings also persist between sessions, so if you close Negative Lab Pro, and then open a different negative, you can paste there, too.

Sync Settings
This works similarly to how it did before, but now you can select exactly which settings you want to sync. Note that the “sync” button will only be visible when you have multiple images selected in your session.

With both Copy/Paste and Sync Settings you can pick exactly which settings you want to include:

What about Sync Scene?
Previous versions of Negative Lab Pro had an option called “Sync Scene” which would sync not only the NLP settings but also the metadata from the conversion analysis. The biggest problems with Sync Scene was that 1) it made an irreversible change, overwriting the previous conversion and 2) it wasn’t adaptive (so, for instance, you could end up with results that were either very clipped or very flat).

So… this has been replaced with the “Single Frame Calibrations” in Roll Analysis, which is a much better way to handle this. To replicate the behavior of Sync Scene you would:

  1. Select the main image you’d like to copy the conversion from, and then additionally select the images you want to sync.
  2. Open NLP, then go to the “roll” tab, select “create roll,” and select “Single Frame” as the source.

Not only is this change reversible (because you can also change the selected analysis for the image later), but it is also adaptable. Using the “Pro Lab” mode, it will automatically adapt the dynamic range of the reference frame to the target. Or, to disregard the dynamic range difference, you can set the mode to “Darkroom Paper.”

6. Other Improvements

There’s a whole lot of additional improvements and features added in v3…

User Interface Improvements
Even with all the new features, I’ve been careful to keep the user interface as clean and simple as possible. Windows users in particular should notice some improvements in the interface, with better visual organization.

Loading Screen
When you launch Negative Lab Pro, I’ve added a little loading screen, just to be a bit more responsive and help indicate that something good is happening. Especially when loading lots of images at once, it may take a few seconds to get everything properly loaded.

Vintage Toning Method


In the “advanced” tab, you can now choose between two toning methods, which will change the algorithm used for the “highs” and "shadows’ color toning. First, there is the “standard toning,” which is what you are already used to. But I’ve also added a “vintage toning” method, which I find is a bit more accurate if you want to replicate some of the funky shadow and highlight colors that can come from either poor lab scans or aged film.

Better whiteClip / blackClip correction


Also in the “advanced” tab, there is now a “ClipMethod” option, which affects the behavior of the whiteClip and blackClip controls. The “linear” clip method is what was used prior to v3. The linear method is not the most accurate and can cause noticeable color shifts at high values. The new “Protect Color Balance” method does a better job at color accuracy. You will still notice color shifts with small changes (due to Lightroom only having 8-bit accuracy in tone curve placement), but for large changes it is more accurate.

New Auto-Color setting: Auto-Mix

Auto Mix

This is my new favorite Auto-Color setting. The “Auto-Mix” setting is blend of a few different algorithms. It is a bit warmer then “Auto-Neutral” but not quite as warm as “Auto-Warm.”

Before/After checkbox has been moved and is now “A/B”


It seemed to make sense to have the A/B checkbox down in the bottom left, where it is always visible (before it was only visible within the “edit” tab.) And renaming it to “A/B” just saved some space.

Quickly Reset Any Individual Setting


This isn’t new, but I get asked about it every time there is a new release, haha. If you want to reset any individual setting, single-click on the setting name. (I know this is different from Lightroom, where a double click on a slider will reset that slider, but unfortunately I don’t have a way of registering double-clicks in the Lightroom SDK, so this is the best I can do).

Positive Copy - Overwrite Old Copies


For those who like to leave Positive Copy on, I’ve added the option to “Overwrite Old Copies” in the Advanced tag. This can be useful if you want future changes you make in Negative Lab Pro to be reflected in the positive copy. Just note that you may need to restart Lightroom before it recognizes the update to the positive copy.

The “Apply” Button is now grayed out until the image is converted
I get a few emails a week from new users who accidentally hit the “Apply” button instead of the “Convert” button, and find that they’ve used up some of their free trial applications, which really sucks. So, now, the Apply button is not selected until the image is converted. If you have an image that is already converted, and you choose to unconvert it, the apply button will still be selectable in case you want to make that image unconverted again.

Better Licensing Persistence
Another issue a lot of users have experienced is having their NLP license dropped from Lightroom, usually during an upgrade of either Lightroom or NLP. So now, if NLP detects that a license has been dropped, it will attempt to reinstate it for you automatically.

Deactivating Devices


Also, there is now a much easier way to ensure that you are able to move your license to new machines and it won’t be counted against your two machine limit.

To deactivate a device, simply go to File > Plugin Manager and click the button Deactivate This Device.You’ll then be able to add your license to a new device.

Increased Trial Limit
To help users get a better sense of working with rolls, I’ve increased the trial limitation from 12 uses to 24 uses.


7. How to Download and Upgrade


New to Negative Lab Pro?

You can download a free 24-shot trial here →
or purchase here →

Upgrading from a previous version?

If your purchase was after October 1st, 2022…
You are eligible for a free upgrade. You should have now received an email titled “Negative Lab Pro v3 is here!” with your new v3 license and upgrade instructions.

If your purchase was before October 1st, 2022…
You can use this link to purchase an upgrade. (The upgrade cost is $49 USD.)

If you’ve already pre-purchased an upgrade…
You will receive an email with instructions on upgrading.



Running into issues? Please visit this thread, where I will keep a running list of issues and fixes:

V3 Issues and Fixes Thread→

Whew!!! Ok, I think that is it for the updates. :sweat_smile:

Let me know what you think in the comments below!


Will be setting aside a few days just to convert some old negatives! Can’t wait.

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Wow, that’s a lot of improvements! Didn’t even got reading halfway and am amazed. Excited about the roll analysis and the B&W options! Looking forward to using it.

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I’m going to finish my portra 400 roll in some days. Happy to edit it with the V3 …

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Just got back from a trip with 7 rolls to develop. This couldn’t be better timing. Looking forward to using V3! Thanks Nate

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Thanks for all of the hard work! I’m looking forward to unitising V3.

Will we still be able to use the older engines in the advanced tab?

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Yes, you will still be able to use the older engines (or configure it to however you’d like). By default, your previous conversions will still use the engine settings it had when first converted.


this is such great news!

looking forward for my link as I bought it less than a month ago! :tada:

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Thanks for what looks like a great update. Looking forward to putting it through the paces and getting some scans completed here in hte new few weeks.

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When/where do I enter my serial number? Does it auto-prompt me when the trial runs out?

In Lightroom, go to File > Plugin Manager.

Select the Negative Lab Pro plugin (it might already be selected).

And then you should see a place to enter your license code. Paste it in there, and then submit it. You should see a confirmation that it has been successful.

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Thanks Nate was so much looking forward for this update. There seems so much here, so nice!

Could you perhaps think of making a youtube video tutorial showing how you use all the new features? I think that would be a very nice way to get to know the new features.

Yes! That’s the plan! Let me patch a few issues, and then I will be working more on videos. I think that will be really helpful, especially to show some of the ways you can use Roll Analysis.



Do you have an estimate about when the direct download will be available? I see an email has already been sent for v2.x purchasers but there’s no direct download yet.

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Holy crap these updates look amazing! Ironically, I kept thinking about how your software reaching the level of control over film as we have for digital files. Which had me questioning, “why shoot film?”. There’s a little bit of an existential question going on in my head right now :slight_smile:

Where NLP v.3 keeps pushing towards ultimate control over a negative to reach the best output possible, “Dehancer” is working in the opposite direction, to make digital look more like film.

Ultimately, it’s amazing that we have so much creative choice and control over the output of our work. Thank you for all your work on this plugin, it’s truly amazing how much you’ve been able to do.

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This is like Christmas in July! You really stuffed our stockings with this one. And thanks for that excellent summary of everything to help guide us through it.


Great news, Nate!
Just got a new Macbookpro: Will NLP3 work with the M2 processor?
I hope it will, I can’t wait to try the new features (and I’ve still got a few hundred rolls to scan)

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Thanks Nate! Great news!!!
Just a quick question, I’ve seen the installer mention Rosetta is required, why?
Isn’t the plugin native to Apple Silicon?
If not when do you plan to release an update with full native Apple Silicon binaries?

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Hi @Condo and @dia3olik,

Yes, NLP v3 will work great with these machines, but it does require Rosetta.

The majority of the plugin functionality is happening natively on M1/M2, but the libraries I’m using during the image analysis and export functions still require Rosetta. I wouldn’t expect a huge increase in speed from updating these.

Thanks again Nate for your replies!

Just know that rosetta has often been the cause of memory leaks in the past and I don’t think it’s solved yet.

Everytime I use apps compiled for Intel on my Apple Silicon mac the system become much less responsive, especially after a little while, on my air (16gb of ram) and on my mini (8gb of ram).

Both machines works smooth and fast if ONLY using Apple Silicon apps, so I suspect the culprit is not of the apps using rosetta but in the rosetta translation process itself which is kept open for the whole time an intel process is used…

If these are open source libraries maybe we can open an issue ticket on the relative github page to ask their developers community to help with compatibility to Apple Silicon?

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