More expensive than previously No option to get the plug-ins alone The Nik Collection is a set of seven plug-ins originally developed by Nik Software and sold individually, then bought by Google and sold as a single suite, then discontinued and given away free, and finally rescued by DxO and relaunched as a commercial package.
During all that time, the plug-ins have hardly changed at all. Google added the Analog Efex Pro plug-in during its time as owner, and DxO has updated the software to be compatible with the latest Mac and Windows operating systems since it took it over, but otherwise the Nik plug-ins look much the same as they did when they were launched. In fact, they still rate as amongst the best photo-editing software applications you can get.
They also include some of the best creative tools and presets available to photographers. The really big change is separate. Its solution has been bold, some might say obvious, but also rather clever.
PhotoLab applies lens corrections automatically for over 40, camera and lens combinations, even correcting edge softness in lower-quality lens. PhotoLab Essential has powerful and actually quite complex image adjustment tools, and also offers local adjustments via gradient masks, radial masks, a manual brush tool and the clever control point adjustments also found in the Nik Collection plug-ins — more on this shortly.
You can use the plug-ins for specialised creative effects, but you might find PhotoLab alone does much of what you need for everyday adjustments. The addition of PhotoLab Essential makes the DxO Nik Collection 2 a self-contained photo-editing solution, with browsing, raw processing and local adjustments thrown in. The Nik plug-ins There are seven plug-ins in the collection, but they are not all creative tools and not all equally useful, to be fair. Analog Efex Pro is one of the most spectacular.
Analog Efex Pro is the only plug-in added during Google's ownership. It offers an amazing array of analog film and camera simulation tools, and has ten new "En Vogue" presets. Silver Efex Pro is dedicated to black and white photography. Like other Nik plug-ins, it comes with a range of preset film and darkroom effects, built with manual adjustment tools displayed on the right of the screen.
Silver Efex Pro enjoys a similar reputation for black and white photography, which is about so much more than just the absence of color. It recaptures the depth, intensity and subtlety of black and white films and darkroom processes in a way that other programs and plug-ins struggle to match. Color Efex Pro offers dozens of photographic filter effects which can be combined in an almost endless array of different permutations, or 'Recipes'. HDR Efex Pro is good too.
It can merge a series of bracketed exposures or create a tone mapped HDR image from a single photo, and it has a wide selection of preset HDR effects to choose from. From this high point, the remaining three plug-ins take a bit of a downturn. Viveza's appeal is more limited in that it's designed solely to leverage the Nik Collections control point adjustment technology, but it can still be really effective. Here, we've used it to give the distant background in this cathedral a cool, dark tone to contrast with the lamps in the foreground.
The last two, Dfine and Sharpener Pro, feel increasingly irrelevant in the modern age. Dfine is a noise reduction tool that works well enough, but most photographers will concentrate on applying noise reduction at the raw processing stage, not on already-processed images. Quality of results The Nik Collection plug-ins may have been around for a long time, but their preset effects, their tools and controls, and the sense of excitement and discovery they create, are as fresh as ever.
Have you ever felt jaded and bored by the effects in your current photo editing software? Image 1 of 5 Here are sample images we made for this review with the Nik Collection plug-ins. Image 2 of 5 Here are sample images we made for this review with the Nik Collection plug-ins. Image 3 of 5 Here are sample images we made for this review with the Nik Collection plug-ins. Image 4 of 5 Here are sample images we made for this review with the Nik Collection plug-ins. Image 5 of 5 Viveza Here are sample images we made for this review with the Nik Collection plug-ins.
There are a couple of snags. For new buyers, the DxO Nik Collection 2 is a great deal. Verdict The addition of PhotoLab Essential to the Nik Collection is a good deal for new users looking for an independent standalone solution, but not so much for those who just want the plug-ins.
The addition of 42 new presets, meanwhile, hardly constitutes much of an upgrade to the plug-ins themselves, whose actual tools and features are unchanged. But despite all these caveats, the Nik Collection 2 is such an important, powerful, wide-ranging and inspiring suite of creative tools that we would still recommend it unreservedly.
Dfine offers two ways of nkwnuz.me 22, · Nik Software announces today that Dfine , its popular award-winning digital photographic plug-in offering photographers advanced and powerful noise reduction for their digital images, is nkwnuz.me is a program developed by Nik Software. Dfine 20 Review. Dfine and DevNet Resource. what Dfine to buy for mac? Kit With NURBS, a smooth sphere can be created with only one face. import styled the simple software tables directly specifications purchase Dfine for mac page for information. Nik Software, Inc. is a privately held company that develops software solutions for the growing digital imaging and photography markets. Established in , Nik .
Get access to video content and additional supporting images. As a photographer and editor, it is always good to try out new plugin software to integrate into your workflow. I have been using the Nik software for what seems like forever. Silver Efex Pro has been my go-to effects plugin. After Google bought the software, I was worried it would become ancient history for Photoshop users. Google that shit and buy it right now. You get all the programs Nik offers as well as full capabilities in Aperture, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
Open an image in Photoshop. They are listed in alphabetical order. Color and Silver Efex Pro 4 give you a huge advantage for your daily workflow and your creative edge. Last but not least, Dfine 2, Sharpener Pro 3: Raw Presharpener and Output Sharpener provide attention to detail. Creative Effects Analog Efex Pro 2 is exactly what it sounds like—and more.
After opening this plugin, we are thrown right into the effects capabilities of this software. Classic Camera is the default preset applied, and we can cycle through the other options. To give you a little background in the structure of this software, it is made up of individual tools listed here. Customization is really useful here because there are a lot of effects that are not useful to a professional photographer. Start with the camera section and select the arrow on the right to begin with a preset.
We can remove and add tools to suit the image. For this image, the subjects are close to the edge and may become problematic when working with many of the older analog effects.
Meaning the edges are usually soft and vignettes take effect. On the left panel, start with Classic Camera looks like waist-level camera and select Classic Camera 3. On the right panel, you will notice specific tools have been added. Drop these tools down to tweak your image. To add tools to this panel, click back on Classic Camera at the top on the left-hand panel and select Camera Kit at the bottom.
Once you develop a solid tool collection, create a preset for later use. Local adjustments are called Control Points in the Nik Collection. A newer program utilizing this feature is Viveza 2. This allows users to be selective with adjustments similar to Lightroom. From here, you can adjust the size of the area being affected by sliding the bar with the black dot. Basic adjustments start out with Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Structure. I can see this being useful for burning down background and creating a control point to drive attention to the subject.
High dynamic range editing was a huge trend a few years ago when Adobe added a new functionality for its users. It was a chance to bridge that gap between the limited range of recording stops of lights with a camera and what humans can see. I have always been fascinated looking at a scene, photographing it and trying to edit based on what I remember or thought I saw.
HDR Efex Pro 2 has given users a great balance of presets and customization for this type of effect.
HDR Efex Pro 2 gives you 28 presets to begin with, and from there, you can adjust with the standard tools in the right-hand panel. Dial in settings with sliders, much like in Adobe Camera Raw, with the ease of clicking and dragging.
Control Points are utilized by Nik to act as a masking option within the plugin. I use the next two plugins, Color and Silver Efex Pro 4, for creative toning. Color vs. Tools are listed in the left panel and, based on your category, they are narrowed down by All, Favorites, Landscape, Nature, Wedding, Portrait, Architecture and Travel. At the bottom, you can select settings to change the filter lists.
Click on All at the Top, and we can begin starring tools that sound appealing. I do this so that you can select Favorites to filter the tools for later use. You can customize your tool with sliders and dropdown presets.
Control points are here as well; I pass on this feature of Nik to mask later in Photoshop. My favorite feature, Add Filter, allows us to build a tool set. These tools are adjusted for each image, and, depending on the look and feel you want, they can provide quite an enhancement to the original. Like presets, Nik allows users to create Recipes to quickly recall the tool set just created. This plugin set the bar for digital black-and-white post-production.
Silver EP2 is set up very simply. The left-hand panel has the Preset Library to allow users to select and adjust according to their taste. Select All to star your favorite presets for quick use later. These drop down and allow users to slide effects.
Start with Neutral in the preset library to begin at a base level to get a feel for the adjustment settings. Brightness, Contrast and Structure can get very complex and give you the ability to adjust for the histogram. For example, white and black point, highlights, midtones, shadows, etc.
Then drop down to the File Types section and apply your favorite film. This is where Nik really separated itself from film preset predecessors. You can choose by ISO for your grain preference and film brand for tone. Finishing adjustments for toning like selenium, cyanotype and sepia are popular choices. Vignetting, Burn Edges and Image Borders all emulate analog effects for your black-and-white image. This can give your image a nostalgic print look. Attention to Detail Nik Dfine 2 is noise reduction software that should be run prior to sharpening.
After opening the plugin, you can see the automatic noise reduction setting applied. Change the method to manual and move from Measure to Reduce. We can begin to improve the effect by using different methods. Changing the method to color ranges allows you to specifically color-pick areas on the image to adjust contrast and color noise.
Remember, if you applied grain from a previous Nik plugin, you may begin removing it with noise reduction. Sharpener Pro 3 has a Presharpener and an Output Sharpening feature. Before adjusting these settings, you need to have an understanding of these two forms of sharpening. Much like Dfine, after opening the image, you can really see a difference with settings automatically applied. There are slider adjustments for adaptive, area and edge sharpening.
Control points and color range are also adjustable. Output Sharpener is a great tool that allows users to design their image specifically for either print or online. Before opening this plugin, you want to have the cropping, resizing and noise reduction completed. Also, flatten the image and save a specific version based on the output.
Open the plugin, and you will notice the automatic sharpening effect applied. Adaptive sharpening allows a softer focused image to be sharper, and can really improve the quality. Creative and selective sharpening can add an extra push to your image as well. The Results Nik has a lot to offer your standard and creative workflow.
Using Photoshop, you can really speed up processing by building specific actions for the creative toning, color and black-and-white enhancements, as well as the detail work.
I regularly use a specific set of plugin settings. There is no reason to hand-touch each image needing the same treatment. For more extensive editing, spend the time getting to know adjustments and how they work. Sometimes you can save a bad shot.
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