Nik Viveza 2 Review

Viveza 2 is now part of the Nik Collection

In March of 2013 Google announced that all Nik Software plug-ins would be bundled together into the Nik Collection for just $149! The bundle includes HDR Efex Pro 2, Color Efex Pro 4, Silver Efex Pro 2, Viveza 2, Sharpener Pro 3 and Dfine 2.

Nik Viveza 2 Review

I was recently sitting down with some of the Nik guys and they noticed that my review for Viveza 1 was outdated. I didn’t even know there was a new version available! And I’m supposed to know about all this latest post-processing stuff… !

So I downloaded the New Viveza 2 to give it a whirl. It’s cool!

The best way to explain Viveza 2 is that it lets you change one part of a photo without changing another part. Now, your change can be subtle or extreme — this depends on you.

I find that sometimes, especially with my HDR work, that some areas can become oversaturated. Viveza 2 allows me to go in and desaturate one area while leaving the other bits saturated. This is a pretty handy fix.

It’s not just Saturation — I should not use that as an example I suppose, because there are so many things you can change. Contrast, Warmth, Shadows, Structure, and more are easy to control.

Viveza 2 Review

The Viveza 2 UI is the usual Nik look. Sleek. Black. German.

Control Points

Nik has this interesting UI way of interacting with your image called “Control Points”. These are little “Dots” (for lack of a better word) that you drop on the part of your photo that you want to mess with. When you click on that “dot”, a local tree of options explodes outward. It’s very cool. The top control allows you to adjust the “radius” of the working area. The other nodes of the tree allow you to change saturation, contrast, brightness, structure, and all those sorts of things. You can see a lot more by zooming in on the screenshots.

Viveza 2 Review

Dropping control points to fix parts of the image is a simple matter of clicking that control points button in the upper right, and then clicking inside the photo anywhere.

A Replacement for Masking

I find that “Masking” in Photoshop is one of the hardest things to teach people. I understand why, because I remember my struggles in understanding it in the beginning. Well, these control points really allow you to accomplish the whole thing without masks. In my experience, dropping a control point down is a lot easier than doing a mask.

Viveza 2 Review

You can see that in this area in the river, I have dropped a control point to reduce the saturation. It can also be changed on the right in the sidebar.

The Sweet Structure Slider

There are many sliders to control – but don’t forget to play with the “Structure” slider! It’s the secret gem in here! Sliding that thing around can really help add detail and “pop” to part of the photo. In the example screenshot, you can see I added a lot of structure detail and pop to the middle of Notre Dame.

Note that you don’t just have to add “Structure” to structures. So maybe this was a bad example! But, you can apply it to the eye of a model, the texture of a couch, or the leaf of a flower. That “pop” in an area of a photo is a very nice effect!

Viveza 2 Review

I have made a few changes on this control point, but my favorite is that "Structure" slider.

If you end up wanting to buy, see my Nik Coupon page for the latest codes to save some money…

Any questions about the nature of these reviews? Visit my Ethics Statement. It’s all quite simple!

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  • Julius

    I am from germany. I dont understand why you said the menu looks “german”. Could you explain this? Is this some kind of how americans think germans look/work/think? Please explain this. Nice plug in by the way, I will give it a try!

  • Julius

    hey trey!
    If you want me to do a german translation, let me know. My email adress:
    I would love to share your knowledge to the german people!

    best regards.

  • Jake


    What??? Alright, maybe I’m the one acting loopy but I read through the review and didn’t see anything about Germany or being German mentioned. Although, somewhere up there, in one of the sections a sentence does read “It’s the secret gem in here!” Maybe “gem in” looked like “German”?

  • Johannes

    @Jake: Use your search function. The word “German” is used… I admit I don’t get the meaning either (being German myself and knowing that Nik is an American company…) … but, nevermind :)

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  • Rajiv

    The usage of the word “German” is probably done in a positive way. Think Mercedes, BMW, Audi et al… Anyways, I use this plugin and absolutely love it.

  • Pete Halewood

    Agree, the mention of ‘German’ is a positive reference meaning efficiency. The menu is efficient. Like German efficiency. We say the same thing in England. I guess in Germany they just say efficiency!

    Viveza 2 is great by the way, I’ve been using it for a while and generally find it very useful. The bigger area you select to work with though, the more difficult it becomes to keep other areas unaffected so try to keep the area selected as small as possible. Nik software say it is easy to counter by just selecting other areas so they aren’t affected but I do not find this as straight forward as they suggest. It’s my only niggle though, it is a quality piece of software as are a lot of their products.

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