onOne Software Review

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onOne Software Review Updated!

These reviews take a long time, but I’ve been playing with the latest version of the software, and it’s coming along well as you can see below. Everything is more streamlined and the tools are improved and evolutionary. Below you can see a screenshot of all the new tools in the lower right, including Perfect Effects, FocalPoint, Perfect B&W, Perfect Mask, Perfect portrait, and Perfect Resize.

OnOne Software Review

onOne Plugins – Get the whole suite?

People often wonder if they should get all the software including Perfect Effects, FocalPoint, Perfect B&W, Perfect Mask, Perfect portrait, and Perfect Resize. I use all of them except for Perfect Portrait, but this is mostly because I don’t do a lot of straight-up portrait work. But still, even if you don’t use some of the products much, it’s still a good deal to get them all. And, it’s always handy to have those tools in your belt just in case. For example, even though I don’t do a lot of portrait work, I might end up in a situation where I need to clean up a lot of portraits quickly, and I kinda like knowing I have it around.

onOne Plugin – Perfect Effects 4

I find myself using THIS tool the most. It’s much improved over previous versions, and the interface is pretty and fast.

The whole interface is simple and easy to use. Along the left side are a variety of different filters. Each one expands and collapses. When you expand one of the filter areas, you see a number of different thumbnails. I’ve really become a big fan of looking at thumbnails to decide what I want to do. Now, most of my shots are now bigger 36 megapixel photos, so running any filter (even on a fast computer) can take a while. By a while, I mean about ten seconds. I know I know… ten seconds… big deal… but I guess nowadays we like to see instant results. Anyway, the little thumbnail gives me a really good idea of what the final version will look like, so I end up saving a lot of time.

If you find one you like, you can click the little flag and it goes to your favorites. I recommend this, because otherwise you’ll have trouble remembering if the effect you like was in “Vintage” or “Movie Effects”! I’ve tended to stay in my “Favorites” tab most of the time with occasional forays into the wild for new filters.

OnOne Software Review

Above, you can see the “Honky Tonk” effect. It is one of the pre-canned filters. Right underneath it, you can see the Lord of the Rings filter. onOne had to pay the Tolkien estate $1,000,000 to get the rights to use that name, so they hope you click on it (it’s actually pretty cool and gives a bloom-Orton effect).

OnOne Software Review

Above, you can see one of the pretty Landscape effects called “Fall Enhancer”. It takes the yellow and green bits of a photo and pushes them more into the orange and red. Now, of course, you can do all this stuff in normal Photoshop, but this tool helps you do it very quickly. Sometimes people prefer to use a “look book” sort of thing… where you can just simply look at many different versions and choose what you like. This is where Perfect Effects shines.

Border Effects

There used to be a different way of adding border effects, and now it’s all integrated into Perfect Effects. Don’t forget that you can tweak out all the border effects (and any effect for that matter) over there on the right. If it’s too thick or intense or whatever, you can just dial it back.

OnOne Software Review

Above, you can see one of the many borders. I don’t do this much on my photos… but, whenever I do, I often kind of like it. And I think, “Hey I should add more borders to my photos!” And then I forget about this idea for a while… and come back in and use a tool like this and am excited… and then the whole cycle starts over again.

Movie Effects

OnOne Software Review

Above, you can see one of the cool and somewhat extreme effects, Kryptonite, which is inside the Movie Effects category. Sometimes I get in an extreme mode, and sometimes I’m in a subtle mode. In this way, I am moody like a woman. Also, I can change my mind very quickly and without remorse, also much like a woman.

Vintage Effects

OnOne Software Review

Above, another nice effect! This one is “Nicely Toasted” in the Vintage category.

Vintage Effects

OnOne Software Review

Above, you can see the nice and moody “Lomo Soft” effect.

OnOne Software Review

Above, you can see how two different things have been combined in Perfect Effects. If you zoom in and look on the right side, you can see that two effects have been layered there. This is the Nicely Toasted combined with one of the Emulsion Borders.

OnOne Software Review

Above the Holga Cross Process effect has been used to make everything a bit darker and more dramatic. There were a few of the Holga effects here I quite liked, and I could have chosen any of them to show off!

Final Thoughts on Perfect Effects

You’re going to end up with a good problem that maybe you’re not used to. You’ll inevitably find between 2 and 10 versions you really like, and many may be quite different. Then you’re faced with the decision about which version will be the final version. This causes a strange kind of stress. Maybe stress isn’t the right word, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you feel it. You can always take solace knowing that you have more options rather than less.

Sometimes I’ll fully process an HDR photo using other tools then pop into Perfect Effects for one of these finishing touches. 100% of the effect is maybe too much, but I can easily dial it back a few notches till it feels right.

Perfect Black and White

In the interface, it looks like Perfect B&W. You launch this the same way as all the other plugins, by opening the panel then double-clicking on the tool. I find the whole getting-into-onOne-tools process to be quite clunky, but that is probably not their fault. It is probably something with the way that Photoshop talks to plugins. Anyway, once you are in the tool everything is simple and self-explanatory.

Again, you are presented with a ton of thumbnails down the left side. You can pick one that suits your fancy then tweak it on the right. You may have better success if you bring in very colorful photos with strong shapes and lines. If you look over on the right, you can see how you can tweak out various “input” colors to be more black and white.

OnOne Software Review

Above, you can see the “Ingrid Cool” effect. I then went and tweaked it out a little on the right and brought down the highlights. I like how the sky is a little-bit blown out… If I wanted to, I could adjust it so that nothing at all is blown-out… but somethings I like a bit of drama, like a woman.

OnOne Software Review

Above is the “Hint of Color” effect, and I think it is pretty cool. Sometimes, if you don’t watch out, choosing just ONE real color to pop out of your photos can be a little too First-year-of-art-school, if you know what I mean… but I guess it’s still fun to play with from time to time.

Anyway, those are just a few examples of the black and white tools. I recommend this instead of the basic tools that come with Photoshop and Lightroom. These tools end up adding a lot more drama to the shots… and these tend to be the kind of black and white photos I prefer… but that’s just me.

FocalPoint

In the strange-naming-convention-department, this is the only tool that does not have the name “Perfect” in front of it. Maybe “Perfect Focus” doesn’t work because it indicates that it puts things more in focus, which it does not. Maybe they could call it “Perfect BlurTheOtherShit” — because that is pretty much what it does.

Now, this blur trick is a very simple trick, but it is often quite effective. People love this kinda-thing. If you put a picture on Facebook and you blur everything but one little bit, people will think you are some kinda freakin’ genius. I mean, that’s not saying much. Tricking people on Facebook with nice photos is nothing to brag about, but it’s not so bad if you’re trying to get clients from there. If you have photos of brides or kids or mothers-in-law or dogs or whatever and you blur the crap out of everything but the eyes, future clients will be impressed.

And if you play around with the tool enough, you’ll end up finding kind of a unique style. You can do stuff like the Lensbaby enables without all the trouble of putting extra gizmos on your camera.

OnOne Software Review

Above is a photo I took at Burning Man and then processed in Lightroom. I brought it into FocalPoint to make the focus even more on the eyes. You can see that interface there. Whenever I see this kind of interface, I always feel like one of those Star Trek away missions where you end up on some alien ship and you have to figure out how to land the damn thing. So you start using your human fingers to drag all those bits and bobs around until you either land or burn up in the atmosphere.

Okay this ends the little FocalPoint part of the review. You get it.

Perfect Portrait

Want to easily make faces look better? This is a great tool for that. It’s easy and fun to use. You’ll be impressed by the results.

But watch out, if you use it too hard, you’ll end up making people look like a bottle of lotion. You know that look, right? Where people look smooth enough to spread like hummus and their eyes pop out like white supernovas, burning into your retinas. You can go all extreme if you want to… but try to avoid the temptation. I suppose it’s cool that the tool allows you to slide into the cocoa-butter zone, but you’ll just have to treat your great new power with great responsibility.

OnOne Software Review

Above, I chose a very strange photo to test this with. It probably just confused the software. I assume it is pretty good at softening the skin of various races, but creatures from Pandora are not in its wheelhouse. It did recognize the face though, and there was some softening of the pores, so that’s pretty cool I suppose.

OnOne Software Review

Above: When you first pop into the tool, it tries to map out the eyes and mouth because the algorithm treats them differently. I confused it a bit with this side-view, but I was able to adjust everything by dragging those bits around. That was easy enough. But if you do a lot of straight-facing headshots, this will work better for you.

OnOne Software Review

Above: The Lotion-Bottle-Effect. On the left you can see I chose “Heavy” which made her look like she was dipped into a milky caramel. That sounds kind of nice, come to think of it. If you look at the other bits, you can see how I dragged around the control points to account for her eyes and mouth.

OnOne Software Review

Above: I chose the “Natural” filter, which did a more, well, natural job of it all.

Perfect Mask

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Perfect Mask Review

Perfect Resize

Formerly, this was known as Genuine Fractals
[More text coming soon - just adding new screenshots for now - Review in progress...]

Perfect Resize review

Above: 36mp image Before at 25%

Perfect Resize review

Above: Before at 50%

Perfect Resize review

Above: Before at 100%

Perfect Resize review

Above: Perfect Resize Interface

Perfect Resize review

Perfect Resize review

Perfect Resize review

Above: At the new 100%

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


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Brown/48602960 Aaron Brown

    I’ve been digging this set of tools, too! But I always love reading your take on things. Thanks, Trey!

    -Aaron
    http://blog.aaronbrownphotos.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Uchytil/501351240 Richard Uchytil

    I’ve only used Genuine Fractals and it’s freaking AMAZING!!! Had one of the owners of my company bring me a 72dpi 3×5 photo wanting it printed 8×10. Thanks to Genuine Fractals I was able to give them something that didn’t suck! And what’s even more cool to me is they are an Oregon company, only like 10 minutes away from me. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marianne-Wedell-Wedellsborg/1315316915 Marianne Wedell-Wedellsborg

    Awesome, Trey. How you get the time to do all this while launching your book AND still work is way beyond me. I guess some people thrive on two hours of sleep. Thanks for the review.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dudewithcamera/ Mike

    Super review Trey!
    I’ve been using FocalPoint1 since it first came out, I just love it!
    Already 1/3 of the way through your book. Fabulous job, it rocks!

    - Mike (aka Dudewithacamera)

  • http://www.scvphotocenter.com Mel Carll

    This was super helpful. Thanks for taking the time. I have the suite, and just did not realize all the cool features.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/beautox/ beautox

    It’s a shame that they feel they have to charge so much for the software. IMHO (and I own a software company) they would sell much more that five times the licenses if they made their prices one fifth of what they currently are. Imagine of the whole suite were only $100, it would pretty much be standard fare for many many photographers. But price it at $500 and it’s going to put off a lot of people, me included.

    Compare Photomatix; do you think it would have become as popular if it cost $500? I would not say that On-One is 5 times more powerful than Photomatix..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Diblicek/600914938 Mike Diblicek

    Hi Trey,

    Great review, gives a great overview of these apps, but as beautox say’s, the price (even with your very generous discount) is a little too steep for me, maybe oneday.

    All the best

    Mike

  • Gary

    I purchased Mask Pro several months ago and spent a few weeks trying to master it. I found it to be very frustrating to use and I couldn’t get quality results. So, I asked OnOne for a refund.

    Trey, I would have liked to see the results of your masking the girl with the hood.

  • http://tagchips.com/skunkworks.html DARYL BUTCHER

    Modules crashed deep and repeatedly after a no-exceptions installation on an XP machine with huge memory. Nothing this bad since Corel many years back. Uninstalled immediately through control panel. Never again.

  • Kennon

    Gary,

    I agree with you. I tried the demo (before the new version came out in November) and couldn’t get a single image to mask well. I even watched the tutorials. Sometimes I find these plugins fun but usually never satisfied with the results.

    But Trey, I do appreciate the review and now that the whole Suite 5 is out I’m going to try it out again.

  • Wendelius

    Trey,

    Thanks for the review. It makes me really interested in the tools. But I’m a Lightroom 2 user who hasn’t seen the need to reinstall his old copy of CS2 on his new machine. And I don’t plan to get a newer version as LR really does a lot of what I need.

    So my question is: Can I still use and get the most of the On One tools in that case? Do they integrate with LR or require Photoshop?

    Any advice on which, if any, of the tools apply to me would be much appreciated.

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  • kim the canon chick

    I LOVE ONONE and NIK. I was a student last year and took advantage of that and bought NIK SUITE for 600$ and bought ONONE for next to nothing. Thank God for student discounts and thank YOU Trey for almost a 1/4 off list price for those who can’t afford the regular price. OnOne is awesome. I could NEVER do any of it using Photo Shop. Photo Shop has soooo many steps and forumulas to remember. There are just too many variables involved.

    Since there are 300 ways to skin a cat, I like to skin all my cats using NIK and / or ONONE or both. I have NEVER had NIK crash anything or make CS4 crash.

    I have NEVER had ONONE crash or make CS4 crash with the exception of using Genuine Fractals. And it was because ( I believe) I had a ton of stuff open and the image had a bagillion layers on/in it and I don’t think I flattened the image.

    For the gentleman whos machine crashed, I guarantee it WASN’T ONONE software that did it. I have NEVER read an ill review of their products with the acception of folks not liking the price. It is a shame you didn’t try it again. You are missing out!

    Everything is pretty easy to use with the exception of Masking. It is very difficult to use the first several times. There is a learning curve and all you can do is practice practice. Watch the video tutorials!!!

    Onones customer service is some of the best. Sometimes there can be a little bit of a wait, at one point I was on hold for 11 minutes and less than that a few times. You know how difficult it is to expalin yourself to Adobes customer service because they are over-seas. Something ALWAYS gets lost in translation, then you get hung up on after being called sir, when clearly you are a woman.. LOL Onone is the complete opposite. Their customer service force was funny, kind, and very helpful and encouraged me to call with any further questions or problems AND I HAVE VISTA, so that should tell you right there that I allready come to the table with problems, when I really dont have any problems!!

    Photomatix – 99$, expensive? are you KIDDING ME? What do you want, do you want it for FREE? some folks are so ungrateful. It is one of the best ones out there, AND it’s easy to use AND their customer service is double decent. As far as ‘involved’ software is concerned, Photomatix is very specialized. There is however, a serious lag when emailing your problems. We are lucky its ONLY $99. And not 299$. These people spend countless days and hours working on these programs for us, and Photomatix, as far as I am concerned should/could be charging more…

    As far as Adobe software? What a joke. I bought CS4 for 399$ with my student discount. Regular price is 1899$, now, talk about a RIP OFF. And on top of that, they don’t include any classes, or a manual. I ended up buying 5 CS4 books, a Camera Raw book, A Layers book, and since I have Lightroom 2 (which is worth the 200$ pricetag too) I got Martin Evenings Lightroom 2 book as well.

    and, to think, I STILL dont know what I am doing.

    with thanks to Trey – my HDR is getting better. I just need a ball head and some legs. Right now I can only do the 1 image deal beacause I can never straighten out my 3,4,5 images for a true HDR experience. Talk about expensive. Really Right Stuff ball and legs together is around 900$!! (for the set I want) and can not afford. Now, that is a travesty!

    Just my 3 pennies worth.

    thanks for everything Trey! We have such a great community. thanks to everyone else who contributes to make this place that much better!!!

  • http://douglassphotography.com Todd Douglass

    Hi Trey,

    I’ve heard that noise removal software can soften an imafe, however, can software such as Lucis add sharpeness back to an image?
    Awesome work you do. I am impressed, and about to embark on doing HDR in my portrait work.

  • Becky Purvis

    I agree that it’s a great set of software and I use it all the time. I see that you have shown a bunch of NAPP presets and wondered where you got them. I’m a NAPP member and have never seen them. Thanks!

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  • William

    Sorry to say… i tried the demo and everytime i use the MASK PRO it crashes every single time and makes photoshop CS4 crash on my MACbook.

    i will not recommend Mask pro… the rest of the plugins i didn’t have the time to try them and i will not have a chance on doing it cause i decided after 25 times of crash to remove the plugin!

    William!

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  • Ade

    Hi Trey
    I am so grateful for your superb website, especailly with your recommendations for software..Great!
    Just one thing to correct under your NAPP preset picture, there is no such thing as British spelling, only English spelling. Hope you don’t mind the correction.
    Thank you again.

  • John

    Just tried your discount code and it was only providing 15% for the suite.

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  • http://www.nuwomb.com Scott Webb | HDR Photographer

    I love onOne! I love the ability to create my own presets and how much it has enhanced my creativity and artistic exploration – with speed. This is a huge review and I learned a few things to try out even.

    onOne has been doing really awesome with the webinars to help people learn and experiment more too. They are doing great to show off features and uses. Great company!

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  • http://www.catvibe.com Catherine Vibert

    I just recently bought this software (Genuine Fractals is now called Perfect Resize), and I love playing with it. So glad I discovered you via G+, you’re my new guru.

  • http://sorebuttcheeks.blogspot.com/ steroids

    I’ve used teh genuine fractals feature to make some great life sized prints.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jayadeep.karnati Jayadeep Karnati

    Onone Photoframe has been discontinued. the border effects are now in perfect effects 4 http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/#discontinued

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Update of the review currently in progress… should be up sooooon! :)

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