onOne Software Review
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Update: Perfect Browse on the scene!
The latest addition to the suite is supa-sweet! It’s called Perfect Browse and solves one of the BIG problems in the Lightroom workflow without necessarily replacing Lightroom — and I have a dedicated Perfect Browse Review.
Perfect Photo Suite 9 Premium
Perfect Photo Suite 9 is yet another smart iteration in the series. They just get better and better! In my opinion, this package is the best option because, as you’ll see below, you get their flagship product (in my opinion), Perfect Effects, and then you also get all the other goodies which I can promise you’ll use way more than once!
These work on Mac and Windows and are compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and Photoshop Elements.
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 upper right.
onOne Plugin – Perfect Effects
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.
Above, you can see the Dynamic Contrast effect, which is kind of like a less intense HDR option. There is a master selection over on the left, and then controls you can tweak out on the right.
Above you can see the fun and very fast “Tilt-Shift” filter.
Above, here’s one of the crazy “Glow” filters. This one is called Hollywood Glow, and you can see the split-down-the-middle comparison view, which can be toggled in a few different split views there on the lower left.
Above, you can see the effects of some of the HDR Looks on the image. Again, it is very easy to dial up or down, depending on your drug tolerance level!
Above you can see one of the cool new features. You can actually make the preview thumbnails so huge that you don’ t even have to click on them to see how they will look! These are the five options for Dynamic Contrast.
Above you can see some of the OnOne built-in presets. These are smart combinations of the other filters. You can see I expanded the “Landcapes” presets. And yes, these are goats in a tree.
Above is another example of some of the presets in the “Cinematic” category.
Above you can see the Cross-Process filter. See that little tool in the upper left? That allows me to go brush back in part of the original photo. You can see the masking over on the right how I masked back in the original sky.
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.
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.
Final Thoughts on Perfect Effects
You’re going to end up with a good problem that maybe you’re not accustomed 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
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.
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.
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.
The new Perfect Portrait is very good at finding faces. If it can’t find the face, you can use a nifty little tool to tell the program where the eyes and mouth are. You can see how I used it to make this Japanese guy look even more Japanese-awesome!
Formerly, this was known as Genuine Fractals, which was a very nerdy name. I like how OnOne has consolidated everything down.
Above, you can see the options over on the right for making your image bigger. People use this tool a lot in commercial printing situations to make sure that when images are blown up that they don’t look to pixellated. I also use this tool all the time whenever I need to make a bigger-than-recommended print size! It’s great!
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