Tag Archive for 'Software'

OnOne Plug-in Suite 4: Straight Dope Review

The Product: OnOne Plug-in Suite 4 for Photoshop: Overall PPS Rating, 7/10
Includes Six plugins. We’ll review each separately below. Review by Gavin Seim

OnOne has given PPS a 15% off discount for readers. Use Promo Code PRPHTPC

The Hot:

  • Product interfaces have become mostly unified making them easy to work with.
  • When purchased as a suite, it’s a good value. You’ll have plenty to play with.
  • Effects and tools are effective and generally simple to use and customize.
  • Aperture & Lightroom* integration on certain apps

The Not:

  • No auto update makes in version updates a hassle and easy to overlook.
  • When purchased separately there’s STD/PRO options adding confusion and making the prices too high (not unlike many plugin companies. These so called Pro versions do not have enough extra features to warrant the cost. The full suite does include the pro versions where applicable however.

The Bottom Line:
This is a great collection of plugins. If you want to broaden your editing arsenal in one shot, Plugin Suite 4 is a great place to start. While the whole suite is the best value, all plugins can also be purchased separately.

*One thing to note is that Lightroom integration is little more than export plugins and not self contained integration in LR. This is probably due to limitation with Lightrooms support for plugins, but it’s still a  disappointment.

Promo’s and discounts:
OnOne gives PPS some specials as well. Promo code PRPHTSHW is good everyday for 10% off any OnOne product. Also thru Dec 31st, here’s a promo page that will save you $100 on the suite. Note that OnOne has no say in this review, and it contains only my honest opinions.

Individual Product Reviews:

Genuine Fractals 6: Review 9/10
Genuine Fractals is a standard among many photographers when it comes up scaling image resolution. I use it whenever I make large prints. It can quickly take those pixels and make a 300DPI file for whatever print size I need. It can even add sharpening in the same pass (though I usually sharpen separately) GF just gives something more than built in Photoshop up-conversion methods and I really like it.

Continue reading ‘OnOne Plug-in Suite 4: Straight Dope Review’

Nik Silver Efex Pro – Straight Dope Review!

Nik Siver Effects Pro = 4/5 stars

Silver Effects Pro

UPDATED: 04/10.

We’ve worked out a deal with Nik and you an save 15% on any of their products with promo code PPS.

I finally got a chance to play with Nik’s new Silver Efex Pro. It’s a Photoshop/Aperture plugin for making Black & White images from color one’s. Here’s the straight scoop! The interface follows Nik’s fairly clean and simple window style that graces the rest of their plugin’s. When it open’s you’ll be greeted by your image; a sidebar on the right that gives you control over the effects being added; a sidebar on the left with some easy preset effects,  and a few other tools around the screen that control the preview, etc.

Overall I liked the plugin. It suffers the the problem I find with most PS plugins, that causes me to stick with actions and presets for most images. When you open an image in the plugin you have to wait a few seconds and then use the tools in another window. Essentially PS goes away for that time, and when you commit those changes you are returned to your regular work environment. There’s nothing really wrong with this, it’s just not great for a workflow with large quantities of images, but more designed for those great images you want to spend extra time with.

I did find what’s inside to be simple and effective. There’s various preset options for making B&W images fast. You have color tones, film type, color filters etc to give you full control over making a nice piece of art. There’s also the ability to add some great looking grain effects is so desired, and the plugin; like many Nik products includes the U Point option that allows you to easily control effects on specific portions of the image (See Viveza)

BOTTOM LINE: I won’t be using Silver Effects for my everyday B&W images, because presets in Lightroom and actions in PS do most the the B&W effects I need, with more speed. I can also get most of the effects that the Silver provides by using the built in tools that PS provides (though with a bit more work)
All this said I think Silver is a good tool for getting great B&W effects on those images you want to spend some extra time with. It’s also great for trying out various effects with a lot of control and precision. I knocked off a half star because, Silver, at $199.00 costs twice what it probably should. Still if you have 199 to spare, and want a great tool for really fine tuning B&W images then pick it up (you can of course try Nik’s short 15 day demo).

Gavin Seim