Comments When Google purchased Nik Software to gain access to Snapseed, Nik fans, myself included, groaned in dismay in fear that Google would let the Nik Collection of software wither and die. While the fears were not totally realized, Google did little to update or improve the software suite. But the purchase of the Nik Collection by DxO Labs in June has breathed new life into the programs, and the latest release of Nik Collection 2 brings an expanded list of presets and effects to the suite, along with HiDPI monitor support for Windows.
Photoshop gives several paths to accessing the Nik Collection 2 plug-ins. They break down as follows: Nik Collection 2 did not overwrite my Elite Edition with the Essential on installation. The plug-ins for the Adobe programs installed seamlessly and once installed gave several ways to easily move back and forth between the hosts and the Nik programs. In Depth Presets are a valuable way to show you creative possibilities for images that you want to enhance.
But while a preset may suggest a direction for editing, they are usually not the final answer. Presets are most valuable when the associated program shows you the changes that the preset makes to your image with slider positions, then allows you to customize these and other sliders to create a unique look and save it for applying later.
In each case, the new Nik presets, along with the previous , allow this. But even more than global presets, DxO has improved on the U-point technology in its original Nik Collection release, making local corrections quicker and easier than with any other competing software. But many are quite beautiful or able to set a mood. In Silver Efex Pro, I was particularly struck by the More Silver preset for the beautiful monochrome effect it created.
In Color Efex, Blue Monday imparts a melancholy look while Soft Sepia is just the opposite, creating a warm and intimate feel. It had the feel of the blue hour just after sunrise. But the range of the new additions plus the previous ones make for a collection that offers far more possibilities than any other set available. Although this raised the cost of the Nik software, it will introduce a larger audience to the excellent PhotoLab product.
The Methodist Church in Bodie, CA seemed a suitable subject for conversion to monochrome Using the More Silver preset, and a yellow filter and a U-point adjustment for the sky in Silver Efex Pro, resulted in this image As for the presets themselves, they are a pleasing addition. In each of the plug-ins with new features, the effect is shown applied to the working image in thumbnails on the left of the interface.
Clicking on the thumbnail immediately displays the large preview image. Each plug-in is quick to display changes once the working image is loaded, but a raw file must be converted to a TIFF before applying a preset, so that takes a few seconds. Adjusting the presets to your liking is quick and intuitive with the available sliders and the U-Point technology makes local adjustments easy. This can be avoided by using the Nik plug-ins through Photoshop as Smart Filters for a non-destructive workflow.
However, the workflow is somewhat clunkier and slower. Unfortunately for users irretrievably tied to Adobe subscription software, no longer is the Nik Collection available as an independent collection of plug-ins. You want it, you'll pay more for Nik and get PhotoLab sitting on your hard drive whether you like it or not.
Bottom Line Presets are finding their way into most imaging programs these days, and they are well integrated into Capture One, On1 Photo Raw, and Luminar for just a few examples. But the implementation of presets in the Nik Collection, which was one of the earliest examples of editable presets, still rises above the field.
While there are countless ways to create black and white digital photographs today, Nik software's Silver Efex Pro 2 stands out as my preferred method of. Silver Efex Pro has been updated to version from Nik Software. Monochrome made easy. Conversion Quality. Tools and Controls. Refined Global Adjustments. Selective Adjustments with Control Points. Selective Color. Film Emulation. Special Effects. Apr 15, - Google has just announced that their popular photo software, Nik Then there is also HDR Efex to create HDR images, as well as Dfine and Sharpener Pro to handle Screenshot: Nik Analog Efex Pro 2 | You can now download the it and reinstalled it (which worked the last time this happened) only to.
While one can conceivably recreate these presets manually using the many filters included within Nik Collection if you so choose, having a one-click option to streamline up your workflow is always lovely. DxO has also improved their U Point technology for photographers that want precise and localized control over how the plugins manipulate the look of their images. These localized adjustments include basics adjustments like Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation, as well as specific adjustments like Texture Strength and Opacity, which are dependent on the plugin and filter selected. The original image is located on the upper left for reference. For users new to the Nik Collection, this suite of plugins is honestly pretty straightforward to use. Your best bet is to look at the various filters and presets included within each of the plugins and make changes to each of the adjustable values to get a sense of how the plugins operate, similar to how one would learn their way around Capture One, Photoshop, or Lightroom. I mainly found it interesting to see how these new presets were created using the different filters within Nik Collection, as I had developed my own presets over time when using earlier releases of the plugins suite.