Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
I'm considering buying some plug-ins to use with Photoshop CS6 (still weighing up trying to streamline my post-processing somehow or simply outsource all or most of it).
I really want something quick and easy to use, but that also produces incredible results.
I've been browsing a few plug-ins and am seeking feedback from those who have used them (and before anyone suggests I just download the trials and play with it myself, I'm severely limited in terms of ability to sit at a computer for any decent length of time at present due to a bulging disc, so am simply after some insight before I, most probably, do just that when I can).
I love the look of Totally Rad's Pro Retouch 2, perhaps in combination with Radlab also? All thoughts appreciated.
But I also love the look of Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4.
Would it be overkill to get all of those (double-ups in what they do anywhere?) if and when I can afford to do so?
If I go the Nik Software way, I may well get the Complete Collection as I think Define 2.0 and Sharpener Pro 3.0 could be useful. Has anyone also had experience with these? I'm wondering how Define 2.0 stacks up against Noise Ninja or Imagenomic's Noise in terms of noise reduction?
Finally, has anyone used Alien Skin's Blow Up for enlargements? Is the sharpness of the image maintained on really big enlargements? Would it be suitable for fine art landscapes and the like?
if you get radlab check out the downloadable recipes and recipe packs.
i at least try radlab on almost every image. there's one called sugar rush that is like a vibrance filter and works great for amping up senior portraits without nuking the skin tones. and some of the b&ws are very nice, too. you can stack the filters in radlab so you can come up with your own unique combinations. as much as any plug-in i own it seems like radlab was made by someone who understood the needs of a portrait photographer.
Fred McKie wrote: That's great - just the kind of feedback I'm after
Alienskin Blow Up is amazing. Of course, the quality of the source image is important, but you really can blow up your average raster image to billboard size without loss of quality.
Not sure how it works, but I know that it's definitely a proprietary technology. I've heard that Adobe tried to emulate it in CS6, but failed. So give CS6's built-in blow up tools a try first. You might get lucky.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Tommy Charles wrote: Alienskin Blow Up is amazing. Of course, the quality of the source image is important, but you really can blow up your average raster image to billboard size without loss of quality.
Certainly sounds incredible. I think it would definitely be a worthwhile plugin to have!
I have the Nik Software stack and use Color Efex Pro 4 currently, with Viveza 2 and Silver Efex Pro the most.
The tonal contrast filter in Color Efex is awesome, its a standard part of my workflow. I'm not too fond of the HD Efex Pro as I tend to prefer Photomatix when I add a touch of HDR or do landscapes. I also like the De-Noise filter from Topaz better than Dfine.
But when it comes down to it, it's all about the right blending and opacity to gain the effect you're after from a filter.