onOne software recently released a public-beta of their latest version of Perfect Photo Suite which could be a very significant point in the companies development as a maker of plugins for Photoshop, Lightroom & Aperture and a creator of a stand-alone processing application. I’ve downloaded a copy to have a play and see how it works. Now, obviously this is a public beta so there are some issues, bugs and blanks to be filled etc., so its impossible to make a proper judgement of what the final release will be like but we can get a reasonable idea of what the software will do. One of the big developments is the introduction of an image browser which is a tad reminiscent of another piece of software, but while it may look like Lightroom it works more like Bridge; whereas Lightroom is a non-destructive workflow, Bridge will create copies of RAW files to work on and Perfect Suite works in the same manner (if you are working with JPEGs Perfect Suite will offer the option of overwriting the original file or creating a copy). The browser has a clear layout and is pretty easy to use with or without previous experience of other applications. Opening up an image up an image in any of the other modules is a matter of simply select and image by clicking on it and then clicking on the module you wish to use.
The Browser module. What does it remind you of?[/caption] I’ve been using the suite as standalone application so the first step in my workflow has been to open a photograph in the Enhance module which is akin to the develop module in Lightroom. onOne’s ethos is to make editing simple and the Enhance module tries to just that with a Quick Fixes panel that adds or subtracts brightness, contrast etc. in fixed increments, for finer control the are sliders which can be expanded for even more control. All of this works well although the vibrance control could be a little more subtle and the Color controls could also do with a tweak in the final version. The Enhance module is not a RAW processor as images opened up from the Browser are converted to a TIFF, PSD or JPEG which can limit your ability to pull back highlights etc.
The Enhance panel expanded to show the advanced controls[/caption] Moving between modules is pretty seamless too, just clicking on the module name saves the image and reopens it that module. The beta does not come with a fully stacked version of Effects so it wouldn’t be fair to comment on it yet however it does have a functioning version of its black & white module. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you’ll know that I’m and advocate of SilverEfex by Nik. The onOne processor is as good as SilverEfex, I need to test it further to say whether its better but, as Google appear to have put Nik into hibernation, this processor will surely become the de-facto black & white converter in the near future.
The excellent Black & White module[/caption] The Portrait module is a quick and easy tool to speedily enhance (um, kinda obviously) portraits. Its simple to use and the effects are quite subtle and controllable (no alien, face reconfiguration). The Portrait module’s adaptable controls[/caption] I haven’t had chance to use Mask or Layers yet so won’t comment on them. Resize is the new name for Genuine Fractals an industry standard for resizing images, I’ve been using this tool for years and it never fails to impress. So far so good, my initial impressions are very positive (I haven’t even mentioned the cool brushes and a pretty effective eraser which isn’t eve n the finished article!) , the application is easy to use and has a good range of tools that are approachable for the uninitiated and advanced enough for the more seasoned practitioner and I’m really looking forward to trying out the completed version. If you want to have a go yourself you can download the beta here and more information on whats to come is available here.