Silver Efex Pro - version 2 announced

Ray Sachs

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I saw an announcement on DPReview this morning of the upgraded version of Silver Efex Pro. DPR indicated its available for immediate download, but the Nik site indicates it will actually be launched next month sometime. Nonetheless, looks like a pretty significant upgrade, with some history function (although I don't know if this will remain live - non-destructive - after you've hit the save button or if its only good while working on a file), finer control of structure, brightness, and contrast, some border options, selective color, and a few other smaller improvements.

Look forward to checking it out. Now, if they'd just somehow build it IN to Aperture/Lightroom so you wouldn't have to create a separate file but could work directly on the RAW file.... I guess that's just not how plug ins work though. :frown:

Here's the link:

Nik Software, Inc. | Silver Efex Pro 2

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

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They have a bunch of information and a few videos up on their site. Based on those, it looks like a worthwhile upgrade. A few impressions:

* The "history" function looks pretty lame to me - mildly helpful perhaps while editing a photo, but doesn't do anything to extend the usefulness of the information once you've "saved" the image. Unless there's some way to save the data to a text file or something so at least you could manually re-create your shot if you wanted to go back in and tweak it without starting from scratch. But it doesn't appear that's the case.

* The additional controls for contrast, brightness, and structure look really useful, although they'll take a little while to figure out how to use without over-using them. This is possibly why they added the "history" browser, so if you manage to get lost in the sliders, you can find your way back to some previous point.

* Some added function to the control points, including the ability to "group" multiple points so, I presume, the adjustments you make to one apply to the others as well? Could be really useful for applying controls to oddly shaped objects with multiple points. In one of the "lessons", it looks like the control points function has been bumped from 3 sliders to SEVEN slider per control point! But in one of the videos, its still just showing the same three sliders we're familiar with already. I'm not sure which will actually be in place in the new software or if its conditional based on what you're doing???

* Selective colorization - you can add the color back into a particular object or object using control points.

It'll be interesting to see how all of these pieces work once the product is actually available.

-Ray
 

OzRay

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I wish that they would provide something other than their 15 day trial period. I downloaded the current version, but didn't have a lot of time to play around with it, for various reasons, and before I had a chance to really get a feel for it, the trial was over.

They should really provide a hobbled version that won't allow saving of images or the like (like most vendors do), so that one can have a chance to get to better understand the program and its capabilities. If Qimage hadn't been this way, I'd never have become a Qimage evangelist, as it took me at least three goes over a fairly long period of time for the penny to finally drop. :biggrin:

Cheers

Ray
 

Ray Sachs

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I've been beta testing it for about a month and it is a very nice upgrade. Images seem much cleaner. It will be released in early February.
Cool. So what's the deal with the control points - are there still 3 sliders per point (as was shown in one of the their videos) or are there 7, as was shown in at least one of the graphics? And are you finding the "history" browser useful?

-Ray
 

Boyzo

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I wish that they would provide something other than their 15 day trial period. I downloaded the current version, but didn't have a lot of time to play around with it, for various reasons, and before I had a chance to really get a feel for it, the trial was over.

They should really provide a hobbled version that won't allow saving of images or the like (like most vendors do), so that one can have a chance to get to better understand the program and its capabilities. If Qimage hadn't been this way, I'd never have become a Qimage evangelist, as it took me at least three goes over a fairly long period of time for the penny to finally drop. :biggrin:

Cheers

Ray
Ray whats so special about Qimage I hear good things about it but whats wrong with LR3 for printing
 

OzRay

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Ray whats so special about Qimage I hear good things about it but whats wrong with LR3 for printing
It makes printing so much easier overall, especially when printing large or multiple prints. It's much more flexible, it has some outstanding algorithms that extrapolate the image if printing beyond the native print size and also provides excellent print sharpening. I've tried printing through LR3 and it just doesn't compete. It took me a while to get the hang of Qimage, but once I did, I just couldn't use anything else. It's worth trying out.

Cheers

Ray
 

Boyzo

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It makes printing so much easier overall, especially when printing large or multiple prints. It's much more flexible, it has some outstanding algorithms that extrapolate the image if printing beyond the native print size and also provides excellent print sharpening. I've tried printing through LR3 and it just doesn't compete. It took me a while to get the hang of Qimage, but once I did, I just couldn't use anything else. It's worth trying out.

Cheers

Ray
Thanks Ray I had a feeling it was great for printing

Cheers
 

Boyzo

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Thanks Ray
I have used silver efx pro but wonder if working in RAW and LR3 what's the advantage over LR3
After all LR does B&W conversion and there are 3rd party templates.
 

OzRay

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From what I understand, SilverEFX provides much more control over the effects that you can achieve compared to LR, but because I couldn't test it out fully, I have no idea whether it's worth buying or not. Considering what I paid for Qimage and what it does, I'm not paying the price for SilverEFX merely on heresay, it simply may not be for me.

Cheers

Ray
 

Boyzo

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From what I understand, SilverEFX provides much more control over the effects that you can achieve compared to LR, but because I couldn't test it out fully, I have no idea whether it's worth buying or not. Considering what I paid for Qimage and what it does, I'm not paying the price for SilverEFX merely on heresay, it simply may not be for me.

Cheers

Ray
Thanks Ray I'll stay with LR3 not a big B&W fan
 
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