VSCO Alternatives

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by yekimrd, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    After seeing some of the great images using the VSCO Film Presets, I decided to look into them. I have a friend who has VSCO 02 and while they look nice, I find that I don't care much for the different variations of Fuji Superia or Kodak Portras on there. And buying all 3 preset collections entails real money. So I've looked at alternatives. I think I like the Film Presets from Really Nice Images -- 120usd for their faded film and iconic film package Anyone have any experience with these or can suggest other alternatives? Thanks!
     
  2. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    702
    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Alien Skin Exposure.

    It has a different workflow though: LR -> RAW -> TIFF Export -> Alien Skin Exposure -> TIFF Product -> LR Export (assuming JPEG)
     
  3. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Apr 11, 2009
    Tempe, AZ
    Rick
    I'm using DxO Film Pack 4, does a nice job. Salgado uses it, so heck.... (he heard I was using it , so....)
     
  4. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    Thanks Drew and Rick!

    My preference is for straight presets (i.e. no exporting to a plugin -- I know I'm lazy :tongue:) I tried and really liked Silver Efex but found a good enough straight preset alternative for my b&w images from Gavin Seim that I now use.

    So, now I'm also hoping for a straight preset alternative to the VSCO ones. Rick, isn't DxO also a Plugin?
     
  5. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Apr 11, 2009
    Tempe, AZ
    Rick
    It's both plugin and standalone.

    Also look at the XeL plugins- they work within LR (no export/TIFF), and a more step-by-step, build it in steps approach.

    Attached are "original" and DxO TriX. It was slightly hazy sunrise, so I left both with a "soft" feeling, not dramatic. [Canyonlands N.P.]
     

    Attached Files:

  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    Skyline Media's film set is pretty good.

    HOME - Skyline Media

    I bought bundle A. Installation is fairly straight forward, you get some .zip files and you just extract them to the right folders. I only found Classic, Fun Film and X-Process sets useful. The Essential set is pretty useless.
     
  7. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    Nice Grand Canyon shots there! I'll look into it. Appreciate the suggestion.

    Looking at their examples, I really like their Classic and Fun Film presets. And their VERY reasonably priced as well. How good is the X-Process? Can you provide any samples? Wasn't too thrilled with their sample on their website. I figured getting only the 2 I want is cheaper than bundle A. Lastly, any experience with using 'me on JPG files? Thanks a bundle (no pun intended)!
     
  8. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    None of the X-Process presets are all that great, it's just a blend of colour channels that create interesting effects. I used one for one of my dog shots on the forum.



    Sorry I don't have many examples.
     
  9. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Hey Mikey may i suggest to use any preset as a starting point and then tweaking them onto a personal preset?. Therefore any preset from any company will do the trick, I personally used VSCO as a starting point as a "kick" into editing my photos, now i have 4 personal presets based on vsco as a base, all tweaked to my liking and thats what i use. My advice would be dont just use plain presets (from whatever company they are), use them as the "salt to your soup" like an ingredient.
     
  10. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    No worries. I appreciate this information -- at least I know I made the right choice to not get the X-process presets.

    Thanks, Chris! Very sound advice.

    I bought my first set of presets from a wedding company to facilitate my LR4 workflow (1-click gradated adjustments to exposure, clarity, shadow recovery, contrast, etc) and I've tweaked those to my liking. I then bought Silver Shadows 2 for my rare b&w work. Not that I've acquired the Fuji, I wanted to explore classic and film looks -- I do intend to add my own special (not really) flair to my newly acquired reasonably priced presets. Just found the VSCO presets more daunting to go thru.
     
  11. chipbutty

    chipbutty Mu-43 Veteran

    I think the SkyLine Fun Film presets are very average. You can see that the changes being made to the develop settings are minimal. Looking at the various Portra films (160, 400 and 800) nothing changes between them other than grain size! VSCOs corresponding Portras show changes to the HSL panel, Tone Curve, Red, green and blue channels as well as the Basic panel. And this really does achieve a more sophisticated and film like look. You get what you pay for. Saying that VSCO is pricey. But they must have have put an awful lot of time, effort and technical expertise into those presets.

    The SkyLine Classic presets are pretty nice, most of them. Some interesting looks.
     
  12. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Mikey
    Thanks! I just needed a baseline Portra, Velvia, etc. look and intend to modify from there so I went for the cheaper version. All the VSCO packs together can make for very confusing processing -- most people modify a few presets from those anyways.

    Interesting that you think the classic presets are nice -- at least for me, the b&w versions maybe are but the color ones weren't quite my cup of tea. Would you be able to share some samples? Thanks!
     
  13. chipbutty

    chipbutty Mu-43 Veteran

    I've not had the chance to fiddle around with them too much yet. But I did find this article interesting and quite liked the presets he made. There are Lightroom versions you can download at the bottom for free. They contain Portraesque, Veliviaesque and Proviaesque. I think they mainly concentrate on adjusting the tone curve colour channels.

    Simulating Film Effects with Curves

     
  14. chipbutty

    chipbutty Mu-43 Veteran

    I quite like the XeL Colour presets so far. There's an article on their web site about how they produced the presets from film stock http://x-equals.com/blog/emulating-film-in-lightroom I'd be surprised if VSCO did anything more advanced. Though VSCO have custom camera profiles for greater accuracy. But none for m43. VSCO realise the importance of marketing and a stylish web site to sell their product. They have some stunning images on their web site which really show off the presets. Whereas XeL have some very average images/snapshots. Take a look here XeL:Color Product Overview - YouTube

    A real shame as their photographs don't sell the product.