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Perfect Photo Suite 8: Perfect Effects

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Dan Moughamian invites you to join him for the second of two articles covering the best new features in Perfect Photo Suite 8 from onOne Software. This installment focuses on the newly revamped Perfect Effects module, which includes many new filters and presets, new masking tech, creative blurring options from the old Focal Point plugin, and a new user interface.
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Perfect Photo Suite 8 is the latest collection of photo enhancement tools from onOne Software, designed to provide users with a more tightly integrated picture enhancement workflow. Within this context, Perfect Effects is the module focused on applying a wide range of stylistic effects, including the ability to layer and blend separate effects into your original shots.

To get started, find the Perfect Photo Suite 8 app icon (looks like this: ) and double-click it. This will open a single window where all of the work can be done, regardless of which module or tool you want to use. For this article, we’ll select one of the creative commons demo pictures in the new Browse module, then open a copy of it directly into Perfect Effects.

Perfect Effects – UI Redux

When Perfect Effects 4 was released a couple years ago, onOne had begun the process of overhauling the user interface (or UI). Interestingly, that newer UI has now been scrapped in favor of a new look that is used throughout the entire suite. It was a good decision. The new interface uses minimalist buttons, menus, and sliders (the faux chrome elements are gone), and is more responsive to user input. The look of the UI is similar to Lightroom 5, and for that reason should feel very familiar to anyone who has used Lightroom.

The building blocks in Perfect Effects are the Filters and Presets. The Filters work much like those in Photoshop; each one has its own set of variables that can be controlled, to change the look of the shot. These filters can be stacked and blended in countless ways. Presets, in turn, are a collection of pre-grouped filter settings that have been “stacked together” to create a new look that any one filter could not produce by itself. You can also stack your own filter choices together to create custom Presets (and define custom preset categories as well).

The Filters and Presets (and their thumbnail viewing options) are located within two tabbed panels, down the left side of the window. As with other modules, the tools used to directly interact with the image (like the improved Masking Bug), are attached to the main image preview at the center of the window. Controls for changing the zoom level and the preview splitting options, are location above and below the preview area, respectively.

The controls for each filter (and consequently each preset), as well as controls for applying blend modes and other options (like a Histogram and Loupe view), are located in a series of panels on the right side of the window. The entire UI is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Third time’s a charm: The newly re-renovated user interface for Perfect Effects should come as a welcome change for upgrade customers.

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