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Software Review: Dfx 3.0 Digital Filter Suite From Tiffen Software

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Dfx 3.0 is the latest release Tiffen’s digital filter suite. Available for both Windows and Mac, this software product contains around 2000 filters that you can use in a wide variety of ways. The filters include ones that simulate Tiffen’s glass filters, specialized lenses, optical lab process, film grain, and photographic effects.

Dfx 3.0 is available in several configurations including standalone or as a plug-in for either the photo – Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Apple Aperture, or video post production applications – Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premier Pro, and Apple Final Cut Pro. It comes with everything that you need to enhance your images through the use of its filters. For the purpose of this review, I am using the photo plug-in version.

Tiffen Dfx v3

To work with Dfx 3.0, once you have selected the image you want to use – say within Adobe Photoshop, you go to your filters menu and select the Dfx 3.0 selection. This will take you into the application where you will be presented with a workspace.

In the center is the viewer window where your image is presented. Above the viewer is a tool bar that lets you work with the image at hand. At the bottom is a list of filter types that you can choose from. When you select a type, it will show the filters that are contained in that specific type. When you select a specific filter, it will apply it to the image so that you can see what it will look like.

Once you select a filter, to the right of the viewer is a list of the presets that are available for that particular filter. Also to the right – on a separate tab, is the parameters for making manual adjustments to the applied filter. When you select a preset or make a change to a parameter selection, it is immediately shown on the screen.

On the left side of the screen is a layers system that allows you to see what you have applied to the image, remove the filter, compare between layers, apply masks to target the filter, and the ability to turn the filter off. That is really all there is to it! You select your filters use the presets and/or the manual settings to make adjustments. If you want you can add more filters and further refine. When you are done, you just save and you are back in your photo-editing software.

Tiffen Dfx v3

What is new with DFX 3.0?

• Color Shadow that Creates a high contrast image overlaid with a gradient.

• DeBand which removes banding artifacts from an image by smoothing pixels in
banded areas while retaining detail.

• DeBlock – Blocking artifacts created as a result of high compression factors can be removed with the this filter.

• DeNoise – removes film grain.

• Film Stocks – simulates 113 different color and black and white photographic film stocks.

• Glow Darks – will glow and grows the dark areas of an image

• Key Light – will relight an image by either a directional or point light.
The result looks natural even though the relighting is done without computing any scene geometry.

• Match – the Color, Detail, Grain and Tone of one image and applies it to
another.

• Rays – can be created using a realistic light ray effect.

• Texture – can be applied for a stylized look.

• Auto adjust, paint, and sharpen filers have been added to the plug-in version.

• Levels – is an image adjustment tool which can move and stretch the brightness levels of an image histogram.

• Multiprocessor acceleration – has been implemented to dramatically speed up the majority of filters. The more processors a machine has, the faster the interaction and rendering.

• Adobe Lightroom – is now a supported host platform.

Tiffen Dfx v3

Dfx 3.0 is really a powerful package of filters that will provide a wide range of creative devices for you to work with. The UI is very intuitive and gives you the ability to take any image and experiment to your heart’s content. The layers make it easy to try something, turn it off, mask it to place the effect just where you want it. If you don’t like it just delete the layer.

You can get a 15 trial version of Dfx 3, or purchase the plug-in version for $229.95. The stand-alone version is 169.95. If you are looking for a good selection of filters, specialized lenses effects, optical lab processes, film grains, and photographic effects, or just a new package to enhance your creative ability then I recommend Dfx 3.0.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.