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Software Review: onOne Plug-In Suite 6 From onOne Software

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The onOne Plug-In Suite 6 is the latest bundle release of products from onOne Software. It contains seven separate products that when combined, will provide you with just about everything you need to handle even the most complex of photographic tasks.

The seven products are Perfect Effects 3 (formerly known as PhotoTools) for adding photographic effects, Perfect Portrait 1 – a new product for working with portraits, Perfect Mask 5, for masking images, Perfect Layers 2 for the ability to use layers in Lightroom, as well as the previously reviewed Perfect Resize 7 for photographic enlargements, Photo Frame 4.6 for adding frames to your images, FocalPoint 2 adding depth-of-field to your images

Perfect Photo Suite 6

With the Plug-In Suite you get the most current version of each of the seven products. For further information about FocalPoint 2, Perfect Resize 7, and Photo Frame 4.6, please refer to my prior reviews. For this review I will look at Perfect Effects 3, Perfect Mask 5 and Perfect Layers 2. Since Perfect Portrait 1 is an entirely new product, I will look at that in a separate review. To see what is required to run the onOne Plug-in Suite, please refer to the specs page for proper minimum system requirements.

One of the big new features about the Perfect Photo Suite 6 in general is that they are now integrated modules. In Perfect Photo Suite 6 you can move between applications as opposed to having to open and close each app. You can start in Perfect Portrait then go to Perfect Effects, and then finish up with Perfect Resize. Making for a one-stop editing system.

Perfect Effects 3

PhotoTools has now been rebranded as Perfect Effects 3. The purpose of this module is to give you the ability to create images with more impact. It contains a complete library of photographic effects that you can preview on to your image before being applied. You can stack your effects as well.

Perfect Effects 3 was rebuilt from the ground up and can be used as stand-alone, as a plug-in within Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, and within Adobe Lightroom, and Apple Aperture. Perfect Effects 3 gives you advanced tools and options to limit effects to specific colors or tonal range of an image.

Perfect Photo Suite 6

So what is new with Perfect Effects 3?

• Live Preview – lets you save time while still boosting your creativity. You will no longer have to wonder how an effect will look on your image before applying it. Now you can see what each effect will look like on your image in real-time.

• Manual Controls – gives you greater control over how effects are applied and combined on your image. You now have full control over every element in an effect including strength, color, tone, and texture.

• Vintage Effects – are stylized and vintage effects give your images and hip, old school look.

• Improved ability – to create and share presets as well as the inclusion of hundreds of included effects.

Perfect Mask 5

Perfect Mask 5 is the latest version of onOne’s masking software. It has now taken the core of Mask Pro and, by automating many of the common masking tasks, taken it to a new level. Using new masking technology, the selection of subjects and isolating backgrounds has been made easier.

Through the use of Automatic Background Removal, an initial mask is made on your image, and then can be refined through the use of the Erase and Refine Tools giving you the ability to create high quality masks in just a few clicks.

Perfect Photo Suite 6

So what is new with Perfect Mask 5?

• New Keep and Erase Tools – give you the ability to loosely brush the areas that you want to remove such as distracting backgrounds and then Perfect Mask will expand to stroke similarly colored and textured areas giving you a huge time savings in your masking tasks.

• Refine Tool – lets you just swipe the tool and areas like tree branches and hair removed the background and color fringes.

• Background Library – provides interesting backgrounds that you can use to put your subject in when you are in need of a more interesting site.

• Automatic solid background removal – works really well for green screen shooting or when the background is a relatively solid color. Then the masking is all done for you.

• Flexible Previews – give you the ability to view your mask and the image side by side so that you can see the results in real time. This is a big time saver because you no longer have to toggle masks on and off to check your work as you go.

• Classic Workflows – still have the ability to use the tools that you have used in the past, while still being able to take advantage of the new features.

Perfect Layers 2

Perfect Layers is the easiest way to create layered files outside of Photoshop. These Perfect Layer files can be edited within Photoshop to give you a lot of flexibility in your workflow. Until Perfect Layers, if you wanted to do layer based work on one of your photos, you had to use a Photoshop based product. This has all changed with Perfect Layers.

You can use Perfect Layers to create and edit multi-layered Photoshop files directly from within Lightroom and Aperture. By using this capability you can use it to combine images, change skies, retouch photos using the built-in blend modes, add textures, logos, and much, much more.

So what is new with Perfect Layers 2?

• File browser – now gives you a filmstrip or light table style views so that you can quickly find the right files. You can even have several browser tabs open at once, so you can find multiple elements needed for your image.

• Retouch Brush – will provide you with the ability to clean up your images quickly and efficiently. Just dab the Retouch Brush on a blemish and it’s gone automatically. This is perfect for quick touch ups. The Retouch Brush removes dust spots, power lines and other distractions from your image.

• Crop Tool – lets you trim all your layers at once. It removes any pixels outside of a crop-box and then set the document size to match. You can resize and move the trim box as well.

• Integrated into Perfect Photo Suite 6 – so that you can now easily use it in conjunction with the other Photo Suite products.

Perfect Photo Suite 6

Perfect Photo Suite 6 is really a nice upgrade especially if you haven’t upgraded since version 5 (every product has been updated since then). But even so, a new integrated Perfect Layers, Perfect Effects, Perfect Mask, and soon to be reviewed Perfect Portrait gives a lot of reasons to upgrade or even for a new purchase.

Out of this group, I really like the upgrades to Perfect Mask and Perfect Effects. Both were long needed especially Perfect Mask. I really like how much more streamline their use and the integration makes using all of the products in tandem a breeze. I especially like the live preview and manual controls of Perfect Effects as well as the new Keep and Erase and Refine Tools with Perfect Mask.

The upgrade to Perfect Layers is welcome for those who use the suite and will appreciate the full integration- for those with the stand-alone, not as much of an upgrade. Overall, Perfect Photo Suite 6 is really powerful and should definitely be looked at when searching for plugins. This makes it a must have upgrade, and I highly recommend the product.

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About T. Michael Testi

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