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Software Review: Perfect Photo Suite 7 – Perfect Layers 3 From onOne Software

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Perfect Photo Suite 7 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 post processing tasks.

The seven products are Perfect Effects 4 (formerly known as PhotoTools) for adding photographic effects, Perfect Portrait 2 for working with portraits, Perfect Mask 5, for masking images, Perfect Layers 3 for the ability to use layers in Lightroom and Apple Aperture, Perfect Resize 7.5 for photographic enlargements, FocalPoint 2 for adding depth-of-field to your images, and new to this lineup is Perfect B&W for creating stunning black and white images.

Perfect Photo Suite 7

 

Also new to Perfect Photo 7 is the fact that it comes in 3 different editions – Standard, Lightroom and Aperture, and Premium Editions. For more information about what the differences are between these editions and the pricing, check out the comparison page at onOne’s website.

With the Perfect Photo Suite you get the most current version of each of the 7 products. Two of them are the same that came with the prior version of the suite so for further information about FocalPoint 2 and Perfect Mask 5, please refer to my prior reviews. For this review I will look at Perfect Effects 4. To see what is required to run the onOne Plug-in Suite, please refer to the specs page for proper minimum system requirements.

Perfect Layers 3

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.

Perfect Photo Suite 7

 

So what is new with Perfect Layers 3?

• Perfect Brush – can be turned on when using the Paint-in Effect Basic Brushes or the Masking Brush. It will give you the ability to achieve precise edge-detected masking with the new Perfect Brush and it will allow you to smoothly apply or remove adjustments to the specific area that you are working on without going outside the area that you are restricting yourself to. This means that if you want to bring out the impact in the eyes, you can better isolate your efforts without impacting the skin around the eyes.

• Masking Tools – gives you the ability to selectively apply effects from the library just by using the Masking Brush to either apply or remove the effect from specific areas of the image as well as using the masking bug to create vignettes and graduated filter looks.

• Improved blending modes – lets you create more stylized looks by controlling brightness, contrast, and color of the image. Perfect Effects 4 now includes over a dozen new blending modes that include Linear Burn, Color Dodge, Pin Light, Luminosity and more.

Perfect Photo Suite 7

 

Perfect Layers 3 is essential if you are doing any kind of serious photographic work and especially necessary for advanced creative work outside of a Photoshop based product by giving you a way to work on separate layers for compositing, enhancing, as well as blending your images. By using multiple layers you can shoot at different exposures and by using the masking tools and blend modes get just the right look.

Since you also get a library of backgrounds, borders, and textures, you can really let you mind get creative. If you do have Photoshop or other program that uses Photoshop based layers, you can save the file and have the ability to do further work in that program. If you want to have the ability to use layers from within Lightroom or Aperture then I very highly recommend Perfect Layers 3.

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About T. Michael Testi

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