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.
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 B&W is the latest offering from onOne Software. It is a plugin that gives you the ability to create black and white images easily and quickly and provides the tools that you need to for greater creative control. Perfect B&W can be used as a stand-alone application or from with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom, and Apple Aperture. It can also be used in other applications such as Adobe Bridge and Apple iPhoto if they support external editiors.
Perfect B&W gives you the ability to reproduce vintage styles by using film grain and old time darkroom techniques through the use of a library of presets. Dodge and burn, add detail, use selective color, paint inside lines quickly and easily, use toner presets to create mood, adjust relative brightness of details, and accentuate your images using vignettes, film and darkroom edge effects, and add borders.
Once you load an image into Perfect B&W, your image is presented in the main viewer. On the left you have a series of presets that you can choose to give your image a particular look and feel. If you like it, you can stop there. If you want to do more, on your right is a series of adjustments that you can make to the tone, glow, film grain, sharpening, blending, and more.
Once you get it just the way you want, you can save the image and return back to your image editor. If you have a series of similar images, you can save the settings that you use as a preset for use with the rest of your images.
On the left side of the Preview area, is the Tool Well. This contains seven tools at your disposal for working with your image. They are a Brightness brush to dodge and burn, a Contrast brush to adjust the amount of contrast in the image, a Detail Brush to increase or decrease the detail in an image, a Targeted Brightness tool to adjust the brightness of a color range, a Selective Color brush to paint back some of the original color, a Hand tool to drag your image in the preview window when it is larger than the viewable area, and a Zoom tool.
What do you get with Perfect B&W?
• Library of presets – that comes with Perfect B&W gives you the ability to reproduce vintage styles using film grain darkroom techniques quickly and easily. These were created by top industry professionals as well as the people from onOne. You can mark your favorites for quick and easy access, and expand your creative toolkit with even more presets available in the onOne Marketplace as well as creating your own.
• Favorites panel – lets you rest assured that your favorite presets are within quick reach. This panel gives you the ability to keep the presets that you use most – including ones that you personally create, right on top.
• Essentials Adjustment brush – gives you the ability to precisely dodge and burn, add contrast and detail, and apply selective color with a set of powerful brushes designed specifically for black & white processing. You control where and how much with simple brush strokes. If you use a Wacom tablet, you can also control the brush size and strength using our built-in pen pressure and sensitivity support.
• 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.
• Blending modes – lets you create more stylized looks by controlling brightness, contrast, and color of the image. Perfect B&W includes over a dozen new blending modes that include Linear Burn, Color Dodge, Pin Light, Luminosity and more.
• Toner Presets – adds the ability to imply mood, add depth and create striking contrast within your images using the Toner Presets in Perfect B&W. Select from a collection of toners such as copper, cyanotype, selenium, sepia and more or build your own.
• Tone Curve – will help you to optimize the balance of tone and contrast in your image with the Tone Curve. You can adjust your shadows, mid-tones and highlights to create the exact look you want.
• Filter Presets – provides the effect of photographic filters after the shot. Use built-in color filter presets to enhance contrast in your image and adjust the relative brightness of the details you care about, whether it’s the sky, foliage, or people. These include green, yellow, orange, red, and infrared.
• Film Grain – presents you with the ability to add the timeless look and feel of vintage film stock using our library of authentic film grain. Choose from a selection of carefully crafted film types that integrate realistic grain onto your images.
• Borders, edges, and vignettes – can accentuate your images with flexible vignettes and authentic film & darkroom edge effects of sloppy borders and print edges.
As with the rest of the suite, Perfect B&W is really easy to use and will provide you with outstanding results. Not only that, it also fills a hole that was missing from the Perfect Photo Suite – that of the easy creation of black and white images. You have a lot of flexibility and creative license with Perfect B&W.
If you are looking for a product to create black and white images quickly and easily, you won’t go wrong with Perfect B&W. Even more important, if you have been using some version of the Perfect Photo Suite – or one of the earlier versions, then you should feel right at home with Perfect B&W and so I highly recommend this product.