Tuesday , February 27 2024
Now you can match film based images for a presentation or apply some unique creative license.

Software Review – Adobe Photoshop Plug-In DxO FilmPack From DxO Labs

With the release of DxO FilmPack, from DxO Labs you can now add traditional film effects to your pictures giving them the look and feel to real film images. DxO FilmPack is a plug-in that gives digital images both the color and the grain of conventional films.

OK, I know what you're asking! I gave up film (or never used it) because of all the graininess and the color differences, why would I want to start making my images look as though they were taken on film? Well, one reason is for artistic reasons. You may want to give an image that fresh from the fixer look. The other is that you want to integrate film images and digital images and you want a consistent look for all.

Image courtesy T. Michael TestiDxO FilmPack recreates the color and grain of over 20 classic film types. These include Kodachrome, Tri-X, Velvia, and Illford. These films were analyzed and reproduced so that they could be applied with just one stroke of the keyboard. The package also offers access to several toning filters to transform any digital image into a toned print. These include Sepia, Terra Sepia, Ferric Sulfate, Gold Sepia, Gold and Selenium.

DxO labs has a complete list of the available film looks, and they break down into five categories. Reversal Films, B&W Films, Color Negative Films, Crossover Looks, and toning's. Since you can't always get a good representation of the look from a web browser, they have made available for download a sample of each.

DxO FilmPack can be used as a standalone product or from the filter menu within Adobe Photoshop. The user interface is pretty self explanatory. You have drop down lists and sliders. You choose an emulsion and the filter applies the color and the grain of the film to your image. You are presented with a preview on the screen so you can see what it looks like.

You can mix the color of one film with the grain of another. You can also adjust the grain of the film manually or you can match it with a 35mm, medium format or large format look. There are also two special profiles called "Cross Processed" renderings. This is a specific development mode which consists of processing slide film with the treatment chain adapted to negative film and vice versa. This gives you a lot of room for experimentation. Below I have put together a small sample myself of the basic renderings.

Image courtesy T. Michael TestiDxO FilmPack v1.2 was recently released and added the ability to read Tiff 8 bits and 16 bits as well as JPEG files from within the standalone version. It was also made compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS3.

DxO FilmPack will run as 21 day demo. It can be purchased as an upgrade for those who already own a prior version or as a new install and retails for $99 USD at DxO Labs Website.

While DxO FilmPack is not going to be used for every situation, it does provide for a lot of creative artistic expression. It is very easy to use and very functional. My only complaint is that you cannot create your own formulas and save them. If you need to match film based images for a presentation, or if you want some unique creative license to experiment for a different look and feel for that film look, then DxO FilmPack is the product for you.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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