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Software Review: Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 From onOne Software

The Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 is the latest bundle release of products from onOne Software. It contains seven separate products, that when combined, provide just about everything you need to handle even some of your most complex photographic chores.

The seven products are PhotoTools 2.6 for photographic effects, PhotoFrame 4.6 for adding that finishing touch to your photos, as well as the previously reviewed Perfect Resize 7 for photographic enlargements, Mask Pro 4.1 for masking images, FocalPoint 2 adding depth-of-field to your images, and PhotoTune 3 for professional color correction. The seventh product is Perfect Layers, which will be available in early 2011.

With the Perfect Photo Suite you get the latest version of each of the six products. For further information about FocalPoint 2, and PhotoTune 3, Perfect Resize 7, and Mask Pro 4.1, please refer to my prior reviews. For the other two, PhotoTools 2.6, PhotoFrame 4.6, these are intermediate upgrades and so I will highlight what has been updated to date. To see what is required to run the onOne Perfect Photo Suite, please refer to the specs page for proper minimum system requirements.

PhotoTools 2.6

PhotoTools gives you hundreds of professional-grade effects to enhance your photos. These are effects that have been created by professional photographers and hall-of-fame Photoshop users. PhotoTools is an automation plug-in. That is, it is a program that installs within Photoshop and can only be used with Photoshop installed. It automates the processing of actions that would normally take several steps to complete.

You can then stack multiple effects on top of each other. You can also control the order of each effect and how they blend together for a truly unique look. You can even save your effect stacks for future use and share them with friends who have PhotoTools, or access them inside of Aperture and Lightroom to speed-up your workflow.

So what is new with PhotoTools 2.6?

• HDR Enhancer category with Brian Matiash’s favorite effects for enhancing HDR images. A category is a group of effects that are meant to be used for a similar purpose – in this case, for the enhancement of an image to take on a more High Dynamic Range (HDR) look to bring out the most in color and light range from your images. Normally HDR takes several shots to be blended to create the look, but with these effects you can get an HDR look from a single image.

• New Portrait Enhancement effects have been added to make it easier to improve your portrait work. These effects include a Skin Texturizer to enhance the skin in a photo, a Blemish Brush help remove blemishes and other skin distractions, Toothbrush to whiten teeth, Tanning Booth to give a glow to the skin, and Mane Tamer to work with hair.

• New Image Overlay effects have been added to to create various types of looks to your images. They add additional feels to your images that range from vintage to grunge looks.

• Over 12 new effects added including ones to simulate rain, snow, fog, and even rainbows.

Although PhotoTools 2.6 is not a major update, it still keeps improving with the additional effects to give you more control to your images. PhotoTools is a powerful product that gives you the freedom to present your best shots. It will allow you to give your photos that professional look with just a couple of clicks. I know that this will remain in my toolbox for a long time to come. This is a free update for owners of PhotoTools 2.5.

PhotoFrame 4.6

PhotoFrame Pro 4.6 lets you create image frames and add boarder effects to your images to give them a more stylized look . With just a couple of clicks you can now add realistic film and darkroom effects to your images, as well as artistic edges; torn paper, brush strokes, and even full-on layouts with backgrounds, textures, and adornments.

So why would you need something like PhotoFrame? If you are a professional photographer, graphic artist, or illustrator, many times you need to add that little something extra to your client’s image. Perhaps you are putting together a portfolio to sell yourself and you need something to set you apart from the rest. That’s where PhotoFrame comes in. It gives you thousands of predefined options and the ability to modify and save your own based on the presets, you really have an unlimited range of choices available to you.

So what is new with PhotoFrame 4.6?

• New Layouts have been enhanced to include several new collections of layouts. The first is a series of 27 new wedding layouts to help bring added diversity to your wedding packages. The second is a series of 6 new senior portrait layouts to add more creativity to your senior works. All of this adds the finishing touch to your images with a library of professionally created edge effects and design elements that really make your images stand out.

• Other elements include 8 new film and photographic edges have been added, 48 new background papers are included, as well as 8 new adornments.

Again this is not a major update to PhotoFrame, but the product is incredibly easy to use and it really makes a difference in your presentation. If you are a professional, especially working in the portrait realm; weddings, senior pictures, family portraits, I don’t know how you can do without a product of this type. This update is free to owners of PhotoFrame 4.5.

Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 will also add an additional product in early 2011 called Perfect Layers for no additional charge. This will work with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Apple Aperture that will allow you to work with layers in both of these products. I will also look at this product when released.

What is great about this release is that if you already own the onOne Plug-In Suite 5, the upgrade to 5.5 is free. That means you get a major update – Perfect Resize 7, two minor updates, and in 2011, a totally new product – Perfect Layers, all for no additional charge.

If you don’t own the Suite, you should take a trial run for 30 days. I really find all of the tools very easy to use and they really speed up production workflow enough to pay for themselves in time saved. I highly recommend Perfect Photo Suite 5.5.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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