Sunday , February 25 2024
Do you want an easy way to correct color in your photographs?

Software Review: Viveza 2.0 from Nik Software

Viveza 2 is the latest release from Nik Software of their plug-in for selectively controlling color and light within your photographs. Through the use of their patented U Point technology, you can control your images on both a global as well as locally in isolated areas, all without the use of selections or layer masks.

Viveza 2 provides precise selective photo editing through the use of U Point technology. By placing a control point on your image and adjusting the size of the coverage area, you can change the brightness, contrast, or color within your photo. This latest version not only promises new enhancements, but more precision along with speed improvements.

VivezaWhat is needed to run Viveza 2?

• Windows XP or greater, or Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6
• AMD or Intel processor, 64-bit compatible (Windows), Intel® Core™ Solo, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Xeon® processor (Universal Binary compatible) (Mac)
• 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
• On Windows: Adobe Photoshop 7 through CS4; Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 through 8.0; Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® 2.3 or later
• On Mac: Adobe Photoshop CS2 through CS4; Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 and 8.0; other Adobe Photoshop plug-in compatible applications; Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® 2.3 or later; Apple Aperture 2 (version 2.1 or later).

So what is U Point Technology? It is a patented innovation in photo image processing and editing. It uses color control points to isolate an entire image or an image area for enhancement very quickly. Instead of having to make a selection, mask it off, and then apply filters, levels, curve adjustments, or use color balance tools, you just drop a control point and it considers the relationship between color and light and makes the appropriate adjustments.

If you look at the image below (may appear on the next page), the main color point is located at the tip of the arrow. The length of the horizontal bar that stretches out from that point sets the radius of the affected area. While I could not capture the actual radius you see, I have it represented by the orange circle. It grows and shrinks depending on the area affected.

The rest of the lettered dots control what changes will happen within that circle. They are, based on the first letter, brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, red, green, blue, and warmth. What is nice about the way that this works is areas can overlap, and you can counteract effects with multiple control points. By adding multiple control points you can have pinpoint control over what you want changed and what you want to remain the same.

VivezaSo what is new with Viveza 2?

• Global Adjustments now gives the ability for you to apply the same adjustments on the control points to the entire image. This lets you create a style or look throughout the image and then modify the effect on individual objects or areas with other control points.

• Structure Enhancement slider enables fine control over texture and details in an image. This slider can be used to increase the details of objects or make them smooth by reducing the effect of texture. This can happen both globally or locally.

• Shadow Adjustment Enhancement slider gives you better control to make more natural results when brightening shadows. Whether used globally or locally, this slider can provide more control over improving color and light within an image.

• Levels and Curves are now available directly within the Viveza interface. By applying levels and curves directly within the interface you get more control over the tonality and contrast of the entire image while still having the ability to use control points.

• Undo lets you undo and redo within the interface of the plug-in. This makes it possible to recover unwanted changes that you make within the interface.

• Improved Interface Controls includes easier interaction. When you click on a control, the control points can be nudged with the arrow keys and sliders can be increased using the left and right keys providing you more precise control over placement.

Viveza• Improved Selection Engine provides a better selection of objects preventing potential unwanted halos and lessening the chance of accentuating noise or artifacts that are already in the image.

• Improved Control Point Interaction makes the control points easier to work with. Control points can be copied and pasted giving you the ability to add multiple control points to the image very easily.

Viveza is very easy to use and provides really remarkable results. You have to get used to working with the overlapping areas and working with multiple control points, but to me this is so much easier than trying to accomplish these results in Photoshop alone.

Now with the ability to group control points together and apply the same enhancement objects using more than one control point to create the selection gives you the ability to work on an image with many different tones to achieve remarkable results.

VivezaThe ability to work with curves from within Viveza is also a big plus. This gives you the ability to handle your curves and levels first and then add a control point to adjust certain portions of the image that were adversely affected by the curves. Add to that the other changes like the improved interface, the finer control with the sliders, the undo, and global adjustments make this a pretty significant upgrade.

If you want a fast easy way to correct up your images with out having to learn and use selections, masking, curves, and other complicated Photoshop techniques, Then Viveza is the product for you. Viveza is priced at $199.95 and you can upgrade from version 1 for $99.95.

In my opinion it will pay for itself over and over again in the amount of time that you will save, especially in touch up work. If you want you can try out a 15-day demo as well. If you do a lot of image color correction, then Viveza 1.0 is very highly recommended.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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