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Thread: NIk Software

  1. #1
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    NIk Software

    NIk is selling there suite cheap right now . Besides their sharpner and fine are these products pratical viverza and coloreffects pro and their new Black and white software, Do they get used alot by people here. Thanks David

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    Re: NIk Software

    David,
    I use many of the Nik Software tools regularly, and find them to be excellent. I have not yet added Silver Efex Pro for the B/W work to my collection, but probably will be doing so soon.

    I just finished a baby portrait job where Viveza and Color Efex Pro were outstanding in saving me time while allowing me to produce some great shots. I had a lot of natural light shots where the baby's eyes were always looking quite dark, even though they were a lovely deep blue. Using Viveza, I was able to go into each image quickly, make adjustments in brightness, contrast and blue tint in the very specific area of the eyes to bring them to life, and look more like what mom and grandma were "seeing" when they looked at the baby. That alone made it worth having available to me for use. Color Efex Pro let me quickly create several different vignettes and "looks" to some shots that created variety and resulted in added sales once they saw the proofs.

    I also use Sharpener Pro for all display (Web) and printing output. Dfine is now my favorite for doing all noise reduction in shots that need it.

    So, without trying to sound like a paid commercial or something, I am very glad these tools exist for the high degree of flexibility and local/global retouching they offer. (I have no affiliation with Nik Software, but I do like and use their tools quite frequently.)

    There are some new twists coming in ACR in CS4 that could be very nice also, but I am not sure they will be as sophisticated and flexible to use as the Nik Software tools. If you are wondering about dropping the cash on the Nik tools, do download the demos and play with things for a while. There are differences in how each works, but one can quickly get the hang of it fast enough to test things out before buying. Their video tutorials are also pretty decent.

    So, to answer your question more directly, I do use the Nik Software tools a lot and do find them to be practical enough, plus providing options that are hard to match by any other tools. The prices have always been a bit steep, so the new bundle is a nice package.

    LJ

    P.S. Forgot to add that having them in both PS and Aperture is another big point for me, as I use both tools.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: NIk Software

    I really like the Silver Efex Pro. It provides some wonderful alternatives as standard and then allows for some pretty detailed tweaking for almost any kind of B&W conversion you can imagine. It includes a bunch of "film grain" settings and I can see the appeal there, but haven't found the right image for them.

    I have in the past spent lots of time making conversions in PS3 and that works very well. But somehow this just feels a lot easier. Someone would have to prove to me that doing it manually in PS3 is better. Or maybe I'm just getting lazy! Buy it.

  4. #4
    DougDolde
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    Re: NIk Software

    I made the "mistake" of downloading the SIlver Efex trial. At first I didn't know, now I think I will have to buy it. It definitely does a better job than I can do in CS4.

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    Re: NIk Software

    Doug,
    Nik has just released Viveza for Lightroom 2, and will be releasing Color Efex Pro also for LR2. May just be a matter of time for them to do the same with Silver Efex Pro. If one does not use or care about the LR2 version, the PS and Aperture versions are incredible.

    Yes, it was a danger to download the trial....I have said that about Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Define, Sharpener Pro.....well, you see where this has gotten me :-(

    LJ

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: NIk Software

    When I need noise reduction, I really like DFine!

    I also have Color and Silver loaded on my machines, but frankly rarely use them. They are good though if they help you achieve a result you want. For me, I find it simply easier to work with my basic combo of C1 and CS4 as I find I can achieve most any effect I desire with them. Viveza is maybe good for folks who want to do local edits within LR and never go to CS, but IMO pretty useless if you have even basic CS skills.



    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  7. #7
    DougDolde
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    Re: NIk Software

    Thanks LJ but I never use Lightroom for Aptus files. I don't even know if it works with them. I use Raw Developer and CS4.

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    Re: NIk Software

    Jack,
    I do not use LR at all, so I cannot comment. I do find that even with pretty decent PS skills, the Nik tools can get you there faster and with a lot more detailed control in some cases. Noting is perfect, but many of the Nik tools can provide a big savings of time at the computer when you need to be creative or corrective on the fly to get things to clients. One can also spend the time doing detailed rendering either way. May not be for everybody, but I find them to be quite powerful and with a lot of control, both locally and globally, and it is the local part that I think puts rings around PS as is, and most others tools that have extended capabilities, like C1, Aperture, and LR. Nice to have if you need to get lots done for sure.

    LJ

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    Re: NIk Software

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    Thanks LJ but I never use Lightroom for Aptus files. I don't even know if it works with them. I use Raw Developer and CS4.
    Well, they certainly work well in PS CS3 or CS4, so should not be a problem. You can use them as Smart Filters so that you can come back and make later adjustments also. Nice feature.

    LJ

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: NIk Software

    Each to their own LJ -- it just seemed to me that Viveza was only doing edits that are easily accomplished by me in CS4 in less time. I can whip out a mask of any desired shape with desired feather and apply whatever adjustments I want via CS4 in a few seconds and I didn't see where Viveza improved on that.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  11. #11
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    Re: NIk Software

    Absolutely, Jack. I am not pushing Nik stuff, though I do like what they are doing. If one is really skilled with PS, then by all means, use that. For me, the Nik stuff presents some options that I can quickly work through, and even use multiple tools, all with the same interface. I have work PS masks and stuff, but honestly, it is not something I enjoy.

    Anyway, it is good to see some of these tools that can help some folks get to what they are thinking, or give them a way to experiment more than they might otherwise. PS is still a very powerful tool that most of us will never "master". At times, however, it is a PITA to work in, where some other things, like Aperture, actually do a better job in RAW conversion of some files, and being able to do other stuff like Digital Asset Management also, but that is whole different series of threads ;-) For me, having these Nik tools as Aperture plug-ins is very nice, especially when I am making quick photobooks for clients. I can screw around with things quickly, or do a delicate job also. I still use C1 and PS for a lot of stuff, including most fine art finishing things, but I have not mastered all the layers, masks, blends, and other stuff yet, and am not sure I really want to invest that much more time in some of it, so Nik tools have been a nice addition to the effort. Good to have the options.

    LJ

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