Perfect Layers 1.0 is free to owners of the Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 (aka Plug-In Suite 5.5). Perfect Layers will appear as a software update
OnOne has been making excellent plugins for years and continues to lead the pack with their innovative and friendly user interfaces. Plugins are meant to reduce the work load, and Perfect Layers is going to be a huge time-saver for professional photographers who need the extra power of layers to edit quickly and efficiently, as they are often under severe deadlines. And Perfect Layers will also open up the door to more creative endeavors — including stunning visual effects and complex photo montages.
Photoshop really became a major player when the ability to work with layers was introduced to the mix back in 1994 when version 3.0 was released. It’s ironic that so many years later Adobe would be following in the same footsteps with Lightroom — by creating an amazingly powerful photo editing app, but leaving out something as vital as layers to the workflow. Thanks to onOne, that all important missing ingredient is now available. Photoshop trainer and guru Scott Kelby, who was involved in the design of the plugin, has stated that the impact Perfect Layers is going to have on photographers using Lightroom makes it “a game changer.” We whole-heartily agree.
Perfect Layers allows you to create layered files from within Photoshop Lightroom or Aperture and to create and edit multi-layered Photoshop files directly from Lightroom and Aperture. So what is the main advantage? Most photographers would agree that having the ability to take two exposures of the same scene and then merging them into one file after correcting the overall exposure would be a huge plus. And it is. Perfect Layers makes this effortless work, and the files that Perfect Layers creates are non-destructive and can be opened and edited by Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
The other main attraction is that Perfect Layers brings the power of blending modes into Lightroom. By blending layers together you can control the brightness, contrast and color of an image, which can result in dramatic improvements.
Perfect Layers lets you control how much of a layer is visible by using the same MaskingBrush and MaskingBug tool found in PhotoTools 2.6. You simply paint with the MaskingBrush to reveal or hide the areas of a layer, and you can create gradient masks with the MaskingBug. The tools work together and are non-destructive, and when you use Perfect Layers with a Wacom tablet, you can control the brush size or opacity by how much pressure you apply while painting.
Another fantastic time-saver is that Perfect Layers comes with presets already built in for color correction and black and white conversions. And you can use the built-in masking tools in Perfect Layers to selectively place and control the intensity of your color fill effects. All in all, this Perfect Layers is a great plugin to have in your toolbox.
onOne Perfect Layers Requirements
Operating System — Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6, Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Optional Host Application — Adobe Lightroom 2 or 3, Apple Aperture 2.1 or 3.
Processor — 2 GHz or faster Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent.
Display — OpenGL 2.0 Capable video card with 256 MB of dedicated VRAM at 1280x800 and millions of colors or higher.
Perfect Layers Online Video Tutorials
You can fnd a collection of online video tutorials for Perfect Layers at the onOne site. Topics include: Getting Started, Supported Files, Perfect Layers and Lightroom, Perfect Layers and Aperture, Blending Duplicate Images, Exposure Blending, Swapping Heads, Changing Skies, Texture Blending, Blending to Control Color and Contrast, Using Color Fill Layers, Combining Multiple Lights, Focus Stacking, Creative Composites.
(posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)