[00:00:00.00] Hi, I'm PhotoJoseph. DxO asked me to join them on their virtual press tour for the new Nik Collection version 3. And I wanted to share with you the demo that I've been giving to the media for the past couple of weeks. Let's get into it.
[00:00:23.12] The Nik Collection version 3 includes updates for Photoshop users, Lightroom Classic users, standalone app users and pretty much anybody who uses it, because there's even a new plugin included. Let's take a look. We'll start in Photoshop with the Selective palette. This is no longer the first thing that you'll close when you open Photoshop! This new palette actually looks like it belongs in Photoshop and has a lot more functionality.
[00:00:45.12] First of all, in its minimized form as you see it here, it's just a shortcut to get into any one of the plugins. But if I expand it, you'll see a couple of things; first there's the name of each plug-in plus a short description of what it does, but under three of them, Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro and HDR Efex Pro, you'll see that there's a drop-down menu revealing your favorites of each one of those filters. For example in Color Efex Pro 4, you'll see that I've favorited Bi-Color Filters, Film Grain, Cross Processing and High Key.
[00:01:11.00] Now, if we open up the settings in here, I can actually choose to have the effect applied in the Nik Collection as you're used to seeing, or applied directly in Photoshop without even launching Nik, and that's the way I've got it set up now. So, let's try it that way first.
[00:01:24.21] To try out a filter on this photo for my trip to Taipei, I'll click on the filter here… There's bicolor filters and you'll see over here on the right that it has duplicated the background layer, rendered that filter onto the new layer and even named it to match the filter preset.
[00:01:37.06] So that's one look. Let's hide that and try another one. I'll go back and try Cross Processing next. Once again, Photoshop duplicates the layer for me, renders the filter out and names the filter layer all without launching the Nik interface.
[00:01:51.21] Let's do one more. This time, I'll go for the Film Grain look. At this point, what I'm really doing is just trying different favorite looks without having to go into the Nik interface. So this can be a real time saver if you're a Photoshop user and you want to just try out different looks without having to actually launch into the plug-in.
[00:02:06.25] This filter looks pretty good, but if I want to quickly compare them, I'll just go ahead and hold down the option key while I click on the “eye” next to each layer and that'll show me just that layer. And at this point, I might decide that I like them but what I probably want is a combination of all of them.
[00:02:19.20] So, how about I just select these and delete them and we'll start over again but this time I'm going to open the settings and set it to apply the effect in the Nik Collection itself, which means now when I click on that same filter, we'll start with Film Grain again, it's gonna actually open the plug-in.
[00:02:35.21] For those of you who are not familiar with Color Efex Pro, here's a quick tour; up here on the right we have the filter that we've applied, starting off with Film Grain. In this particular filter, I can adjust the grain per pixel, and that means by bringing it up to have more grain per pixel, the image will look a little bit less grainy.
[00:02:50.00] That's a good start. Now I want to add another filter on top of that. To do that, I click on Add Filter, which adds an empty filter holder and then on the left, I can choose whatever filter I want to add. I'll go ahead and go for that B-Color filter which is cool but a bit heavy, so let's take the opacity down on that a bit and then I'll add another filter and we'll try that Cross Processing that I played with earlier. Great!
[00:03:11.02] So far I'm really liking this look. If I want to save this so I can come back to this recipe later, all I have to do is click on save recipe and give it a name. I'll call it “Vintage”. That adds it to my custom recipes list.
[00:03:21.25] Now if I want to access that custom recipe from Photoshop itself, all I have to do is mark this as a favorite. I'll do the same thing for the recipe above called “Taipei”. This is one that I put a little bit more effort into, and if you look over here on the right, you can see that there's a bunch of different filters applied to it.
[00:03:35.26] At this point, the recipe is looking pretty good but I want to make some changes to it. Let's take the glow all the way up and I'll take my Film Grain down a little bit. Let's say right around 200. So now I've started with a recipe, but then made some changes to it. If I applied the filter effects now, it'll apply this to the photo but then if I want to apply this same look — that recipe with the tweaks to it — and I don't save this recipe out, I won't be able to do that, or at least I couldn't with Nik 2. Now with Nik Collection 3, I can. I'll show you what I mean.
[00:04:04.09] Remember, this is a recipe that I've just modified. I'm gonna click OK without saving this as a new recipe. That of course is going to apply it in Photoshop and this looks great. Now, let's go to another photo from that same trip. And instead of going to my favorite recipes and clicking directly on “Vintage”, the one that I just saved, or “Taipei”, the one that I'm working with but modified, I'm gonna click on Last Edit. That's going to open up the filter and apply exactly the last filter combinations that I had applied to the previous image.
[00:04:31.27] So even if I didn't save it, I've still got it here. There's that same Taipei recipe with my glow modified and the Film Grade modified too. I might want to save this as a new recipe at this point or just go ahead and apply it.
[00:04:44.00] So, that's what I wanted to show you in Photoshop. Now, let's jump over to Lightroom Classic. In Lightroom Classic, I'm going to work with another photo from that same trip, and this one I'm going to edit in the same filter effect; Color Efex pro 4, and from here, the first thing you have to do is choose what file format I want to render this to. This started off as a RAW file and of course the RAW file is not editable by the Nik Collection, so I need to convert it to a TIFF or a JPEG first. By choosing TIFF file though, I have a pretty significant advantage now with Nik Collection 3.
[00:05:12.02] This dialog that pops up tells me what that is. If I'm working with a TIFF file, I now have the ability to resume editing later. What this means is that I will be able to, at any time, open up this file from Lightroom and see all the effects that I had applied in that Nik filter, and modify or undo any of them at any time. I'll show you how it works.
[00:05:31.02] This dialog tells you that you have to enable it and that checkbox is down here at the bottom under “Save and edit later”. You can see that's already checked. I'm gonna go ahead and apply a look to this that I don't like. I'm gonna apply something really heavy and black-and-white like this one here.
[00:05:44.15] Let's just say that I've spent some time on this and I think I like it, so I go ahead and apply it. But then a minute, a day, a week, a month, a year later, I decided that; you know, I really should have made this black-and-white a little bit less contrasty.
[00:05:56.13] If I didn't have that preset saved, I'd have to start all over again. But I no longer have to with Nik Collection 3, because of something called Multi Page Technology. Inside of the TIFF file, we can actually save multiple versions of the same image. I'll show you what I mean by revealing this file in the finder and looking at it in Preview.
[00:06:13.07] Here's that black-and-white image, let's take a look at this in the finder… right click on it here and choose Open with Preview. And from here, you're gonna see both versions of the file; the original color version and the new black-and-white. And what we're not seeing in-between here is the invisible metadata that tells the Nik plug-in which filter effects have been applied.
[00:06:32.10] Now let's go back into Lightroom and open this in the same filter; Color Efex Pro 4, and this time I'm going to be sure to choose Edit Original. This is going to allow me to open the original Multi Page TIFF file and continue to edit where I left off.
[00:06:45.19] We're looking at the same photo with the same effect applied. But look over here on the right, there's my Tonal Contrast changes which I could turn off or adjust, the Dark Contrast and the Black and White Conversion. All things that I had applied earlier but I now have complete control over.
[00:06:58.08] In fact, let's just go ahead and apply the recipe that I made earlier called Taipei and we'll use that one. Next, let's take a look at the brand new filter that's included with the Nik Collection 3, Perspective Efex.
[00:07:09.23] You can see that this photo was shot down this very linear hallway but my angles are not exactly straight. I personally really like to have my angles totally true. So, I'm gonna open this up in Perspective Efex and fix it.
[00:07:21.05] A choice that I can make here is to edit a copy of this photo or edit the original. I'll choose to edit a copy of this, which means that, yet again, Lightroom is going to create another copy of that TIFF, but this also means that I'll be able to go back to that previous one, open it in Color Effects Pro and make any changes that I'd like to it.
[00:07:36.12] If I edit the original, it will effectively flatten the look that was applied in Color Efex Pro opening it in Perspective Efex. Now we're looking at the photo in Perspective Efex and I want to make all of these lines straight and true.
[00:07:46.29] There is an auto button in here which often works very well, but for this particular photo, because there's so many horizontal and vertical lines, the software would pick maybe this line here with this one and a couple of these verticals and this part of the image looks great, but the top is not totally straight the way that I would have done it.
[00:08:02.25] So I'm gonna go ahead and turn off the auto and reset this and do it my own way. I can align these based off of just vertical lines, just horizontal lines, any object that I know to be square or rectangular… and this one’s pretty cool, because you could have an image that is totally distorted like this and have the software completely correct it. Or in this case, I'm gonna go ahead and choose my favorite, the 8-point tool. The 8-point allows me to line up four vertical and horizontal lines no matter where they are in the image and line up my perspective correction perfectly.
[00:08:31.28] To get the lines precise, you click on this button here and drag this over a point you want to line up to. In this case, I'm going to choose the center of the edge of that sign like so, then I'll grab the bottom part of that and put it in the same place… perfect! Next up I'll do this one.
[00:08:45.22] Notice as I'm moving the mouse around that, just a little bit of movement, moves the cursor very quickly. But if you look underneath the zoomed in circle, you'll see that it says “Press Shift to Slow Cursor”. When I hold down the shift key, now as I move my hand, I'm moving the mouse very, very slowly and precisely, allowing me to get this position exactly right.
[00:09:04.07] Getting these lined up in the right place is key to making this effect work. So, I want to make sure that those lines are all perfect. Last one over here, drop that into place. Again, click to quick-drag and then hold down the shift-key to slow it down and we're set. Now I can preview that effect and if you look outside of the Cropping Box, you'll see just how that image was distorted to correct it the way that I wanted to. I'll apply that and off we go.
[00:09:30.00] Now that image required a lot of manual intervention, but let's take a look at another photo that can be done completely automatically. We'll go to the other side of the world, to Los Angeles, and this photo here, as you can pretty clearly see was shot standing on the ground, looking up with a pretty wide angle lens. And you can see that perspective tilting that's happening to the buildings there. And this time when I hit the auto button, it's perfect. Just like that, I've suddenly climbed up a ladder and gotten a perfectly straight image. I'll save that and move to another photo.
[00:09:59.00] The next one's gonna be pretty extreme. This photo here was shot with a Fisheye lens. Now, this was of course shot intentionally this way. This was a fun image to shoot, purposefully distorting those vertical lines to wrap around the Fisheye lens. But maybe at some point you decide “well, I really wish that I had a perfectly straight version of this, shot with a normal wide-angle lens, but I didn't shoot it”. Well, now I can actually correct this distorted image to make it look like I did.
[00:10:24.05] The first thing I want to do is apply Auto Distortion. But you'll see underneath this that there's a message saying that “A DxO Optical Module must be downloaded for this image”. When I click on Download Module, it tells me that it has identified this image as shot on a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and a 15mm Fisheye lens. When I download this file, it very quickly downloads a custom correction file that was designed by DxO for this precise camera and lens combination.
[00:10:48.05] And as you can see here, this has done an impressive job of straightening out the image. Now all the lines are totally vertical. Well, almost. It looks like I was standing a little bit crooked when I shot this, so let's continue to fix this by clicking on the Auto Perspective button.
[00:11:00.14] Now the image looks great, but personally I feel like it might be a little bit tall, I want to distort it manually, just a touch horizontally. So to do that, I'll take this slider here and pull it out just a touch. How about like that?
[00:11:13.24] Now, the coolest thing about this is to see exactly what happened to this image to make it look this way. If I turn off the Auto Crop, you'll see exactly how this image was distorted, and it looks amazing. The fact that it was distorted that much around the edges to get the center point looking the way I wanted it is awesome.
[00:11:27.19] Let's go ahead and turn the Auto Crop back on, and apply that. Next up is this crowd photo. Shop by my friend Guillaume Lebrassuer, you can see how the edges of this image are totally distorted. Shot with a super wide angle lens our people that are standing near the edges just aren't looking that great. So we want to fix this.
[00:11:45.07] To do that, I'll click on the Volume Deformation button. And with just one click, take a look at the folks on the edge… look at her especially… see how she looks totally normal here? Let's go back to the way we started and she's completely stretched out.
[00:11:56.25] Now, at first glance you might think, “well that's great, but all you're doing is horizontally stretching the image to make that correction”. But if that was the case, then the whole image would get distorted, and the people in the middle would become skinnier. Look at them…
[00:12:08.28] This fellow here looks totally normal right now even though the folks on the edges are completely distorted. If I turn on the Volume Deformation, you'll see that that chap in the middle is still looking great but the people on the edges now look great too. As I toggle that on and off, the people in the middle are left alone while the edges of the scene are corrected.
[00:12:27.27] Last up, I'm going to take this aerial photo, shot with a drone over Slovenia and show you something really fun we can do with this. We're all familiar with the model train look that can be applied to basically any scene using a Tilt-Shift lens. Well, now we can actually do that in software.
[00:12:43.10] There's a button under Perspective Efex called Miniature Effect, and when I turn that on, it selectively blurs the outside of this line. I can move this line wherever I'd like and rotate it so I follow the line of the village, I can make that narrower or broader, change the fall-off, change the amount of defocusing that's happening and make this look like a totally realistic tilt-shift lens effect. I'll apply that and off we go.
[00:13:05.19] And those are some of the highlights of the new Nik Collection 3. If you decide to upgrade your Nik Collection 2 or just purchase Nik Collection 3 for the first time, there's links down below, and I'd appreciate if you use those, those are affiliate links and those help this channel stay alive.
[00:13:17.08] Thanks a bunch, we'll see you next time. Bye-bye.