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Author Topic: Nik Software  (Read 8240 times)
RobertMcCabe
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« on: December 16, 2009, 10:26:50 PM »
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I am new to the LL forums and noticed there was no discussion of the Nik software. I have been using Viveza for several months and found it useful in almost every image I work with. Are others in the forum using it? It can be finicky to work with, but I have found a little playing around with the control points can make big differences in the image.

I also like the Sharpener Pro ability to selectively sharpen parts of an image. I find I can get a real "painted in oil" look to some images (I'll post an example here if people are interested).
-Robert
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bongobongo
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 02:58:50 AM »
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Hi Robert

I'm to buy the complete package myself in a few days.

Would be very interested to hear about your experience with the software.....

so please go ahead and post

Regards
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Sigi
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 04:22:13 AM »
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Hello,

I am also using Viveza and I love. It saves so much time. If I just think of all the layer masks that I do not have to create because of it.

Siegfried
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RobertMcCabe
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 04:28:44 AM »
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Here is one example from a business trip to Bermuda (got a weekend free on the Island).
Before and after processing.
(A lot of people will find the second over sharpened, but I did this to show how you can isolate the areas of an image with control points. If there is interest I will post step by step images from screen captures I took as I worked, something I find handy when trying new tools).
[attachment=18733:Ghostnet_1.jpg]
[attachment=18734:Ghostnet_2.jpg]

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Colorwave
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 11:25:30 AM »
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I was a little disappointed to learn that there is no way to control the color selectivity with Viveza except by proximity.  I may have missed something, but it seems to select a color to adjust without allowing for adjustment of how close a match the selection requires.  There is the slider that controls how large an area the selection encompasses, but I would find it much more helpful if it allowed one to select a wider or narrower range of colors.  Color selection in PS CS4 is much more precise, although you have to go through more steps to adjust as many parameters as Viveza allows you to do all at once.
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RobertMcCabe
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 11:58:43 AM »
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Remember that the control points are subtractive so you can remove areas from the target control point  by placing new control points on the areas that you want to remove. I find I can get pretty good isolation by a combination of other control points and moving the target control point around. The draw back of this is that I sometimes have to create a new Vineza layer to work on a different part if the image as the extra control points conflict with another target.

There is a new version coming out soon, not sure what it adds, but it would be nice to have:
  1) color selection
  2) ability to combine control points
   
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CynthiaM
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2009, 08:07:26 AM »
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Quote from: RobertMcCabe
I am new to the LL forums and noticed there was no discussion of the Nik software. I have been using Viveza for several months and found it useful in almost every image I work with. Are others in the forum using it? It can be finicky to work with, but I have found a little playing around with the control points can make big differences in the image.

I also like the Sharpener Pro ability to selectively sharpen parts of an image. I find I can get a real "painted in oil" look to some images (I'll post an example here if people are interested).
-Robert

I use Nik software extensviely; in particular, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Silver Efex and Dfine.  I think the only one that I don't use is their sharpener; I prefer Photo Kit Sharpener by Pixel Genius (their sharpening algorithms are used in Lightroom in the develop and print modules and in the export dialog maybe also in the web module and also in camera raw - I figure if they are good enough for Adobe they are good enough for me).  It's a funny thing about the Nik software - you almost have to go full circle and have a pretty good understanding about masks and layers to appreciate the power of Nik.  Once you get the hang of the upoint technology, it is terrific; check the Nik website for tutorials.  You can view the effect of the upoint in a grayscale mask mode and you can even move the upoint around while in mask mode view which allows you to better control its effect.  The upoint technology practically eliminates the need for masking in Photoshop.  The other feature about the software which I really like is that you can run the filters as smart filters which allows you to go back into the filter at a later time and see what you did and what your settings were (some of the filters even retain all of the control points) if you want to re-edit or reuse those settings on another image.  You can also run multiple filters within one smart filter layer rather than each on its own layer which greatly reduces the file size.

Learn to use the upoint technology and the smart filter technology.
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Cynthia Merzer
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walter.sk
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2009, 08:44:32 AM »
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Quote from: RobertMcCabe
Remember that the control points are subtractive so you can remove areas from the target control point  by placing new control points on the areas that you want to remove. I find I can get pretty good isolation by a combination of other control points and moving the target control point around. The draw back of this is that I sometimes have to create a new Vineza layer to work on a different part if the image as the extra control points conflict with another target.

There is a new version coming out soon, not sure what it adds, but it would be nice to have:
  1) color selection
  2) ability to combine control points
I just started using Viveza 2.0 a few days ago.  It now has a set of sliders for global adjustment, including brightness, contrast, saturation, shadows(lighten or darken), levels, curves and others, and it adds "structure," which is similar to Photoshop's Clarity slider.  Structure was available in Silver Efex, and I wished it had been available in all of the other NIK filters.  I also often wished Viveza had global adjustments, since after doing the local adjustments I often wished to be able to tweak the global image without having to return to Photoshop proper.  It is now possible to do the global adjustments before or after the local ones, and tweak either before committing.

You can also select a group of U-points and adjust them as a group.  I wish that there were something other than a rectangular selection tool, as  not all of the points I would want to group fall within a rectangle.  I haven't experimented with additive selections, though, and I might be wrong.

I am extremely pleased with Dfine 2.  I also use(d) Noise Ninja and Neat Image, and I find Dfine at least as flexible with at least as good results, with a much more intuitive approach.

Most of my B&W conversions are done with Silver Efex.  While there is nothing per se that I couldn't get from Photoshop, Silver Efex is quicker and at least as useful.  I just wish that the color sliders in Photoshop's B&W adjustment layer were available as a panel in Silver Efex, although to a limited degree, similar adjustments are available if one chooses to emulate a film type and alter its color sensitivities.

Color Efex can produce extremely subtle effects and becomes part of my workflow for almost all of my images.

The NIK people really understand how photographers work, and have become a permanent part of my work, along with Focus Magic (a great deconvolution plugin) and QImage, which I use for printing with my Z3100--it makes printing easier than using PS, and allows me to override some of the limitations of the HP driver.

I do not work with or for the NIK Software folks; I just love their products.
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RobertMcCabe
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2009, 07:34:03 PM »
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I got the upgrade to version 2 of Viveza and like the new features a lot, unfortunately there are a few short comings that seem odd for them to miss out.

1) the histogram in the Levels and Curves is not dynamic, it would be very handy to have a dynamic overlay so you could see the effects of the changes you are making on the histogram. And no clipping indicator!

2) The zoom tool still is a select tool and then click, one tool to zoom in one to zoom out (although it now has more than the old 1:1 and 100% zoom). A zoom slider would be much better.

3) and this is a BIG one. The new copy protection software they use seems to look at your computer dynamics. I use a dual monitor system and when doing a lot of processing I switch one over to be a TV. This threw off the copy protection and it asked me to enter my registration code, then told me the copy was already registered! Phone calls and Email to NIK did not solve the issue (but they were responsive and did actively try to solve the problem. Only by switching back to the dual monitor system was I able to relaunch Viveza!
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budjames
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2010, 04:43:27 AM »
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I've used Viveza since it came out and I recently upgraded to v2.0. Awesome!

I also use Color Efex Pro 3.0 and Silver Efex. Again, awesome!
 
All of my images are ingested and modified inside Lightroom. I tried the LR 3 beta, but it has too many bugs for me to trust, so I'll await the arrival of the finished version to be released before I upgrade.

All of sharpening and printing is done in LR. I occasionally edit in PS CS4, but I find that the majority of my needs can be meet inside of LR, especially since the inclusion of the local adjustment brushes in the program.

Cheers.
Bud
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Bud James
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2010, 10:21:41 AM »
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In Viveza you can make the window fill your monitor but in Color Efex I can't seem to be able to do the same. Any ideas? TIA
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 03:42:44 AM by stamper » Logged

stamper
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2010, 11:02:05 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
In Viveza you can make the window fill your monitor but in Color Efex I can't seem to be able to do the same. Any ideas? TIA

OK my ageing brain finally  got into gear and I found the solution. Drag the bottom right hand corner down to the right and hey presto!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 03:43:09 AM by stamper » Logged

duranash
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2010, 12:24:09 PM »
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Am I reading the NIK website right...Dfine is not 64bit compatible?
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tokengirl
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2010, 02:35:57 PM »
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I have the complete suite, and while I do use them all from time to time, Silver Efex Pro is the only one I use regularly - it's very easy to use and I love the results.

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fjmcsu
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2010, 10:05:55 AM »
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An update is now also available for Viveza2!
http://www.niksoftware.com/support/usa/ent...hp?view=updates
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Ananth
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2010, 06:32:40 AM »
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I have the complete bundle for LR2.6 and simply love the range of adjustments available and the results.  Nik software's support group has also been quite professional responding to my queries about possible issues on the Win-7 platform.  

The only issue I continue to have is to do with my multiple monitor set up. I have played around with the video card settings (GeForce 9500GT - nVidia controls), but have not resolved this as yet. I see all the Nik plugins running extremely slow when I activate the dual monitors.  Works perfectly fine with one monitor!

Ananth
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Melodi
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2010, 08:11:49 AM »
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I just started working with some of the demo/trial versions of the various software.  So far, Iím loving it. I found the Tonal Contrast functionality available in Color Efex incredible.  Itís better than anything Iíve been able to get with the clarity tool in LR or with any other efforts using curves, etc. in CS3.  I was able to see details I didnít even know were captured. To me, believe it or not, the tonal contrast tool alone would be worth the cost of Color Efex.  Iím still debating on whether to buy the full suite.
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ddk
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2010, 08:59:02 AM »
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Quote from: CynthiaM
The other feature about the software which I really like is that you can run the filters as smart filters which allows you to go back into the filter at a later time and see what you did and what your settings were (some of the filters even retain all of the control points) if you want to re-edit or reuse those settings on another image.  You can also run multiple filters within one smart filter layer rather than each on its own layer which greatly reduces the file size.

I must have missed this capability, please explain how it works as a smart filter Cynthia.
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david
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CynthiaM
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2010, 09:43:37 AM »
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Quote from: ddk
I must have missed this capability, please explain how it works as a smart filter Cynthia.

From within Photoshop, watch any of the smart filter tutorials that deal with any of the Nik products:
Nik tutorials

What the tutorial does not explain is that if you highlight the main layer that is created with the smart object (the top of the tree so to speak), you can run additional Nik filters.  You can run additional ones from within the same filter or across filters; i.e you can run viveza and colorEfex, etc., within the same smart filter layer:
[attachment=20413:Capture.JPG]
The filters won't be named such as Tonal Contrast, Pro Contrast, etc, so if that bothers you, you can go back in and rename the filter.  But you can always double click on the filter line and it will take you back into the interface to what you had set up for that particular instance.  The other caveat is that unless you do ctrl j from the background layer, you will lose your background layer which may be a problem if you want to run other filters.  For example, the pixel genius filters won't run if you don't have a background layer.  In that case, you can duplicate the whole smart filter layer (make sure the top of the tree is highlighted like in the attached image and do ctrl j) then drag the copy below the original layer, if you want to be a purist and get back to what came into photoshop, then delete the smart filter altogether from the copy layer, then go up to Layer>New>Background From Layer, then you can run filters like PixelGenius.

From within Lightroom, right click on the image Edit in>Open As Smart Object in Photoshop.  Then run your filters.

Before I learned how to do this, I would have a file with multiple layers, each with a different Nik Filter; the files became very large.  But now, as long as I can adequately mask with the upoints, and sometimes they are not adequate and you just have to mask, I can run multple filters within the same smart object and the files does not increase in size.

Hope that helps.  Re-post if you need more assistance.
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Cynthia Merzer
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mav
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2010, 09:03:57 AM »
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I just got the complete bundle from Nik, and was wondering are there different NIk collection that will work in LR that will not work with Capture NX or do you have to buy the bundle for Capture NX  

« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 01:29:18 PM by mav » Logged
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