Nik Software has just announced a major upgrade to their Color Efex Pro software filter package, version 4.0. I’ve had a chance to experiment with a beta version of this software, and I like it a lot. The filters are quite good, but the new workflow is tremendous, especially for Aperture and Lightroom users.
- Updated and new filters, including improvements to my favorite filter, Tonal Contrast. One new filter, Detail Extractor, lets you create local contrast effects similar to the “Orton Effect.” Wedding photographers will no doubt love the creative effects you can apply to images with CEP4.
- Border Effects: CEP4 adds Image Borders, similar to what’s found in Silver Efex Pro 2.0
- History Browser (lets you go back and “undo” steps and compare different looks). This can be a great workflow tool when you’re trying to get settings just right.
- Multiple Filters at once: This is, in my opinion, the biggest reason to upgrade to CEP4, especially if you’re a Lightroom or Aperture user. With CEP3, the only way to add multiple filter effects was to iteratively apply each filter (in a layer in Photoshop, or on additional files). With CEP4, you can add multiple filters within the plug-in interface, and each filter can be applied locally with its own unique set of Control Points. Moreover, you can save the entire set of applied filters as a preset “Recipe,” so that you can quickly apply similar effects without having to build up multiple filters each time.
- Color Efex Pro is available for preorder from Nik Software. The select version offers 26 filters for $99.95, while the complete edition has all 55 filters (including Tonal Contrast and Detail Extractor) for $199.95. Save an additional 15% when you shop from this link.
- Users of Color Efex Pro 3.0 can upgrade with a valid serial # for a discounted price. Moreover, anyone who purchased CEP3 as of August 7, 2011, will get an upgrade to version 4.0 for free!
Friends of Luminescence of Nature Photography automatically get a 15% discount from the Nik Software USA shop when you use this link to order! (offer valid only on Nik products to USA/Canada residents)