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Professional Imaging Tools

(June 2011) posted on Tue Jun 07, 2011

Software for image editing, manipulation, and illustration.

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Sharpener Pro 3.0 provides control over the entire sharpening workflow. New creative sharpening tools enable the enhancement of subtle details and textures hidden within an image; an updated raw presharpener retains and enhances sharp details within images without amplifying noise and artifacts; the Output Sharpener is designed to sharpen based on proven loss of detail caused by different output methods and devices – it provides the optimum controls for creating perfectly sharpened images for such devices as display, inkjet, continuous tone, halftone, and hybrid print devices.

Onone Software’s new Perfect Resize 7 is based on Genuine Fractals’ algorithms for enlarging images to any size or resolution necessary while maintaining fine image details, the company reports. Ideal for creating poster or wall-sized prints, as well as enlarging cropped photos, Perfect Resize allows for the resizing of images up to 800% and beyond. It can be launched directly from the desktop as a standalone application or from within Photoshop (as well as Lightroom or Aperture in the Professional Edition).
Other features include: the ability to crop and resize images in a single step and resize entire folders of images; new Smoothness and Sharpness controls; a Loupe Tool for an instant preview of the resized image quality; a Gallery Wrap feature (Professional Edition only) for quick preview of gallery-wrap results; improved tiling; and more. Price: $159.95, Standard Edition; $299.95 Professional Edition (resizes CMYK images, integrates with Lightroom and Aperture).

PhotoTools 2.6 is a Photoshop plug-in that features a new Effects Library, improved effects categorization, a keyword mode that allows users to search effects by desired tone (such as "warm and grainy"), an effects preview mode, and masking support. Other features include blemish removal, HDR photo enhancement, new text overlays, and 12 new effects. The Professional edition includes 120 additional new effects plus support for Lightroom 2 and Aperture 2.1. Prices: $259.95.

PhotoTune 3, designed to allow users to color correct and enhance images, now offers the following new features: professional color controls/automatic correction; skin-color correction; and black-and-white conversions.

Xara Designer Pro 6 is image-editing and illustration software. Features include a vector 3D extrude tool; a freehand tool that offers live smoothing after you've drawn your line, along with the ability to edit any outlines. A transparency tool with click-drag simplicity allows you to create graduated blends to any object, photo, text, and vector shape. The blend tool blends from one shape to another; and the soft vector tool offers feathered vectoring. Other tools: shadow, bevel, and contour tool; and more. Other capabilities include: animated Flash support; an enhanced text tool; full support for importing and exporting Photoshop PSD files; PDF export improvements (as well as support for PDF imports); TIFF import support; the capability to integrate with external photo editors such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel PaintShop Pro; color and fill handling; and a collection of new editable templates. Price: $299.