With the excitement of the much anticipated new features in Adobe Photoshop CS4, it shouldn’t be overlooked that many of your favorite plug-ins will still be as valuable as ever. It’s true that there are many new features in CS4 and many of the existing tools have received some great updates but there are still some functions that are best handled by plug-in software.
This past year has seen the introduction of three such plug-ins that will remain valuable tools in my image processing workflow. For creating stunning black and white images, you will be hard pressed to find anything better than the recently released Nik Silver Efex Pro. This groundbreaking piece of software has revolutionized black and white photography in the digital age. If you missed out on my earlier review and video walk-through you can check it out right here.
Another big hit from the folks at Nik was the introduction of Viveza. Through the use of the patented U-Point technology, Viveza allowes users to take their image processing to a whole new level. U Point powered Color Control Points, placed directly on colors or objects in an image (such as sky, skin, grass, etc.), reveal easy-to-use controls that photographers can use to quickly adjust brightness, contrast or color in a fraction of the time needed by other tools. (See my review here)
The last great tool to break away from the pack was Fluid Mask 3 by Vertus. Fluid Mask allows its users to make such incredibly complex selections with a speed and ease that is head and shoulders above anything available in Photoshop. Fluid Mask 3 takes blending to a new level by preserving the edge data in your masking/selection. In the final result, natural edge blur and contour is preserved for the best, most authentic cut-outs ever (check out the review here). Now here is the best part, Vertus has given me a special offer code so that my readers can get a $50 discount off the purchase of Fluid Mask 3. Just go to this purchase page and enter the Coupon Code: MSHEVERTUS55. You will get the $50 discount, making your purchase price only $189! This plug-in will more than pay for itself with the amount of time it saves you.