Topaz B&W Effects Plug-in Released, Brief Hands-On Review

Topaz BW Effects

Topaz Labs’ latest plug-in, B&W Effects, is now available for Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture or Photoshop Elements.

B&W Effects is equipped with a number of presets that provide you with a solid starting point for generating a black and white image.  You can also create a black and white image using only the manual controls – or do something in between by tweaking the preset to your liking. [Read more...]

Canon EOS MOVIE Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro

Canon 1D Mark IV

The Canon EOS MOVIE Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro is a plug-in currently in development that is intended to allow footage from EOS DSLRs to be edited more quickly and easily in Final Cut Pro.  The plug-in will be introduced in a free Beta release in March 2010.

Key features of the plug-in includes the enabling of the “log and transfer” of footage from the 5D Mark II, 7D and 1D Mark IV.  Moreover, the plug-in converts Canon EOS DSLR footage to Apple’s ProRes 4:2:2 at twice the speed of what you get out of the box with Final Cut Pro.  Adding timecode, reel names and metadata to footage will also be a faster and smoother task.

Stay tuned for updates on the availability of the EOS Movie Plugin-E1 for Final Cut Pro.

Alien Skin Blow Up 2 Review

Alien Skin Blow Up 2

Alien Skin’s Blow Up 2 is a Photoshop plugin designed to help you create images that are larger than the native resolutions coming out of your camera.  Alien Skin provided me with a review sample of Blow Up 2 and mentioned words like “presets”, “single-click” and “take the complexity out.”  I took them up on their claims and gave it a spin.

While I don’t enlarge many prints beyond 8×10, I have, on occasion, used Photoshop’s bicubic image sample method to enlarge prints up to 20″ x 30″.  I have always thought that this capability in Photoshop works pretty well.  That was, however, until I saw the results from resizing using the Blow Up 2 plugin. [Read more...]

Noise Ninja Released for Aperture

PictureCode has released Noise Ninja as a plug-in for Aperture. The powerful noise reduction software has the core capabilities of the Photoshop version, but has a more simplified user interface that meshes with the Aperture system. The Noise Ninja plug-in also supports the multi-file handling method that Aperture’s framwork makes possible.

The Aperture version of Noise Ninja is somewhat stripped down, compared to the standalone version: it has no preference dialog, for instance. But the capabilities of this plug-in remain the same.

It is available as part of the PictureCode Pro Bundle.

Camera Raw Plugin Available For Photoshop

Adobe Labs made the Camera Raw 4.5 plugin for Photoshop available at the end of last week. This plugin gives Photoshoppers easy access to raw image formats, the format in which most professional and prosumer digital cameras shoot.

This version is only a release candidate. The plugin is well tested but needs more community testing to put it through its paces on multiple platforms and various hardware. Eventually Camera Raw will be distributed to all Photoshop users, according to the Adobe site.

You can download the plugin for either Macintosh or Windows through the Adobe Labs site. You must already have Adobe Creative Suite 3 or Photoshop CS3 installed on your computer to use Camera Raw.