Perfect Layers – free trial download

onOne Software are announcing that a Public Preview of Perfect Layers is now available to download and try out, free of charge.

Perfect Layers is a standalone application that works on its own allowing you to create and edit layered Photoshop files. If you use Lightroom or Aperture and you’ve ever wanted to or wished you had the ability to create a layered file, then this is definitely for you.

Being able to take two or more files and combining them into a single layered file or taking a single image and duplicating it to create multiple layers and use blending modes to enhance them is very powerful and opens up all kinds of creative things you can do.

onOne have been working closely with Scott Kelby from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals on Perfect Layers to refine the feature set and get great ideas in general on Lightroom users need. Scott has been playing with early development builds of Perfect Layers and he (and the rest of his team including Matt Kloskowski and RC Concepcion) are very excited about the possibilities that Perfect Layers will bring to Lightroom users.

The Perfect Layers Public Preview will expire on June 30th, 2011. The final version, 1.0, will be available for purchase in mid-2011. At that time, Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 owners will receive a free product update that will include Perfect Layers 1.0. Suite owners and anyone interested in Perfect Layers can download the free public preview now.

Lightroom 3 Beta 2 – the high ISO wunderkind

I’m not going to bore you with countless 100% clips. Just open this one file. It is a 100% screen shot of a tiled view of the same raw file from a Canon EOS 550D (aka Rebel T2i), taken at ISO 6400.

On the left, you see what Adobe Camera Raw 5.6 does with this file using no sharpening, 25 Luminance NR, 50 colour NR. On the right, you see what LR 3 Beta 2 does using the same settings (LR noise reduction has some further options – these are not adjusted).

When exporting the LR image to Photoshop, a dialog box appears saying you may need to install Adobe Camera Raw version 5.7! At the time of writing, version 5.7 is not yet available. But LR3 Beta 2 knows it exists… I used LR Rendering for this sample.

Click the image, open the full size screen shot. Or view it at

The 12,800 shot is by no means bad either. You could compare it with ISO 1600 shots from the first 10 megapixel CCDs.

Trust me, the LR 3 Beta2 result is superior both to the Canon in-camera JPEG and the Canon DPP processed result. Had I the time I’d post examples of every ISO from 100 to 12,800 and you would see something very special – the increase in size of ‘grain’ with each speed step, but nothing more. NOTHING more than a proprotional increase in grain size, just like film  used to be.

No oatmeal. No porridge. No hot pixels, no smeary watercolours. No colour blurring and luminance smoothing. Just neat, tight, virginal grain. Hmm. I should not have said that. Even so…

And another things – it works on everything. It works on old files, new files. RAW files from before the Ark got stuck on Ararat. Night shots taken when night shots could only make 7 x 5 inch prints. Nikon, Canon, Sony, old Minolta, Pentax, Olympus – download this beta, and you just discovered great pictures in the stuff you thought was rubbish because you accidentally used ISO 800 when that meant shaking the pepperpot over your soup!

Go download!

Tip: to use Lightroom use a front end, just set Photoshop as your editor, and after adjusting the pic hit Command-E – same as hitting the Open button in Adobe Camera Raw. Go straight to Photoshop, Do Not Pass Go, and do not (yet!) spend £200!

– DK

Lightroom Beta 3 v2 available now

Adobe today released an update to its Photoshop Lightroom 3 beta software, available immediately through Adobe Labs. Building on the success of the first Lightroom 3 beta, which was downloaded by more than 350,000 photographers, Lightroom 3 beta 2 incorporates feedback from the first iteration of the beta while offering users several new features and greatly improved performance throughout the application.

Though new camera support is not listed, we can confirm that Beta v2 will process Canon EOS 550D (Ti2) raw files.

New features in this release include tethered shooting support for select Nikon and Canon cameras, the ability to import and manage video files from DSLR cameras for a streamlined workflow and additional behind-the-scenes architecture enhancements for faster importing and loading of images. The addition of luminance noise reduction to the color noise reduction options already available in the beta helps photographers achieve overall exceptional image quality from high ISO images. The import experience and watermarking functionality have also been modified to reflect feedback received from the Lightroom community during the first beta period.

The input from the photography community has been extremely valuable and Adobe would like to thank everyone who has participated in the beta program. Adobe encourages photographers to test this new selection of features and provide the product team with feedback so they can produce the highest quality final product.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom is the essential digital photography workflow solution, helping serious amateur and professional photographers quickly import, manage, perfect and showcase all their images in one intuitive application.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 beta 2 is available as a free download to anyone on a Macintosh or Windows platform and is available in 12 languages. Visit to learn more and download the second beta. Feedback can be submitted on the Lightroom forums:

Reach out to us on the Lightroom Facebook Page at or on Twitter

Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta now available

London. — October 22, 2009 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today introduced Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3 beta software for Macintosh and Windows®, a public preview of new and improved functionality to be delivered in the next major release. Lightroom is the essential digital photography workflow solution, helping serious amateur and professional photographers quickly import, manage, enhance, and showcase all their images from one application. Available as a free download on Adobe Labs, Lightroom 3 beta delivers a preview of new tools that will be in Lightroom 3, including more intuitive importing, unparalleled noise reduction and sharpening tools and enhanced slideshow capabilities.. Adobe encourages photographers to test this early selection of new features and provide the product team with their feedback.

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Free Photo Tools Lite download

OnOne Software has made available an entire free download including Lite versions of 14 of their PhotoTools plug-ins for Photoshop and other image editing programs. All you have to do to obtain the download is visit their website using the link below and provide a valid email address for verification. We have tested the entire OnOne software range – including the full PhotoTools 2 package – with excellent performance on CS4/MacOSX 10.5+.

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Adobe ACR 5.4 Release Candidate

Adobe has released its Photoshop Camera Raw 5.4 Release Candidate, available immediately as a free download from Adobe Labs at The “release candidate” label indicates that this update is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all customers.

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Cloning between images

MANY photographers habitually use layers from everything. I don’t! In fact, I try to minimise my time spent on post-processing shots for stock library sale, and work very quickly. If it needs complex setup or demands working using layers to be able to go back and change things, I’ve probably already wasted too much time.
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Lightroom Version 2 released

The latest release of Adobe Lightroom, v2, handles pretty well all digital camera raw formats including the latest Sony, Canon and Nikon models. It is updated along with Adobe Camera Raw 4.5 to handle Nikon D700. Because Canon appears to have left their filetype identical to the A400, their new 1000D was recognised immediately by ACR even in 4.5 Beta. Continue reading

Epson Photoshop plug-in speed batch and multi printing

Epson has today launched an innovative new print plug-in for the Adobe Photoshop family of products that provides users with enhanced functionality and flexibility, making colour-managed printing quicker and easier. Engineered specifically for the popular Adobe Photoshop CS and Elements products, Epson designed the software to meet the needs of the users of its Stylus Pro 3800 and its A3+ printers, including the new Epson Stylus Photo R2880.

Mark Robinson, Senior Product Manager at Epson UK commented: “The new Epson plug-in provides an invaluable tool for the keen photographer, allowing them to increase their efficiency when printing a wide variety of projects.

“As an independent resource, the Epson Print Plug-In allows users to switch easily between its interface and Photoshop. This allows them to add images to the multi-image print easily and keep temporary images for reprint even if the plug-in window is closed. For many users, this functionality is highly valuable and could significantly enhance productivity.”

The Epson interface splits the printing workflow into three steps; image selection, layout selection/definition and printer settings and previewing, making the printing process simple and efficient. The window of each step is modular and can be minimised to optimise space on-screen.

The layout function automates the layout process, allowing users to select from three layout types; template, index and free layout, which can be arranged over multiple pages. Over 170 templates, ranging from credit card sizes to A2 are available as standard and users can even create custom templates and save them for regular use. Once the layout is selected, images are simply dragged and dropped into the template and can even be cropped as needed.

Colour management can be automated for both direct colour management using the printer driver, and ICC profile-based colour management. Users can also specify their own ICC profiles for specific print media. The preview function provides a fast and easy way to proof the final print layout before printing begins.

Mark Robinson continued: “The flexible workflow offered by the Epson Print Plug-In ensures maximum usability, making batch printing for projects such as exhibitions, calendars or portfolios quick and easy. As the plug-in is independent of Photoshop, images can be loaded in succession and the interface can be used to check and compare the various stages of editing.”

The new Epson Print Plug-In is available as a free web download from the Epson Europe website at and supports Mac OS 10.4.3 – 10.4.10 (Tiger), Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and Windows XP SP2 and Vista.

Epson Print Plug-In key features summary:

  • Easy multiple image printing
  • Flexible multi-page layouts with three layout types
  • Resource independent for improved flexibility and usability
  • Simplified colour-managed printing, supporting both direct colour management and ICC profile management
  • ACE[1], Epson CMM, Windows ICM and Apple ColorSync colour management engines supported
  • Supports the Adobe Photoshop family of products: Adobe Photoshop CS2 (from 9.02), CS3, Adobe Elements 4 (from 4.01), 5 (from 5.02) and 6
  • Supports Epson Stylus Photo 1400, R1800, R1900, R2400, R2880 and Stylus Pro 3800
  • Supports Windows XP SP2, Vista; Mac OS 10.4.3 – 10.4.10 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard)
  • Available in 7 languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Japanese
  • Available from 25 May 2008 as a free web download on

AdobeTV tutorials now on-line

Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced Adobe TV, a free online video resource for expert instruction and inspiration about Adobe products, including the company’s Creative Suite 3 family of world-class creative tools. With multiple channels, original series programming, and content from Adobe, leading training organisations and the world’s leading subject matter experts, Adobe TV delivers a virtual library of entertaining and instructional videos. Designers, photographers, video professionals, and developers will find product deep-dives, innovative tips, techniques from luminaries, and behind-the-scenes tours of the hottest creative shops and Adobe product teams.

Designed to educate, inspire, and entertain the creative community, Adobe TV is immediately available online from the Adobe Web site at “Adobe TV is the online video source for anyone with wants to see how Adobe tools are being used to create stunning work,” said Bob Donlon, executive producer for Adobe TV. “It brings together experts from Adobe and the creative community to inspire and teach how to get the most from the software that is empowering the delivery of high-impact print, online, video and mobile communications. It’s also the perfect showcase for Adobe’s broadcast video technologies in action.”

Videos on can be sorted by Most Recent, Most Popular and Top Rated to see what others in the community are watching. Additionally, viewers can easily share their favourite programs with others by posting them to their blogs or Web sites, or e-mailing links to friends. Adobe TV videos come with lightweight links that make it easy to spread the word about interesting content.

Rich Library of Video Content
Adobe TV features four channels, each targeting a specific audience: Photographers, Designers, Video Professionals, and Developers. Each channel features programming from Adobe evangelists, leading trainers, subject matter experts, and luminaries who pull in the crowds at industry events around the world. More than 200 videos are currently available on Adobe TV, with programming that mixes how-to information, case studies, personality-driven shows, and workflow deep-dives. The first set of videos offers secrets about Photoshop software, podcasts and design tips for Creative Suite, techniques for Photoshop Lightroom, tips on Adobe Flash Professional software for beginners, approaches to taming the Web, and information about video and audio production.

“The creative community instinctively turns to the Web as a primary resource for tutorials and information on how to use Adobe products, but before now this content was scattered and difficult to find,” said Joseph Princz, CEO of the interactive agency, Wrecking Ball Media Group. “Adobe TV makes it easier than ever to search for and subscribe to Adobe video content that not only inspires new creative ideas, but also helps us to refine our skill sets and dive further into the essential tools our business depends on every day.”

Creating and Delivering a Complete Online Video Experience
Adobe TV demonstrates the power of Adobe’s leading video technologies from creation to playback. Using components of Adobe Creative Suite 3, Adobe TV programming is scripted and storyboarded, and the graphics and imagery are developed. During production, Adobe OnLocation software monitors quality and records directly to disk. Visual effects are produced in Adobe After Effects software, the audio is cleaned up or created in Adobe Audition software and Adobe Soundbooth software, and then the programming is edited and output from Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe’s Emmy-award-wining Flash technology, the most widely used platform for delivering interactive experiences online today, and Adobe Flash Media Server then package and deliver Adobe TV.