Learning Analog Efex Pro
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Learning Analog Efex Pro

with Tim Grey

Video: Film Type

Many of the effects available in Analog Effects Pro of course

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Watch the Online Video Course Learning Analog Efex Pro
1h 5m Intermediate May 20, 2014

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Analog Efex Pro, part of the Nik Collection from Google, is focused on adding various film and wet plate effects, enabling you to import a sense of age and a unique look to any digital photo. In this course you'll learn all about the many creative effects you can apply in Analog Efex Pro, such as lens distortion, vignettes, bokeh, and imitated dust and scratches.

Analog Efex Pro
Tim Grey

Film Type

Many of the effects available in Analog Effects Pro of course are aimed at mimicking or simulating various types of older film stock. We can actually adjust the appearance of the photo based on some concepts that apply to various films. Let's go ahead and take a look at the film type section over on the right panel. Where we can adjust the overall attributes of the image, based on various film attributes. To begin with, we can apply a color tint to the image.

You can see in this case, I've selected a preset that includes a bit of a magenta color cast. I can choose among various types of colors. Warm colors, which includes some sort of sepia type colors primarily. We also have the cool options that we were looking at, and the subtle options which give us a little bit more subtle effect within the photo. And then once we've chosen a category from the pop-up there, we can click on any of the thumbnails in order apply the affect to the image.

I'll go ahead and choose a warm option, for example. And maybe this sort of sepia effect or maybe I want a little bit more of what to me looks like a bit of a Kodachrome type of effect where we have some cyan values in the highlights, and a little bit warmer values in the shadows. Then we can take a look at the various sliders that are available below those thumbnails. First we have a neutral versus faded slider. If I drag over toward the left I get a more neutral result, and if I drag over toward the right I get a more faded result.

In other words we're primarily determining whether we want the image to appear a little bit faded essentially with lower contrast and a little bit less saturation. We can also determine the strength of the effect. You can see that I started off with the strength value of 100%, and that applies the maximum affect of that film type effect. But I can also reduce the value if I'd prefer. In this case, I think a relatively high value works well in terms of adding a sense of age to the image.

We can also add some film grain. And there are a couple of controls here that allow us to determine how that grain appears within the image, to begin with, we have a grain per pixel option. And this is a little bit opposite of what many photographers might expect the control to do, because a higher value creates a smaller grain structure because we have more grain components per pixel. If I reduce the value, then I'll actually get a stronger grain effect because now the individual components of that grain are considerably larger, because there are not as many grain elements per pixel.

I'll go ahead and zoom in to a 100% setting here, and then you'll see that we have a very strong effect applied because I've reduced the value for grain per pixel. I'll go ahead and increase the value, and you can see that that grain starts to fade away because we're getting a smaller and smaller grain structure as we increase the value. I'll go ahead and exaggerate the effect again though, so that we can take a look at the hard versus soft slider, and this also allows us to adjust the intensity of that grain effect.

With a high value, in other words dragging over towards the hard setting, then we'll get stronger contrast with that grain structure. Whereas if I reduce the effect, then we get a little bit more subtle transition among that grain. I'll go ahead and increase the size of that grain so that we can get a better sense. And then I'll drag between soft, and then up toward hard and you see that we get a bit more contrast when we shift toward a harder value. It's worthwhile, by the way, to increase your zoom setting at least to a 100% setting when you're adjusting that grain strength.

Because when you're zoomed out, you might not realize just how strong an effect you're really applying to the image. And once you feel that you're happy with the overall effect, I strongly encourage you to turn off the check box next to film type, and then turn it back on again so that you can really appreciate the significance of the adjustment you've applied. That might just lead you to tone down the effect a little bit. Maybe softening up and increasing the value for the grain for example, or perhaps reducing the strength of the overall effect in the photo.

I'll go ahead and zoom out, so that we can see the full image once again. And you can see that by adjusting the various controls in the film type section of the right panel in Analog Effects Pro, we are able to very easily add a sense of age to any photo.

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