Learning Analog Efex Pro
Illustration by

Lens Vignette


Learning Analog Efex Pro

with Tim Grey

Video: Lens Vignette

The vignette effect, or a darkening of the edges of an image, will

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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

Lens Vignette

The vignette effect, or a darkening of the edges of an image, will occur naturally with a variety of lenses, especially wide angle lenses for example. But we can also add an vignette effect to our images if we would like. And that can actually really help to frame up the overall image. Essentially creating something of a border. To help keep the viewers eye inside the image as it were. So, let's take a look at how we can add a vignette effect to an image. Over on the right panel I'll click on the lens vignette header in order to expand the available controls for vignetting.

And we'll start off with the amount slider. If I increase the value for vignette, you'll see that I'm brightening the edges of the photo. And if I decrease the value, you'll see that I'm darkening the edges of the photo. I can then adjust the overall shape and size of the effect. I'll start off with a relatively exaggerated effect just so that we can better see what's going on with the image. And then I'll drag the slider for circle versus rectangle. And as I do, you can see that the shape of the vignette effect, or the shape of the area of the image that's being protected from that vignette changes from a circle to a rectangular shape with rounded edges.

I can also adjust the size of the effect. In other words how far into the image do I want the vignette effect to come or, do I want it to stay out toward the very edges of the photo. I'll go ahead and increase the size, so that we may move the vignette effect into the image a little bit more. And then we can take a look at the ability to find tune directly on the image. To begin with, I can drag that bounding shape so that I'm essentially changing the size, but working on the image itself rather than using the slider.

There's no inherent advantage to working this way versus using the slider other than the fact that you're able to work directly on the image, but also, we can adjust the position of this vignette effect. If you click the button at the center of the image. You can click and drag the vignette effect around the image. This obviously will create absence of balance in the photo. Typically, we would see a vignette effect that impacts all edges of the image evenly but we might want in certain cases, to change that.

And so, for example, maybe I want to keep the detail visible in the foreground. So I might drag downward so that I'm protecting that area of the image or I might want to protect the bottom right corner so that we can see that hay bale. Or I might just want to have a little bit of a shift so that we still have a vignetting effect, so I still have a darkening effect over along the right edge and the bottom of the image for example. But I'm putting more of an effect toward the top left helping to emphasize that hay bale for example. In this case though, I think I'll simply keep the vignette centered and I can automatically center the effect by just double clicking on that button so that it will go back to the default position, the center of the image.

And then I can fine tune as desired the overall strength of the effect, the shape in terms of circle versus rectangular. And the size in terms of how far into the image the effect actually goes. And so I can choose if I want s lightening vignette, if I wanted to create this sort of faded edge effect where the image just sort of fades off into nothingness, or if I want to create something of a boundary around the edge of the image. In most cases though I do recommend applying a relatively subtle effect. To me, the best effect is one where you don't even realize it's there, and yet, when you turn it off, you certainly notice the difference.

So perhaps I'll reduce the strength of the effect, darkening the edges, but just by a little bit. Maybe right around there, for example. But then I'll turn off the check box for the lens vignette control in order to disable the control. And you can see, it's actually a rather strong effect. So, I might want to tone it down even a little bit more. Maybe, somewhere around there, for example. But then again, if I toggle that check box, you can see a relatively strong impact in the photo, and to me, that's a typical goal for many images at least, where I want to have a little bit of an effect but I don't want it to jump out at the viewer.

I just want it to be there as sort of a subtle tool to help keep you inside the image or to create that faded edge effect if I'm more interested in that. But again, in most cases a relatively subtle effect. Although you can certainly use a very strong effect for certain images if you're looking for a more dramatic result.

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