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Learn the basic techniques for working with the affordable, easy-to-use Nik Collection, a group of photo enhancement plugins from Google. This course provides a great way to get up to speed quickly with the full Nik Collection, including workflows for integrating the plugins with your Lightroom and Photoshop workflows. Tim Grey touches on interface options, presets, loupe and histogram behavior, preview options, and other features that are common to all the programs in the collection: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro 2, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Viveza, and Dfine.
This course was created by Tim Grey. We are honored to host this training in our library.
When you are using the various applications in the, Nik Collection to apply creative effects to your images, experimentation can be a very good thing. It can be helpful to, click on a variety of different presets for example and play around with a variety of different adjustment options, to get a sense of what might work, versus not work for a particular photo. Throughout that process, or even just when you're applying basic adjustments, you may find that you want to undo a particular step. Let's take a look at some of the options available for, history, Undo and Reset when it comes to the applications in the Nik Collection.
We'll start off in Color Effects Pro, and take a look at some of the various history options. I'll start off by choosing a preset, so for example in this case I'll go ahead and just choose the, Cross Balance Preset. And you can see that has applied a, relatively strong adjustment to the overall color, in the photo. I might then choose a different option. Lets go to Film Effects Faded, and you can see that gives us a very faded look in the photo. And then maybe, for this image, I might reduce the saturation a little to really enhance that fade effect.
The point is that I've applied some changes and appearance for the image. Choosing a couple of different presets and then maybe making adjustments to the settings over on the right panel. If I'd like to see a list of all the steps I've performed, I can choose the, History option. Which is found at the bottom of the left panel. Clicking that option will bring up the, history section, and we can see all of the various adjustments I've applied. I started off, of course, with the, original image, then I used the, detail extractor Preset, and then, that was replaced by the Cross Balance Preset, and then the film effect faded preset.
And then finally, I applied a reduction in saturation. If I'd like to, a step backwards, let's say for example, that I'm not happy with the, reduction in saturation. I'd like to, Undo that effect. There are various options available to me. To begin with, I can simply press Ctrl +Z on Windows, or Cmd +Z on Macintosh, in order to Undo the most recent step. So I'll press, Ctrl+Z or Cmd +Z for example. And you can see that we've gone, back in time as it were, to before I applied the saturation adjustment, notice that the last step that is actually applied to the current image is, highlighted in orange.
So, we get a very clear indication. Of exactly, which steps have been applied versus have not been applied. I could always Undo the Undo as it were by choosing the saturation step in history and in this way, I can step back and forth through the history, evaluating the impact on the image itself. If I take a step backward, for example in this case, undoing that saturation step, then I can continue applying, additional adjustments. I'll go ahead and increase the value for haze for example, but notice that now, I no longer have that saturation step.
So, I can take steps backward, in linear history. But then as soon as I start moving forward in time once again, applying additional adjustments, that will replace, whatever steps I had undone. In other words, the steps backward, essentially get lost forever. I'll go ahead and apply some additional adjustments. I'll just apply, a bit of a darkening vignette, for example, by reducing the value for vignette, and you can see that that adjustment is also reflected, in the list of history steps. As I'm making decisions about what sorts of adjustment I might want to apply or which adjustment I might want to undo, the Preview options can obviously be very helpful but, when it comes to history there's actually an additional option that's available, related to the various preview options.
I'll go ahead and choose the, Split View for example and you can see that the left side of the image represents, the original photo. And the right side, represents the current state of the image. I can drag the, divider back and forth to see different portions of the image, but, I can also change the, definition of before and after, essentially. I can drag this handle, over on the left side down to, a different state. So, for example, if I want to compare the current version of the image with the, cross balance preset that I had applied previously.
I can simply, change that comparison point, under History. So now, all of my preview displays are based on that option. I'll go to the, Side By Side Preview option for example, or back to the full image, and click the Compare button, and you can see that, in all cases, the before version is based on the option I have chosen on that history. I'll go ahead and set that back to the, original image so that all of my comparisons is based on, the original starting point for the photo and then we can take a look at how we can reset additional options.
If I want to reset an individual control, I can simply double click on the slider handle for that control. To set it back to it's default value, based on the current presets. So in this case, that would not be a value of 0 for vignette, but rather, a 33% positive value, or lightning vignette, based on the preset that I most recently applied to the image. For applications within the Nik collection that include multiple sections over on the right panel. You can also, reset individual sections.
I'll go ahead and go ahead and switch to, Silver Effects Pro, for example. And I'll scroll down, and in this case I'll take a look at the film types option. I'll go ahead and choose one of the high speed films here for example. You can see that gives us, a rather large brain structure as well as considerable contrast. The point is, that I've, applied adjustments in a specific section. If I'd like to, reset just that section, I actually have a couple of options. If I just want to disable the, particular adjustment, in this case, Film Types, I can turn off the, check box associated with that section.
So, I can disable the Film Types adjustment or, re-enable it. If, however, I'd rather, reset these adjustments to their defaults, in other words, this specific section of the adjustments to their default values, I can click the Reset button over at the right of the header and that will, reset the set of controls in that section. To their default values. So when we have, multiple sections available over on the right panel, we can reset each of those individual sections. So I have the, finishing adjustments here for example, film types, color filter, etc, and I can reset, each section of those adjustments individually.
Of course, you might say that, the Cancel button provides the, maximum degree of reset. Essentially, just cancelling everything that you are doing at the moment with the particular application you are working in, and going back to your, original photo. But, in addition to the ability to cancel working in any of the applications in the Nik Collection at any time. You also have a variety of options related to history, which include stepping backward in history with an undo. Resetting individual adjustments or sections of adjustments, or taking a step back in history, and along the way, being able to adjust your previous settings as well.
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