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In this movie I want to highlight a Photoshop plug-in which I consider to be an essential plug-in, because this one is incredibly powerful and a lot of fun, It's put out by the folks at Nik Software, and it's called Color Efex Pro. If you navigate to their site, niksoftware.com, and then do a search for Color Efex Pro, you'll find this page, and if you scroll down, you'll find an area where you can download a free fully functioning version of the software application, so that is definitely something that you'll want to check out. Well, once you've downloaded and installed the plug-in, let me show you how you can work with it.
Here let's go back to Photoshop and talk about how we can launch and use Color Efex Pro. We'll be working with this photograph here. To access Color Efex Pro, you'll find it at the base of your Filter menu. Here if you go to Filter, you can navigate to Nik Software, then you can choose Color Efex Pro. In doing that it'll launch the application, and you can see that it's taking over all of the interface. And this is nice because it allows us to really focus in on the image. Well, how can we work with this? Well, on the left we have different effects that we can choose, on the right-hand side, we can dial in those effects.
For example, let's say that we want to cross process this image, well, we can click on Cross Processing. Next, we can go over to our method, and from this pulldown menu we can choose different options. As I hover over these different options, you can see how that effect will be applied to the photograph. What you want to do is move around this little dialog until you find an effect that you think might work for your photograph. Next, we can dial in the overall strength of this effect, we can also work with bringing up detail in our shadows or bringing down the highlights in order to kind of correct for how the color is modifying our picture.
There are so many different effects that you can use, and what's great about this is that if you decide, you know what, I'm not sure if I want to cross process this image, what I might want to do is something different. You could then go down and perhaps try a different effect out like a film effect, one of these nostalgic or vintage looks here. Yet if you decide that you really want to go back to that cross processing effect that you dialed in, well, just click on that option and it will remember or recall whatever settings you used last time.
Last but not least, what you can do here is you can save different recipes, different ways that you've customized these settings. To do that, click on Save Recipe. And I'll go ahead and just name this one co-cross and then click OK. Once you've saved a recipe, you can then access that so you can use it for other images. You can also click on this Back button here in order to view all the recipes. This particular plug-in comes preinstalled with different recipes that you can use. There you can see mine down below, but you can also click on these other ones in order to experiment with different ways to process your photograph.
Now there is so much that we can do here regards to working with this, we've only really just scratched the surface, so I'm just going to highlight a couple more things, and then we'll look at how we can apply an effect. Well, I want to highlight next is it you can also add different borders to your pictures. Here we can click on this pulldown menu and hover over this to select different types of borders, some are sloppy and messy, others are a little bit more fixed. We can control the overall size and the type of border that we have here, depending on which type we have.
For example, if we have one that's a little bit messy, we can then either clean that up or make it perhaps a bit more rough. So again, there's a lot that we can do here with this above and beyond working with color and tone. All right, well let's go ahead and go back to the one that we created--this one here, this cross processing effect. To apply it simply click OK, and it'll then merge or apply that effect to a duplicate version of your background copy. What's great about this is it's not applying this adjustment to the actual or original image.
Rather, we have this on a separate layer, so we can see here's our before and then now our after. We can customize this by decreasing the opacity or if we want to make other adjustments as well. Say, for example, we want to increase the contrast, we can do that by clicking on our Adjustment Layer icon. And now what we're doing is we're taking this even further, rather than just using the plug-in by itself, we're using the plug-in in some of our other creative effects skills. And what I found in my own workflow is that that is essential.
You want to dial in that creative effect, but then you want to tweak it or customize it, you want to make it your own so that it really works best with your photographs. Now obviously there's more that we could cover with this filter, yet my hope here again is that, we've covered enough information which will get you started working with this fascinating Photoshop plug-in.
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