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Nik Software's plugins are loaded with powerful tools that can be combined in endless ways. In this workshop, photographic storyteller Joseph Linaschke takes a creative and personalized approach to these plugins, showing you how he uses them to create amazing skies, gorgeous skin, vintage film looks, perfect white backgrounds, custom recipes, and so much more using Color Efex Pro, Viveza, and Silver Efex Pro. He also explains how to use Silver Efex Pro 2 to make gorgeous black-and-white images and teaches a unique non-HDR compositing technique for HDR Efex Pro. Along the way, get tips on using Nik's zone system and U Point technology and be introduced to the fun new Snapseed app for the desktop.
A well applied vignette can be a fantastic enhancement to your image. What it does is darkens the outside of the image, drawing the viewers eyes into the center, which is usually where the most important elements are. Not every nic effects tool has a vinette tool in it, however HGR effects pro and silver effects pro 2 have some of the most powerful ones. We'll take a look at the vignette tools inside of Silver Effect Pro 2. We're not going to need any of our presets for this. So we'll go ahead and hide those. And the vignette tools that you're looking for are over here under finishing adjustments.
Typically you'd add the vignette at the very end, after you'd applied your global adjustments, selective adjustments, color, film types, or anything else. Let's take a look at the two different types of vignetting that you can apply in both Silver Effects Pro 2 and HGR Effects Pro. You'll find the exact same interface in HGR Effects Pro. You have two differnt vignettes the standard vignette and the burned edges. We'll start with the standard vignette. First let's just take a look at the presets. By tapping on the drop down here you can choose between lens fall off one, two and three.
Which are, essentially, the same thing, just at higher intensity, as well as the white frames and the black frames. So, what do these actually mean? Lens fall off is typically what happens if you're shooting with a lens that has either a lens shade on it, and you get a slight shadow from that lens shade. Or simply from a very wide angle lens where the barrel, itself, is causing a slight shadowing or vignetting around the image. The white frame is not something that normally happens in camera, but it's an effect that allows you to, once again, draw attention to the middle of the image, by blowing out the outside of it. Black frame is similar to lens fall off, except that it's a slightly more rectangualar shape.
So let's see how all of these are made. If you open the vignette controls, you'll see that you have three different sliders, amount, circle, and size, as well as a place center icon. Let's go ahead and reset this, and start from scratch. The amount slider starts at zero, it can go up to 100%, which will brighten it intensely around the edges or, down to minus 100%, which will make it incredibly dark around the edges. I'll leave it at minus 100 as we go through the rest of the sliders. You can change the shape of the vignette, from a circle, towards a rectangle.
And you can see the shape of that changing as you drag the slider. Finally, there's a size slider. You can make your vignette bigger or smaller. The place center button allows you to move the center wherever you'd like. So, for example, if your primary subject is not in the middle of the scene, you may want to have your vignette based off of the actual subject itself, so that it comes in from the edges, and a little bit less on this side, and doesn't encroach over the actual scene. So let's reset this again and actually create a good looking vignette. An effective vignette is one that you don't necessarily realize is there, unless you are able to turn it off, which of course the final viewer will not be able to do.
Let's start by making it pretty strong, and then we'll back off from it. The circular vignette may look like a natural vignette from the camera but it's not really a good look here. It's way too much in the corners and of course not enough around the top and bottom. So I'm going to go ahead and take the rectangular slider and move it just a little bit up that way. That gives us a little bit of vignetting around the top and bottom, as well as on the sides. The sides may need to be bigger or smaller, just depending on your overall scene. I'm going to make this one a little bit bigger, and then finally taking the amount slider quite a ways down. I like the look of this.
To see what the image looks like without the vignette, simply toggle the checkbox to turn that effect on and off. In this case, I like the vignette up in the top corners here. The lower right, it's okay. Maybe a little bit dark but over in the lower left, it's definately too dark. Much too intense here. One way that I can easy lighten this without effecting the rest of the screen is to simply use my selective adjustments. Grab a control point, add it to this part of the scene, and then take the brightness up a bit. This will allow me to remove a little bit of the vinnette that has been applied over here while still retaining it in the other three corners. Now as I toggle this on and off.
We'll see that the overall effect is quite good. It's subtle enough, and it is overall quite effective. Now let's take a look at the other type of vignetting. This is using the burn edges. Burn edges allows you to control exactly which side of the image is being burned in. You can control the left, the top, the right, and the bottom, all independently. In this image, for example, I may want to burn the right side of the scene without affecting the left. So, I go ahead and click on the right adjustment.
And then take the strength up a bit. Let's go ahead, and make it all the way. Take the size up, and then the transition. The strength of course, is the intensity of this effect. This size is far it's going to move into the scene, and then the transition will then affect the fall off from completely applied to not applied at all. Generally you're going to want a pretty big transition in there, just to make the effect very subtle. Now let's take this size down a little bit and of course, the strength way down until we have an effective result. Well, here again, I like the way it's being applied here, but it's a little bit too much in the bottom right corner. So, I'll go ahead and add a control point, click down here, and brighten that area up, just a little bit.
Of course, remember, you can always use these in combination with each other. So, for example, I could take a little bit of the vignette up, maybe make that slightly squared. Let's grab that control point down here, and make sure that's nice and bright. And I still have the edge effect being applied here. So I've got a little extra vignette on the right-hand side, without affecting the top and the bottom or the left too much. As you can see, between the Vignette, and the Burn Edges effects, you have complete control over the vignetting of your image.
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