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This course guides you through the features and options available for producing creative black-and-white interpretations of your photos in Silver Efex Pro 2, part of the Nik Collection from Google. Author Tim Grey takes a look at all the darkroom-inspired controls, including selective adjustments, film effects, color toning, vignettes, and borders.
This course was created by Tim Grey. We are honored to host this training in our library.
The foundation of working in Silver Effects Pro is really presets. You essentially always start with a preset applied to your image. That preset is a very basic black and white conversion but it's a still a preset. And you can choose among a wide variety of presets using the preset browser. You'll need to make sure that you're actually viewing the presets. There is a set of three buttons up at the top left. The first button hides that left panel altogether so that you have more available space for your photo. The second button allows you to browse the presets.
And the third button allows you to browse the history for the image. So just make sure that you're looking at the presets. You can then choose between the presets that are included with Silver Effects Pro or your own custom presets if you've created any. So, I'll click on the presets button so that I can see the presets that are included with Silver Effects Pro, those presets are divided into categories, you can view all of the presets. You can view only the modern presets, the classic presets, the vintage presets. Or your favorites if you've defined any favorites.
Essentially the modern category represents relatively new look for an image. Classic represents somewhat older looks such as from classic black and white films. And the vintage options tend to look very old in some cases weathered and even a little bit beat up. I'll go ahead and choose the all option and then you'll see that we can scroll through all of the available presets and that those presets are previewed based on the actual image we're working with. So we can get a very good sense of which presets might work well for a particular image.
To apply that preset all you need to do is click on the preview of the preset itself. Keep in mind though that every single one of these presets is really just saving settings for the right panel. In other words. Everything you see on the left panel you can accomplish by adjusting settings over on the right panel. There is no magic going on here, it's just saved settings but I suppose that is a little bit magical. Because now we can scroll through and get a sense of which particular precept might work for an image and there are a wide variety of them to choose from.
In this case, I have 38 presets available to me. And they cover a wide range of different looks for the photo, some a little more dramatic than others, some with color tints, a wide variety of options for you to choose from. And the beauty of this is two fold. One, we can more quickly get to a particular point for a photo. But, perhaps more importantly, the preset browser provides a little bit of inspiration. You might get some ideas for an image that you wouldn't have otherwise come up with on your own. If you obtain presets from another source you can click the import button and then navigate to the location where those presets are stored, select the file, and then import them.
If you adjust the settings for preset, you can also add your own preset. I'll go ahead for example, and apply a color tint to the image. I'll just make the image appear somewhat cyan, for example, and then I'll click the Add preset button at the bottom of the Preset browser. And I'll call this, vintage blue. And then I'll click OK. Basically, I just want a name that will be, somewhat meaningful. When I click OK, that preset is added to the available list. But notice it doesn't appear here, because it's one of my custom presets.
So instead, I'll go to the custom page, and there is my vintage blue preset. If for any reason I want to delete the preset I can just click the button at the top left. I can also click at the top right to export the preset so that for example I can share it with others, and at the bottom right you'll see the option to update the preset with the current settings. So if I fine tune some of my adjustments I can update the preset to reflect those changes. Finally, when it comes to the presets that are included with Silver Effects Pro you can choose which ones are your favorites.
Let's assume that I like this preset for example, I can then clip this star below the preview for that preset in order to add that preset to my favorites, and so then when I go to the favorites category of presets, I will find all of my favorites in one place. So, if you find that there are particular presets that you tend to use more frequently. You might want to mark those as your favorites for faster access. In many cases you may find that applying a preset is all you need to do for an image. Simply open the image in Silver Effects Pro select a preset and click save and you're all set.
But you always have the option of going to the right-panel and fine tuning all of the various adjustments that were included as part of that preset.
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