Learning Analog Efex Pro

with Tim Grey
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Learning Analog Efex Pro
Video duration: 0s 1h 5m Intermediate


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

Camera categories and presets

(xylophone music) - [Voiceover] As is common with many of the plug-ins in the Knit collection, with Analog Efex Pro we'll generally be starting off with a preset. In fact you might say that we're always starting with a preset when working in Analog Efex pro, because those presets are how we access the basic settings over on the right panel. That's not to say that you automatically need to start with a preset, you could just come over to the right panel and start working with the various controls, but in most cases, you're probably going to want to start with the preset.

But with Analog Efex Pro, there is a slight variation when it comes to presets as compared to other applications in the Knit collection. Specifically, we're able to choose among a variety of different camera types. Now that's very similar to having basic categories or sections of presets in other applications in the Knit collection, but with Analog Efex Pro it's slightly different. Let's take a look. I'll start off by clicking the pop-up at the top of the left panel in Analog Efex Pro.

And you can see that we have a variety of different types of presets essentially. We can choose from a classic camera effect, a wet plate effect, a toy camera effect, a vintage camera effect, or we also have the camera kit option. One of the things that's a bit unique here is which particular category you choose actually determines which specific adjustments will be available over on the right panel. So for example, with classic camera, you can see that we have basic adjustments as well as dirt and scratches, lens vignette and film type.

But if I choose the wet plate option and then select one of the presets there, then you'll notice that not only does the image preview update, in this case a rather dramatic result, but also the list of controls available over on the right panel have actually changed. So now we see bokeh is available, as well as photo plate, and lens vignette, in addition to film type. So we have some additional controls available based on the particular preset that we selected. Or more to the point, based on the category of preset we selected.

And so with the various options that are available from the pop-up, you'll find a different set of controls based on those presets. So what happens if you'd like to apply a variety of different adjustments that are not necessarily included in the available presets that you see here? Well that's where the camera kit option comes in. In essence, this option allows you to customize a definition of a particular type of camera. Well, what that really means is that we're able to pick and choose which specific sets of adjustments we want to have available.

And so to give yourself maximum flexibility, for example, you might turn on all of the available options over on the left panel once you've selected that camera kit option. And as you turn on each of those individual options, you'll notice that, not only is my image updating to reflect any changes based on the specific adjustment options that were set over on the right panel, but also the list of available controls over on the right panel has expanded. So now, since I've turned on all of the check boxes under camera kit on the left panel, you can see that I have available to me all of the possible adjustments that are included within Analog Efex Pro.

So you might think of this as the make everything available option. Which in certain situations, might be exactly what you need, if you want to be able to just play around with all of the various adjustments. Of course in many cases you'll still want to start with a preset. I'll go ahead and click the pop-up at the top-left, and let's go ahead and take a look at wet plate, for example. And now you'll see that I have a list of thumbnails here that include my actual image previewed based on each of the individual presets.

So this makes it very easy to get a sense, not just of what a particular preset will do to the image, but how it will actually impact the image you're currently working with. If you'd like to see a preview of your full image with a particular effect, simply click on the thumbnail for that preset. That will update the preview to reflect the adjustments that are included with that preset, but it will also update the various controls that are available over on the right panel. So you can then fine tune the various controls. For example, in order to adjust the appearance of the image to your liking.

But the bottom line is that we have tremendous flexibility when it comes to using presets in Analog Efex Pro. We can choose among a variety of different presets that are included with Analog Efex Pro, but we can also customize our own set of adjustments using either a preset as a starting point, and then fine tuning the adjustments over on the right panel, or taking advantage of that camera kit option, which can enable us to make all of the available adjustments within Analog Efex Pro available over on the right panel.

Now of course if you fine-tune the various adjustments for an image, you may come up with a result that you're happy with and that you might like to apply to other images. Let's go ahead, for example, and bring back some of the original color from this photo by increasing the value for saturation, and then maybe we'll adjust the photo plate settings here. I'll just choose a different option, so that we can see a change within the photo. And if we decide that this now represents a good starting point moving forward, we can save this as a new preset.

And that's done under the custom option on the left panel. I'll go ahead and click the plus button to the right of that custom header, and now I can enter a name for this preset. Now I'll be ale to see a preview, as we've already seen for the preset, when I'm working with a different image, for example. But it can still be helpful to give the preset a name that is meaningful to you so that you can select it from the list. I'll just call this wet plate with faded color. And then I'll click the OK button in order to save that custom preset.

And now you can see that I have that custom preset available over on the left panel under the custom header. So I can work with the presets that are included with Analog Efex Pro in the cameras section of the left panel. But I can also access my custom saved presets by choosing the custom option on the left panel. So as you can see, presets give us a great way to explore various options for our images, as well as providing a quick and easy way to apply a basic effect to an image that we can then fine-tune over on the right panel.

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