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Thread: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

  1. #1

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    NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    I tried a google search and a CinC search, but couldn't find an answer. The question? If I have CS5 and am fairly competent with it, of what benefit would programs like Nik colour effects and Silver effects be? Am I able to reproduce the effects using CS5 and create my own actions?

    This summer, I downloaded trials of each. While I really liked some of the presets (such as the "push" effect in the black and white program), there were quite a few in each program that I would likely never use. So, money wise, I'm not sure how wise I would be to purchase. On the other hand, the presets I like would be used, with some tweaking, very often, and the programs seemed very easy to navigate.

    I guess the same question could be asked of any of the post processing programs that are available. In the back of my mind I still have that nagging little thought that I should be doing things on my own... likely due to the fact that I don't have to churn out hundreds of photos as a business! The common sense side of my brain tells me to give my head a shake and use the technology that is for sale.

    Thanks for your comments!

  2. #2

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    Re: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    In many ways, Myra, I tend to agree with you that I like to be in full charge of my editing and learn how to do the 'clever bits' with 'normal' software, when possible, instead of just clicking on a preset.

    But learning does take time and I'm so often struggling to cope with my backlog; although no real pressure of deadlines etc.

    Many of the presets which I see are way over the top for me; but I also see other people using similar software in a much more restrained fashion.

    My only suggestion would be to experiment and see if you can produce similar effects with CS5; and how long and complicated the process is - then decide.

    ps. I'm still doing everything my way with CS5 and rarely find any need for anything else.

  3. #3
    Sponge's Avatar
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    Re: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    I would try to recreate one of the presets with CS5 and if you can get a result you're happy with than maybe it's not worth it for you. For me, since I'm no wizard in PP, I really enjoy the starting point that my favorite presets give me, but beyond that the 'control points' are a great way of working with an image and for that reason I also really like their Viveza software. It's now something I think I have to have even if I don't use it that much, but, like most everything else it's a personal choice.

  4. #4

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    Re: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    I use CS6 along with some of the NIK software. There are alot of things that I don't know in CS, but the NIK programs give me a fast and easy way to get the effect that I am after. The control points in Viveza are great, no separate layers no burning, dodging, contrast, levels, saturation, brightness, just one layer and you can apply it to just one area and/or overall. A great starting poinr in Silver Efex Pro for B&W, I know how to in CS, but again it envolves many layer, so I can do it in a smart layer and go back and change the effect. It can speed up your post production, so you are not in front of the screen as much, so you can get back behind the camera.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  5. #5
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    I'll second Nik SEP as I use it all the time, a very good bit of software with one of the best vignette tools I've tried.

    Nik Viveza is also very clever, the Control Points speed up editing and give results that are very long winded to achieve in Photoshop.

  6. #6
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    I'm definitely a fan of Color Efex and Silver Efex. It's now become integral in my workflow and offers great consistency and speed. Sure, a lot of the presets can be heavy handed by default, and I only generally use 3-4 from Color Efex and 5-6 from Silver Efex as a base to work from, but Silver Efex especially is well worth it IMO

  7. #7

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    Re: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    Thank you, all, for taking the time to respond. I've worked backwards from some free presets I've found online, made some via a Scott Kelby book and just cooked some up on my own, but I still like a few from the Nik set. For me, black and white is harder to get right on my own. When I was using the trial version, I liked that you could pick a starting point and then had a lot of tools to tweak to taste. I was concerned that I would be throwing money away by having two processing programs. Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: NIK or other software or stick with CS5?

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    I'm definitely a fan of Color Efex and Silver Efex. It's now become integral in my workflow and offers great consistency and speed. Sure, a lot of the presets can be heavy handed by default, and I only generally use 3-4 from Color Efex and 5-6 from Silver Efex as a base to work from, but Silver Efex especially is well worth it IMO
    I'm currently on a B/W kick, and SilverFX and Topaz B/W are both part of my workflow. I do occasionally use PhotoShop for conversions as well. as a matter of practice, but I love both Plug-ins. Some of the pre-sets are too over the top, but I use quite a few of them - and then experiment with the settings.

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