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Thread: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    I've been having a very helpful exchange via PM with Rob and now put it up here for others who may be interested and/or have ideas.

    I started off by saying that I've been spending a lot of time reading about and looking at the tutorials on the about-to-be-released (in the UK) Silver Efex Pro 2 ... and wondering.

    But, as many of you will know, it is a Plug-In for Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture. And as many of you also know, I use the GIMP and, despite what some of you think of that, I feel a, probably, misplaced sense of loyalty towards it. And I don't want to have to learn all that stuff all over again!

    So, my question was - Is there some sort of work-around? That allows me to invest in SEP2, but not have to spend a fortune on the package into which I need to plug it.

    Rob, very helpfully came back to me with the following:

    "I have no idea how GIMP works, but you need PS or Lightroom because a lot of the processing it does must be done in PS/Lightroom.

    My workflow is to do most of the structural changes in RAW then import to PS/CS5 proper. I usually go straight into Silver Efex from there before I do anuthing else (apart from anything else I want to see what it looks like, and don't want to waste time doing CS5 tidy-up processing if it's not going to work.) After BW conversion I will do final processing in CS5 as a BW image. SE works in 64 bit mode on 16bit images, so none of that is a problem.

    So, your only option that I can see is to purchase PS Elements V9 (currently going for 60 on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adobe-Photos...8304527&sr=1-1 That is compatible with SE. You can do your RAW processing in GIMP (if that's where you do it), then export the RAW output to Elements, run SE to convert, then either final process in Elements, or back to GIMP.

    I can't see another way to do it."


    Another helpful suggestion Rob made was to, "drop them (Nik) a line to check, and also ask about using GIMP." I think I already know the answer, but I'm going to ask.
    Last edited by Donald; 21st February 2011 at 04:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Just to answer part of my own question.

    I see that on Amazon UK, I could get Elements 7 for 25.00 and Used Elements 6 for 12. Given that all I want is a host for Silver Efex Pro 2, these would be options.

  3. #3
    rob marshall

    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Just to answer part of my own question.

    I see that on Amazon UK, I could get Elements 7 for 25.00 and Used Elements 6 for 12. Given that all I want is a host for Silver Efex Pro 2, these would be options.
    It's not too much trouble to do that. If you can specify Elements as your output from GIMP RAW the file will go straight to Elements, where you can set up Silver Efex as a short cut keystroke (I use CTRL/E) and that takes you straight into SE for conversion. You would hardly notice it. Elements would just be a bridge between GIMP and SE. Well woth a few quid, I think.

    Version 2 is not actually available yet. I think it's some time this week. But if you get V1 this week, you get a free upgrade when V2 is out.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Even more straightforwardly perhaps, Rob - I use DxO Optics Pro 6 for RAW processing.

    Looking closely at how my workflow has developed and being struck with the seeming compatibility between that and what SEP2 does and how it does it, about all I'd be going into GIMP for would be sharpening.

    I'm just talking myself into it.
    Last edited by Donald; 21st February 2011 at 04:44 PM.

  5. #5
    rob marshall

    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Even more straightforwardly perhaps, Rob - I use DxO Optics Pro 6 for RAW processing.

    Looking closely at how my workflow has developed and being struck with the seeming compatibility between that and what SEP2 does and how it does it, about all I'd be going into GIMP for would be sharpening.

    I'm just talking myself into it.
    You might want to do cloning of blemishes etc, but you can do that in Elements. Given that you do mostly landscapes, I wouldn't have thought you would need much PP beyomd RAW and SEP. If you did the arty stuff, using layer masks, and did composite images, then yes, you would need more PP. But you don't. You can sharpen nicely in Elements.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    If you did the arty stuff
    You suggesting that I'm not arty?

    Humph!

  7. #7
    rob marshall

    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    You suggesting that I'm not arty?

    Humph!
    You know what I mean. All that zillion layers of textures made from rotten seaweed shots that you coudn't use for anything else. So you blend it with a shot of the cat and turn it into art. But I don't want a verbal warning from Katy for suggesting that you are an art philistine, so no, I'm not suggesting you're not arty.

  8. #8

    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    You know what I mean. All that zillion layers of textures made from rotten seaweed shots that you coudn't use for anything else. So you blend it with a shot of the cat and turn it into art. But I don't want a verbal warning from Katy for suggesting that you are an art philistine, so no, I'm not suggesting you're not arty.
    Rob, he thinks my eyes are beautiful; so,.....


  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Rob, he thinks my eyes are beautiful; so,.....

    We once had a little group here in the village (I wasn't part of it) called the 'Arty-Farty' club, because a local worthy had pronounced that all its members were 'Arty-Farty b.............s'. For those not familiar with the term - it's not complimentary!

  10. #10
    rob marshall

    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    Rob, he thinks my eyes are beautiful; so,.....

    Well, they are, my dear, they most certainly are...

  11. #11

    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    We once had a little group here in the village (I wasn't part of it) called the 'Arty-Farty' club, because a local worthy had pronounced that all its members were 'Arty-Farty b.............s'. For those not familiar with the term - it's not complimentary!
    I don't know, Donald, I'm thinking that if we can still laugh at ourselves - artsy and all - we're okay???

  12. #12
    Sonic4Spuds's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Looks like my previous post didn't show up here.

    I have been researching the reasons you may want to stick to GIMP or at least come back to it at 2.8. The most compelling is native 2,4,6,8,12,16,24, and 32 bit per channel support. No matter what bitdepth you are editing the operations will be applied in 32 bit floating, so you would have basically 0 lost data until the final; but it gets better. The new GEGL backend uses non-destructive editing, meaning it saves your edits as a string of commands and only changes the data once you export. It will have native HDR functions and a much more powerful plugin interface. Also the backend supports raw formats, so we may get integrated loding for raw files.

    -Sonic

  13. #13
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    I switched to Silver efex pro after you started the "Can you beat Silver efex pro" challenge and I'm very pleased with the amount of freedom it provides you in controlling tones and contrast. What version do you use?
    Re Jeroen's quote above in another thread, SEP2, according to Amazon UK, is going to be available here on 10 March. I note various US sites saying it starts shipping during February.

    Best deal I'm seeing on my regular crop of UK-based suppliers is Warehouse Express who are advertising SEP at 142 with a free upgrade to SEP 2 when it publishes here.

  14. #14
    rob marshall

    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Re Jeroen's quote above in another thread, SEP2, according to Amazon UK, is going to be available here on 10 March. I note various US sites saying it starts shipping during February.

    Best deal I'm seeing on my regular crop of UK-based suppliers is Warehouse Express who are advertising SEP at 142 with a free upgrade to SEP 2 when it publishes here.
    Yes. BW Photography magazine this month said SEP2 was released, but it's not actually available yet. If you purchased SEP1 after Dec 6th 2010 you get a free upgrade. 142 sounds good. I paid 160 last year.

  15. #15
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Silver Efex Pro 2 Software

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    142 sounds good. I paid 160 last year.
    Y'know, one-click ordering is just too d.... easy!
    Last edited by Donald; 22nd February 2011 at 06:06 PM.

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