MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2008 (#37)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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106 MacDirectory REVIEW | PRODUCTIVITY No matter your level of prowess with Photoshop, there are some tasks that cannot be done without third-party plug- ins. Among these, Photoshop Plug-In Suite 3 from OnOne Software should be among the top on your list. Priced at $399.95 it represents a $240 savings from the cost of the items individually. While the price tag may seem a little steep for hobbyists, there are few professionals who would balk, particularly as this suite could easily pay for itself in just a couple of uses. The components of the suite are familiar to most graphics pros, as they are some of the most useful plug-ins around They include Mask Pro 4.1 for deleting unwanted backgrounds, Genuine Fractals 5 for enlarging photos, Intellihance Pro 4.2 for adjusting the look of a photo, and PhotoFrame Pro 3.1 for frame and edge effects. All are very useful and their built- in video tutorials make it easy to get up to speed. Mask Pro Mask Pro 4.1 is an indispensable tool for quickly and easily removing backgrounds and unwanted content from photos. In its most simple form, this is done by using a pair of magic wand tools for selecting desired and undesired areas of color, followed by the use of a magic brush for deleting the unwanted selection. Problematic content such as individual strands of hair, levels of transparency through glass or bubbles are handled with relative ease. You can display the image in a number of views simultaneously, including selection, mask, quickmask, composite, and others. Various settings are available for adjusting the sensitivity, feathering and more. Other tools include pen, airbrush, highlighter, chisel and blur, as well as tools for quickly selecting a garbage mask, and for instantly deleting odd background pixels. New features in 4.1 include pressure support for Wacom tablets, a tips and shortcuts palette, a keep/drop details palette, and improved navigators. Genuine Fractals If you are ever in need of enlarging a detail of a photo or generating large format output, Genuine Fractals is indispensable. As indicated by the name, this tool doesn't base its calculations on uniform groups of a set number of neighboring pixels, but varies the size of the groups by contrast and based on fractal patterns. The result is the ability to enlarge an image up to 1,000 percent without a loss in detail. In our tests, we have enlarged an image to 3,000 percent and, while the result resembled Photoshop's dust and scratches filter, the result was perfectly useful for oversize output. In addition to a revamped interface, new features include an enhanced scaling algorithm, multiprocessor support, auto cropping, controls for sharpening, texture and film grain, as well as support for layers, alphas, paths, and Photoshop actions. Intellihance Pro Intellihance streamlines the process of image adjustment by combining eight intuitive and easy to use tools into a single interface and enabling to user to create and save an unlimited range of presets for one-step adjustments. It also enables the user to view and print up to 25 comparison views, either as multiple thumbnails or as individual areas within a single image. There is much more to tell, but as with its companion plug-ins, suffice it to say that once you begin using Intellihance, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. PhotoFrame Pro Rounding out the set is PhotoFrame Pro, a plug-in for creating darkroom-style edge effects and frames within Photoshop. Featuring some 4,000 edge effects, multi- frame previews, layer masking, random frame generation, and much more, it is easy to create stunning frame effects in minutes. In addition to the standard set of edge effects, this version also more than 200 frames created by notable designers. Frankly, there is a lot more to this plug-in that you might imagine and the more time you spend with it, the greater its value. ONONE PLUG-IN SUITE 3 > MAKING PHOTOSHOP WORK FOR YOU Product OnOne's Photoshop Plug-In Suite 3 Made by OnOne Software Price $399.95 (upgrade $299.95) Pros Excellent tools, good tutorials Cons None Rating HHHHH WORDS BY TREY YANCY

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