by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2009
• New, world-leading 'ClearSkinTM' skin-improving technology Portrait Professional 9 includes unique new applied patent 'ClearSkinTM' skin-texturing technology that both add greatly to the realism of the skin after enhancement. It enables 'blown' or burnt out highlights on the skin to be successfully retrieved and realistically re-textured in seconds. To the best of our knowledge, this innovative feature is unique and puts clear-blue water between Portrait Professional and other skin-enhancing packages. For the first time, the ClearSkinTM technology enables anybody to achieve ultra-realistic skin-enhancing effects literally in seconds.
• New, enhanced, 'intelligent' touch-up brush The new skin touch-up brush in version 9 requires no precision or skill on the user's part. It automatically finds any skin defect under the brush and replaces it with natural skin texture using the ClearSkinTM technology. The result is a realistic natural touch-up with minimum effort or skill on the users' part.
• Full multi-processor support for a major speed increase Portrait Professional 9 now supports multi-threading resulting in a major performance boost for users with multi-core or multi-processor machines.
• Supports profile shots In response to many user requests, Portrait Professional 9 now handles profile shots as well as full face enabling face shape enhancing on any face orientation.
• Improved teeth and eye enhancements The eye and teeth enhancement has been significantly improved giving a more uniform and realistic whiteness and improved eye re-colouring controls. In addition, the eye pupil can be automatically widened. Catch lights in the eyes can now be added, removed, reshaped or enhanced.
• New face, picture and hair vibrance controls The control sliders allow the vibrancy of face colour to be increased without causing neutral areas to get unwanted colour casts. The net result is more vibrant natural-looking portraits.
• New Skin Smoothing or 'Blotchiness' control The skin smoothing control is a great time saver as it evens any blotchiness or large defects on the skin simply by moving a slider.
• New User Interface The interface has been significantly upgraded in version 9 to make it more users' friendly and a lot easier to use with the brush tool now conveniently located for instant access. New featurers of Portrait Professional 9 Studio Portrait Professional Studio contains all the features of Portrait Professional plus:
• New Stand-alone and Adobe PhotoShop plug-in version Version 9 Studio works both as stand-alone and as a Photoshop plugin for both PC and Mac. This version has been developed to meet enthusiasts and professional photographers' demands for Photoshop plug-in compatibility in order to enhance their workflow.
• Enhanced colour profiles and extended RAW file support Portrait Professional 9 Studio enables direct access to camera RAW files applications and allows absolute colour calibration control of images that high-end enthusiast and professional users require. In addition, RAW support has been applied as a plug-in so, as new cameras and formats come onto the market, support can be instantly added.
• New batch mode to speed throughput and workflow This version 9 Studio also has a batch mode incorporated to enable photographers to enhance lots of images and speed through the work faster and more efficiently than was hitherto possible. Note that existing PC and Mac users of Portrait Professional will be offered a low cost upgrade to Version 9.
The speed enhancements are tangible. A Nikon D3x RAW file was opened in 20.2s. It took 1m 23s to place the paths around the model's features then another 16s to complete the retouch. The screen grab above shows multi-threading using all eight processors of our workstation.
1. The image is loaded from any of the normal formats including RAW files and identified as 'female'.
2. The instructions tell you where to click your mouse, five points in all.
3. You refine the positions of the pupils, iris and teeth. For a closed mouth there is a separate button.
4. The fully marked-out face including the overall facial shape, chin, cheeks and hair line.
5. Hit the space bar and in under a minute you have a completed retouch. You may accept the defaults or go back and use the slider adjustments on the left. These control overall shape, hair retouch, eye colour, teeth whitening, blemish removal along with a number of pre-set settings. Your favoured settings may be saved as a pre-set.
Healing skin that has caught the sunlight has been a particualry tricky problem to retouch, involving Patternmaking, masks and clever colour control. Portrait Professional does the job with ease and you get all the other clever things it does thrown in! This alone is worth the upgrade.
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