donderdag 19 november 2015

Tested for you: PortraitPro 15

Imagine you have a whole bunch of photos of the family but when you look at them you see that you’ve accidentally highlighted your mum's wrinkles and your dad looks like an eggplant.

No worries. Load up Portrait Professional 15 and within a matter of minutes you will have your parents look young and fresh again. You can even give them a bit of make up.

Of course, this software isn’t limited for use with your home photos. If you happen to be designing a fashion magazine cover and the photographer’s model is looking a little less than perfect, you could either spend a few hours tweaking the photo pixel by pixel in PhotoShop or you could let Portrait Professional automate the process in a fraction of the time.

This is how it works. You start by loading up a photo. Portrait Professional takes a few seconds to identify the face and draw lines over the principal elements – eyes, eyebrows, nose, lips, chin. Now you click a button to tell the program to treat this face as a male or female, adult or child. It applies some standard enhancements to the photo and shows the original in one half of the screen and the enhanced image in the other. If the standard enhancement looks OK, that’s it – you can save the new image to disk as JPG, TIFF or PNG file. But the chances are that you’ll want to make a few adjustments to optimise the image processing first. If the image elements were not perfectly identified you can drag the lines to reshape the eyes, chin and so on. Then again, maybe the standard options don’t make your model look glamorous enough. You can apply a different set of parameters just by picking a different ‘preset’ from a panel – ‘Female Glamorous’, for instance, may make a few more adjustments to the shape and proportions of the face than ‘Female Standard’. There are presets for women and men, girls and boys.

And if that still doesn’t give quite the effect you are searching for, you can go on to set individual parameters one by one, using a set of ‘portrait improving’ sliders which give you a finer level of control over things such as the amount of skin smoothing, how wide the eyes are (are they fully open or partially shut?), how plump the lips are and so on. Using these controls you can substantially change the appearance of a face and you may need to exercise some self-control. After all, you probably still want Cousin Alfred to be able to recognise Aunty Bertha! Smooth out too many wrinkles, narrow the nose too much, make the neck too long and add a bit too much blusher and she might not even recognise herself!

The plain truth of the matter is that Portrait Professional lets you make adjustments that range from the subtle to the grotesque. Most of the time, you will probably aiming for the subtle end of the spectrum but, ultimately, the choice is yours.

This is a great program that really makes light work of doing everything from removing small imperfections and skin blemishes to transforming rather mundane portraits into magazine-ready ‘glamour’ shots

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