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A Peek At Google+ HDR Scrape, Analog Efex Pro Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

29 October 2013

When Google Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra introduced new tools for photographers today, he said they'd be "available this week." What he meant, though, was that they'd be available today.

The App Store on our iPad let us know there was an update available for Snapseed but the update to the Nik Collection on OS X wasn't quite so obvious. We knew Analog Efex Pro had been added to the Collection, but there isn't an automatic update notification (that we know of).

So we just downloaded the Collection again and reinstalled it. And there was Analog Efex Pro.


Snapseed's addition of a new HDR Scape filter brings a single-image HDR effect to the package. Gundotra showed it off in the video posted with our earlier story to bring back detail in a backlit subject.

We thought we'd just grunge up one of our favorite images.

Sharpening Tool. Just for reference, here's the original image.

HDR Scrape. Here's the Scraped version we liked.

You can see the Filter Strength slider in our screen shot but we're not showing you that the Star for Style to its left gives four options: Nature, People, Fine and Strong. We used Nature.

A Compare button further to the left lets you see what the original looks like. It couldn't be simpler, really, which is what Gundotra kept saying. Use Google+ tools when you don't have time.

Camera Kit. Build your own.


But when you do have time, Nik Collection will use it. The new filter was pretty slow to apply effects. Sluggish would be a compliment, in fact. But the results were pretty impressive.376

We've reviewed several film filter effects packages (and even have another in the works). They include:

Analog Efex Pro doesn't reference emulsion names (or pretend to imitate them precisely) but it plays the same game as those tools, providing film-like looks with effects like Light Leaks and Frames.

Instead of a long list of presets with familiar names to scroll through, you get some starting points and the sliders to control the effects.

Analog Efex Pro. Familiar Nik interface.

The other programs offer those sliders, too, but in Analog Efex Pro, they aren't optional tweaks to an industry standard emulsion. They're how you play the game.

You start by picking a Camera in the left pane. There are several available, including Classic, Vintage, Toy, Wet Plate and more. But those are just the starting points. You can also just pick the Camera Kit to build you own set of effects.

Then you play with the sliders on the right side for the various effects enabled by either your Camera Kit settings or the Camera preset you've selected. There are Basic Adjustments, Bokeh (which was a lot of fun), Light Leaks, Lens Vignette, Fim Type and Frames.

A Rose. Vintage Camera without any adjustments.

By Any Other Name. Fooled around with the bokeh.

You can end up with some startling different images, as we did in the image above. It's fun and if you own the Nik Collection, it's free, too. Just download the Collection again.

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