Color Efex Pro 4 – New Features

This post summarizes the new features introduced with CEP4.

Details on each feature will follow – one post at a time.

I’ve been asked not to include screen captures for a week or so while final changes are made to the interface. (The images below are from the Nik site.)

I’ll try to do posts less dependent on screen captures first.

What’s new? (from the Nik website; my comments)

Filter Combinations – Add multiple filters at once, adjust opacity, and make selective adjustments to get the desired look

One of the most useful new features. Solves the problems when using CEP3 of having to reopen CEP each time a new filter is applied.

The ability to adjust Opacity from within CEP, without waiting until returning to PS’s layers, is a big plus – especially since it can be adjusted on a filter by filter basis.

Of course, selective adjustments has always been there via Nik U-Point control points.

Brand New Filters – Detail Extractor, Dark Contrast, Vintage Film Efex, Natural Image Borders, and more

New filters. To be expected. Marketing demands this. A few are actually very useful. πŸ˜‰

More to come in later details posts.

What’s not mentioned is the CEP3 filters that were eliminated – Burnt Sienna, Detail Stylizer, Saturation Stylizer, Infrared Thermal, Flux. No loss IMO; in fact they should have dropped a few more as the menu is getting crowded with filters that are probably rarely or never used.

Improved Filters – Advancements to imaging algorithms and new controls have improved filters such as Brilliance/Warmth, Tonal Contrast, and more

Some useful changes were made to several filters.

For example, Brilliance/Warmth has a new control, Perceptual Saturation. I’ll discuss this (vs the Saturation slider – still there & called Brilliance in CEP3) in a later post. Very useful – providing you understand the difference between Saturation & Perceptual Saturation (I’ll explain).

Not all filters have new controls – just a few in fact – but the algorithm changes “under the sheets” made throughout make for faster, more responsive software.

Visual Presets – Each filter contains single-click starting points making it possible to explore creative options quickly

Very useful as shown here. A visual illustration of possible filter outcomes – use as is or as a starting point for your own refinements.

Filter Recipes – Customize and share filter combinations with others using recipes

No need to reinvent the wheel every time you use CEP – super-useful!

Save your Filter Combinations for reuse

Import/export recipes for sharing with others

CEP4, when released, will come with lots of recipes already installed

I will develop several generic recipes (such as “the four basic post processing steps needed for almost every image”) in future posts

I will have a post with a number of recipes available for downloading

History Browser – Compare previous edits and different looks quickly and intuitively

When first introduced in Silver Efex Pro 2, this feature got my “great idea” of the year award

Not only compare as stated by Nik, but the best undo/redo function I’ve ever seen

Hard for me to do without. Expect to see this as a feature in all future Nik upgrades (such as HDR Efex Pro – just an educated guess as I have no knowledge of any upgrade)

Basically the same as the SEP2 version.

Nik’s History Browser is explained this post of mine.

GPU Processing and Multi-Core Optimization – Takes full advantage of the processor found on advanced display adapters as well as all of the cores on your CPU

A feature also introduced in SEP2

An IMPORTANT note – this feature is very hardware dependent

  1. If your graphics card is NOT supported then CEP4 (and SEP2) will not perform properly (or maybe at all)
  2. Use the Settings control (lower left of screen for both programs) to turn GPU on/off. You must restart the program for this to take effect
  3. If things seem strange, try steps 1 & 2 before panicking

Interface, Interaction, and Workflow – Benefit from interface and interaction improvements to filters, zoom controls, shortcut keys, and much more

Yes, many improvements

However, lots of them are hard to find. I’ll reveal all. πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned

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