Useful Software/Plugins - ToddChristensen

Useful Software and Plugins for Photoshop and/or Lightroom

PTGui

PTGui is panoramic stitching software for Windows and Mac OSX. Originally developed as a Graphical User Interface for Panorama Tools (hence the name), PTGui now is a full featured photo stitching application.

Use PTGui to stitch any number of photos into a panoramic image. Some benefits of PTGui, when compared to other stitching software:

•PTGui can stitch multiple rows of images

•Create 360 degree cylindrical panoramas, 'flat' partial panoramas and even spherical 360x180 degree panoramas

•No need to keep the camera level: PTGui can stitch rotated and tilted images

•Virtually unlimited output size: create Gigapixel panoramas from hundreds of images!

•Layered output allows full control over the final stitched result

•PTGui stitches most panoramas fully automatically, but at the same time provides full manual control over every single parameter. This enables stitching of 'difficult' scenes, where other programs fail.

•Full 16 bit workflow for best image quality


Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor)

Microsoft Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher. Given a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location, the application creates a high-resolution panorama that seamlessly combines the original images. The stitched panorama can be shared with friends and viewed in 3D by uploading it to the Photosynth web site. Or the panorama can be saved in a wide variety of image formats, from common formats like JPEG and TIFF to the multiresolution tiled format used by Silverlight's Deep Zoom and by the HD View and HD View SL panorama viewers.

You can learn more about Microsoft ICE here.

Starry Night Pro

Dive Into the Universe with the new Starry Night Pro!  

Starry Night Pro is a powerful program designed for those with a serious interest in astronomy. Increase your in-the-field observing success with features such as the Events Finder to choose targets, or customized Observing Lists for a specific night or object of interest. Print out three-view star hopping charts customized to your equipment to effortlessly guide you to challenging objects. With extensive data sets, advanced telescope control, and comprehensive observational tools you'll soon transform your computer into a sophisticated virtual observatory.


Topaz Labs Software Plugins


To learn more about or to purchase Topaz Labs software, Go Here.  Here's a tip:  Sign up for Topaz Labs emails as they often have 50% off sales; no need to pay full price.

Topaz Adjust -   Magical contrast, detail, and color adjustments

•Infuse your photos with powerful contrast, vibrant color, and stunning detail.   The award-winning Topaz Adjust adds a dash of magic to your photography. Get amazing photos that you would never be able to otherwise. Apply anything from simple photo enhancements to complete stylistic makeovers. Discover how you can make your photos unique with one of the most versatile and powerful photo editing tools available.

•Our unique adaptive exposure technology is magic for your photos.   Topaz Adjust uses histogram information from the entire image to determine the best way to process contrast and exposure. This process gets you fantastic results that just aren't possible anywhere else.

•Stunning detail enhancement helps draw people into your photos.   This isn't your ordinary run-of-the-mill sharpening. Topaz Adjust can bring out details that you couldn't even see before. Accentuate natural detail in your images to get far more powerful photography.

•Intelligent color enhancement gives you a dazzling variety of color effects.   Go far beyond simple hue, saturation, and luminance with Topaz Adjust's adaptive color technology. Intelligently enhance color to make your photos more exciting and vibrant without oversaturating or turning them into cartoons.

Topaz ReStyle -  Over 1000 unique photographic effects.

•Use breakthrough image mapping technology.   ReStyle's proprietary engine intelligently maps external tones + colors into your image, giving fantastic results.

•Completely customize your effects.   Take full control over your results by fine-tuning each effect's colors and using the built-in HSL adjustments.

•Quickly find the perfect look Search not only by keyword but also by color. Open a full-sized gallery for quick browsing.

•Create your own custom styles.   Need more than a thousand effects? No problem, create as many of your own as you like.

•Choose from over a thousand effects.   With this many photographic looks and styles at your fingertips, it's impossible to not find the perfect one.

•Get the exact look you want with blending tools.   Try different blending modes and opacity values to find the perfect balance in your photo.

•Selectively adjust different parts of your photo.   Use the powerful included masking suite to easily apply effects to only certain parts of your image.

•Integrate into your existing workflow.   Plugs into Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto, and much more. Use it wherever you currently edit photos.

Topaz Clarity Flawless image definition through intelligent contrast.

•Spend more time shooting and less time post-processing by applying one of over 100 presets included in Topaz Clarity. These one-click effects were specially developed and fine-tuned for specific types of photos. Instantly add extra depth to your architecture images, wedding photos, and everything in between.

•Have you ever blown out your highlights by increasing image contrast? You won't ever again. Topaz Clarity uses intelligent contrast enhancement technology to increase the impact and depth of your image completely naturally. This unique approach makes it almost impossible to create artifacts and halos - and gives you more powerful photos with less effort.

•Give each part of your photo special treatment with smart selective adjustments. Use unique masking technologies like the Magic Brush and Smart Feather to make sure any adjustments you make go exactly where they need to go.

Topaz ReMask - The quickest and easiest way to mask your photo.

•Masking shouldn't take forever, with endless tweaking and adjusting. ReMask gets the job done in a shockingly short amount of time, while requiring a bare minimum of your input.

•No need to go through all kinds of steps and procedures to get a great mask. Just quickly paint image features to tell ReMask what you want to cut out... and then sit back and relax.

•Don't sacrifice power for speed. The formidable technology in ReMask also makes it one of the best tools for handling tough situations like hair, transparency, and similar-color backgrounds.

Topaz B&W Effects -   Develop stunning black and white photography.

•Tonal contrast, a core feature of our B&W conversion engine, is literally everything in a monochrome image. Get darker blacks and whiter whites.

•Give your photos that authentic look and feel. Choose from a wide variety of popular film grain styles that were physically scanned from real film.

•Add creative finishing touches to your photos, including artistic styles, vignettes, and borders. Never end up with a boring photo.

Topaz Detail -   Creative detail enhancement with no halos or artifacts.

•Enhanced Detail Control - In addition to breaking the image down into three detail sizes, Detail 3 now separates it by tone, allowing for precise shadow and highlight detail adjustments.

•Improved Functionality - Major boost in processing speed and ability to handle larger images.

•Effect Mask - Selectively brush detail in or out using the tools in the Effect Mask tab.

•Unique Tone Control - Achieve natural and balanced tone with the integration of the Topaz IntelliColor™ technology.

•Over 50 New Presets - A variety of new presets for any type of image.

•Preset Collections - Preset organization, plus the ability to create your own collections.

Topaz Simplify -  Turn your photos into watercolors, paintings, and other fine art.

•Instantly turn any image into a natural art piece.

•Easily create high-impact, artistic photography.

•Transform your photo into a variety artistic styles including paintings, sketches and cartoon line drawings.

•Repurpose previously unusable photos by adding a traditional art flare.

Topaz Lens Effects -   Creative effects derived from real-world lens and filters.

•Create creamy bokeh, add realistic vignettes, simulate tilt-shift lenses, apply beautiful diffusion, and more.

•Use pixel-perfect effects taken directly from real-world camera lenses and filters.  

•Ensure that people see your photos exactly how they're meant to be seen with a wide range of beautiful effects taken directly from real equipment.

•This collection of creative and corrective effects is easy to use and helps eliminate the need for additional physical equipment. Lens Effects extends filter and lens functionality beyond your camera and allows you to make these adjustments after the shot, simplifying your shoot and giving you more control.

•Accomplish things in your photos more quickly and with less effort.

Topaz Star Effects -   Add realistic star and lighting effects to your photos.

•Great lighting effects.   Choose from a variety of beautiful star effects like traditional, starburst, cross, hollywood, and more.

•Auto-detect light sources.   Use a single click to apply your lighting effect at exactly the right place in your photo.

•Completely customizable.   Adjust any part of the light effect that you can think of, and never create the same effect twice.

Topaz Clean -   Creative smoothing effects with edge and texture control.

•Clean portraits and skin without losing structural detail.

•Adjust depth and intensity of image texture and details.

•Selectively remove undesired details or defects.

•Enhance well-defined edges and lines.

•Create over-sharpened and stylized effects.

Topaz DeNoise -   Excels at removing noise while preserving image detail.

•Optimally remove fixed, pattern and random noise.

•Remove horizontal and vertical banding noise.

•Recover image detail.

•Restore previously obscured lines and edges.

•Remove hazy red and blue color cast.

•Shadow tone restoration controls.

•Smooth color unevenness.

Topaz InFocus -   Sharpen your image by removing shake and motion blur.

•Sharpen images, gaining unprecedented image clarity.

•Rescue blurred images, recovering "lost" image detail.

•Enhance subtle structure detail through micro-contrast enhancement.

•Effortlessly refine image detail for a crisp, clear and vivid image.

Topaz DeJPEG -  Increase the image quality of your JPEG photos.

•Substantially increase JPEG image quality

•Preserve and enhance JPEG image detail

•Eliminate JPEG compression artifacts and mosquito noise •Recover image information from damaged JPEGs

•Helps prepare your image for the enhancement process

•Great for improving quality of images taken on mobile devices

Topaz photoFXlab -   Standalone image editor specializing in image effects.

•Explore and apply any of your Topaz Effects from a searchable library.

•InstaTone™ - A new way to pick, click and stick any tonal inspiration to your image.

•All access to your Topaz plug-ins in a standalone application.

•Selective adjustment brushes with edge-aware technology.

•A layered workflow with masking and convenient editing tools, featuring IntelliColor™ technology.

Google Nik Collection Software Plugins

To learn more about or to purchase Google Nik Collection software, Go Here.

Analog Efex Pro - Explore the look and feel of classic cameras, films, and lenses.

Classic cameras at your fingertips:  Get the photo you’re looking for, even if you don’t own the equipment. Effects inspired by traditional cameras bring you back to a specific era. Choose from Classic Camera, Vintage, Wet Plate and Toy Camera.

Go beyond filters:  Use vintage effects designed for the serious photographer. Create professionally stylized images by picking a preset, then diving in to fine-tune your approach. Adjust bokeh, textures, frames and other elements, then pinpoint the location of your effects with precise on-image controls.

Silver Efex Pro - Master the art of black-and-white photography with darkroom-inspired controls.

Unique algorithms:   Advancements in black and white controls help you achieve great results quickly. Take advantage of tools like Dynamic Brightness, Soft Contrast, Amplify Whites, Amplify Blacks, and the advanced Grain Engine.

All-in-one toolset:   Emulate nearly 20 popular film types, add finishing adjustments like toners and borders, and tune your image to produce superior black-and-white results. Silver Efex Pro gives you control over the entire process.

More freedom to edit:  Try different looks, compare different edited states of your image, and undo adjustments at any time -- all thanks to Silver Efex Pro’s built-in History Browser.

HDR Efex Pro -  From natural to artistic, explore the full potential of HDR photography.

More creative possibilities:  Powerful controls help you create exceptional natural and artistic HDR photos as HDR Efex Pro gives you a wide range of options for any image.

Finely tuned images:  Bring back lost highlights, open up shadows, and adjust tonality to achieve the perfectly natural and balanced image you’ve envisioned.

A better starting point:   A unique combination of one-click presets helps you start off on the right foot. Pick a style that excites you, then adjust the details to make the look your own.

Color Efex Pro -  A comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects.

A launch pad for creativity:   Find a look that inspires you, then take it further. Visual presets give you a wide range of options to use as starting points for your photographic exploration

Room to improvise:   Stack any number of Color Efex Pro’s 55 filters to create a unique look. You can save your favorite combinations, then apply the same look to other images with a single click.

Designed for precision:   Control points make your filters even more powerful. Different filters can be applied to specific parts of your image to help each element of your photo shine.

Dfine -  Improve your images with noise reduction tailored to your camera.

Complete control:   Dfine lets you adjust contrast and reduce color noise separately, making it easy to control the type and amount of noise reduction applied to your photo.

Customized to your camera:   Unique profiles are created automatically for each image to ensure that noise reduction is applied only to noise elements so more details are retained

Maximize detail:   Add noise reduction only to the areas that need it so you can maximize detail throughout your image. Control points let you remove noise selectively, without using masks.

Viveza - Selectively adjust the color and tonality of your images without complicated masks or selections.

Precise edits made simple:   You can choose exactly where enhancements are applied without using complicated selections or layer masks. The changes you make automatically and naturally blend with your image, producing spectacular results.

A full range of controls:   Easy-to-use sliders let you quickly adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, shadows, red, green, blue, hue, and warmth. And the unique Structure control lets you accentuate textures and details without creating unwanted artifacts or halos.

Quick global adjustments:   Apply color, light, and structure enhancements to your entire photo with the ability to selectively refine your adjustments later. Viveza also includes levels & curves for even more control over contrast and tonality.

Sharpener Pro -  Bring out hidden details consistently with the professional's choice for image sharpening.

Attention to detail:   Enhance subtle details and textures to create images in a distinctive style. The Structure, Local Contrast, and Focus tools give you a variety of creative sharpening options.

Selective sharpening:   Selectively apply improvements using control points to help your viewers focus on the right areas. Enhancements blend into your image for a natural final result.

Customized to your printer:   Create perfectly sharpened images for display, inkjet, continuous tone, half tone, hybrid print devices, and more. The Output Sharpener helps you mitigate loss of detail caused by different output methods.


TK_ACTIONS Panel for Photoshop

The TK_ACTIONS panel is a custom panel that works in 32- and 64-bit versions of Photoshop CS5, CS6, and CC. It displays like other panels in Photoshop and makes it easy to invoke a large number of actions without having to search through various action sets on Photoshop's regular Actions panel.  These actions make it easy to create a variety of luminosity masks.  Go Here to get the full scoop and to buy the software and/or video tutorials.