AUGUST 15, 2002
Reindeer Graphics Optipix 1.0
Chances are you don't place image correction in your top-10 list of fun things to do with your computer. It can be satisfying, to be sure, but also time-consuming and eye-straining as the minutes or hours wear on and you lose the ability to distinguish between slight changes in tonality, color or even contrast. For me, after about an hour, I have to walk out of the office and give my eyes a chance to recover from the fatigue of color correction. And so I place a high value on any tool that can help get the job done more efficiently and therefore alleviate the optical malaise that can lead to poor color work.
For professional photographers working in digital, this is obviously a critical consideration. For you, a company called Reindeer Graphics makes a whole slew of Photoshop filters to save time and even produce some outstanding image correction feats that you might not have been able to achieve on your own. Some of these filters are free--and I highly recommend you give them a try--while others are bundled in commercial packages and offered at decent prices. Today we'll take a look at one of these commercial packages, Optipix 1.0 for Adobe Photoshop. [an error occurred while processing this directive] Optipix is a collection of filters tailored specifically for digital photographers. They're not the kinds of filters that make you "ooh and ahh" like some filter packages on the market, but they will make you grateful for the time they save you in your day to day production work.
Optipix includes essentially six functions spread across nine plugins. (Some of the plugins work with each other to accomplish the primary function of the group.) These include exposure blending, frame buffering and averaging, a new Auto Contrast, Nudge, Edge Enhancement and Safe Sharpening.
Now, before I go on with my review of the original filters, I want to point something out. Whatever the value of the other filters in the collection, the Blend Exposures filter is, without a doubt, more than worth the $99 price of admission on this package. This is the king of time-savers for digital photography, at least of the time-savers I've encountered to date. I think of the other filters in the collection as a bonus to this one, though some of these are quite good in their own right as well.
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