COMPANY: PhotoWiz/The Plugin Site | WEB: ThePluginSite | TYPE: Plug-in | PLATFORM: Mac/Windows | PRICE: $49.95

Other PhotoWiz products: B/W Styler, ColorWasher, ContrastMaster (
CONTRASTMASTER EFFECTS GALLERY),
LightMachine, Plugin Galaxy
FocalBlade lets you sharpen your photos for screen display and print as well as produce great looking blur, soft focus and glow effects. It is a Photoshop-compatible plugin which can be used in dozens of graphics applications including Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, PhotoImpact, Photo-Paint, Fireworks, Canvas and Photoshop Elements. It works with 8bit and 16bit RGB images.

Overview

FocalBlade features a range of automatic, semiautomatic and manual tools for sharpening photos. It is very easy to use as it offers interactive explanations for each feature, incorporates modes for various tasks (including a Novice Mode) and detailed step-by-step instructions in the manual. FocalBlade lets you sharpen photos quickly and also batch process images in Cloak mode. Moreover, FocalBlade offers numerous options for creating blur, soft focus and glow effects and for deblurring photos that are highly blurred.

Sophisticated Algorithms

FocalBlade's sophisticated algorithms let you sharpen images without ugly side-effects and give you a lot of control of the sharpening process. FocalBlade sharpens edges and surfaces in an image independently thereby allowing you to keep objects (e.g. sky, walls, skin and other even surfaces) soft while the overall photo is still sharpened. Unlike other tools FocalBlade doesn't produce halos at high radius settings and even provides sliders for suppressing the white and black part of halos independently. Additionally with FocalBlade you can set the pixel size of details that are sharpened. FocalBlade also lets you keep noise constant or even reduce it when sharpening a photo.

Plenty of Tools

FocalBlade provides three automatic sharpening options for achieving perfect sharpening results with different classes of photos. With Screen and Print buttons you can make FocalBlade automatically sharpen for screen display or for printing. There is also a semiautomatic sample area feature, which lets the user focus on an important image area and thereby apply the optimal sharpness to this area. Additionally there are several Split View modes that let you compare the original and sharpened version as well as visually perform sharpening with the help of preview stripes that present you with variations of the current settings. The manual controls include independent Sharpen and Radius sliders, a Soften slider, Halo Fix sliders, several masking options and a glow feature. FocalBlade also offers five different sharpening methods. Opening and saving presets for reusing certain effects is also possible.

Why FocalBlade is Different

FocalBlade combines many methods for sharpening photos without ugly side-effects and offers a tremendous amount of control of the sharpening process. Many other tools don't offer an automatic sharpening mode, add clearly visible halos, increase noise, remove the photographic quality of photos, damage edges or need a lot of experimenting to achieve a good result. FocalBlade lets you sharpen photos without the risk of damaging them. It is flexible as well as very easy to use. Best of all, FocalBlade saves you precious time when sharpening photos and is available at an affordable price.

New in Version 2

FocalBlade 2 incorporates dozens of new features and improvements. Based on an extensive survey of more than 1000 of its users. FocalBlade 2 received an innovative overhaul and dozens of elaborate new features.

It renders 10 to 120 times faster than Version 1 (depending on the used settings and CPU). It supports multiple sharpening workflows and various output devices. FocalBlade 2 is now fully scripting aware and supports smart filtering in Photoshop CS4 and CS5.

FocalBlade 2 achieves better sharpening effects with less artifacts through improved edge masking and halo reduction. It now allows sharpening radiuses of up to 32 pixels. To further reduce sharpening problems three colors can be chosen to be protected from the sharpening effect. The new Softproof feature, which simulates the sharpness of prints on screen, helps users achieve satisfying sharpening results without test prints.

Lab and CMYK images are processed by FocalBlade 2 without having to switch to RGB mode and back. FocalBlade also reduces color noise, adds grain, zooms the preview up to 3200%, benefits from several UI enhancements, including a Navigator tool for quickly displaying an image area, and contains many other new features.