Plugs 'N Pixels, image creation, manipulation and education

Plugs ’n Pixels looks at on1 Photo 10

  on1 Software has just released the latest version of their photo editing and effects app, Photo 10. This version has been completely reworked for greater performance, stability and ease of use, with up to 4x better performance with less RAM requirements over version 9.5.

  Integration of functionality has become tighter in this version, where you can access Perfect B&W from within the Effects module and Resize from within any module, two-way syncing with mobile devices and an enhanced export feature for printing and sharing your photos.

  When you first open Photo 10, you are greeted with the file browser (below). This is a great feature to have as you don’t need to run Adobe Bridge or some other means of accessing images separately, dragging photos around unnecssarily. On the left side you have access to any mounted Local Drives (your computer and any attached external hard drives) and even Cloud Storage (Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive). Albums can be created in this section of the interface, and filters (hearts, stars, colors) added to favorite images. There is also a Search field and access to Recent items.


  In the center area are adjustable-size thumbnails of the particular drive or folder of images you have accessed. These thumbnails can be sorted and displayed by any of several common attributes. Double-click any thumbnail (or use the Spacebar) and the photo opens and fills the center area.


  At right, useful metadata is displayed for any selected image. And there you have it! But wait: Along the extreme left and right edges of the interface are stacks small icons with huge functionality. I somehow missed seeing these tools in my first visit to Photo 10 and wondered how to get out of the browser, but they are the gateway to accessing all of the cool effects in Photo 10.

  The icons at left enable you to immediately access your Desktop, open your Pictures folder, see your Favorites, view your local drives or Cloud sources and see any Albums you have created.


  The icons at right take you back to Browse at any time, or to Enhance, to Effects, to Portrait  (in each mode you are given a choice to work on either the original or a copy of your source image and in what format [JPEG, TIFF or PSD layers], image mode and resolution) or finally Layers (a Photoshop/GIMP or similar layered editing enviroment). I personally have the most fun shooting right into Effects, where there is a very deep well of Presets and Filters to wade through.


  Let’s take an image into the Effects module and see what can be done with it there.

At left are screenshots of the Effects Presets and Filters you can choose from, along with nice oversized previews of any selected effect (in this case, “Movie Looks”, above). Below I am using a combination of effects: Lens Blur, Glow and Vintage.

  Here’s another image treated in the Effects module. Notice at the right of the interface you can Add Filters even after you choose a preset, stacking them and building up something entirely new.

  It’s a lot of fun digging through the various Presets and Filters to find which particular combinations work best on a chosen image. Experience this yourself by downloading the free 60-day trial to see what you can come up with.