четверг, 24 октября 2013 г.

CyberLink has many years experience with video, but none at all with photo editing, and so you might have expected the company's first digital imaging product to be a little on the basic side. But you'd be wrong. PhotoDirector 2011 isn't another standard editor. Rather, it's a high-end photo management and workflow app which bears a strong resemblance to Adobe's Lightroom, and is similarly packed with professional features. Open the program, for instance, and you'll find the workflow is clearly defined into three stages. The first, "Library", is where you import and organise your images; the "Adjustment" section allows you to enhance, improve, and generally get more from them, while the final "Slideshow" module helps you to share them with the world. The initial photo import process is quick and easy, while also delivering more functionality than we'd expected. So you're not just choosing a few JPEGs which will then appear in a list. PhotoDirector has good support for a host of RAW formats (particularly Canon and Nikon); can also exclude possible duplicates from your selected images; is able to copy the chosen photos to a folder you specify; and can even organise these into subfolders according to the date they were taken. Once your photos are imported then a highly configurable browser makes it straightforward to locate the images you need. This can display your collection with thumbnails or text details (including file name, capture date and other metadata). You're able to view one, two, or your selected images side-by-side for quick comparisons, or view any photo full-screen at a click. And if that's not enough, you can also filter your photos by various flags, or by whatever combination of criteria you choose: file or folder name, camera, capture date, shutter speed, ISO speed rating and more. Other options are a little more limited. Text tagging is fairly basic, for instance, and while you can display image metadata, PhotoDirector only allows you to edit the copyright tag. Still, on balance the Library provides an intuitive interface which makes it easy to organise your images and zoom in on any of particular interest. Photo corrections If you spot an image that isn't up to your usual standards, then clicking the Adjustment button will allow you to apply corrections, either manually or via built-in one-click presets. The manual section provides a Lightroom-like pane, packed with sliders, where you can tweak white balance, tone, brightness, contrast, saturation, levels, HSL and more. You also get good quality sharpening and noise reduction tools, effective vignetting effect and vignette removal options, and of course the ability to crop or rotate an image as necessary. But perhaps most useful are the "Regional Adjustment Tools", a smarter set of options which deliver finer control over the tweaks on offer. Spot Removal and Red-Eye tools deliver great results (and again bear a strong resemblance to Lightroom); a very configurable Adjustment Brush (with an accurate "fit to edges" option) allows you to restrict corrections to the area you define; and the excellent Gradient Mask can apply your tweaks gradually across a large area of the photo. Or if that all sounds too much like hard work, just click the Presets tab and you'll find a selection of built-in corrections which you can apply at a click: "Scenery - Blue skies", "People - Soft skin tone", "B&W - Warm", or whatever it might be. (Other presets are available for download, or you can create new ones of your own.) But if you make a mistake, don't worry, it's easy to fix - and not just via Undo. An "Adjustment History" dialog shows all the changes you've made to a photo, and you can revert to any of the previous versions at a click. What you won't get here, though, are high-end tools like Lightroom's Lens Corrections, Camera Calibration or export plugins. PhotoDirector does provide a capable feature set which goes well beyond the basics, though, so don't let that put you off: the program may still provide just about everything you need. Slideshow When you need to share a photo or two right away then PhotoDirector can help; in just a click or two you can have any selected images uploaded to your Flickr or Facebook accounts. Clicking the Slideshow buttons provides more powerful sharing options, though. Drag and drop a few images onto the work area and you're able to add text captions, define background music and transition effects (if only from a selection of three), and choose the duration each slide will be displayed. And when you're done, the images may be exported as a complete slideshow. PhotoDirector doesn't have Lightroom's JPEG or PDF Slideshow options, it's video only, but this works well. The program can export videos in three formats (H.264/AVC, MPEG-4, WMV) and multiple resolutions up to 1080p, or you can upload directly to your YouTube account: just like most of the rest of PhotoDirector 2011, it's all very convenient and easy to use.

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