Perfect Photo Suite 6
Perfect Photo Suite 6 from onOne Software is the latest version of their popular Photoshop Plug-in that allows you to manipulate photos. Version six includes portrait, effects, layers and mask modules. In addition, all of the modules now work as standalone applications and you can also use Perfect Photo Suite 6 for direct work with Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom. Version six is now a 64-bit application and, as expected, it performed quite well on my quad-core Mac.
The suite includes several modules including Perfect Mask, Perfect Resize, Perfect Portrait, Perfect Layers, Perfect Effects, Photo Frame and Focal Point. Since the modules contain a common interface, it's simple to learn additional modules once you're familiar with one of the modules.
For this review I've chosen Perfect Mask as my module of choice, since I do a lot of masking. The Perfect Mask module can be used from within Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Aperture. As with all the Perfect Photo Suite Modules, Perfect Mask may also be used as a standalone application, which I have chosen to do for this review. One feature that impressed me was the library of backgrounds available from within the application. Some of these background images include inside and outside areas, skies, studio backdrops and walls. Simply select the background desired and place it as layer below the active layer/image you want to mask.
To begin masking, I chose the Drop Brush Tool to draw away general areas of the background I wanted to remove. Perfect Mask analyzes my selection based on the colors contained within my stroke and then expands the stroke to all the similarly colored areas of the image. Once I've removed broad areas of the background, I switch to the Refine Brush Tool to remove more of the background from tighter areas of the image. The Refine Brush Tool closely analyzes areas of the background based on color from the selections I made earlier from the Drop Brush Tool. Using colors to determine what areas to drop works great with tough subjects like hair.
Another handy feature is Automatic Solid Background Removal. A solid background is removed automatically which is a handy feature for those shooting with a green-screen background. While working on a mask, the multiple preview options allow me to see the mask separately next to the image I'm working on. This real-time view of the mask makes it easier to check your work as you go. I recommend experimenting with the various tools to get used to how they work. After a half hour or so, you'll become more comfortable with how the application uses colors to determine masking areas.
Although I was using Perfect Mask as a standalone application, I was able to save my work as a layered Photoshop PSD file which I then opened in Photoshop to adjust colors, contrast and saturation, prior to flattening and saving the final work product as a TIFF.
The Perfect Mask module does make the process of masking much easier and you'll soon be applying masking to images you might have otherwise avoided. I found the Perfect Mask module to be an easy application to use, however it does take a little playing around to get used to it.
Another module I enjoyed exploring was Perfect Portrait which uses a Face-Recognition Engine to analyze portraits or group photos and places each face on its own layer. Once the layers are created, you can apply adjustments to the eyes, mouth and skin for each face. I was able to remove blemishes and smooth skin tones with ease. A Facial Features Panel allows you to enhance the eyes, whiten a smile or increase color saturation for the lips. As with all the modules, the learning curve is quite easy since they share a common interface; I look forward to spending more time exploring the rest of the modules.
Perfect Photo Suite 6 from is an excellent value for the money and includes so many tools, you'll be creating winning images in no time. I would recommend this software for both amateurs and professionals.
Reviewed by IMA Member JohnLobban — May 2012