Fans of Nik Software’s intuitive U-Point technology (which is everybody who has used it in applications like Color Efex Pro or Capture NX) are in for a big, happy surprise with Nik Software’s newest application, Viveza. If you’re not familiar with U-Point powered Control Points, they allow you to apply adjustments selectively to particular areas of an image without the need for complicated masking. Just drop a point on an area of color, and with a few simple sliders you can make adjustments that affect only similar tones and hues. Bringing this technology to all users of Photoshop (as well as apps that accept Photoshop plug-ins and soon to Aperture 2.1 users), Viveza is a must-consider addition to your digital-imaging toolbox. List Price: $249. Contact: Nik Software, (619) 725-3150, www.niksoftware.com.
Nik recommends a particular workflow to get the best results with Viveza. Add a Color Control Point to the most obvious area requiring adjustments, then add additional Color Control Points to other areas you need to adjust or control. Nik suggests that noise reduction be done (if necessary) before working in Viveza.
Neutral Control Points
To prevent the effects of nearby Color Control Points from affecting a specific area, add a Color Control Point to that area that’s set to neutral, meaning all sliders are set to “0”, except for the Size slider, which you use to set the size of the area you want to protect.
Choose from one-up (shown here), before and after split-image or before and after side-by-side previews of your adjustments.
Control Point List
This shows all of the active Control Points you’ve placed. The check box lets you turn on and off the effects of a Control Point. The small slice of color next to the Control Point number previews the color on which the Control Point is placed. The value shown next to each Control Point shows the size of the area affected by it (25% is the default). The last column here provides a black-and-white preview of the areas affected by a given point-white areas are affected and black areas are not. Click on the boxes in this column to activate the preview.
Add Control Point
Click this button to add a new Control Point to the image.
More Viewer Controls
Use these buttons to adjust the appearance of the Viveza workspace, including zoom level and background color.
This display shows the values of the Control Point currently selected in the list above.
Use this button to replace the color being controlled by a selected Control Point with another color of your choosing. This makes quick work of changing the color of your subject’s clothing, for example.
Use the Loupe to view close-ups of any area of the image. The Loupe tracks your cursor position.
If you’d like to use the Photoshop Brush tool to further refine the edges of your adjustments, click Brush instead of OK. Viveza returns you to Photoshop with its adjustments on a new layer, with a layer mask that you can use as you would normally in Photoshop.