Nik Software’s Viveza is one of our favorite Photoshop plug-ins (it’s also compatible with Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and Apple Aperture). The company’s innovative Control Points eliminate the need for complex masks, allowing you to quickly make dramatic, localized enhancements by dropping Control Points on an image and tweaking with slider controls. Adjust the radius of the Control Point, and the software intelligently identifies what object or region in the photo you’re enhancing.
Viveza 2 brings some significant enhancements to the original version. You now can adjust Curves and Levels within Viveza 2. And you can group Control Points to adjust all of them simultaneously instead of individually—great for fine-tuning effects.
The new version also features core enhancements, such as improved color rendering and more precise Control Point selections. A new Shadow Adjustments control lets you lighten shadow areas without washing them out, and the new Structure control helps retain details and texture that otherwise might be diminished by your other adjustments.
There’s also support for adjusting multiple /images, either through batch processing in Photoshop or by applying effects to a series of /images in Lightroom and Aperture. List Price: $199 (new license); $99 (upgrade).
Each Control Point has sliders to quickly and easily adjust Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and more.
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 normally would in Photoshop.
Turn a preview of your adjustments on and off, and select from one-up (as shown), split image or side-by-side.
Adjustment Details (Selective or Global)
This area displays the values of the currently selected Control Point (Selective) or adjustments made to the image as a whole (Global) if no Control Point is selected.
Shift+click to select multiple Control Points, then click Group to put them in sync with identical settings. Now when you adjust one Control Point, you adjust all those in the group.
Add Control Point
Click this button to add a new Control Point to the image.
Want to change the color of something in your photo? Place a Control Point on it, then use the Eyedropper to click on an area of the photo to use as the replacement color. Or, choose any color as your replacement by clicking on the color box next to the Eyedropper, which launches Photoshop’s color picker. Use this to boost eye color or change the hue of clothing, for example.
Control Point List
This panel 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 color swatch 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 check box provides a black-and-white preview of the areas affected by the Control Point—white areas are affected and black areas are not. Click on the box to toggle the preview on and off.
Levels and Curves
New in Viveza 2, you can now make these common adjustments directly within Viveza, instead of returning to your host software.
Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.