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).