For portrait shots that sometimes look less than perfect, you can make a dramatic improvement in just a few minutes with the latest version of Portrait Professional. Version 10 is available as a standalone application or plug-in, and it works its magic with the data acquired from analyzing thousands of images to determine what makes facial features attractive or not. Incorporating the latest generation of the application’s ClearSkin enhancing technology, Portrait Professional uses real skin texture to create more natural-looking results and now includes different textures for various types and ages of skin.
Also improved is the software’s “intelligent” defect selection brush, as well as the “edge finding” skin and hair selection brushes, which don’t require you to be as accurate as before. New sliders deliver more control for shaping the nose, eyes and face, and there’s an Enhance Skin Only Mode, which doesn’t make changes to the shape of the face.
Three editions are offered, Standard, Studio and Studio 64. The Standard edition is for casual users or amateur photographers while the Studio edition is for enthusiasts or professional photographers. Studio is a 32-bit application, and Studio 64 is 64-bit to take advantage of the processing capabilities of the latest computers. All other Studio features are the same and include batch processing, improved plug-in support for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture, and extended RAW file support for better color control. The Standard edition works only as a standalone program. Portrait Professional is compatible with Mac and PC computers. Estimated Street Price: $39 (Standard); $59 (Studio); $119 (Studio 64).
Contact: Anthropics Technology, (971) 238-0917, www.portraitprofessional.com.
There are five key facial points that you have to click on in order to get going: the left and right corners of the eye, the tip of the nose, and the left and right corners of the mouth. As you click each point, Portrait Professional automatically moves to the next point. You’re also shown an example image for guidance on where to place each point. You can adjust the position of any point by clicking and dragging on it.
After you’ve marked the points, a blue outline of each feature is produced for you to adjust if necessary. Dragging the white squares to match up with the outline of each feature adjusts the positioning, but you should leave the outlines alone if they’re in roughly the right place. Pay attention to the accuracy of the eyes and mouth, but generally the smaller the adjustments you make, the better the results.
The Back or Next buttons at the top of the Controls panel let you go back to an earlier stage or move on to the next one. The Zoom function below those buttons lets you see what part of the whole image is visible in the working view, as well as zoom in and out or pan the current view.
You can correct local problems like spots or wrinkles using the Touch Up brush, which is located at the top of the screen.
To speed up your workflow, Portrait Professional comes with a set of Saved Sliders settings, which set some or all of the sliders to predefined values to give a particular effect described by its name, such as Woman 35-45 Natural or Man 50+ Glamorous. Or you can create your own settings and save them.
For an image that needs more work, sliders in the Controls panel on the right-hand side of the screen allow for additional fine-tuning. The sliders are grouped into sections that control various aspects of the face. When you begin, the Face Sculpt and Skin Controls tabs are open, while the others are closed. To open the others, which include Eye, Mouth and Nose, Hair and Skin Lighting controls, just click on the arrow next to them. At the bottom is a Picture Controls tab for adjusting exposure, contrast, saturation and more.
To get a general idea of an overall effect, move the Master Fade slider. The sliders below give you finer control. For example, if you’re adjusting the eyes, there are sub-sliders for whitening, brightening, sharpening, changing eye color, darkening pupils and more. You can make those adjustments individually or move the Master Fade slider to adjust them all at the same time.