Corel AfterShot Pro 2

October 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

AfterShot Pro v2

Corel Corporation

http://www.aftershotpro.com

 

Available for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.7.3 or later (32-bit and 64-bit)

Linux Fedora® Core 10 or Ubuntu® 8.04 or later (32-bit and 64-bit)

Adobe Photoshop CS4 through CC, Elements 9-12, Lightroom 3-5, Aperture 3.1 or later

Price; $79.99

Corel Corporation acquired Bibble Labs in 2012 and released the first version of AfterShot Pro. The new version 2 was released in May of this year with several improvements. AfterShot Pro is a full featured non-destructive RAW editing program with photo management and is available as a 32-bit or 64-bit application.

The interface to AfterShot Pro is straightforward and similar to other products on the market. The left side contains file selection via the File System or Library. The images can be sorted by Thumbnails, image Preview with Thumbnails or single image Preview. Also located along the left side is an Output tab, which provides Batch Output to a file type and Printing options. The program offers photo management and several ways to sort and tag files. The tag methods are pretty standard; Keywords, Stars, Color Labels and Flags for Pick or Deletion. Files can then be sorted by any of these tags or EXIF metadata information. Along the bottom of the main image are controls for Eye Dropper, Crop, Straighten, Red Eye Removal and Region Cursors. The Region Cursors will be utilized when layers are added to the edited photograph. Controls for zooming (up to 800%), 1:1 and Fit to Screen are under the main image as well. The icons for Multi-Image View and Toggle Clipping Warning are under the right hand column. The Multi Image View can show up to 6 photographs for comparison and editing. The Toggle button shows blown out highlights and blocked up shadows.

The right side has a Histogram and all the controls to edit the image. The Basic Adjustment panel contains most of the key components. There are 2 automatic setting options, AutoLevel and Perfectly Clear. Both of the adjustments seem to over process the image and are not recommended. The white balance is altered by either the Eye Dropper, Temp slider or a preset. The Presets to choose from are As Shot, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Cloudy, Shady, Flash or Sunny. The Straighten tool can be accessed by the slider, but the icon on the bottom brings up a really nice overlay level. The rest of the sliders are pretty standard; Exposure, Highlights, Fill Light, Blacks, Contrast, Saturation, Vibrance and Hue. The software offers 2 types of layers, Adjustment and Heal/Clone. An image can have multiple Adjustment layers and a single Heal/Clone layer. There are 4 different types of Regions which are used to make the selection. They are Circle, Polygon, Curve and Brush. The Regions can overlap and can be either Additive or Subtractive. Below this panel are the Keywords and Presets to change the look by a simple click. There are ones for B&W, Sepia, Local Contrast, Cross Processing and others.

There are 3 other panels with additional adjustments, plus Metadata and Plugins. The Color panel offers a Curve adjustment and an advanced set of tools to correct color and white balance. The Color Correction section uses a picker to select an individual color and make changes to Hue, Saturation and Luminance. A Range slider controls the sensitivity and tolerance of each change. The Color Balance section adds the primary and secondary colors to Hue, Saturation and Hue. These changes can be made to the Luminance (HSL) or Value  (HSV) color spaces. The White Balance adds a Tint slider to fine-tune the Temperature. The Tone panel is similar to the Basic panel but adds additional sliders for Highlight Recovery and a new checkbox to Enable Local Contrast. The Local or Midtone Contrast is very similar to Clarity in Adobe Camera Raw and is a necessary addition to the program. The last panel is Detail, which is used for Sharpening, Noise Removal and Lens Corrections. The Lens Correction uses embedded camera and lens profiles if available to control curvature, Chromatic Aberration and Vignette. The Plugins utilized by AfterShot Pro are not from companies such as Nik/Google or Alien Skin, but from individuals. There is a wide variety offered, some are free and others cost a nominal fee.

The RAW Noise, Temperature and Highlights slider does not work with JPEG and TIFF files, so shooting RAW with AfterShot Pro is required to get the most out of it. The support for RAW files is pretty good with only a couple of cameras missing. Checking the web did indicate that it does not take a real long time for updates. A cool feature is the Magnifier, which is easily accessed by a shortcut or an icon at the top right. The size and zoom ratio is easily controlled and is a quick way to view an area.

Corel AfterShot Pro is competing in a pretty crowded market with Adobe Lightroom, Elements, DxO, PhotoNinja, Perfect Photo Suite and others. This program is very fast, affordable and might work out well for beginning photographers.

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