Even photos captured by professional photographers could benefit from tools designed to enhance images and the same will apply to those of us who do not possess the same skill set when it comes to capturing images. Offering to help with the management and enhancement of your images is PhotoDirector. Developed by CyberLink, a company well-versed in digital image software, the latest version of this product is PhotoDirector 3.
As standard with CyberLink software products, you will need to enter a 30-character serial number. When you first run the software it will automatically check common locations for appropriate content so that you will be able to immediately view your images in the Library view. Additional folders can be selected with their content being added to your pool of image. On subsequent use the program will open with whatever was the last mode used
By default the Library view displays a row of thumbnails running across the bottom of the screen with a single full size view of the currently selected image. Various options are available to customise this view. You can opt to view two large images or several images at one time. You can also switch between one single image or a grid displaying thumbnails with a list view with mini-thumbnails (pinkynails perhaps). Filters can be applied to target specific images. Other options are available to switch between folders, create albums and apply tags to images.
Having organised your images into albums, you may decide that some images would benefit from some extra work. PhotoDirector 3 offers you two different modes for making alterations to your images. These modes are entitled Adjustment and Edit which cover different areas. Each mode will feature a left-sided pane which contains the various options and tools available with that mode.
Adjustment mode divides its functionality between regional and global options. You can carry out regional adjustments as you crop, rotate and remove spots and red eye from your images. You can also target specific areas by using an adjustment brush so that alterations are kept within certain boundaries. For more global adjustments, there are options that relate to white balance, tone and colour plus adding a fish-eye or vignette effect. At all times you will be able to view a Histogram that adjusts to reflect the changes you make to the various image features.
As we know the camera never lies but that does not stop us from bending the truth with tools designed to add a certain gloss or view to what was actually captured. There are five distinct areas in Edit mode. When working with portraits you have access to tools for teeth whitening, enhancing eyes plus the ability to smooth the skin and remove wrinkles. With any photo you can apply a sepia, tint or blur effect with the strength of the setting being adjustable using a slider bar. You can also convert images to black and white.
If that is not enough then you can always remove objects either by replacing them with some of the surrounding area or extract an unwanted section of the original image. Tools are available to manual or automatically select the portion of the image you wish to remove or move. As well as removing items you can also use PhotoDirector 3 to combine elements of different photos. Your work can then be protected by a watermark option.
Selected images can be brought together and displayed as a slideshow. Disappointingly you are limited to just three transitional effects with only one being used for the complete slideshow. You have a choice of fade, wipe left or motion. You can add an appropriate background music track to accompany the images plus set the time duration that images are displayed on screen. The finished slideshow can be created in H.264 AVC, MPEG-4 or WMV format with a choice of resolution settings.
PhotoDirector 3’s final mode is entitled Print. Using this mode you are limited to arranging nine images using various paper sizes. The template supplied for this feature allows you to adjust the size of the cells used to hold the images but not their positioning. While you can select an option to zoom or rotate images, this feature is automatically applied to all the images being used rather than a specific image.
While PhotoDirector 3 has some nice touches, especially with its adjustment and editing features, it does apply some limitations which could turn off some users. It is probably more suited to the professional user, who will appreciate the camera RAW support, rather than the ordinary consumer who might baulk at the product’s price point of £114.99. System requirements call for a 3.0GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 1GB of hard disk space running Windows XP (SP3) and later.
More information available from the CyberLink web-site.
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