Anthropics LandscapePro 2 comes in a choice of three flavours designed to suit the needs of different users. The product is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max versions. This review is based on the new Studio Max product which includes Photoshop plug-in capability, support for RAW files and different colour spaces plus a Histogram pane, batch mode processing and more streamline editing amongst its feature set.
Firing up the Studio Max version of LandscapePro 2 opens up an interface that displays three camera rolls showing Examples, Recent Files and Tutorial Video offerings featuring resizable thumbnail images of various views. Apart from an occasional interloper that might sneak into the Recent Files roll, the greater majority of the thumbnail images will be of the landscape views that form the main focus of this product.
It is well worth dipping into the provided collection of tutorial videos which deal with a range of topics covering tools and techniques. One slight disappointment with the tutorial videos is the lack of any accompanying commentary. These tutorials are more a case of “Show” rather than “Show and Tell” when delivering its message for the benefit of the user.
As with the original version of this software, a major factor with this product is its reliance on the use of labels to indicate and distinguish between different elements of a landscape image. While the original version of the software limited the user to just 15 different labels, version 2 of the software has increased the number of labels up to 19 different label options that can be used to identify elements within a landscape image.
Depending upon the subject matter being displayed in the current image, you can select labels for Sky, Ground, Animal, Mountain, Person, Water, Grass, Plant, Tree, Rock, Unlabelled, Building, Object, Metal, Sand, Snow, Bridge, Waterfall and Sky Reflection. These labels can be dragged and positioned on to appropriate areas as required. Rather than selected multiple labels for an image, I found it easy to work with just a couple of labels at a time by limiting my focus to maybe the sky, water or maybe a tree that needs its foliage increased.
Once you have placed the label or labels on the image, the LandscapePro software will shade in what it considers to be the relevant areas, using a different colour for each area if more than have been targeted. Generally the software makes an excellent stab at selecting the appropriate area. However you do have the means to make any adjustments you consider necessary using the tools built into the product including one that has been designed specifically for dealing with small objects.
Depending upon the labelled area and the selected tool, you can choose from various pre-views of the area or create more personalised views by adjusting slider bars that are connected to specific features such as contrast, full light, textures and even move the position of the sun as you work with both smart and small brushes that have features such as opaque and feathered.
When making adjustments, the software gives you the option to undo and redo the last action or revert to the original image if the results are not to your liking. When you are happy with the results of your editing, you have the option of saving the image under its original name or as a new file.
While many of the alterations you make to a landscape image tend to be rather subtle, with changes to the sky being a personal favourite of mine, more dramatic changes are possible with some of the tools that are available to you as you alter lighting conditions. There are also tool to target 2D and 3D aspects of the image. LandscapePro 2 Studio Max provides support for RAW files and has a Batch mode.
A Settings option, available from the main screen, allows you to personalise some of the aspects of the software. You can opt to show tips and turn on a blur feature to help speed up the rendering carried out by the program. There is also an option to adjust the amount of compression applied to JPG images. Other features which can be turned on or off include enabling colour management and a high performance display.
Anthropics LandscapePro 2 Studio Max is current available with a special 50% discount price. This reduces the cost of the product from £199.90 down to £99.95.
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