Subtly tweak photos with Viveza plug-in for Photoshop

If you've ever tried to alter the color and light values of specific areas of a picture, you know it can be a time-consuming, frustrating, skill-intensive task

If you've ever tried to alter the color and light values of specific areas of a picture, you know it can be a time-consuming, frustrating, skill-intensive task. First, you have to carefully and expertly select the area with a mask. After you make your adjustments to the selected area, you then have to try (often vainly) to make the new edit look like it belongs with the rest of the picture. Nik Software's Viveza does away with all that with a surprisingly simple, yet very sophisticated interface, giving you full control over color and light within any portion of your picture, without affecting the rest. And the result blends in beautifully with the entire image.

Like the same company's Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro, Viveza uses Nik's U-Point technology Control Points. Place the control point on a certain color, shrink or enlarge the area of the control point, and then use sliders to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, red, green or blue values of only that area. For example, suppose you have a portrait of a child playing in a field of flowers. By putting the control point on her face, and sizing it to include her arms, too, you can then adjust the tones, brightness and vividness of her skin, while not making any changes to the field of flowers or, even, to the clothes she is wearing. Then, you can select and alter only the purple flowers in that field. Before Viveza, you had to be very skilled at Photoshop-type masking tools to achieve this, and to make it look natural. Like the other Nik programs, you can choose to brush the resulting effect selectively onto your picture in Photoshop rather than apply it globally.

In addition to being available for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or other programs that are compatible with Photoshop plug-in architecture, other versions will plug into Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture.

Even for masking masters, Viveza is an irresistible time-saver that delivers high-quality results. For those who don't have a pro's skills at masking, it is a tool that can make your pictures look like a pro had a hand at editing them.

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