10/26/2007 New version Exposure 2
Alien Skin has released an improved version of Exposure (Exposure 2). The main improvements are:
- Shows a fit image at launch (we did not like the old behavior)
- Much better structuring of presets
- Some more default presets
- Last not least: can be used as smart filter in CS3! (read more about smart filters here)
Read our review of Exposure 1 below. It means an excellent plugin got just better.
For pricing (updates and new version) consult the Alien Skin Website (see at the end of this article).
Lets start with one of our very old images.
Blue Boat Venice (1977)
Every expert may find some color cast
with this photo shot in 1977 on Kodachrome 25. Honestly we don't really
care and love the shot as is(not even the best possible scan). There
is clearly something about film colors that grabs our attention. Many
photographers love Velvia, we always liked Kodachrome.
Alien Skin Software just released a
plugin package called Exposure. This is a plugin to edit your images
and simulate a wide variety of films. To get it out of the way, this
package costs $199 and this is not really cheap. But we have also to
realize that plugins like this cost a lot of work to design, implement
and test. The best way is to download the demo and check it out yourself.
We have great fun experimenting with
Exposure actually simulates B&W and color
Simulating color film
Exposure simulates quite a selection
of slide films and special effects:
Here is a first example:
The first version maybe more truthful
while the more reddish version #2 has something for it. All film effects
can be completely controlled at the following levels.
The curve can be manipulated directly
or via the 4 sliders below. We like the sliders a lot.
We did not really check out these controls
but some built in film types (e.g. infra red) make use of the blur.
Grain is often nice to avoid the "digital" look
(we have an article in preparation on this to be published the next
few months). Alien Skin claims that this grain is very different from
the one used
in Photoshop. We did not check into this
either but liked what we see.
You can create your own recipes and
save them for later use:
You can even export the settings and
send to other people. This way Alien Skin tries to create an exchange
of new film recipes.
Can't this all be done in Photoshop?
Probably yes, but also not that easily.
- Possible full screen use of the plugin window
- Multiple undo
- Saved settings
- Can create the filter effect in a new layer and also allows to
select the initial opacity
- Fast change to 100% magnification view
- Before/after split views (like in our Variations Plugin)
Simulating B&W film
There are quite a few films that can
There are many plugins that simulate
B&W films. But most do not simulate also the grain. Here is a quick
sample simulation (Tri X):
Exposure provides full control over the
B&W conversion by providing a channel mixer interface. On top you can
also add toning to certain tonality ranges:
What do we miss?
- No fast way to get a fit into window view (you can zoom in and
- We would like to be able to save settings subsets
This is a well implemented and fun to use high quality plugin that
allows very creative explorations. For pricing consult the Alien Skin Website.
Highly Recommended (in terms
of features and implementation, price is your personal decision)
For more info and a free demo check out the Alien Skin Exposure