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The Exposure 3 Software Plug-In from Alien Skin Software is a plug-in for Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, and Paint Shop Pro X3 that can simulate the look of different types of film. It can modify your digital photos to make them look as if they were shot on any number of classic stocks, including Tri-X, Velvia, Kodachrome, and Agfa Scala.
More than 500 presets are available for your convenience. In addition to film emulation, Exposure can also emulate the look of toy cameras and early photographic processes. It allows you to add dust, scratches, vignettes, and soft focus effects. And it does it all using a non-destructive workflow, making no alterations at all to your original digital files.
New in Version 3
The new preview system is much more interactive, which makes it easier to experiment and quickly explore presets. Alien Skin has also found ways to speed up rendering, especially if you are using Photoshop CS5. Exposure 3 in 64-bit CS5 is over twice as fast as Exposure 2 in CS4 on the Mac and about 30% faster on Windows.
Photoshop CS5 64-bit Support
Exposure 3 works great with the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS5 on both Macintosh and Windows. This gives Exposure access to more memory and a speed boost.
Exposure 3 now works in Adobe Lightroom 2 or later. Alien Skin's method of tight Lightroom integration supports batch processing and does not require Photoshop to be installed.
Over 500 Presets
There are now over 500 carefully designed factory presets in Exposure 3. Entire new categories have been added, such as Cinematography and Lo-Fi. New settings have been added in almost every other category too. Where appropriate, Alien Skin has enhanced existing settings with the new vignette, dust, and scratches features.
Aging and Vintage Films
More vintage films have been added, including Technicolor movie film, early versions of Kodachrome, and Autochrome -- one of the first color film processes. The illusion of age is enhanced by new features like dust, scratches, and vignettes.
Toy cameras such as Lomo and Holga are extremely popular for creating odd special effects. Exposure 3 provides a wide range of looks from this Lo-Fi photography, including lens blur, warped vignettes, and funky colors from cross processing.
Ease of Use
The entire user interface has been rewritten from scratch. Here are some of the most noticeable results.
The preview image updates much faster.
Settings can now have comments that appear as hover help. Alien Skin added comments to some of the factory presets to help explain the best way to use them. You can add comments to your own saved settings too.
The mouse scroll wheel lets you quickly zoom to arbitrary levels.
You can duplicate a factory preset by dragging it into the User Settings list.
Exposure's grain is carefully researched and realistic, unlike the digital speckles rendered by other software. Like actual grain, it clumps and is strongest in the midtones. Grain size scales with your image size, just like real photographic enlargement.
Exposure supports a non-destructive workflow, making experimentation easy. Effects in Photoshop are rendered on a new layer, leaving your original image untouched. In Photoshop, Exposure can be run as a Smart Filter for easy tweaking of the effect after it is created. Batch processing is supported with actions in Photoshop and through tight integration in Lightroom.
Exposure takes advantage of multiple processors and multiple cores in order to run fast on modern computers. The more cores, the faster Exposure runs.
Huge Range of Effects
Here are some of the techniques of film photography that Exposure handles -- these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Black & White Films
Kodak Technical Pan
Color Print Films
Fuji Pro C, S, and H
Kodak Portra NC
Kodak Portra VC
Kodak Ultra Color UC
Color Slide Films
Agfa RSX II
Ektachrome EES, G, GX, and VX
Kodachrome, every variation from 1936 to the present day
Polaroid, including Polapan and Polachrome
Early photographic processes, including Autochrome, Calotype, and Daguerreotype
Color toning for B&W photos, many variations including split toning
Blur caused by plastic lenses
"Glamour Shots" soft focus
Vignette, wide range of shapes
Dust & Scratches
Cross processing, many variations
Wide range of Lo-Fi presets to simulate cheap plastic cameras
Wide range of fading and aging effects
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Computer: Intel Pentium 4; Intel Mac
Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7; Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6
Display: 1024 x 768
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3, CS4, or CS5; Adobe Photoshop Extended CS3, CS4, or CS5; Adobe Lightroom 2 or 3; Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, 8, or 9; Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X3