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The Silver Efex Pro 2 Software from Nik Software is a powerful plug-in application for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom, and Apple Aperture. It gives you all the tools necessary to convert color images from your digital camera to stunning black and white photographs.
While many cameras offer built in support for shooting in black and white -- and any image editing program worth its salt can perform a standard grayscale conversion -- simply desaturating a color image can often produce a flat and boring black and white conversion.
Silver Efex Pro gives you the tools you need to bring life to your monochromatic visions. It can simulate several types of colored lens filters, and can emulate many popular black and white film stocks -- including popular films by Ilford and Kodak!
You'll also be able to add borders to your images -- perfect for wedding shooters and fine art photographers alike. You can selectively restore color to an object, making it visually pop out of the rest of the image. Dynamic brightness and soft contrast adjustment allow you to perfect the look and feel of your images. Thanks to a powerful history browser you will be free to experiment with all the tools the software provides -- there is no adjustment that you can make to an image that cannot be easily undone.
Silver Efex Pro 2 is compatible with the following host applications: Adobe Photoshop CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS4, Adobe Photoshop CS5, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, Adobe Photoshop Elements 8, Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.6, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.x, Apple Aperture 2.1.4, and Apple Aperture 3.x.
Powerful All-in-One Black and White Workflow
Black and White Conversion
Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist yearning for those days in the darkroom, Silver Efex Pro 2 gives you all the power and control you need to create high quality black and white images.
In the past, black and white tools often meant compromising on the quality of the conversion or required a complex and lengthy multi-step process that didn't ensure predictable results. Nik set out to create a single workflow solution that provides everything you need for the highest quality results.
Start with dozens of visual presets as starting points. If you like what you see, you're done. If you want to go further, use an extensive set of global controls such as brightness, contrast, saturation, structure, film types, toning, and much more to craft your image.
Selective Editing and Finishing Touches
For the ultimate in selective enhancements, look no further than the revolutionary U Point technology for incredibly precise selections and adjustments. You can even use the Zone Map built into the software to help guide your edits. Finally, add a vignette, burn in the edges, or add a natural image border to finish your black and white masterpiece. Experimenting is fast and fun, especially with the ability to compare different editing states with the History Browser, new to this version of Silver Efex Pro.
Looking to the Future
You'll discover that although black and white photography is nearly 200 years old, Silver Efex Pro 2 gives you the very best of that legacy in one easy-to-use tool, plus capabilities that make it possible to do more than ever before. What will you do with it?
Revolutionary U Point Technology
For photographers, one of the most difficult aspects of image enhancement has been the ability to selectively edit areas of an image without affecting other areas. It's often easy to look at an image and determine specific things you want to fix, but frustrating to actually fix them.
In the darkroom, dodging and burning were the most commonly used techniques to selectively adjust the tonality of objects, but were inherently imprecise. U Point technology lets you select an area of an image with one click -- identifying it with a "control point" -- and then make changes using sliders connected directly to the control point. This technology makes Silver Efex Pro 2 the only black and white application where precise selective editing is possible. Selective editing is especially critical in black and white photography where you want to ensure that tonality and contrast in the image is exactly what you want.
Patented U Point technology makes it possible to create amazingly precise selections without time consuming and difficult tools, such as selections and layer masks. By using control points, you have the ultimate level of control over the tonality, color, and detail of your images, producing results that more closely meet your vision as a photographer.
More than a Million Members
Debuting in 2006 as a key feature in the first release of Nikon's Capture NX photo editing software, U Point technology recently passed 1 million users. It is now found in 7 different imaging applications and has forever changed the way photographers edit photos.
Specially Developed Algorithms
Achieve incredible results faster than ever with never-before-seen advancements in black and white controls such as Dynamic Brightness, Fine Structure, Soft Contrast, Amplify Whites, Amplify Blacks, and our legendary Grain Engine.
The imaging science and technology behind Silver Efex Pro 2 has been developed so that each part works intelligently together with others for the best results possible. Rather than algorithms working only in isolation, each algorithm intelligently changes contrast relationships between colors and other related algorithms as you adjust them.
The end results speak for themselves: predictable high quality output from a set of algorithms that are combined in revolutionary ways and prevent the introduction of artifacts in the image with no effort on your part.
Intuitive History Browser
Freedom to Experiment
The History Browser enables you to explore all of the features in Silver Efex Pro 2 with the freedom to try different looks, undo adjustments at any time, and compare different edited history states of your image.
This gives you the ultimate in flexibility to experiment with images. Use the always-on History Browser to step backward through any of the adjustments you've made on your image by simply clicking on a previous state.
Using the unique History State Selector, you can compare the current enhancements to any other state in the History Browser. This makes it possible to experiment with different enhancements and then compare the different states either in full view, side-by-side view, or split-view.
Intelligently adjust brightness in your images using the Dynamic Brightness control. This unique tool adapts the brightness effect to existing tonalities in an image, creating spectacular results.
Intelligent Brightness Adjustments
Dynamic Brightness ensures that different areas of your image receive different brightening adjustments, based on tonal values of each area. By moving one slider, dark areas get brighter all without affecting lighter objects in your image and vice-versa. Dynamic Brightness even adjusts brightness independently for each dark area by easily applying adjustments precisely to the level desired. You save time and produce superior results because Silver Efex Pro 2 simply works smarter.
Amplify Blacks and Whites
Accentuate Your Images
Accentuate blacks and whites in your image for greater impact by increasing the presence of highlights and shadows adaptively throughout the image. Unique contrast effects are easily achieved without blocking up darker areas of an image or blowing out lighter ones.
Taken together these tools provide yet another powerful set of controls for creating black and white masterpieces.
Structure and Fine Structure
Enhance Image Detail
Typical contrast adjustments enhance lights and darks along edges. Introduced in the first version of Silver Efex Pro, our innovative Structure control works more precisely "between" the edges to enhance images, often working in concert with contrast.
Nik has gone further still in Silver Efex Pro 2. The Fine Structure control brings out even more visible detail in the smallest structures, details, and textures of an image without creating an over-sharpened look.
Simulate Film Grain
Film grain often sets the mood of an image. Silver Efex Pro 2 has an unparalleled grain reproduction algorithm that doesn't merely layer grain on an image but rather recreates the image using the grain settings you've chosen. The result is a more natural-looking image that evokes the nostalgic film era.
Begin your exploration of grain by going directly to the Grain slider or by selecting a Film Type that will apply a grain setting appropriate for that film. Choose the number of grains per pixel and a desired level of grain softness.
One-Click Visual Presets
30 Built-In Presets
Achieve spectacular results with a collection of over 30 visual style presets categorized by photographic style and displayed using your current image. Presets provide a great starting point for your masterpiece, plus you can easily create your own and share them with others.
Visual presets enable you to quickly enhance your images with just one click. Although millions of people shoot color digital photos with an eye towards converting them to black and white, there are many more who haven't been satisfied with their past efforts or just do not know where to begin. The visual presets in Silver Efex Pro 2 offer a simple way to begin (or finish) your masterpiece using just one click.
View all of the visual presets or select just the ones you want based on the style of photography you do. If you're looking for more of a nostalgic feel, choose the Vintage category. If you like a more current look try the Modern category.
Create & Share
Silver Efex Pro 2 encourages fun and experimentation, so why not share the experience? Once you have created a great black and white look, you can easily make a visual preset to use on other images or to share with others. For even more inspiration, import additional presets from the Nik Software website. It's a great way to discover new black and white looks.
Dynamic Contrast Adjustment
Conventional contrast darkens and lightens details in a very straightforward yet unsophisticated manner, often producing images that are harsher than intended. Soft Contrast, however, adds contrast to an image by applying contrast to different areas of the image in a dynamic way. By intelligently adapting contrast to image details, Soft Contrast achieves a softer mood or feeling in the photograph.
Natural Image Borders
Redesigned Border Algorithms
Silver Efex Pro 2 contains an entirely rewritten set of intelligent algorithms that incorporate organic elements to create unique, natural, and random image borders. This is a modern interpretation on classic darkroom borders and offers virtually infinite possibilities.
Fully Customizable Borders
Photographers have often looked to digital photographic borders as the finishing touches to their masterpiece, yet have fallen short because many image borders are either too smooth, artificial, or they all have the same appearance. This results in a look that is unnatural and unlike what was achievable in the darkroom.
The natural image borders in Silver Efex Pro 2 blend organic elements with a unique randomizing algorithm to produce beautiful, natural-looking, and scalable borders. Borders can be repeated or randomized, providing enough variation to ensure that your images don't look the same. The result is amazing.
U Point Control
Selective color toning has long been a favorite technique of fine art and portrait photographers. The selective color tool enables you to quickly and easily add color elements back into your photograph utilizing U Point technology to precisely select objects without creating complicated selections or layer masks.
Bring Back Color
Once you have your image adjusted to a perfect monochromatic look, U Point powered control points let you easily bring back color to precise selections. Simply click on the object or area to adjust and a Selective Color slider appears, enabling you to bring back as much or as little color as you like.
Vignettes & Burned Edges
Darkroom Quality Processing
Finish your images with complete control over popular vignette styles and burned edges for a true darkroom result. Silver Efex Pro 2 includes several vignette choices, all of which give you complete control over the amount of the enhancement, shape, size, and center point of the vignette. Choose from a number of presets to save time and ensure consistency.
Vignettes & Burned Edges provide all the control necessary to draw the eye into any desired part of the image. Placing a center point and adjusting the tonality and amount of the vignette, or burning a light edge to perfection gives you absolute freedom to direct the viewer's attention.
Stylize Your Images
Stylize your images with darkroom-inspired tints and toners. Select from several toning options such as sepia, selenium, cyanotype, ambrotype, and split toning. Adjust the silver and paper hues using an easy-to-reference color spectrum. You can also create user-defined tints and toners to develop your own unique look.
Choose from Almost 20 Stocks
Silver Efex Pro 2 emulates nearly 20 different black and white film types to recapture the classic black and white look. The emulation of each film is based on the detailed analysis of multiple rolls of each film type, thus ensuring accurate reproduction of favorite films from ISO 32 to ISO 3200.
With infinite control over the color sensitivity, contrast, grain quality, and tone curve for each film type, you can easily modify them to suit your own tastes. Relive the past by selecting one that you've shot before or experiment for a new look altogether.
Smart Object Compatible
Silver Efex Pro 2 is compatible with Adobe Photoshop's Smart Filter feature that enables you to perform edits after they've been applied, without adding additional layers.
The ability to experiment, have fun, and be creative is essential to the digital darkroom. Silver Efex Pro 2 makes it possible to experiment and fine-tune by supporting Photoshop's Smart Objects. Smart Objects preserve an image's original source content, enabling you to perform non-destructive editing to an image layer. With Silver Efex Pro 2 working in Adobe Photoshop you can go back and make any adjustment you like, even after applying them.
Multiple Images in Lightroom and Aperture
Silver Efex Pro 2 can load multiple images at a time when accessed from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Apple Aperture. This allows you to save time and effort when enhancing a series of images. When more than one image is opened, "Previous" and "Next" buttons appear, allowing you to easily copy and paste settings between images to maintain consistency.
Categorized one-click presets on the left side of the interface, important global and selective controls placed conveniently on the right side, a zoom navigator, and a host of shortcut keys all make for an efficient black and white workflow that doesn't get in your way. Similar to other Nik Software products, this streamlined workflow means fast results, high quality, and endless creative possibilities.
Have Fun and Work Efficiently
Black and white photography is all about the craft and passion of creating a wonderful masterpiece to be shared with others. Often, the most satisfying results come from effortless experimentation. Employing an interface both easy to learn and easy to use, Silver Efex Pro 2 inspires exploration and provides the confidence of the History Browser so you can compare edits and undo adjustments at any time.
Multi-Threaded GPU Processing
Silver Efex Pro 2 takes full advantage of the latest system hardware chipsets and acceleration found in advanced displays, saving you time and effort with lightning fast, efficient processing.
Photoshop, Lightroom, & Aperture Compatible
As photographers and creative artists, you spend a lot of time in your digital tools of choice. With Silver Efex Pro 2, you never have to leave your favorite tool to access the powerful controls and capabilities of black and white imaging. Each host application has its nuances, and Silver Efex Pro 2 takes advantage of those when they are available.
Millions of photographers have grown up in Photoshop as their primary image editor. Silver Efex Pro 2 works seamlessly with Photoshop, including compatibility with the incredibly powerful Smart Object functionality.
Lightroom and Aperture
Lightroom and Aperture have become key tools for professional photographers everywhere because of their superior image management capabilities. Augmenting your workflow with the award-winning image enhancement tools from Nik Software provides the ultimate and complete photographic toolkit.
Tutorials and Help Files
Nik puts Photography first to help you take your digital photography to a new level.
Learn about black and white photography and the capabilities of Silver Efex Pro 2 with both written and video-based learning tools, including live weekly online trainings. For over a decade, Nik Software has been committed to delivering the very best in education from how to use the software to simply becoming a better photographer.
Silver Efex Pro 2 includes an interactive help system and videos that thoroughly cover the basics. It's easy to extend your learning with live weekly online trainings and special guest webinars with black and white photography experts. The world-renowned Nik Education team is also constantly in the field teaching techniques and sharing insights face-to-face around the world.
Table of Contents
Computer: AMD or Intel CPU; Intel Mac Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, 7; Mac OS 10.5.8, 10.6 Memory: 2GB (4GB recommended) Compatible Host Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5; Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, CS4 Extended, CS5 Extended; Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0; Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.6, 3.x; Apple Aperture 2.1.4, 3.x Compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and host applications
Silver Efex Pro 2 will not work on images in the grayscale color mode