Many People using Color Efex?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Luckypenguin, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    So the impression I get around the internet is that Nik's Silver Efex gets a lot of airplay as THE b&w software to have, yet I don't see as much mentioned about Color Efex. I'm just wondering how many here use or have at least trialed it and what your thoughts are. I don't really mean to compare the two but I think if I had to have only one I think I would choose Color Efex over Silver Efex. I particularly like the "film effects" and the "old photo" filters, although I think the latter can be a bit too extreme and you often need to pull them back a bit to make them work. Of course the other interesting fact about Color Efex is that it can also do some very nice black and whites...
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  2. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    I´m just starting to get my feet wet with Color Efex, but so far I like it quite a bit. I have used the Color Stylizer, Bleach Bypass, and Graduated Neutral Density filters, and have played around some with the rest. it´s a fine piece of software.

    I do have to disagree with you, though, with Color Efex vis-a-vis Silver Efex. So far (for me) Coior Efex is a "nice to have" while Silver Efex is a "must have", at least for my workflow. Maybe it´s just a matter of time, and Color Efex will also become a "must have" for me.


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  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm using Color Efex lately and I like it quite a bit. I don't like it nearly as much as Silver Efex just in terms of workflow - I don't really like having totally separate filters that can't be used in combination but can only be used in sequence. I'm also just not as comfortable with color to begin with, so that's probably my bias right there. B&W is my native language, color is sort of a second language that I speak with a really really bad accent and horrible grammar. So I'm naturally drawn to Silver Efex Pro more. But I'm doing more and more of my color shots in Color Efex, so I like it for sure...

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  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thanks, it's good to hear your points of view given that you are both do a lot of b&w imaging.

    I would agree that if I could change one thing it would be to apply multiple filters in the one "session", although it is good that Color Efex is a very fluid plugin and operates quite quickly and efficiently even on my old clunker notebook.

    I was also drawn more to using Silver Efex initially, but I think that I was starting to use it as a crutch, as in "that image looks a bit ho-hum in colour, let's try it in black and white!". I also started to look for a bit more variety when I noticed my flickr account was starting to read like a newspaper :smile: Nothing wrong with that of course and b&w just fits for some, but it was something that I wanted to change in my own work.

    Two other of the filters that I quite like are "bleach bypass" and "polaroid transfer", although like "old photo" I feel that the default settings for these are usually too extreme and find that they work best when throttled back a bit e.g. for polaroid transfer, the smear and border sliders go straight back to 0% when I'm using them.
  5. Photorx12

    Photorx12 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Color Efex has a lot to offer but if you look at most at my posts, I am personally more into black and white stills which is why I use Silver Efex more.
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  6. john1027

    john1027 Regular

    Jul 11, 2010
    Alexandria, VA
    I was lucky enough to find a very reasonable deal that was being offered on the NIK Collection at the time after trying out SEP last year. I personally started out using all the programs as stand-alone products that each offered something in themselves for post processing. When I started to learn more about the products, mostly by taking the free NIK webinars, I started to see that there was a benefit in my scenarios to using them all together to arrive at a final image. For me, Viveza 2 is most often the starting point and in many cases the end point. I have found that I can tweak the image in Viveza first and then if I want to, use Color Efex Pro to add some special effects or additional processing. I use Aperture 2 which means that there is a little more round-tripping in the processing vs. the better integration that exists for Lightroom and Photoshop users. If you take some of the master or special sessions webinars at NIK that deal with overall image processing vs. those that deal with a specific product, you will get a much better sense of what I am referring to.
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  7. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    I do not use any of those programs and most probably won't ever do. The film effects are interesting, but one just needs one evening to collect all those effects as presets for Lightroom for free. Maybe I would be interested in their HDR software, if I shot more HDRs than I am used to do, but at the end of the day Photomatix is just fine and I would stay with it as long there is no really convincing reason to change the tool.
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  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Use it all the time, Nic.
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  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I don't use that much color but when I do, I use Colir Effex.
    BB taught me to use color Effex then go into Silver Effex.
    It makes sense as the conversion is built on the saturation of the color image.
    You can also add effects this way not available in SEP.
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  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think that is a good method to use. I always found that the best way to do b&w was to make the picture look nice in colour first before going monochrome. Sometimes I also go from Silver Efex back to Color Efex as well, mostly to use darken/lighten centre and film grain. I know Silver Efex has the same/similar options but I find the preview a bit clunky in Silver Efex and I like to properly see what a "clean" image looks like first before going any further. The other thing that I prefer about darken/lighten center compared to vignetting is that the former doesn't significantly darken light corners of the image. That way you can "frame" an image without ending up with grey edges around your whites/lights.