Photography News issue 28

Photography News Issue 28 absolutephoto.com

Software test 54 PortraitPro 15 £42.25

PortraitPro has been in many a portrait photographer’s armoury for many years and now in v15 there are even more options. Probably top of the list is the collection of make-up tools followed closely by improved skin colouring controls and an enhanced mode for child portraits. As a sign of the times there is a wide-angle correction mode for selfie portraits. Add the new extras to the existing face sculpt features, facial enhancement tools and lighting control options and you have a potentially indispensible tool for every portrait worker. PortraitPro has always been an easy software to use and v15 is no different. The Studio and Studio Max versions can work as a standalone software or as a plug-in in Photoshop or Lightroom and are compatible with Raws as well as JPEGs and TIFFs. Getting a preview to work on is really simple. Just load the image, select whether the subject is male, female, girl or boy and click OK. The only thing you may have to do is modify the facial outline that the software provides. If needed, this is quick to do and a matter of clicking and dragging the editing points around. With couple or group shots you have to go back to the original and if no face is detected you have to do it manually so the process is slower. Here you just follow the onscreen prompts and click on various facial features. Then you have to work on each face individually. It’s quick to do, but it all takes time which is a consideration if you have a whole bunch of family groups to work on. Once you have a preview, ranged down the right of the interface are all the controls

you need and these are neatly grouped. Click on Eye Controls, for example, and you can whiten eyes, darken pupils, alter reflections or even add coloured contact lenses. To appreciate the vast range of parameters you can adjust, if it is your first time using the software it is worth taking a few minutes and having a play with all of the sliders. It’s a very impressive range. Under the newMakeup Controls there are options for lipstick, mascara, blusher and much more. Knowing a little about make-up might help you apply realistic effects but the important thing to remember is not to overdo it if you want natural-looking results. The great thing with this software is that all the effects are applied with sliders and the ‘after’ preview is instantly refreshed so working speedily is not an issue. If you have a big portrait sitting to work through, that is important. The Studio and Max versions have batch processing options – Max having a full batch mode. As these versions are also Raw compatible the extra outlay is readily justified. WC If it your first time using the software it is worth taking a few minutes and having a play with the sliders

Above Load the image for working on and the software automatically detects features. Below There’s a extensive menu adjustments on offer with make-up the latest addition

Before

After

Specs

Prices PortraitPro Standard edition £29.95, Studio edition £42.25, Max edition £92.45 (sale prices correct at the time of printing). Regular prices are £59.90, £84.90 and £184.90 respectively. Features Studio and Max editions support Raw files and can be used as a plug-in in Lightroom and Photoshop Systemrequirements Windows: Windows 10, 8,7, Vista and XP, with the latest updates installed; 2GB RAM, 4GB or more recommended for high resolution images; 1024x600 minimum display Mac: OSX 10.6 or later: 2GB RAM, 4GB or more recommended for high resolution images; 1024x600 minimum display Contact portraitprofessional.com

Verdict

I’ve used PortraitPro for many years and its skills have proved invaluable time after time especially its skin smoothing feature. It just needs restrained use because it can give results that look artificial and do carefully check the ‘before’ and ‘after’ images before exporting the image. The improvements in version 15 are totally worthwhile and for the money, this software deserves to be in the armoury of every portrait photographer.

It is very easy to make all sorts of significant changes including the face’s structure and lighting to the final portrait so it depends on the effect you want. We did go slightly over the top with our changes to model Amber Tutton here so they would show in print. Used with consideration, it is true that PortraitPro 15 does a great job and your subject is likely to be very grateful.

Pros Easy to use, powerful, versatile Cons Needs self-discipline to avoid over the top results

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