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News for Nik software users!
Old 03-24-2016   #1
bmattock
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News for Nik software users!

Not anything that interests me, but I saw this and thought I would pass it along...

https://plus.google.com/+NikCollection

Quote:
Today we’re making the Nik Collection available to everyone, for free.

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.
Disclaimer: I don't use Nik software, I run Linux and I'm color-blind, so I don't do much photo editing. That means I'm just passing this along for those who might be interested. For some reason, whenever I do something like this, someone feels compelled to inform me what crap X, Y, or Z software is. Gee, kiddies, I don't care. I don't use it. If you don't like it, here's a thought, don't use it. I'm just trying to help those who might use it. Keep your negativity to yourself if you don't mind. Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2016   #2
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I've used the Nik stuff for a long time. Viveza is great for doing selective adjustments on photos. Seems Google periodically releases the existing version of the Nik stuff just before or after they release a new version. Definitely worth giving it a shot.
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Old 03-24-2016   #3
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I'm a long-time NIK user as well. I especially like SilverEfex Pro.

Google should buy Adobe and make Photoshop available to everyone for free.
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Old 03-24-2016   #4
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Awesome, thanks for posting.
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Old 03-24-2016   #5
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Thanks for sharing
Will download as soon as I get home!
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Old 03-24-2016   #6
GaryLH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
I'm a long-time NIK user as well. I especially like SilverEfex Pro.

Google should buy Adobe and make Photoshop available to everyone for free.
Plus.1

I use silver fx as well, the other parts just occasionally..

Definitely buy Adobe


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Old 03-24-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
I'm a long-time NIK user as well. I especially like SilverEfex Pro.

Google should buy Adobe and make Photoshop available to everyone for free.
Then it would be a big reason not to use Adobe products. I avoid Google services as good as I can.
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Old 03-24-2016   #8
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woooooh -- even the Aperture plugins included. I'm quite happy
I'll try to figure out if the PS plugins works in Affinity asap
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Old 03-24-2016   #9
segedi
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Nice! Thanks for posting this.

Have been on the fence about buying it and now that barrier is removed.

Though, since it's now free, I don't see them putting any effort into updates.
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Old 03-24-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by segedi View Post
...since it's now free, I don't see them putting any effort into updates.
That's the point, isn't it? Silver Efex is important software for many photographers — but how can you expect improvement in this program if it's free. And there are a lot of things that could be improved in Silver Efex. People who use it seriously know what needs to be improved...so I won't start making a list.
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Old 03-24-2016   #11
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Google has plenty of money it made off of everyone on earth already, from data mining everyone's personal habits then selling same. So, they could easily pay programmers to update Nik software; would only be a rounding error for them. They are fond of saying how beneficent they are to the world, maybe they'll keep it updated. Time will tell.

I bought Silver Efex Pro when it wasn't free, and it was well worth the money, I thought. For free, it's hard not to appreciate that.
I do wish Nik still 'supported' the functions it lent to NX2 though. Losing that hurt for Nikon users.
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Old 03-24-2016   #12
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Good, good! I spent too much time making custom ACR presets combined from other film presets floating around the web, now I can have it all.
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Old 03-24-2016   #13
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Google .... free!

I'll download it and have started that process but suspicious I am!

Thanks for the heads up Mr Mattock.
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Old 03-24-2016   #14
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Since this doesn't work as a stand alone is there an older version of cs/lr/elements for windows available for free/cheap/non subscription?
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Old 03-24-2016   #15
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I have a partial set of the Nik plugins and all of them are quite old. But its safe to say I love them. Nik products for photo processing are in my view not just among the best they are world beaters. Yes its true that you can achieve many of the outcomes with off the shelf photoshop etc (and I have done so in the past) but Nik is powerful and fast making it easy to produce powerful and beautiful edits in record time. I especially love the way that Nik plug-ins can apply effects selectively to a photo so it avoids the hassle of making layers and masks which can be slow and imprecise. Here is my chance to do something I was planning to do - upgrade to the latest plugins. Thank you Google.
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Old 03-24-2016   #16
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This might be an old post, as Google made this offer when they first purchased Nik last year. Hopefully the offer is still good. I love using the Nik software: easy to use (on the Mac anyway), lots of features.
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Old 03-24-2016   #17
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Thank you to the op for providing this. I have downloaded these and am certainly looking forward to using.
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Old 03-24-2016   #18
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And they are refunding money (the full amount) to anyone who bought the software this year!
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Old 03-24-2016   #19
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just thinking about upgrade to lightroom cc and nik collection, now save a bunch.
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Nik Collection now free
Old 03-24-2016   #20
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Nik Collection now free

Google made the Nik Collection software free yesterday. Apparently you also get a full refund if you have bought it in 2016.

Worth the download if you don't have it: https://www.google.com/nikcollection/.
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Old 03-24-2016   #21
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Need to just be aware of what host programs the package supports. For example it no longer supports Corel Paintshop Pro which I use (I use an older version of Nik product suite with that host).

https://support.google.com/nikcollection/answer/3000889

But I must say the offer is so attractive that I am considering buying a copy of Lightroom specifically so I can also run the extended package of new Nik products and keep my Corel software for the times that I need some of its specific capabilities.
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Old 03-24-2016   #22
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Google have abandoned the products:

"As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it."

Something of a pattern within Google - they purchased the suite to get hold of Snapseed, and now it's orphaned.
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Old 03-24-2016   #23
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That's really too bad, as Silver Efex could have benefited from further development.
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Old 03-24-2016   #24
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Old 03-25-2016   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Need to just be aware of what host programs the package supports. For example it no longer supports Corel Paintshop Pro which I use (I use an older version of Nik product suite with that host).

https://support.google.com/nikcollection/answer/3000889

But I must say the offer is so attractive that I am considering buying a copy of Lightroom
I suspect that they merely do not automatically install the Nik suite for Corel - if you manually add the plugins or external filters to Corel, it ought to work. The suite Photoshop (.8bf) plugins do not appear to depend on anything recent - they positively do work in Photoshop CS3 here. Besides, all filters are also provided as stand-alone programs - indeed, that is the way they are attached to Lightroom (whose non-destructive paradigm means it cannot work with image altering plugins unless they limit themselves to the Lightroom engine), where they are invoked with "edit file in ...". Can Corel use external editors? If so, there is no reason at all why it won't work - and even if it cannot, that merely means an extra side step to the desktop.
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Old 03-25-2016   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jz View Post
Since this doesn't work as a stand alone is there an older version of cs/lr/elements for windows available for free/cheap/non subscription?
SFX etc works stand alone on my Mac. I don't know about Windows but you can often drag a jpg to the program icon to open it up.
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Old 03-25-2016   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
I suspect that they merely do not automatically install the Nik suite for Corel - if you manually add the plugins or external filters to Corel, it ought to work. The suite Photoshop (.8bf) plugins do not appear to depend on anything recent - they positively do work in Photoshop CS3 here. Besides, all filters are also provided as stand-alone programs - indeed, that is the way they are attached to Lightroom (whose non-destructive paradigm means it cannot work with image altering plugins unless they limit themselves to the Lightroom engine), where they are invoked with "edit file in ...". Can Corel use external editors? If so, there is no reason at all why it won't work - and even if it cannot, that merely means an extra side step to the desktop.


I thought of that myself. It used to be that manually pointing Corel Paintshop Pro at the directory holding the Nik files worked just as you state, (in fact I did it myself with earlier versions of the two products as Corel allow you to nominate the directory (ies) holding plugins in its preferences). But I read a couple of threads today, in which posters claim this no longer works and that when they wrote to Nik its staff confirmed in writing that its software no longer supports the Corel host at all as there are technical incompatibilities. This seems to have something to do with the later versions of Corel now being 64 bit products although why this should be so is not known to me given that Nik also supports 64 bit processors as I understand it.

But something you said in your post is intriguing. Is it correct that the Nik software can be invoked as a stand alone program form the desktop (ie not as a plugin)?. If so this is new as earlier versions did not allow this and operated as a plugin in for Photoshop, Paintshop Pro etc.
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Old 03-25-2016   #28
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And they are refunding money (the full amount) to anyone who bought the software this year!
Indeed. I just received notification of my refund this morning.
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Old 03-25-2016   #29
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OK I understand people who've never owned or used the software are glad about this, but Google have terminated these apps now - anyone who's ever read dozens of these announcements before understand what's effectively being said.

Instead of the universal jubilation, we should be writing to beg them to either sell the suite to another company who can continue developing it, or preferably open-source it.

Within a couple years these apps won't be working with existing operating systems or imaging applications. Come on guys, don't get blindsided by 'free' - you should all know by now, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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Old 03-25-2016   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post

But something you said in your post is intriguing. Is it correct that the Nik software can be invoked as a stand alone program form the desktop (ie not as a plugin)?. If so this is new as earlier versions did not allow this and operated as a plugin in for Photoshop, Paintshop Pro etc.
Yup, they can. Indeed, they could ever since they made it "Lightroom compatible", as Lightroom does only support that kind of manipulation through external (standalone) image editors.
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Old 03-25-2016   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
OK I understand people who've never owned or used the software are glad about this, but Google have terminated these apps now - anyone who's ever read dozens of these announcements before understand what's effectively being said.

Instead of the universal jubilation, we should be writing to beg them to either sell the suite to another company who can continue developing it, or preferably open-source it.

Within a couple years these apps won't be working with existing operating systems or imaging applications. Come on guys, don't get blindsided by 'free' - you should all know by now, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Sad but most likely true.
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Old 03-25-2016   #32
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Within a couple years these apps won't be working with existing operating systems or imaging applications.
They probably will. I still have Photoshop plugins from the early 1990's that I occasionally use (mostly to deal with old Alias Wavefront files). And even Photoshop 3.5 still works fine in Windows 10.

You might however be SOL if you use Apple, as these are quite unusually nasty regarding backward compatibility. They killed both M68k and PowerPC emulation support few years after switching architecture (plus a couple of changes to their bus architecture that invalidated pro photo, video and audio hardware far more expensive than the top Mac), so I have to keep several ancient Macs around just to be able to access parts of my back catalogue - the one reason why they permanently lost me (and any employer of mine where I had the power to decide that) as a customer.
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Old 03-25-2016   #33
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Quote:
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Instead of the universal jubilation, we should be writing to beg them to either sell the suite to another company who can continue developing it, or preferably open-source it.
That would be the best but......

Problem could be that the Nik-collection contained the u-point technology for selective adjustment. I don't know if they patented it or if only the name "u-point technology" is a registered trademark. Now google owns this and uses it in their mobile software.

Would some other company buy the source code without the u-point-functionality?

Would google make the software open source so that anyone would be able to build mobile software with the u-point functionality?
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Old 03-25-2016   #34
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Nice heads up!
Just installed into CC works a treat, maybe Alienskin will go free!
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Old 03-25-2016   #35
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Posted this over on LUF, maybe people here could also add their voices to help keep the Suite alive:

Oh well, not many people seem to be bothered. I wrote my own ineffectual little mail to Google about it. Seeing as they've abandoned software and services with far, far larger user-bases in the past without blinking, I don't think it'll make any difference. But if you use Silver Efex or one of the other apps, then maybe it might be worth adding your voice. Here's my mail anyway:

"The Nik Suite of applications is an integral part of very many photographer's workflow - both pros and amateurs. The announcement today is a pretty obvious signal that the applications are abandoned. At the very least, please continue to develop them to the extent that they can continue to be used for the long-term future, and remain compatible with host application upgrades and new Operating Systems.
This is yet another very sad example in the lengthening list of Google abandonware, and gains the company no real fans in the long-term."

I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 03-25-2016   #36
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Since I'm still using Apple's abandonware Aperture, I went ahead and downloaded Google's abandonware NIK Collection for it. Risks you take with commercial software. I'll continue to use both until they stop working. Then I'll be sad and probably move to FOSS alternatives like darktable and GIMP.
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Old 03-25-2016   #37
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For those who want to use it stand alone.
I installed the collection in my applications folder.
Silver efex opened fine.
I don't have an image on my little 11" laptop to open if you can believe it.
Will try from the desktop later although I will likely host it in aperture there.

Too bad It can not be hosted with Affinity which has become my main RAW processor.
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Old 03-26-2016   #38
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The NIK tools are extremely useful.

It is certainly true a highly skilled and well-experienced Photoshop user could implement everything in the NIK modules. Fortunately using Nik is many orders of magnitude more convenient.

While SilverEfex is often discussed here on RFF. Viveza has extremely powerful dodge and burn tools. I often use HDR Efex Pro 2 to blend (not tone map) bracketed exposures when the dynamic range of the scene exceeds the dynamic range of my camera's data stream.
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Old 03-26-2016   #39
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Quote:
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And they are refunding money (the full amount) to anyone who bought the software this year!
my decisive moment to buy the collection was last December

I thought I'd use Silver Efex most, but turned out Color Efex tonal contrast has been my most used tool. its bit like Clarity slider in Lightroom, but with more control.
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Old 03-26-2016   #40
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I may be doing something wrong when doing the downloading.
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