Came across this surprise announcement this morning amid the flurry of Photokina product news and reports.
From NIK Software:
We are pleased to announce that Google has acquired Nik Software. For nearly 17 years, we’ve been guided by our motto, “photography first”, as we worked to build world class digital image editing tools. We’ve always aspired to share our passion for photography with everyone, and with Google’s support we hope to be able to help many millions more people create awesome pictures.
We’re incredibly grateful for all of your support and hope you’ll join us on the next phase of our journey as part of Google.
All our best!
The Nik Software Team
Not sure what this means for NIK users worldwide. Their tools have become a big part of my workflow over the years and they are quite indispensable. Let’s hope that Google has a good road map for the future of NIK.
Adobe recently made available a nifty free utility ‘Adobe Configurator‘ update for download on Adobe labs.
Adobe Configurator 3.1 interface
Adobe Configurator 3.1 enables users to easily create custom panels (palettes) for use in both Photoshop CS5/Cs6 and InDesign CS5/CS6. Users can drag and drop their favourite tools, menus, scripts, actions etc. into a panel design and then export the custom panels for use in Photoshop or InDesign.
In a matter of minutes, I created a quick panel containing my most used Photoshop tools and have it imported into Photoshop CS5. The utility is fun and a joy to use.
Configurator 3 panel in PSCS5
You can visit Adobe labs for more info on Adobe Configurator and download links.
The latest Aperture 3.2 release is available via Software Update. The details are listed in the Release Notes:
Aperture 3.2 supports compatibility with iCloud and iOS 5, and is recommended for all users of Aperture 3. This update addresses minor stability, performance and compatibility issues, including those listed below.
- Resolves an issue that could cause the Loading indicator to reappear in the Viewer when cropping a photo.
- Aperture now automatically reopens into Full Screen mode if the application was in Full Screen mode when last quit.
- Pinch-to-zoom gesture now automatically activates Zoom mode in the Viewer.
- Left and right swipe gestures can now be used to navigate between photos in the Viewer.
- Microsoft Outlook can now be chosen in Preferences as the application used by Aperture for emailing photos.
- Fixes an issue that could cause Aperture, running on OS X Lion, to quit unexpectedly when using brushes to apply adjustments.
- The Loupe now correctly displays magnification levels between 50-100%.
- Fixes an issue that could cause Aperture, running on OS X Lion, to display the incorrect color profile on externally edited images.
- The Import window now includes an option to delete photos from iPhone and iPad after they have been imported into Aperture.
- The Lift & Stamp tool now displays the correct cursor icons when being used in Split View and Viewer only modes.
Chris Breen from Macworld has an article about Apple dropping support for Rosetta in OSX Lion which debuts in July.
Currently, in order to run applications that are PowerPC based (not Intel) on the current OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard, you need Rosetta to act as an interpreter. With the disappearance of Rosetta in the upcoming OS, the apps that are PowerPC-based will in effect be incompatible.
You can check which app is a PowerPC version by going to the System Profiler.
From Mac Observer:
If you have installed OSX 10.6 latest Security Update 2011-003, you will get daily safe file updates for Safari to prevent malware (trojan horse) from infecting your system. This is a direct response to the MacDefender malware back in May this year.
Security Preference Pane
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that this works perfectly and you get the latest virus definition every time one is available. Thanks to Adam Christianson from Mac Observer, he had updated Safe Download Version to have the ability to grab the latest definition list directly. This OSX utility also shows you when the definition list was last updated and what version number is installed.
Safe Download Version
Safe Download Version is free and it is available for download on the bottom of TMO page here.
If you are an iPad owner looking for a good photo app for your mobile device, you might want to take a look at NIK’s newest product Snapseed.
NIK is well known for their U-Point technology and pro photography plugins like Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro and Sharpener Pro. Their plugins are well designed and offer professional controls and results. With Snapseed, NIK has moved the patented U-Point technology to the mobile device.
Snapseed iTunes screen grab
Snapseed offers tap control points for selective image adjustments (U-Point technology). Creative effects can be applied via photo filters like Grunge, Vintage etc. You can create centre focus by blurring areas outside of the desired areas. Black & White is also part of the Snapseed offering. You can create darkroom style looks using the supplied filter options and top it all up with random organic borders.
Snapseed is also built with sharing capabilities. You can share the photos via email or through social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr. You can also print via Airplay (WiFi enabled printing).
This product is available on iTunes App Store for $4.99.
Apple has released an update 3.1.2 for Aperture. It can be downloaded via the Software Update…
This update aims to improve overall stability and performances. Other bug fixes addressed in this release are:
- Importing iPhoto libraries
- Reliability and responsiveness when using brushes to apply adjustments
- Reconnecting referenced master images
The release notes provided by Apple can be found here.
Apple has released a RAW Compatibility Update 3.6 for Aperture 3 and iPhoto ’11. The following cameras have been added to the support list:
- Canon EOS Rebel T3 / 1100D / Kiss X50
- Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D / Kiss X5
- Olympus E-5
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
- Pentax K-r
- Pentax K-5
It also addresses processing issues for the following cameras:
- Nikon D7000
- Nikon COOLPIX P7000
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
The update can be found via Software Update in OSX or by following the link below.
NIK Software has announced a version 2 upgrade to their flagship Silver Efex Pro. The Silver Efex Pro arguably is the best software on the market today for Black & White conversion. Its patented U Point technology provides very precise local adjustments. In version 2, NIK has added a nice to have History Browser. Silver Efex Pro 2 is available both as standalone and plugins for Lightroom and Aperture. You can get more info on NIK Software.
As for the much beloved Photokit Sharpener from Pixel Genius, it has also been upgraded to version 2 after it’s been absent for a few long years. Photokit Sharpener is an automated sharpening workflow for Photoshop. It is designed to work with both 8 or 16-bit scans and digital capture. PixelGenius is offering a 70% discount to version 1 users. The upgrade price is $30. For more info, you can visit Pixel Genius.
After installing the App Store, I was perusing the various products available for purchase and download. To my pleasant surprise, I noticed that the Aperture 3 app is retailing for $79.99. The pricing on apple.com of this app is still $199.00. Not sure whether this is a promo price for App Store only but if you need the app, there is no better time to purchase it.